Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hey soundsliders

For everyone who wants to publish their soundslides on the web, but doesn't want to pay for a website, try free web-hosting at - you can upload the soundslide "publish to web" archive in the file manager (broken into 5 mb or less segments if too large), and post the link online. Anyone with questions feel free to comment!

Tyler Cleveland/The Ranger

click the image to view my spring semester portfolio

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Shadowing Billy Calzada

They have to be focused on the action, while anticipating reaction or those unplanned events in the back of their head, ready at moments notice. As famous photographer William Albert Allard once said, photojournalists "seek out what is there,yet often find something finer, something closer to the center, that no amount of research or preparation could have led them to."

Photojournalists use a variety of techniques while covering their assignments, but there is one technique that I believe is the most essential and cannot be learned, only felt. It is the ability to feel compassionately towards your subject with a loving gratefulness that they are here, here to share their stories with the people around them whose perception of the community- perhaps unawaringly- is determined by what they couldn't see themselves and what only photographs can bring them. That desire to share all things truthful and real is, I believe, the greatest determinant in one's ability to work as a photojournalist, as compared to other fields of photography.

I was able to see this essential method of a photojournalist in action last Thursday evening, while observing Express-News photojournalist Billy Calzada on assignment at the home of Maria Altamira, or "Tweety." I was in the Express newsroom checking the Photo Request Form when I heard about the assignment, the summary reads:

"Everyone calls Maria Altamira "Tweety." She has scores of the stuffed cartoon bird outside her home [given by friends, family, locals], which is called the "the Tweety House" by locals. She picked up the nickname at a local bar, where a man named Sergio (i.e. "Sylvester") used to chase her around and throw water on her. Tweety has had a rough life - her son is in prison and the father of her 5-year-old daughter was deported, among other travails. The Tweety symbol reminds her to be strong and happy."

Photo-editor's notes: "Billy, looking for a multimedia piece from this. Audio slideshow or video. It should get some nice love on line. -- William ["the super pro" Luther]"

Billy Calzada is the guy photo-editors assign these stories to - he has the lovable personality that people take to, his professionalism and ability to create a multimedia piece in mere minutes unimpeded by cracking jokes, laughing, and having fun in the process (when appropriatte) - not to mention, he's bilingual! He has worked at the Express for almost ten years, and has only recently in his career taken up video/multimedia production, yet he works the medium with the same dedication for professional quality as with his stills.

It was a very good learning experience for me to observe the way Billy accomplished the assignment. He meets the family with a greeting known best by the family-of-a-hispanic-community in San Antonio- "Como Estan?!" - followed by introducing the camera to his subject and calmly asking them questions. This family was really nervous before Billy arrived, they came outside and asked me what was going to happen and I reassured them that he would "just ask a few questions and take some video." Sure, Billy did ask some questions and take video, but he did so in a way that made the shy children talk (who wouldn't speak to me), put the family at ease and be in their comfortably natural state, and he received his subjects in the way of a freind who isn't there with any lack of interest or passion to tell their stories. He was shooting photos of the family in a natural state before I could even pick up my camera, and they noticed the lens by the time I did. He was instinctive and the whole process looked completely natural to me - something I'm still working to acquire, of course.

I look forward to speaking with Billy again next week, and learning from all the professionals at the San Antonio Express-News. Thank you again Billy and all for inspiring students and reminding me why I love this "job" with all my being - it's more like a lifestyle of preserving history and sharing the stories of others and our own experiences with the community, our world that relies on the photograph not just to be informed, but to feel the curious and inspired emotion as a witness to this life and the times - the same feeling one must have to really be a photojournalist.

Billy Calzada interviews Maria Altamira, or "Grandma Tweety," outside her home at the 1700 block of San Fernando St. Thursday. Known as "the Tweety House" by locals, Altamira owns over 250 tweety birds, given to her by family, friends, and visitors.

Angelica Altamira laughs as Billy Calzada interviews her mom, Maria Altamira, or "Grandma Tweety."

A real Tweety adorns the home

Billy laughs with Amber Altamira, 4, at her "Grandma Tweety's" home.

Here is the video Billy produced. His slideshow of images can be viewed at

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Final Exam Portraits - Griselda Lourdes

Alamo-Fiesta owner Griselda Lourdes poses with a skull sculpture Tuesday May 5. After her mother Consuelo Perez de Cortes died of a heart attack the same hour her brother Juan Luis Cortes was married, Lourdes left Mexico to help her oldest brother Gerardo Cortes through a depression. The skull symbolizes the Mexican holiday Dia de Los Muertes, a festive celebration that honors dead family members, reminding Lourdes of happier times as a child when her father Juan Cortes I would make candy on November 1 until he died when Lourdes was 23.

Griselda Lourdes talks with a customer on the phone at her shop Alamo-Fiesta on E. Ashby and N. Main Ave Tuesday, May 5. She and her son have owned the shop for seventeen years, which is inside a house built in 1905.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Women in Photojournalism Workshop and Contest

Hi folks,

This is a big event in photojournalism. Don't let the name fool you. It is not for women photographers only. It is just that the organizers are women. The have a photo contest too. Check it out.

The web address is:

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring 2009 - One to Remember

Spring 2009 will be one of my most memorable semesters at the j-school. I enjoyed all the laughs and experiences working with everyone at the Ranger and in News Photo I. Although I may not be joining those enrolled in News Photo II next semester, I will not allow myself to somehow be excluded from more good times to come. Hope everyone had as much fun as I have! See you next semester? count on it.

Here's some from the Source Awards:

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

nature walk

I took my camera with me on a nature walk.
I was really happy to find deer so close to my house.
I tried to be stealthy, but they definitely noticed me and my camera.
The deer began to form a gang, and I decided I was outnumbered and it was time to leave.
The end.

rainy dayy

Don't worry Dr. Lo, I wasn't driving when I took these, they were all taken while waiting at red lights.

Friday, April 24, 2009

san pedro view

cita de san antonio

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Legendary musician Esteban "Steve" Jordan performs at Main Plaza, April 19, 2009.
Priscilla Reyna-Ovalle/The Ranger

History quiz tips

Photo folks, for your history quiz, you need to know about the following:

1. The earliest experience of wire-photo transmitted by news agency.
2. The first magazine that use photo extensively to report stories of daily life of American and the people in the world.
3. What is FSA stands for? What did this organization do to mark an important history of photojournalism?
4. What did Margaret Bourke White took pictures of after WWII that made her said, “Using the camera was almost a relief. It interposed a slight barrier between myself and the horror in front of me."?
5. A photo exhibition took place at Museum of Modern Art during early 1955 that kicked off the importance of documenting ordinary human life. Who organized the event and what exactly is the event about?
6. In 1950s, two famous photographers chose to use camera to document the “real world” as it was instead of fantasy. They rejected perfect lighting and composition. Hit the street and focus on less noticed people and culture collision.
7. In 1955, a black boy in Chicago was brutally murdered by two white men. What was the detail of the incident and why did it make the history of photojournalism?
8. Black photographer Gordon Park was hired by FSA in the early 1940s. What was his first experience in the FSA and what make him famous in the photojournalism history?
9. What happened to the photos of American soldiers landing on Normandy? Why were there only a few photos left in the world? Who took those photos?
10. What makes Vietnam war so different from the wars that American involved afterward in terms of photographic reporting?
11. In the “American Photography” video, it cited 4 photos that changed the history. What are they?
12. Politician Gary Hart lost his Democratic nomination as presidential candidate in 1988, what was the main reason?
13. In June 1994, Time and Newsweek both published the same photo as their cover on the same week. What was that photo and why was it so well known in photojournalism history?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ranger photo staff recruitment on Tuesday

Hi folks,

The Ranger is going to have it's staff recruitment interview for the Fall semester on coming Tuesday at 1pm. If you are interested in applying for the position, please prepare your portfolio and pick up an application form from the department office.

We will be hiring 2 staff photographers in the coming fall and we will expect the photographers work at least two days a week. You will receive a stipend of $300 a month and earn tons of working experience on covering actually news event.

For details, please come talk to me or Tricia.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Interpreting Improper Photography Law

I am trying to make a point here to show how this Improper Photography Law cannot prohibiting those insane/sick people to satisfy themselves, in fact, it is rather gagging the freedom of expression.

Look at the following photos one after one:

A sick person can imaging whatever he think this is to his desire because he is alienated from the real world.

Just before your mind go too far to that unhealthy and insane thoughts .... Let me rescue you.

In fact, this is just a photo taken of an ordinary person in a park. The previous photo was just a very extreme crop of the following photo.

And when you finished seeing the previous photo, I would like to tell you that this photo actually was not the original photo I intended and actually shot.

It turned out to be just a photo more than ordinary.

See, how can this law prohibit those sick people from taking photos and satisfy their special desire. We can't control people's mind. What this law does is to create a chilling effect on the practice of documentary photography on ordinary citizens.

That's why I think some legislators was playing with law and abuse their power to earn political chips to satisfy their voters. I wonder why professional photography organizations have not been raising hell about this.

Maybe this is part of those Texas culture that I have not yet known.

So, tell me, what is "Don't mess with Texas means?"

.... shooting death a deaf who can't hear being asked to step off your lawn?

this is mandy a fire spinner who i met through a friend of mine, this is fire flower

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First Softball Game

Tyler Cleveland/The Ranger
Education sophomore Tiffany Smith runs to third base after coach Sam Gallegos hit an outfielder during their softball game against Lonestar Coin 55, a team of players 55 years old and older, at Kroger Field Wednesday, April 8. The Rangers lost 19-9.

Tyler Cleveland/The Ranger
Business sophomore Juan Borrayo talks with public relations freshman Jennifer Flores and University of San Antonio freshman Jessica Flores in the dugout. Borrayo was upset because the players on the opposing team were talking trash.

Tyler Cleveland/The Ranger
Kinesiology freshman Mary Semerisky bats.

Tyler Cleveland/The Ranger
Psychology sophomore Candace Herrera cheers for her teammates during the 5th inning

The Drive Home

Towards the bridge, where 151 meets 90.

Lights drag in the night

Dreams are created and destroyed

Who are we

What do we stand for

Monday, April 13, 2009

From garage to Fiesta

Sad Plant - rock band prepares for April 25th, Fiesta Palooza, E. Houston St. L to R: George - guitar, Rambo - guitar, Popeye - vocals, Raymond - bass, Jerry - drums. Come out and support the local music scene.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


A bug that flew at me after this was taken.

SDHC card reader on sale

Hi folks,

I was at Walmart today and noticed that they have Targus SDHC card reader on sale. It is $8.88 each. I think it is a good deal. You should go get one if you are using SDHC card and currently don't have a card reader.


cakes beware

my nephew tyler fears no cake

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Guest speakers to our class

I don't know how much you get out from these two guest speakers today but I learned a lot by listening to them. I hope this would help you understand the freelance business.
Thanks to Michael Short and Mark Greenberg.