26 February 2010

the room with tommy wiseau

"The Room," for those not familiar, is credited as being the worst movie ever made. It is written, directed, starred in, and everything else you can do with a movie by Tommy Wiseau, who may or may not be of French descent. It is so bad it has developed a cult following in Los Angeles and probably New York. It came to Chicago a few weeks ago and I shot the premiere for the MusicBox Theatre.
Also, check this link out to see the best scene from the movie!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Plz-bhcHryc

basketball

Crystal Lake Central's Shana Sigmund (23) and Prairie Ridge's Taylor Smerecky (32) fight for the ball in the Class 3A Prairie Ridge Regional Final on Friday. The Wolves defeated the Tigers 30-28.
Prairie Ridge's Ashley Fenton, right, hugs teammate Ally Hodorowicz after defeating Crystal Lake Central.

23 February 2010

what are you thankful for?

I forgot to post this around Thanksgiving but it is too cute to pass up. I ask kids at Olson Elementary School in Woodstock what they are thankful for, and also how they think one would cook a turkey.
http://vimeo.com/14486849

Also, speaking of kids, here is a video of me seeing if I am as fit as a fifth-grader.
http://www.vimeo.com/10417563

21 February 2010

solo and ensemble time

From left to right, A.J. Wisniewski, 10, Nathaniel Logan, 11, Chris Johannsen, 11, and Joey Walsh, 11, wait to play "Frere Jacque" as a round at the annual Solo and Ensemble Festival at Cary Junior High School on Saturday. Over 240 students from Cary and Fox River Grove schools performed instrumental and vocal ensembles.
Sidenote: I got a few letters that were not too happy with this photo. Here was my response to one of them:

Dear Dorothy,

Thank you for your feedback on the band instrument photo that ran a few weeks ago. I am sorry to hear you did not like the photo, but I am glad you told me your opinion on it so I can better explain the thought process that went into taking that particular picture.

The photo ran in the Northwest Outtakes section, which is a place we run feature photos that tend to be "outside the box," hence the name "outtakes." The photos in that section are usually artsier and not as literal as ones that run in the news sections, i.e. the Local and Region section. If you saw the story that ran with other photos from this event, there were photos with the boys faces and instruments, and also a photo slideshow on our Web site.  Here is a link to the slideshow: http://ssm.nwherald.com/northwest-herald/photos/20100220soloensemble/solo-and-ensemble-festival/

With the picture you wrote to me about, I took a different approach with it in covering this event. The photo was taken before the quartet played and I thought it interesting how the boys expressed their nervousness by fidgeting with their instruments; I also thought that applied to how other children at the Solo and Ensemble event that day were feeling. I also liked the repetition of the boys' instruments and outfits- the ties, black pants, white shirts, black shoes. I took the photo as I saw it. I felt it summed up what was going on that day, without pinpointing just one child. On the otherhand, some parents may be upset their child was not included in some of the photos taken.

I did not exclude faces out of disrespect, it was more an artistic approach at a news assignment that I thought would fit our Outtakes section in the paper. Thank you for reading the Northwest Herald, and please let me know if you have any other thoughts or comments.

Best,
Amanda

Amanda Schwengel
Photojournalist
Northwest Herald

Nathaniel Logan, 11, concentrates playing the trombone during his quartet performance of "Frere Jacque" at the annual Solo and Ensemble Festival.
 Neal Edwards, 13, checks out the time he performs his baritone solo.
Neal Edwards, 13, checks out the time he performs his baritone solo.

daily work

Here are some photos from the past week.

Shunnalo Brown, of Lake in the Hills, sings "On My Way" at the final rehearsal Saturday for the Music for Martin performance at Grace Lutheran Church in Woodstock. The annual celebration of the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., will take place Feb. 21 at Grace Lutheran Church and feature spoken word, music and more. Great voice!
Dr. David Rocks puts drops in Crystal Bradford's eye as part of a routine glaucoma check Thursday afternoon. While the disease is not preventable, it is treatable with routine eye exams.
A weathered barn is bathed in morning sunshine at Glacial Park in Ringwood.
Independent contractors work in the Lost Valley Visitor Center at Glacial Park in Ringwood. The center will feature classrooms, conference rooms, and geothermal technology will be used for heating, cooling and natural daylight harvesting.
The area barbershop quartet the Clef Hangers, from left to right, John Jeide, Chuck Hopp, Al Boeldt and Bill Dysart, perform for Angeline Raycraft Saturday at Hearthstone Manor in Woodstock. The group romanced area citizens with song around the county Friday, Saturday and on Valentine's Day.

Listen to the crooners in an audio slideshow here:
http://www.vimeo.com/10934316
Clay bowls, made by students and instructors at McHenry County College and the Clayworkers Guild of Illinois, sit to dry at McHenry County College on Saturday. The bowls will eventually be filled with soup and sold to the public at Oakton Community College in December.

Watch how the bowls are made here:
http://www.vimeo.com/10934394
http://ssm.nwherald.com/northwest-herald/photos/20100209emptybowls/empty-bowls/


Dan MacKenzie and Kathy Ericksen laugh during the weekly square dancing class held at McHenry Township Recreation Center in Richmond. The activity is open to all ages and levels and runs for 16 weeks.
Watch a video of the dancers here:
http://www.vimeo.com/10758995

Crystal Lake fire fighters respond to a call on Williams Street on Tuesday afternoon. A basement door caught on fire, but no injuries were reported.
Trees are ground into mulch at the Algonquin Township Road District site off of Route 14 on Thursday. About 3500 trees were collected and other branches, brush and twigs can be dropped off starting the end of March. The Township also accepts paint, motor oil, clippings, clothes, shoes for recycling.

Check out the recycling in action:
http://www.vimeo.com/10727440

Six-year-old Harlee Schnulle spars against her eight-year-old brother Tristan during a class at Young Masters Martial Arts in downtown Woodstock on Monday, Jan. 25, 2010.
Watch the martial artists in action: http://www.vimeo.com/10935454

15 February 2010

chicago auto show

I covered the Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place last Wednesday. I got to sit in some Jaguars, go for a test drive on an all terrain track in a new Jeep, and even made it out of the maze of McCormick Place back to my trusty Honda Accord in under 10 minutes. Here are some favorite images from the day.

Watch a video preview of the event here:
http://www.vimeo.com/10934605

04 February 2010

norge ski jump

I shot a preview of the 105th annual Norge Ski Jump Tournament the other day. To get some different angles and the shots I wanted I climbed the 150 foot tall ski jump, which wavers in the wind and is not for those not friendly with heights. I also got stuck climbing down, but made it eventually carrying 3 cameras.


Watch my video here:
http://vimeo.com/10756285

winter formal

My roommate and I threw a party in our neighborhood last weekend, and I set up a photo booth with these results. Setting up a remote to work the camera was a nice idea to get in on the action.

This photo is by Nate.