Raw Audio

For our Raw Audio File assignment I interviewed Alison Clarke, a University of Wyoming soccer player, about her experiences as a college athlete.

Interviewing Alison was very easy. She had plenty to say when I asked questions and spoke very clearly. When I was being interviewed I felt nervous about the introduction and felt like I took an eternity to say my name wand what I was talking about. Once the interview turned more conversational I became more comfortable, other than when I began to cough, which was embarrassing.

Both interviewing and being interviewed were good experiences. The only thing I did not like about the interviews was putting time constraints on them. Having to watch the clock made it difficult to decide when to start wrapping up the interview. When I was interviewing Alison, I noticed there was just more than one minute before we reached the deadline so I asked if she had anything else she would like to say. She said no and the interview just passed the four minute thirty seconds mark. I found that situation stressful. Had I been more confident I would have asked a question and got an answer within the allotted time.

For when I was being interviewed I wish I had a taken a drink of water before being asked the questions. Having a dry throat, while not awful, made the interview more stressful than it had to be.

When I was interviewing I wish I had asked one more question to get a bit more audio for the next assignment and not been so close to the minimum allowed time.

Overall I feel both interviewing and being interviewed went well. I am confident that in the future I can successfully interview a person and get good quality audio and good answers from my interviewee.

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Photojournalism

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Sophomore Kayla Slofkiss (#5) receives a serve during the Cowgirls' 3-1 win over San Diego State, Oct. 2 at the UNIWYO Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyo.

Sophomore Kayla Slofkiss (#5) receives a serve during the Cowgirls’ 3-1 win over San Diego State, Oct. 2 at the UNIWYO Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyo.


Having a pass to all home sporting events for the University of Wyoming all one has to do is regularly check the game calender and have time to photograph the game.
Volleyball games are always tame compared to sports like basketball or football. The arena never got loud. The energy in the building would pick up when the games got tight but the crowd was generally reserved.
Volleyball is always fun to shoot. You need to move around get shots from above the net, below the net and from in front and behind. Changing it up lets you keep focused on getting different, interesting pictures.
This shot was easy to get. I just had to pick a spot I knew I could see the girls receiving serves and take the picture.
I felt very relaxed shooting the game.
For sports I always shoot with my aperture wide open so the creative device is focus. This is to stop action and minimize distracting backgrounds.

Psych Out

Fans in the student section attempt to psych out opposing players while sophomore Kayla Slofkiss (#5) serves. The Cowgirls won 3-1 over San Diego State, Oct. 2 at the UNIWYO Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyo.

Fans in the student section attempt to psych out opposing players while sophomore Kayla Slofkiss (#5) serves. The Cowgirls won 3-1 over San Diego State, Oct. 2 at the UNIWYO Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyo.

This shot I went onto a balcony to shoot over the net and get the fans with their funny costumes and gestures. When I saw them from ground level I knew I wanted a higher vantage point. It was easy to get.
The creative device for this shot is perspective. By getting onto the balcony and shooting down I could avoid the net and opposing players from messing up the shot and I could crop out the fans behind the first row to limit distractions. The distance also helped keep the player and fans in focus, even though I was shooting at f/2.8.

Good Game

Sophomore Nicole Walker (#9) leads the rest of the Cowgirls in the post game handshake after their 3-1 win over San Diego State, Oct. 2 at the UNIWYO Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyo.

Sophomore Nicole Walker (#9) leads the rest of the Cowgirls in the post game handshake after their 3-1 win over San Diego State, Oct. 2 at the UNIWYO Sports Complex in Laramie, Wyo.

This was another easy shot to get. Having shot volleyball a few times before I knew they would line up at the end of the game so I lined myself up where I thought the perspective would be the most interesting.
The creative devices of this shot are focus, pattern and leading lines. I focused on the lead player because she was closest and there was nobody ahead of her to block the person she is high-fiving. Pattern is the repetition of the players in line. Leading lines is the top and bottom of the net which bring the viewers eye through the image.

Community Service

Volunteer Haley Larkin Mops the floor of the Laramie Plains Civic Center During the University of Wyoming's "The Big Event" in Laramie on Saturday, Oct. 11.

Volunteer Haley Larkin Mops the floor of the Laramie Plains Civic Center During the University of Wyoming’s “The Big Event” in Laramie on Saturday, Oct. 11.

I spoke with SLCE at the beginning of the year and planned to shoot this because I like to brush up on my event photography. I was walking through the hallway when I saw this girl mopping the floor. When I saw the mop to the left I thought I could use it as a balancing element.
This event was easy to shoot. There were lots of people doing interesting things so I had plenty of choices.
I felt the awful pain in my knee when shooting this event. I was running up and down stairs and crawling around on the floor. I should have taken it easier. I also felt glad that I could shoot an event that was so valuable to the community.

Depth and balancing elements are the creative devices in this photo. There is depth because of the mop to the left. I wanted to show how much further she had to go.The mop is also a balancing element. The girl is to the right and the mop is to the left, minimizing dead space in the image.

TD Leap

Junior Running Back Shaun Wick dives past Grizzly defenders for a touchdown during the Cowboys' season opener against Montana State on Saturday, Aug. 30. The Cowboys won 17-12 at War Memorial Stadium in their first game under Head Coach Craig Bohl.

Junior Running Back Shaun Wick dives past Grizzly defenders for a touchdown during the Cowboys’ season opener against Montana State on Saturday, Aug. 30. The Cowboys won 17-12 at War Memorial Stadium in their first game under Head Coach Craig Bohl.

Being the first football game of the year the atmosphere was at a fever pitch.
I shot about 600 pictures during this game. This shot was easy to get because he ran right at me. I didn’t have to do anything but focus on him. This wasn’t the best composed or cleanest photo I took that day but I think this moment trumped the rest.
The only creative device is focus.
I was excited for this game. With a new coach and QB I really wanted to see what kind of first impression they would make on me.
I needed a wide aperture because it was overcast and that blurs the distracting elements in the rest of the photo.

Nothing surprised me about this assignment.
I really wish I had more time to shoot more events.

Photography: Creative Devices

A volunteer sweeps the floor at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming's "The Big Event" Saturday Oct. 18.  The currently unoccupied top floor will be reopened and used as office space.

A volunteer sweeps the floor at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming’s “The Big Event” on Saturday, Oct. 18. The currently unoccupied top floor will be reopened and used as office space.

This photo uses viewpoint as its primary creative device. The low angle draws the viewers attention because it minimized the gap between the head of the broom and the person pushing it, allowing for better composition with less dead-space.

A secondary creative device is leading lines. The broom handle leads the viewers eyes from the girl, the main subject, to the broom, explaining what it is she is doing in the photo.

A volunteer cleans seats in the Griffin Theater at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming's "The Big Event" Saturday Oct. 18.

A volunteer cleans seats in the Griffin Theater at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming’s “The Big Event” on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The primary creative device in this photo is Leading lines. The rows of chairs converge on the volunteer, bringing the viewer’s attention to him.

A secondary creative device is rule of thirds. I put the subject on the left vertical line of my camera’s rule of thirds overlay to keep him from crowding the edge of the photo, thus making him less awkward in the frame.
Another secondary creative device is pattern. The chairs repeat their shapes in the photo and add order to the image.

A volunteer paints a bathroom stall at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming's "The Big Event" Saturday Oct. 18.

A volunteer paints a bathroom stall at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming’s “The Big Event” on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The primary creative device of this shot is framing. I always shoot with the intention of cropping a photo later. This photo is meant to be cropped from right above the paintbrush and around the stall framing the volunteer’s face. The paintbrush and the stall “crop” her face showing only one eye and part of her face. This is to draw attention to her intent stare and minimize distracting elements in the picture.

The secondary creative device is focus. Her eye is where I focused to make her stare where the viewer would focus. The paintbrush is slightly out of focus because the main subject is the girl, not the fact she is painting.

A volunteer cleans in the Griffin Theater at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming's "The Big Event" Saturday Oct. 18.

A volunteer cleans in the Griffin Theater at the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming’s “The Big Event” on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The primary creative device in this photo is depth. I wanted to show that multiple people were working and the scale of their project. By focusing on the person in the foreground but leaving the people behind her visible the viewer can see that they wee working on a big job.

The secondary creative device is focus. The girl in the foreground is the main subject so I made sure the aperture was wide enough to blur the other workers while allowing the viewer to make out what they were doing.

A volunteer cleans a window in the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming's "The Big Event" Saturday Oct. 18.

A volunteer cleans a window in the Laramie Plains Civic Center during the University of Wyoming’s “The Big Event” on Saturday, Oct. 18.

The primary creative device of this shot is contrast. I silhouetted her in the window but wanted to keep some light on her face to allow the viewer to see a bit of personality. The shot shows what the girl is doing with minimal distractions from her clothing or other elements.

The secondary creative device is viewpoint. I shot low to put her against the sky instead of the trees. The sky is a clean background and leaves her outline sharp.

Nothing in this assignment was surprising. I have shot enough where I usually do not get surprised by situations.
I would not do anything differently.

On The Brink: The Wyoming Toad

“I didn’t know we even had toads in Wyoming” said Padara Thomas, an English major at the University of Wyoming. “I wouldn’t think they could live out here”

Perhaps they can’t.

The Wyoming Toad (Bufo baxteri) has been listed as critically endangered under the Endangered Species Act since 1984 and is listed as “extinct in the wild” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, an international organization that ranks animals by how threatened the species is.

There are currently 500 Wyoming Toads in captivity in the U.S. and Canada in zoos and federal facilities.

Wyoming Toad
A captive Wyoming Toad at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery.

The Wyoming Toad is native to the Laramie Plains of southeast Wyoming. The plain sits between the Laramie Mountains to the east and the Medicine Bow mountains to the west.

The original range of the Wyoming Toad is just 2,330km², smaller than the state of Rhode Island, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Such a small range can be detrimental to a species survival by allowing disease to quickly spread throughout a population, with devastating consequences.

http://www.fws.gov
Credit: fws.gov

The greatest threat to the Wyoming Toad currently is Chytrid Fungus, which causes lethargy, sluggishness and eventually asphyxiation in most amphibian species. Habitat loss, irrigation, drought and the use of pesticides are also factors in the toads reduced numbers.

Efforts
Despite being listed as extinct, the Wyoming toad has slowly been making a comeback due to the efforts of breeding programs like the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery’s just north of Saratoga, Wyoming.

David Paddock, a Fish Biologist at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery,is in charge of the Wyoming Toad breeding program at the facility. The hatchery has 70 adult toads in the breeding program.

Due to the small population size of the Wyoming Toad, choosing which toads will mate is important to prevent inbreeding. “It’s done by a studbook. Our studbook keeper in Omaha will pair them up for which ones will give genetic diversity.” said Paddock

While the hatchery has 70 toads, they don’t breed all of them every year. “We hibernated 21 toads, but we lost two of them so we had 19 Wyoming Toads for breeding this year.” Said Paddock.

Hibernating is done by placing toads into a freezer to trick their bodies into thinking they have experienced winter and when they are thawed out, that mating season is beginning.

Wyoming Toad Tanks
A row of tanks containing Wyoming Toads at the Saratoga National Fish Hatchery

Those 19 captive toads generated 3620 tadpoles and 50 toadlets for release this summer in Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge, the protected habitat where every wild Wyoming Toad lives.

Not all of the toads reared in the facility are released “We kept some for numbers purposes.” Said Paddock. Replacing toads killed in the hibernation process or that are growing old is essential to keeping the program going.

Paddock doesn’t take his program’s toads for granted and doesn’t put young toads at risk by hibernating them. “If they are only one (year old) we give them another year to reach maturity. Especially the females.”

Most years there is at least one casualty of the hibernation process at the Saratoga facility.

Setbacks

While Paddock and his team in Saratoga are having success, that is not the case for all programs trying to breed the toads.

Sara Plesuk, Supervisor of Reptiles and Amphibians at the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and her team in Omaha, Nebraska have 25-30 Wyoming Toads in their breeding program and hibernated 2 pairs for mating but were unable to produce any tadpoles for release into the wild this year. “We had no fertile eggs this year” said Plesuk. “Last year we did release 70 tadpoles.”

Plesuk hopes that next year her zoo’s program will be able to begin contribute tadpoles for introduction into the wild again.

Since the program started in 1995 the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has produced 2689 Wyoming Toad tadpoles for release into Mortenson Lake National Wildlife Refuge.

Nine other facilities breed the Wyoming Toad for release into the wild:

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Detroit Zoo

Kansas City Zoo

National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium

Toledo Zoo

Como Zoo

Toronto Zoo

Red Buttes Environmental Lab (USFWS—Wyoming)

Future?

With over one hundred thousand Wyoming Toads released into the wild from all breeding facilities since 1995, Paddock is confident in the system’s ability to produce tadpoles. For him the problem seems to be getting them to thrive once released. “They face so many predators and are so dependent on water, they have it rough.”