Making data more visual and meaningful

A new workshop in 2014

The 2014 edition of the Mountain Workshops will offer an exciting new workshop focusing on Infographics and Data Visualization. The workshop will run simultaneously with the Mountain Workshops’ renowned programs in photojournalism, picture editing, video storytelling and time-lapse photography.

This year’s Workshops will be held Oct 21-25 in historic Berea in the Appalachian foothills of eastern Kentucky.

The five-day Data Visualization program will highlight the latest techniques in converting data into forms that communicate vital information that is attractive and easily assimilated by a modern audience. Interest in this field is booming, and new techniques and software make it increasingly accessible to storytellers of all types, including graphic artists, writers and producers who want to learn how to use data to tell their stories visually using mash-ups and other innovative graphics as part of a multimedia montage.

Like all the components of the annual Mountain Workshops, Infographics and Data Visualization will be taught by the leading practitioners in the industry. This year we are excited to have Jonathon Berlin of the Chicago Tribune lead the pack.

Chicago Tribune's Jonathon Berlin., graphics editor (Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune)

Chicago Tribune’s Jonathon Berlin., graphics editor (Keri Wiginton/Chicago Tribune)

Jonathon is an adjunct at Northwestern and Columbia College where he’s taught infographics, data visualization and human-centered web design. Jonathon was president of the Society for News Design (SND) in 2012.

His infographics work has been honored by SND, AIGA and Print. Before coming to Chicago in 2007, he worked at the San Jose Mercury News, the Rocky Mountain News and The Times of Northwest Indiana. He was a Page One designer during The Rocky’s Pulitzer Prize winning work covering wildfires in 2003. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois’ journalism school.

Under Jonathon’s instruction and leadership participants in this workshop will learn to produce both static and interactive data visualization projects of the highest quality, which will be published as part of the Workshops’ documentary mission in Kentucky. There is no software pre-requisite to apply for this workshop. Applications are open to professionals and students from all disciplines. The only pre-requisite is a thirst for knowledge and a need to learn better ways to make numbers and information visual. If you are a seasoned graphic designer, a journalism student, a writer, an editor or just looking for ways to collect data and present them in a visual way, then this workshop is for you.

We are currently accepting applications and will continue until the class is full. Seats are limited so be sure to visit our application page and reserve your spot to attend the 2014 Mountain Workshops.

To see examples of Jonathon’s work please visit:

http://tribunegraphics.tumblr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/chicagotribunegraphics

http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/news/local/history-of-class-warfare/

http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/wrigley/evolution-of-wrigley-field/

http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/lollapalooza-history/

http://www.chicagotribune.com/chi-make-your-own-chicago-air-and-water-show-html-htmlstory.html

http://graphics.chicagotribune.com/gamechangers/

Now is the time for time-lapse

New skills for new media

After a successful launch of a course in time-lapse photography during the 2013 Workshops in Henderson, Ky., the Mountain Workshops is proud to offer the course again this year in Berea from Oct 21-25.

Time-lapse photography hearkens back to the days when it saw limited use in science and education, revealing things like the opening of a flower bud, compressing the long process visually into a matter of moments.

Today, with digital photography and incredibly versatile equipment, time-lapse has the power to shape visual storytelling. Hours and days become seconds as time is condensed, allowing the movements of people and the natural world to accelerate and take shape or disappear right before our eyes. Clouds form and vanish, the sun races above or below the horizon, people go about their business rapidly as time compresses.

In the craft of visual storytelling, time-lapse can become the engine of the narrative, moving the story along, make transitions quickly between scenes, and holding the audience’s attention.

The five-day workshop in Berea is designed to complement the mission of the Mountain Workshops to help our participants to reach new heights in documentary photojournalism and visual storytelling.

Participants will learn the mechanics and techniques of time-lapse photography and then apply their new skill to create projects for publication in the long-running Mountain Workshops documentary of Kentucky life. Interested applicants are encouraged to view time-lapse work presented online in the 2013 Mountain Workshops at Henderson, Ky.

We will begin accepting applications on July 1 and will continue until the class is full. Seats are limited so be sure to visit our application page and reserve your spot to attend the 2014 Mountain Workshops.

Head For The Hills of Berea, Ky.

 

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Churchill’s, located in Berea, Ky., will serve as the headquarter location for the 2014 edition of Western Kentucky’s Mountain Workshops.

Each October, as the leaves begin to turn, the Mountain Workshops of Western Kentucky University visit a different region of Kentucky to document its life and culture in a way that is rarely attempted. Raw and live, it’s all about the people, not the institutions.

It is a documentary of the here and now, and it is created by participants who join the Mountain Workshops for a week of high-octane education in visual communication and storytelling skills, guided by the top professionals in their fields.

We invite you to join us for our latest project: The Mountain Workshops in Berea, Ky., from Oct. 21 to 25. With a coach-to-student ratio of roughly 4 to 1, our participants can expect an intense personal experience with some of the very best talents and teachers in the business. This is not for amateurs. We expect our participants to be good when they get here and great when they leave. Many of them report a life-changing experience.

To join this year’s Mountain Workshops, visit our application website. We also encourage you to check our work on the web. Our last two workshops were in Henderson and Owensboro, two Ohio River towns.

This October, after we pack up truckloads of gear and leave the city of Berea, we will have an extensive documentary of life in this historic region, recorded in many formats, from the classic photojournalism captured in pictures and words to the videos and graphics created with the latest equipment and software.

Our gift to Berea will be your work:

• A current website of all the stories we create in diverse media forms.

• A “coffee-table book” of photographs and visual storytelling, which we hope will remain on tables and bookshelves for generations to come.

• A museum-quality exhibit of your best photography.

The Mountain Workshops of Western Kentucky University began 39 years ago when a few visionary instructors decided to document the remaining one-room schoolhouses in Kentucky and Tennessee. More importantly, they decided to take their students along. Back then, backpacks and sleeping bags were state-of-the-art.

It became an annual tradition, which we continue this year in the small city of Berea and the surrounding hills and hollows of Madison County, Ky. Once the home of Daniel Boone and more recently, of the singing Judd family, Berea has plenty of history set in the rugged Cumberland Plateau. Berea College, a liberal arts school founded before the Civil War, is a driving force behind the emergent interest in Appalachian art and craft.

Join us. As a nonprofit organization, we offer a great deal, and a great deal more if you apply early. Classes can fill quickly and seats are limited.

Our Workshops are open for the professional or student alike from around the country or the globe. Some courses require a portfolio review and a certain level of visual fortitude while other courses require a keen interest in improving your story-telling skills.

This year, courses will be offered in the following disciplines:

Photojournalism: Our core discipline, which influences everything we do, focuses on still photography, factual reporting and writing, as participants learn how to “discover” a story, explore character and relationships while revealing a sense of place and the pride of a shared heritage. A small portfolio of your work and resumé is required to be considered for application. This course starts at noon, EDT, Oct 21. $675 prior to Sept. 15, $725 after Sept. 15

Picture Editing: What may seem like a lost art in these days of websites and multimedia, editing is key to effective publishing on paper and on the web. Understanding how presentation works in storytelling – design, visual content, cropping, size, flow of images, news judgment and ethics – is essential to create interest and keep readers coming back. News organizations are begging for these skills. Workshop faculty draws on design sensibilities and decision-making in weaving photographs and text into meaningful narratives. Participants also work collaboratively to publish a book on the community. No portfolio is required. This course starts at noon, EDT, Oct 21. $675 prior to Sept. 15, $725 after Sept. 15

Video Storytelling: A skill and software-intensive workshop challenges participants to record sound, shoot video and study narrative arc. Participants use state-of-the-art equipment and software to create narrative video. The result can be stunning. A small portfolio of your work representing a basic knowledge in software competency and resumé is required to be considered for application. This course starts at 9:00 am, EDT, Oct 21. $825 prior to Sept. 15, $875 after Sept. 15

Time-Lapse Photography: Introduced last year, this workshop teaches participants how to use evolving technology in digital cameras and equipment to drive the narrative of visual storytelling. Participants learn techniques in motion and static time-lapse technology and discover ways to effectively incorporate these skills into their work. A small portfolio that indicates your ability to understand basic in-camera exposure and DSLR work is required to be considered for application. This course starts at 9:00 am, EDT, Oct 21. $825 prior to Sept. 15, $875 after Sept. 1

Data Visualization: New in 2014, this five-day program will highlight the latest techniques in converting data into visual formats that are attractive and easily assimilated by the audience. New techniques and software make it increasingly accessible to storytellers who want to reveal complex issues through creative and interactive presentation of data. No portfolio is required. This course starts at noon, EDT, Oct 21. $825 prior to Sept. 15, $875 after Sept. 1

On July 1, 2014 the application process will open. Sign up quickly and lock in a spot at the 2014 Mountain Workshops.

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This year’s Workshops will be hosted by Churchill’s Weavers, a historic building located on the outskirts of town.

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The facility itself is packed with tradition and will serve as an amazing home as you learn your story-telling skills.

 

Mary Ann O'Bryan's granddaughter, Alexis Jones, 4, shares a secret while they read stories in the children's section of the Daviess County Public Library.
Mary Ann O'Bryan's granddaughter, Alexis Jones, 4, shares a secret while they read stories in the children's section of the Daviess County Public Library. Photo by Katie Meek

Reelin’ in the years at MWS

Things get a little fuzzy when longtime leaders and participants reflect on 37 years of Mountain Workshops: from film, to digital, to multimedia to a mental institution?

Oh, yeah, these things can drive you crazy — in a good way.

Great people, great pictures, great video, great fellowship and great parties to end the experience are all part of the package.

But there is one tiny problem.

What do you do to cap off the 2013 Mountain Workshops, year No. 38?

You brainstorm with a Web-centric editor and grab one of the latest buzzwords in the Internet vernacular: “listicles.”

And so as a (big) footnote to the extensive research and stories revealed by the 2013 Mountain Workshops visual journalists, we give you the best images, courtesy of the good folks of Owensboro, Ky., USA.

image: JD Beach cruises down the tire-worn track in the Gillim family's backyard.  Over the years, the Gillims have expanded the dirt track from an initial oval shape to include serpentine turns and jumps.

JD Beach cruises down the tire-worn track in the Gillim family’s backyard. Over the years, the Gillims have expanded the dirt track from an initial oval shape to include serpentine turns and jumps. (Michael Clark)

image: Owensboro Humane Society, Carmel McLeod started this animal shelter

Tonya Robinson begins her day with a trip into the fields to feed the cows on her farm in Philpot. “That’s why I work, to feed my animals,” Robinson says. (Katie Meek)

image: "These chidren have every right to be angry at the world and rebelious, but they are the swetest, most respectful and obedient children I work with." Sister Wilhelm comments of Augustino Morales' children during a visit to the families home. Some of the families she visits with suffer from issues of such as domestic violence and alcoholism.

“These chidren have every right to be angry at the world and rebelious, but they are the swetest, most respectful and obedient children I work with.” Sister Wilhelm comments of Augustino Morales’ children during a visit to the families home. Some of the families she visits with suffer from issues of such as domestic violence and alcoholism. (Matthew Hatcher)

image: Raines Shoe Hospital in Owensboro, Ky., maintains the same ambiance it did when Don Raines' father opened it in 1939.

Raines Shoe Hospital in Owensboro, Ky., maintains the same ambiance it did when Don Raines’ father opened it in 1939. (Brett Carlsen)

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Christon Woods sits at home alone late on a friday night. Woods lives with his grandmother and takes care of her throughout all of her health issues, making sure she takes all of her medicines and is eating regularly. (Katie McLean)

image: Seth Bickett (foreground) and KJ Simpson, both sophomores at Daviess County High School, practice tricks on their bicycles in a parking lot in downtown Owensboro, Ky.

Seth Bickett (foreground) and KJ Simpson, both sophomores at Daviess County High School, practice tricks on their bicycles in a parking lot in downtown Owensboro, Ky. (Kreable Young)

Nikole Gross prays with her husband, Michael, daughter, Lillian, and son, Lonnie, before lunch at their home in Owensboro. (Alicia Savage)

Nikole Gross prays with her husband, Michael, daughter, Lillian, and son, Lonnie, before lunch at their home in Owensboro. (Alicia Savage)

image: A bunkhouse for migrant workers stands empty after problems with the H-2A visa program left Elliott's Farms without migrant workers for the past three years. H-2A visas allow foreign nationals to enter the United States for up to eight months of agricultural work.

A bunkhouse for migrant workers stands empty after problems with the H-2A visa program left Elliott’s Farms without migrant workers for the past three years. H-2A visas allow foreign nationals to enter the United States for up to eight months of agricultural work. (Conor Ralph)

image: Owensboro residents play basketball at Legion Park. They played three-on-three.

Owensboro residents Tyler Conkwright (left), 23, looks for a pass over Orlando Robinson (center right), during a game of three-on-three pickup basketball at Legion Park in Owensboro, Ky. (Nick Gonzales)

image: Daniel petino shelter each day...started in 80s, pastor of cathedral...then working with Rick Petino at UK, named after his Daniel his infant son who died at 3 months old.  For women and children, or families.65 people there now.  Staff is 11 + volunteers 100s.  Lots helping with school work.  Noon meal is for anyone who wants to come 125  ppl evening meal is only for residents...can stay up to two years in transitional housing..prgram is run by a HUD grant and donations...can find family or individual for story subject

Phoenix laughs with her baby doll as she is hugged and kissed by her parents, Shelly and Stephen, before he heads to work early Friday morning. (Al Drago)

image: The Ohio River winds through Owensboro at sunset. Construction on the riverfront aims to revitalize the downtown area.

The Ohio River winds through Owensboro at sunset. Construction on the riverfront aims to revitalize the downtown area. (Brigitte N. Brantley)

Two girls dance to Elliott Sublett and The Came to Play Band at McGrady's Bar in downtown Owensboro, Ky. (Al Drago)

Two girls dance to Elliott Sublett and The Came to Play Band at McGrady’s Bar in downtown Owensboro, Ky. (Al Drago)

image: Helen Kasey has worked the day shift at Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn for more than 19 years. At 61, she is often called "Momma" by co-workers, but underneath that good spirit, Helen is constantly reminded why she works as hard and as much as she does: her husband, Donald Kasey, 61, was diagnosed with leukemia nearly four years ago. "Itís not a burden to take care of him because I am helping him," Helen says. "I take the vows I made to him very seriously."

Helen Kasey has worked the day shift at Moonlite Bar-B-Q Inn for more than 19 years. At 61, she is often called “Momma” by co-workers, but underneath that good spirit, Helen is constantly reminded why she works as hard and as much as she does: her husband, Donald Kasey, 61, was diagnosed with leukemia nearly four years ago. “Itís not a burden to take care of him because I am helping him,” Helen says. “I take the vows I made to him very seriously.” (Luke Franke)

image: Heidi Givens serves dinner to her children Jasmine (left), 5, Brooklyn (right), 9, and Maya (far right), 12, in her Owensboro home. Heidi said having the table cleared to serve dinner on is a rare occasion.

Heidi Givens serves dinner to her children Jasmine (left), 5, Brooklyn (right), 9, and Maya (far right), 12, in her Owensboro home. Heidi said having the table cleared to serve dinner on is a rare occasion. (Nick Gonzales)

image: Heidi Givens pulled preschooler Kelsey Gleason, 4, from her class walk down the hall as hey head to a one-on-one tutoring session to her listening skills with background noise is present, at Audubon Elementary in Owensboro. Givens said she aims to help Kelsey understand her teacher while she is accross a noisey classroom. Heidi Givens

Heidi Givens pulled preschooler Kelsey Gleason, 4, from her class for their one-on-one tutoring session at Audubon Elementary in Owensboro, Ky. Givens said she aims to help Kelsey understand her teacher while she is across a noisy classroom. (Nick Gonzales)

Alma Montgomery (left) shares a special relationship with her caregiver, Charlotte Carpenter. Alma was one of Charlotte's first patients, and she considers her a dear friend. (Emily Rhyne)

Alma Montgomery (left) shares a special relationship with her caregiver, Charlotte Carpenter. Alma was one of Charlotte’s first patients, and she considers her a dear friend. (Emily Rhyne)

A driver is being detained near the intersection of W. 5th and Frederica Street after being spotted driving in the wrong direction down a one-way. He was later arrested for driving while intoxicated. (Chandler West)

A driver is being detained near the intersection of W. 5th and Frederica Street after being spotted driving in the wrong direction down a one-way. He was later arrested for driving while intoxicated. (Chandler West)

Spencer Damme, 9, cringes as Steve Cooper cuts his hair with a pair of clippers at Cooper's Barber Shop in downtown Owensboro. Spencer was born with developmental delays and didn't talk until he was almost 4, but now he enjoys talking with Steve. (Isabella Bartolucci)

Spencer Damme, 9, cringes as Steve Cooper cuts his hair with a pair of clippers at Cooper’s Barber Shop in downtown Owensboro. Spencer was born with developmental delays and didn’t talk until he was almost 4, but now he enjoys talking with Steve. (Isabella Bartolucci)

Smokestacks at Owensboro Municipal Utilities create clouds of smoke over the Ohio River. (Emily Kask)

Smokestacks at Owensboro Municipal Utilities create clouds of smoke over the Ohio River. (Emily Kask)

image: Bob Roberts sits by the window of Gary's Drive-In and recollects childhood memories of playing Rook with his father and five sisters. His younger sister Taffy always accused him of cheating. "I wasn't cheating," he said, "I was watching the cards!"

Bob Roberts sits by the window of Gary’s Drive-In and recollects childhood memories of playing Rook with his father and five sisters. His younger sister Taffy always accused him of cheating. “I wasn’t cheating,” he said, “I was watching the cards!” (Rae Emary)

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Photo by Josh Meltzer

Stop, drop and roll

You may have seen an eclectic looking batch of shutterbugs scrambling at light speed toward the river at high noon on Saturday.

Do not call the Orkin man. All is well.

Tradition comes in odd forms, and that unsettling display of youthful exuberance is Ripley-esque when it comes to record oddness.

It’s called the “Drop,” and it involves the 2013 Mountain Workshops participants dropping their image-holding devices upon completion of the shooting end of the workshops.

None of those handy plastic bags available at the riverfront for your walks with Fido are necessary.

We clean up our drops.

image: Card drop and group picture

Mountain Workshops Producer and Director Tim Broekema peers through streamers as the cutoff time for participants photographing their stories approaches. (Nina Greipel)

image: Card drop and group picture

Segment producer Carrie Pratt waits for participants as the deadline nears. (Nina Greipel)

image: Card drop and group picture

Photographer Conor Ralph of Ohio University celebrates as the deadline for shooting passes. (Nina Greipel)

The faculty and staff of the 2013 Mountain Workshops (Nina Greipel)
The faculty and staff of the 2013 Mountain Workshops (Nina Greipel)

 

image: Cindy Fulkerson hands Kylie Hardin a .22 Cricket pink rifle at Whittaker Guns in Owensboro. Her father, John Hardin, bought the gun for Kylie's 4th birthday.  John received his first gun when he turned 6.
Cindy Fulkerson hands Kylie Hardin a .22 Cricket pink rifle at Whittaker Guns in Owensboro. Her father, John Hardin, bought the gun for Kylie's 4th birthday. John received his first gun when he turned 6. Photo by Chandler West

Getting under Owensboro’s skin

There comes a point in this visual journalism thing when the scale tips.

Observation shifts to preservation.

Disinterested becomes personal.

Adrenaline wanes and fatigue reigns.

Distance yields to close.

The train is rolling, and you better get on it.

Welcome to Day 4 of 2013 Mountain Workshops.

Good, better and the very best yet to come.

Temporary agricultural worker Pedro Lopez, 20, Chiapas, Mexico, stacks dried tobacco on a Daviess County farm owned by brothers Lynn, Grady and Jerry Ebelhar.

Temporary agricultural worker Pedro Lopez, 20, Chiapas, Mexico, stacks dried tobacco on a Daviess County farm owned by brothers Lynn, Grady and Jerry Ebelhar. (Austin Anthony)

image: Brittany Fulkerson coddles her dog, Mauly, in the Wills Animal Hospital on October 18, 2013. Brittany brought in Mauly because he was in need of a bath.

Brittany Fulkerson knows that her dog, Mauly, isn’t only “man’s best friend.” Brittany brought Mauly into Wills Animal Hospital because he needed a bath. (Michael Pronzato)

image: Ernie and Doris Bartlett (left) enjoy the live music at Norman McDonald's Country Drive-In's fish fry and Friday, Oct. 18, 2013.

Ernie and Doris Bartlett enjoy the live music at Norman McDonald’s Country Drive-In’s Friday night fish fry. (Nick Fochtman)

image: Mr. and Mrs. McDonald Sr. guide their 1936 Chevrolet into the restaurant's parking lot. The Friday night fish fry at Norman McDonald's Country Drive-In is a long standing tradition that attracts people from near and far.

Mr. and Mrs. McDonald Sr. guide their 1936 Chevrolet into their restaurant’s parking lot. The Friday night fish fry at Norman McDonald’s Country Drive-In is a longstanding tradition that attracts people from near and far. (Nicht Fochtman)

image: Kim Jagoe (center) runs the A Simple Path program, which aims to teach homeless women how to cook and earn jobs in the food industry. Kim started the program in December 2012 after she realized there were few opportunities for women who live in shelters.

Kim Jagoe (center) runs the A Simple Path program, which aims to teach homeless women how to cook and earn jobs in the food industry. Kim started the program in December 2012 after she realized there were few opportunities for women who live in shelters. (Kellie Lafranchi)

image: A handmade rosary hangs on the wall of the Centro Latino. Sister Fran Wilhelm recieved this rosary as a gift from a friend in South America.

A handmade rosary hangs on the wall of the Centro Latino. Sister Fran Wilhelm recieved this rosary as a gift from a friend in South America. (Matthew Hatcher)

image: Josh Kuegel, 11, practices basketball in front of his home while family dog Maggie watches and finishes chewing up a stray Frisbee.

Josh Kuegel, 11, practices basketball in front of his home under the watchful eye of the family dog Maggie, who took a break from chewing up a stray Frisbee. (Jonathan Holt)

image: Temporary agricultural workers remove plastic liners from a watermelon field in preparation for wheat planting near Owensboro, Ky.

Temporary agricultural workers remove plastic liners from a watermelon field in preparation for wheat planting near Owensboro, Ky. (Rafael Luevano)

image: Mark McCrystal has worked for four years at Dahl & Groezinger Scrap Iron & Metals. "It's all right," he says. "It pays the bills."

Mark McCrystal has worked for four years at Dahl & Groezinger Scrap Iron & Metals. “It’s all right,” he says. “It pays the bills.” (Katie Meek)

image: Brittany Fulkerson, veterinarian assistant and surgical technition at Wills Animal Hospital, cleans one of the large kennels as closing time draws near. Brittany has four dogs and a cat of her own.

Brittany Fulkerson, veterinarian assistant and surgical technition at Wills Animal Hospital, cleans one of the large kennels as closing time draws near. Brittany has four dogs and a cat of her own. (Michael Pronzato)

image: JD Beach jumps up onto the oval track from the lower half of the track in his backyard.  JD monitors his heartrate while he practices, believing that he rides faster when he is calm and his heartrate remains low.

Dirt bike rider JD Beach goes airborne on the backyard track he uses for practice. He monitors his hear rate while he practices, believing that a calm rider is a better rider. (Michael Clark)

image: Officer Sean Schlachter is pushed on a swing by Newton Parrish Elementary School children, the age group that served as Sean's inspiration to become a D.A.R.E. officer. "That was my in --- the little kids. That's who I was doing it for."

Owensboro Police Department Officer Sean Schlachter says school kids such as those at Newton Parrish Elementary School served as his inspiration to become a D.A.R.E. officer. “That was my in — the little kids,” he said. “That’s who I was doing it for.” (Katharine Lotze)

image: Terry Walls sits in the empty hall of the old chapel building at the Boulware Mission Center. Walls says his faith in god is what drives him to help other people and to stay sober. "I'm here for a reason and I know god wants me here to help people get over their hurdles," he said.

Terry Walls seeks sanctuary in the chapel at the Boulware Mission. Walls says his faith in God drives him to help others and to stay sober. “I’m here for a reason, and I know God wants me here to help people get over their hurdles,” he said. (Tyler Essary)

 

image: Katharine Lotze, a freelance photojournalist from Los Angeles, shoots photos at sunrise on Friday.
Katharine Lotze, a freelance photojournalist from Los Angeles, shoots photos at sunrise on Friday. Photo by Nina Greipel

A New View of Owensboro

I’m looking forward to seeing Owensboro through a different viewfinder this week.

I have lived in Owensboro for nearly seven years, and I have gotten to write about many of the amazing people and events who shape this community. Several of my co-workers, along with me, are Western Kentucky University alumni, and we’ve all worked in a variety of roles at the Mountain Workshops. We pitched some of the ideas that are being pursued by photographers and multimedia participants.

These are stories I know — or at least I think I know them. I’ve read about them in the past, or I’ve heard talk about them around the community.

But, in reality, I don’t know the whole story. I’ve been able to tell about points in people’s lives. And these students are going to be documenting Owensboro and Daviess County in a whole new way.

I’m so excited to see Owensboro and its residents told through Mountain Workshops. I’ve seen the caliber of stories that past Mountain Workshops participants have been able to produce, and I am confident Owensboroans and Daviess Countians will enjoy seeing their community’s stories told in a new way.

These students will see things differently than a long-time resident does. They’ll find new perspectives and new stories that haven’t been told.

I can’t wait to see them.

image: Time-lapse coach Grant Kaye frames a shot from the roof of the Owensboro Area Science and History Museum.
Time-lapse coach Grant Kaye frames a shot from the roof of the Owensboro Area Science and History Museum. Photo by Nina Greipel

Time ‘capsulized': tech advances crunch the clock

Jeffrey Brown tinkered with his Nikon camera on the second floor of the Owensboro Museum of Science and History, a quartet of life-sized barbershop figures following his every move.

“Almost set,” he says.

A telephoto lens slid into place with a click.

“There. Ready to go.”

Jeff, a junior photojournalism student at Western Kentucky University enrolled in the 2013 Mountain Workshops’ inaugural time-lapse track, is working with coach Grant Kaye.

The time-lapse photography technique captures frames at a frequency much lower than those used to view the images. When shown at normal speed, time appears to move faster –– to lapse –– which creates a surreal final product.

Jeff and Grant plan to complement the Mountain multimedia pieces with time-lapse sequences. The participant hopes that by doing so, he can walk away from the experience with a better understanding of message delivery.

“The experience has been great so far,” he says. “I was anxious at first –– I mean a one-on-one workshop is really nerve wracking. Once we started scouting locations and going out on assignments though, I realized that this could be the only time I ever get such close attention from a professional journalist.”

The 2013 Mountain Workshops mark Jeff’s third year of involvement with the program. The student previously participated as a lab technician and picture editor, both of which he believes have helped him gain a better grasp of his role as a visual journalist.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to tell stories,” Brown says. “Time-lapse is a technique that many journalists are only just starting to explore. I think it could be a unique way to attract viewers and keep their attention, and that makes my job much more exciting.”

(To follow Jeff’s time-lapse journey and to view additional content from the Mountain Workshops, visit our website at http://mountainworkshops.org.)

image: Velma Smith is a taxidermist. She owns Smith Wildlife Artistry and is currently working on a large piece.
Velma Smith is a taxidermist. She owns Smith Wildlife Artistry and is currently working on a large piece. Photo by Casey Toth

Satisfaction Guaranteed, or your ‘Cashback’

In the not-very-good film “Cashback,” Ben imagines having the ability to stop time.

Still images do that for real.

And better yet, through the wonders of technology, and a lot of work, we can gather all those frozen moments — different points in time, different places, different people — and put them all in one place.

Right here.

It’s the best of Day 3 at the 2013 Mountain Workshops in Owensboro, Ky.

We promise you won’t be shortchanged.

Grady Ebelhar, 61, holds corn shelled the night before as he dried and stored the kernels at the farm he owns with two of his brothers.

Grady Ebelhar, 61, holds corn shelled the night before as he dried and stored the kernels at the farm he owns with two of his brothers. (Austin Anthony) 

image: Alma Montgomery and her childhood friend, Hettie Krask, get their hair done together every Thursday. Hettie lives in the Roosevelt House across the hall from Alma.
Alma Montgomery and her childhood friend, Hettie Krask, get their hair done together every Thursday. Hettie lives in the Roosevelt House across the hall from Alma. (Emily Rhyne)

image: This is a retirement center for nuns.  The nuns run a pretty good size farm too.

Family and Sisters of the Mount Saint Joseph retirement home pay respects at the funeral of Sister Jean Mudd in Owensboro, Ky. (Bria Granville)

image: John Edge is Head Coach of Catholic High School football. Coach Edge says to his players, "You practice how you play." Here Coach plays super heros with Daughter Avery (7; front left) and Hayden (2, middle) with JT (6, far left) having earned his computer time while wife Lauren and daughter Anne (4) watch on.

John Edge, head football coach at Catholic High School in Owensboro, Ky., gets a “W” when it comes to family time — playing super heroes with daughter Avery, 7, and Hayden, 2, while JT, 6, enjoys his earned computer time. His wife Lauren and daughter Anne, 4, take on the spectator roll. (Jeffrey Kerekes)

image: Alma Montgomery, a 101-year-old resident at the Roosevelt House, gets ready before a potluck lunch with friends. Even at 101, she loves putting on makeup.

Alma Montgomery, a 101-year-old resident at the Roosevelt House, gets ready before a potluck lunch with friends. Even at 101, she loves putting on makeup. (Emily Rhyne)

image: The Owensboro Fire Department simulates a chlorine leak as a part one of a hazmat technician level course. Two "contaminated" hazmat technicians went into a shed filled with theater fog simulating a chlorine leak and then went through the process of a decontamination station.

The Owensboro Fire Department simulates a chlorine leak as a part one of a hazmat technician level course. Two “contaminated” hazmat technicians went into a shed filled with theater fog simulating a chlorine leak and then went through the process of a decontamination station. (Isabella Bartolucci)

image: Burmese Community, Somewhat large Burmese population. First Christian Church works with them, and had a fire in their sanctuary last year, still rebuilding   Subject will be Zaw Zaw, Win is interpreter  wife has high blood pressure , ESL classes for both...thinks they have kids   interpreter is Win Khine 270-256-7997

Soon after arriving home from school, Cing Sian Lun, 6, (left) tackles her homework with her sister, Cing Ngaih Kim, 3, by her side at their home in Owensboro, Ky. (Leah Voss)

Veterinarian Summer Buckner juggles a personal phone call before an emergency surgery on a dog with a laceration from a dogfight at Wills Animal Hospital in Owensboro, Ky., on Thursday October 17, 2013. The call was regarding her son who had come down with a fever during school hours and needed to be picked up.

Veterinarian Summer Buckner juggles a personal phone call before an emergency surgery on a dog with a laceration from a dogfight at Wills Animal Hospital in Owensboro, Ky., on Thursday October 17, 2013. The call was regarding her son who had come down with a fever during school hours and needed to be picked up. (Michael Pronzato)

Ahreon Gant (from left), 10, participates in a touch football game with his friends Mickiel Burney, 10, Tamarra Jackson, 11, and Nathan Tong, 13.

Ahreon Gant (from left), 10, participates in a touch football game with his friends Mickiel Burney, 10, Tamarra Jackson, 11, and Nathan Tong, 13. (Tyler Essary)

 

image: An aerial view of Owensboro shows how its citizens live as well as ongoing revitalization efforts.
An aerial view of Owensboro shows how its citizens live as well as ongoing revitalization efforts. Photo by Brigitte N. Brantley

River spins the thread for a town’s fabric

River towns have a way about them.

People provide the heart of a town, but rivers provide a big vein for that heart.

Life — noticed and unnoticed — flows by on the river. It’s a constant parade filled with pleasure boats, fishing boats, barges and debris.

The river rises and hides its banks, like a kid pulling a bedcover overhead. Then the river falls, scattering the bank with treasure from who knows where. That same kid will revel in it.

The townspeople take on the river’s personality.

They meander. They run hard.

They rise. They fall.

They use the river to get healthy, to get introspective, to calm — as potent a sedative as anything a doctor could prescribe.

River towns have a history rich in legend and tethered to exploration.

Yellow Banks became Owensborough and it became Owensboro.

The town served as a launching point for the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Owensboro Wagon Company became a nationally known manufacturing operation in the late 1800s.

But none of this without the river, the mighty Ohio — the “Good River” to the Iroquois, the “Beautiful River” to the French.

“In rivers, the water that you touch is the last of what has passed and the first of that which comes — so with the present time,” Leonardo da Vinci said.

Yes, rivers have that way about them.