Portraits of Protest – Occupy Oakland General Strike

Published On November 3, 2011 | By Mike Carroll | KCRA-TV, Photo Essay, Retro Camera, Shooting News

You never know what people are going to like.

I was crossing the newsroom where there was a news meeting going on and one of the managers said, “We really liked the pictures you got at the protest yesterday.” At first I thought he was talking about the stories that I shot with KCRA reporter Mallory Hoff at the Occupy Oakland protest in downtown Oakland yesterday (Wednesday, November 2, 2011). Then he said he was talking about the snapshots I’d taken and sent back. Someone else asked me what camera I was using because they were so cool looking.

They were surprised when I told them that I simply used my station-issued Android and took the pictures using the Retro Camera app. (A topic I’ve discussed several times here on the blog if you check the Catagories for Retro Camera.)

The station likes for us to send back as many photos of a news scene to post on the KCRA website. When I was at Occupy Oakland you could hardly turn around without seeing something or somebody worth taking a photo of. Since I was shooting active news video with my big Sony XDCAM camera, I thought it would be an interesting contrast to take still photos using the Retro Camera feature and take the picures of people as formal street portraits. It’s also worth noting that the camera has ashort lag of a half to a third of a second, so trying to shoot active movement can be problematic.

From a photojournalistic standpoint, I’ve always liked portrait photos of the faces of people at an event. In this case, I’d see someone and say, “Could I take your picture?” Nobody declined. They’d stand with their sign and smile or whatever as I snapped their picture. There’s been enough talk about some of the more violent acts at the protests, such as the “ninjas” who were smashing windows, that I wanted to take pictures of the people who I saw — all of whom were generally cool and totally non-viloent and peaceful.

You can click on this for a link to the photos as they appear on the KCRA website, along with other photos from the Occupy Oakland activity.

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About The Author

Mike Carroll joined the digital revolution in 1999 with a Sony TRV900 camcorder and Final Cut Pro, when it was only Final Cut Pro and not version 2, 4 or a Suite.

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