Thursday, May 15, 2014

MC Perspective: What'd you learn today?

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (April 7, 2014, 2014) -- Seaman LaDereke Grant poses for a  studio recreation portrait in the Basic Mass Communication Specialist Course. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Eric Chan/Released)

" took quite a bit of effort to break out of their comfort zones, 
often times facing rejection or having to be in someone's face with a camera." - SN Madanat

FEED THE BEAST.  The majority of my readers, and most of the emails I get, are interested in three things.

1. boot camp
2. cross rating or striking to MC
3. A school

Number 3 is by far the biggest interest, so any day I can do a post about DINFOS is a good day.  Every once in a while an extra-motivated A school student will help me feed the insatiable mob of I Am Your Eyes readers.

Feast on this solid gold straight from the classroom.


Much of the Basic Mass Communication Specialist Course (BMCSC), such as the photo portion of the class, is designed to be a stressful environment to make sure MCs are well-prepared for the fleet. We learn about preserving the image or message being conveyed. Everyday we learned something new and then applied the knowledge through a class exercise. I definitely think the learning environment demanded that previous training be used and expanded upon.

BALTIMORE (April 17, 2014) -- Historic Ships of Baltimore crew member R. J. Welker fires a 20-pound Parrot cannon aboard the USS Constellation.  Firing the cannon is the main attraction of the day for the large contingent of visitors aboard the ship. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Spencer F. Fling/ Released)
During the photo functional area of training, we still had to maintain the writing concepts and techniques that we learned in the previous functional areas. Caption writing is an important part of photography and is critical to be able to release images to the public. 

Shooting in studio was a lot of fun because DINFOS has a fantastic studio classroom. We practiced shooting formal Navy portraiture, as well as various experimental shots. Studio was very interesting because we were able to control so much of what the image ended up looking like before ethically enhancing pictures.

 BALTIMORE (April 19, 2014) -- The crowd at the Color Run celebrate their completion of the 5K run. The Color Run is a global event that is known as the happiest 5K on the planet, it was founded in January 2012 and it has donated more than $3 million to charities. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Apprentice Juan A. Salinas-León/ Released)

Applying the photographic techniques on the trips we took to Alexandria, Baltimore and Washington D.C. to create our photo stories was such an exciting learning experience! It took a great deal of planning in order to make sure we were going to be able to get a story from our prior research and connections.

We had to basically cold call a lot of the places and pitch the idea of meeting with them, conducting an interview and taking photos for hours. These trips were definitely an exercise in our public affairs skills. For many of the Sailors, it took quite a bit effort to break out of their comfort zones, often times facing rejection or having to be in someone's face with a camera.

Test test
WASHINGTON (April 21, 2014) -- Employees and customers interact at Captain White's Seafood City while a crab attempts to escape from the display. Captain White’s Seafood City is a seafood market selling a variety of live and cooked seafood. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Recruit Derry Todd/Released)

 "One other major aspect of our training is 
developing the ability to tell a story. 
I'm learning more and more that Navy MCs are storytellers."

They are trained in many different mediums in order to convey an effective and enjoyable message to either a general or specific audience. Learning to tell a story using photographic images meant that I had to look through hundreds and hundreds of images taken just to find the one that captured the right moment at the right time, all while framing the most aesthetically appealing image.

BALTIMORE (April 23, 2014) Brian Rudzinski, a seven-year-old Baltimore resident, gazes out the window of the Top of the World Observation Level. The observation level is open to tourists and residents of all ages offering a high vantage point for people to see the city of Baltimore. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Apprentice Mason M. Gillan/Released)
It feels good completing the photography portion of Basic Mass Communication Specialist Course. However, I know that I need to remember the camera techniques that I learned and apply them to everything else in the training, as well as in the fleet.

Moreover, refining my storytelling ability is now a lifelong goal of mine. The fantastic story tellers the Navy has as MCs, as well as those training them, are indeed examples and role models for me.

-SN Madanat

 Seaman Rawad Madanat