Worst-Degree Mortar

June 8, 2012 

My six years of graduation coverage have fully blended together in my mind, and as I dug into the archive to find last year's blog post, I could have sworn I wrote that one two years ago.

It was the most uneventful year of commencements for me, as well. That may be because it's so familiar to cover our local schools or that this year's kids were just less gregarious than others.

Either way, there weren't many surprises. It was my first time covering Columbia (Burbank) and River View. I was hoping their rural locations meant outdoor ceremonies, but had some mild disappointment when confined to the gym.

I was again let down by the lackluster pre-ceremony plans of Tri-Cities Prep's class of 2012 compared to last year's energetic game-playing crowd. Thankfully, Pasco delivered a fun and concise ceremony in good light, just like I remembered from 2009.

Adding to the fun was posting a cheeky photo to Instagram during the speeches and playing around with Photosynth. I posted two interactive panoramas from the graduation,

mostly to see how long it took to juggle the responsibilities. I don't think graduations are the best application for this app, since the resolution falls far short of a Gigapan and doesn't provide the joy of looking for yourself in the crowd. It may be a nice tool for boring tours, however, replacing static photo galleries or videos with a virtual look at a new facility.

I'll keep trying it out and I'm sure I'll be sharing my successes and failures with you. Until then, I put together an edit of this year's young adults ready to enter the real world. The 28 images here have a few redundancies, but I think it captures my two days pretty well. It's a lot easier to look at than the nauseating 146 photos that made up the four galleries from Columbia, River View, Tri-Cities Prep and Pasco, though.

Check out the rest of our graduation coverage here.

Speaking of wall-to-wall coverage...

The Mid-Columbia was screwed by clouds again, obscuring the rare transit of Venus this week. Never fear, The Big Picture and In Focus are there for you. After siding decisively with In Focus in the battle for best eclipse edit, this one feels like more of a toss-up. Maybe The Big Picture people saw my critique and tightened things up. One interesting note is the different moments chosen for the Taj Mahal silhouette. I think I'll side with In Focus again with Alan Taylor's choice of showing the bird in-flight.

NASA wins with its epically edited time-lapse video. If only they could have set up some sort of fill flash on Venus to really bring out some shadow detail.

Are you a DIY dork who's not afraid to look like one? Check out this goofy setup to make 360-degree panoramas.

For a more useful and cooler-looking project, turn a garage remote into a remote shutter release.

And for the photojournalism student in your life, here's some classically worthwhile advice from Dan Reimold arranged in an OCD-friendly 10-point list.


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