On the floor of Annapolis
One of the big issues in Annapolis this year has been the death penalty and whether or not to abolish it.
I'll admit, I have not been following every detail, but have been keeping up to date with it since I've been on assignment for it twice this past month.
The first time, my assignment was to shoot as the Capital Punishment Commission held their third in a series of public hearings with regard to the status of capital punishment in the State of Maryland. Of course if was held in Annapolis in the Joint Hearing Room at Legislative Services Building.
If it isn't clear about was going on, basically each hearing addressed specific topics with regard to capital punishment, such as: The Effects of Prolonged Capital Court Cases as well as the Cost Comparison of Death Penalty and Less-Than-Death Alternative Sentences, and so on.
And to put the scene in detail, it's just like any other hearing. A center table with a microphone facing a panel of government folk, in this case the Capital Punishment Commission, and a public audience behind.
While the topic is very important to not only myself as a resident of Maryland, and all of those involved, I was not very content at the hearing.
Why? Because this is not a very photogenic event. Nor is anything that ever happens in this joint hearing room I've been in before.
It's not that the topics are important or the people speaking and listening aren't important. It's just that people speaking with no real emotion in the same spots is tough to make interesting.
A quick side note: Not long ago, I was trying to recall all the times I've been to Annapolis, the capital of Maryland, for assignments.
To this date, I've still yet to shoot any images I actually like from any event. Be it college baseball, Navy football or basketball, Blue Angel, and anything in or surrounding the U.S. Naval Academy.
OK, what I should clarify is not that I don't not like my images, I just haven't gotten anything that particularly stands out. I can recall almost every assignment I've had down there, but none of my images say, "Hey, that was a great shot or I loved that one for personal reason."
Conversely, for some small, unknown reason, while camped out sitting on the floor of this hearing, which was challenging to come up with something eye catching, I got an image which I liked.
It's nothing too special, and I'd be lying if I didn't say I've shot similar frames in the past, but it works for actual story and my story of trying to find an interesting and sitting on the floor the entire time.
Maybe it's the way he kept removing his glasses as he listened closely to the witnesses. I really don't have a solid answer to elaborate with.
I am glad I found something to keep me entertained and challenged on this assignment. I learned a lot from those speaking and responding, but I was more focused on telling the story and making some art.