My first day at the Robert W. Greene Summer Institute for High School Journalists was an information-picked blur of activity. Shortly after the parents left, we gathered in the Irving Hall lounge to play a few icebreakers and begin to discuss news topics or ideas that we were interested in covering during our time at Greene. The variety of suggestions from my fellow journalists-in-training told me that the institute was filled with many curious and determined people. Almost every news suggestion was expanded upon by other classmates, and excitement for the week ahead was high.
The hot and humid weather that night tried its best to dampen that excitement, but only managed to strengthen the bond between classmates (and indirectly put a rather large dent in Stony Brook’s coffee supply).
The start of day two came early for most campers, myself included, and as we waited to be escorted to breakfast we talked about the day ahead. After a filling breakfast over some of the day’s papers, we made our way over to the media lab in the Library. Once there, we met Pulitzer Prize-winning Professor J. Conrad Williams Jr., who introduced himself as a news photographer. We learned a lot about how to operate DSLR cameras. I used a Nikon D7200, and it’s probably one of the coolest cameras that I’ve ever worked with. After the lesson was over, we paired off and roamed around the campus taking pictures to practice working with the cameras. My partner had a really good eye for setting and composition, and she was a ton of fun to work with!
Dinner was largely uneventful, aside from the discovery of pesto pasta hidden away in a corner of the dining area. After dinner, we returned yet again to the media lab to receive a lesson in videography from Professor Rick Ricioppo. We learned about filming techniques and different types of video shots, and then went out into the hallway with our assigned teams to practice shooting film.
It was a long and trying day, but I had a lot of fun! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the week will bring.