Posts tagged ‘Andy Colwell’

Student Journalists: Alive and Well and Playing Dodgeball

I attended Penn State in the late ’70s and early ’80s, a time when the student publications consisted of the Daily Collegian and La Vie. I think Froth might have been in hibernation during that era—or, if it was active, I sure wasn’t aware of it.

These days, the Collegian has stiff competition from the student-run news site Onward State. Froth is back—only now it’s Phroth. And there’s a fashion and lifestyle magazine called Valley.

Some of the students involved in those publications got together last Saturday for a dodgeball game, with senior editor Adam Smeltz refereeing. Andy Colwell, a photographer who’s just finishing up his undergraduate career at Penn State, shot some video and still photos and put together a fun little three-minute video. You can watch it below.

Tina Hay, editor


October 26, 2011 at 3:01 pm 1 comment

The Lion Shrine in Snow


The Lion Shrine is one of the most photographed icons—maybe the most photographed icon—on campus, so it’s rare to see a shot of it that you don’t feel like you’ve seen a hundred times before.

But Andy Colwell got a terrific shot last evening in the snow. He shot about a 1/2-second exposure with a tripod. You can click on the image above if you want to see it a little bigger.

Look for a photo essay of some of Andy’s great work in a future issue (most likely the May-June issue) of The Penn Stater.

Tina Hay, editor

January 27, 2011 at 10:31 am 1 comment

Nice Shot of the Lunar Eclipse


I briefly considered trying to photograph the lunar eclipse that took place early Tuesday morning, but, well, the operative word there is “briefly.” Once I weighed the fun and challenge of shooting a colorful moon against the fact that it involved getting up at 2:30 a.m. and standing outside in 15-degree weather, the choice was clear: I’d much rather be in my warm bed.

I did actually wake up around 2:30 a.m., for no apparent reason, and decided to at least go take a look. So I went outside in my nightshirt, slippers, and a ski jacket and looked up into the night sky, and saw … clouds. It had been clear in State College when I went to bed, but the sky apparently had since clouded over. So I went back to bed.

But luckily for you, there are photographers who are a lot more patient and persevering than I am. And my favorite local shooter, Andy Colwell, apparently stayed up for the whole thing, waiting along Blue Course Drive with his tripod and hoping for a break in the clouds. He finally got one around 3:20 a.m. and shot the photo you see above.

(You really should click on it to see it larger; I especially love the fact that you can see some stars in the shot.)

Andy used a Nikon D300 and a 200mm lens plus a 1.4 teleconverter; he made a three-second exposure at f6.3 at 1600 ISO. It was so windy that he had to use his Jeep to shield the tripod.

We’ve featured Andy’s great photographic talents on our blog before—some examples are here, here, and here. We’re talking about running a photo essay of his work in our March-April issue. Stay tuned.

And if any of you photography fans have a shot or two from the lunar eclipse, let me know, and we might post them here on the blog.

Tina Hay, editor

December 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm 1 comment

A Hidden Mural at Old Main

Penn_Stater_magazineWhen we were trying to pick a cover for our July-August issue, we sort of knew that it should have something to do with our aerial photo essay of University Park. But the question was, Which of those aerial shots should we use? Our art director, Carole Otypka, selected a handful of them and mocked each one up as a potential cover, then invited us to take a look at them on her computer screen.

As you can see, we ended up choosing one taken by Andy Colwell as the helicopter was perched practically on top of Old Main. We liked how striking the angle is, we liked that there was room to drop in some copy, and we thought Old Main would be more iconic than, say, a shot of the golf courses.

It wasn’t until we looked at (more…)

June 30, 2010 at 12:49 pm Leave a comment

July-August Issue On Its Way


Alumni Association members should be getting their copy of the July-August issue soon—our office copies arrived yesterday, which is always a sign that the magazine is in the mail.

Our cover story is a photo essay made up of shots of University Park taken by Andy Colwell (a student who shoots for Penn State Live) and me from the air. This past April, I hired a helicopter from a company called Cherokee Helicopter in Ford City, Pa., invited Andy to join me, and up we went. Quite possibly the most fun assignment that either of us has ever done!

Click on the opening spread above to see it bigger. That’s one of Andy’s photos, and it’s great.

You can see some of the same photos we used in the story, as well as quite a few that we weren’t able to include, by going to the magazine’s Facebook page and clicking on the Photos tab. (If you click the “Like” button at the top of our Facebook page, you can become our fan and get regular updates from us.) And you can see about a dozen of Andy’s shots at Penn State Live.

We hope to follow up with some aerial photos of other Penn State campuses in a future issue—possibly next spring.

Tina Hay, editor

June 24, 2010 at 3:19 pm 2 comments

Photographing Penn State from the Air—Again

The Blue Course, looking northwest toward Skytop. Click to see larger.

Ever since I got that ride in that state police helicopter last fall, I’ve been thinking about aerial photography.

For one thing, shooting photos from a helicopter is such a blast, I wanted to find a way to do it again. But more importantly, it was clear that Penn Staters love seeing aerial photos of the University—and that there aren’t that many current aerial shots out there. The slide show of photos that I took on that dreary, overcast Saturday afternoon and put up on Flickr has gotten an amazing 106,000 views! I kept thinking, Imagine what we could do on a sunny day.

So I talked to some helicopter companies and eventually hired Cherokee Helicopter Service of Ford City, Pa., to take me back up. And this time I brought a second photographer—Andy Colwell, an exceptionally talented Penn State student who shoots for Penn State Public Information.

We went up yesterday—a gorgeous day—and spent a little over an hour making passes back and forth over campus, hovering in lots of different spots and heading out over Mount Nittany at one point as well.

The Cherokee Helicopter guys had given us our choice of seating plans: anywhere from sitting in a seat shooting out the open window (the most timid option) to removing the seats and sitting on the floor with the door wide open and our feet on the flight step (the most “aggressive” option, as they put it). Andy and I both chose the aggressive plan, so he had his legs dangling out the left side of the helicopter and I was doing the same on the right.

West Halls, with Rec Hall near the top of the image.

I shot more than 800 photos and I’m pretty sure Andy shot more—he’s by far the better photographer, and he brought three camera bodies and assorted lenses with him. I still haven’t gone through all of my photos from the adventure, but I also can’t wait to see what he got.

The point of this whole project is to run a photo essay in our July-August issue—readers are always telling us how much they like seeing photos of Penn State, especially the newer buildings, and we figured this would be the perfect way to do it.

We also hope to do a subsequent photo essay of aerial views of some of the other Penn State campuses. If all goes well, I (and/or assorted other photographers) will be doing some more helicopter rides in various parts of the state in the next few weeks and we’ll run that photo essay in September-October. If we run into snags—such as bad weather or outrageous cost estimates or something—we might put it off until next year instead.

And, once the magazine is out, we’ll definitely put an even bigger collection of these images on the Web for your viewing pleasure. The two shots here are just to tease you.

Tina Hay, editor

April 20, 2010 at 11:44 am 4 comments

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