“Plebes No More!”

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I went to the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis to cover the Herndon Monument Climb, an annual tradition during graduation week. Since 1947, plebes have climbed the monument to symbolize the completion of plebe year.

The climb has evolved over the years. It has been said that the midshipman who reaches the top first will become the first admiral of their class. In 1952, the monument was lathered in lard to make the climb more difficult.

This year, which marks the last year of the longstanding tradition due to safety reasons, the monument was barely greased. The plebes reached the top in a mere two minutes and five seconds.

Here’s the video I shot for The Sun. I should have gotten more super tight shots of the climbers stepping on each other’s faces, feet, and hands. It would have made for some pretty entertaining video.

That being said, I know this is an improvement from my first Sun video. I’m having a blast learning something new every time I go out and shoot.

Thanks to Chris Assaf for his editing wisdom and for polishing off this video.

So It Begins.

"Issues of The Quindecim, Goucher College's student newspaper, dating back to 1994 are spread across the newsroom floor Sunday, May 23,2010 before being archived chronologically."

Here lie sixteen years of Goucher College history.

Last night, my dad and I went over to the Quindecim newsroom and organized hundreds of issues of the newspaper. Stacks of papers, some of which literally hadn’t been touched or moved since 1994, lay scattered in a shelved closet.

Together, we covered the floor with every individual edition of the newspaper, then organized them by year.

This was a huge job that was years overdue. It’s the first stage of my extensive newsroom remodeling this summer. Preserving the publication’s history and maintaining a clean and functional newsroom is just as important a responsibility as providing the community with verified, reliable, trustworthy content and information.

I’ll be documenting the newsroom’s transformation as I work on it over the summer. Thanks to my dad for that idea, and for his help sorting through moldy, rotten newspapers.


"Towsontowne Recreation Council baseball players shake hands Saturday, May 22, 2010 during introductions for the 9-10 age group All-Star Game."

I went to the Riderwood Elementary School yesterday with Thomas, my best friend and long time baseball teammate. We wanted to attend the dedication of one of the fields there, which was renamed to honor Bruce Winand, a well-known Towsontowne Recreation Council coach and administrator who passed away several months ago.

I played with his son, Garrett, on several teams during my baseball days.

My expectations for the day couldn’t have been more wrong.

Rather than the quiet, reflective ceremony that I imagined, the dedication was full of smiles and humor. The Rec. Council held the dedication right before the start of the 7-8 and 9-10 All-Star games, so there was a huge crowd of players, coaches, friends, and families. Weather reports called for rain, yet it was a beautiful sunny day.

This was a celebration.

As I stood on the pitcher’s mound, surrounded by smiling little-leaguers, I couldn’t help but think back to my playing days. It seems like just yesterday that I was out there running up the first base line after my name was announced during introductions. I’ve spent the past day reminiscing on all that the game has taught me and replaying all the incredible memories in my head.

This kid’s face says it all, I think.


"Senior Candra Scott is congratulated by her father at the Kente Cloth ceremony Thursday, May 20, 2010. The ceremony, annually celebrated at Goucher College before graduation, gives graduates of African descent an opportunity to honor and reflect on their educational achievements."

I went to the “Donning of the Kente Cloth” ceremony at Goucher for the first time this year. Graduating seniors were draped in cloth strips of kente, a colorful fabric native to Ghana. The cloth, traditionally representative of the wearer’s personal history, social values, and political beliefs, is worn during graduation.

I shot the ceremony for The Goucher Quarterly, but having never been before, I didn’t really know what to expect. Each student honored spoke to the audience. It was a nice opportunity for them to express their thanks and reflect on their time at Goucher.

After looking through my work the next day, it seemed like I focused most on the emotions that came with receiving this honor. The day was filled with tears, laughter, and long embraces with family and friends.

I was happy with this frame. I think it sums up the feel of the event nicely. I’m sure my emotions will be just as high a year from now, when I’ll be the one graduating.

The Q.

"Protesters gather outside of Goucher College's Kraushaar Auditorium Wednesday, September 16, 2009 before Karl Rove delivered his lecture, "Lessons from the Architect: Karl Rove Looks Back and Looks Forward." The former deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush spoke to a sold-out yet hostile audience."

"Senior defenseman David Jadin and members of the Goucher Men's Lacrosse team raise the Landmark Conference Championship plaque after their victory over Catholic University 11-4 Saturday, May 8, 2010 at Goucher College. The victory marks the first championship for any Goucher team since joining the conference in 2005."

"Senior Shoshana Furth performs during a student version of “Magic Flute,” an opera composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1791. The production ran on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2009, at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland."
"At 6:47 AM, a Facilities Management worker at Goucher College clears a path as snow falls Friday, February 26, 2010. This winter, Maryland received more snowfall than any other state in the country."
"At 6:47 AM, a Facilities Management worker at Goucher College clears a path as snow falls Friday, February 26, 2010. This winter, Maryland received more snowfall than any other state in the country."

"Goucher College celebrated its 125th anniversary this year with the grand opening of the Athenaeum, a $48 million, state-of-the-art library and public forum space."

At the beginning of the 2009-2010 academic year, The Quindecim, Goucher College’s student newspaper, was essentially non-existant.

I’m proud to say that the current staff and I devoted much of our time and effort this year into picking the publication back up off its feet and ensuring its existence. No college campus is complete without an independent voice of the students.

For the upcoming year, I’ll be the Editor-In-Chief of The Q. We’ve got a fresh staff, great relationships with the administration, offices on campus, and the Student Government Association, and bundles of new ideas. We’re dedicated to drastically improving the quality and consistency of the paper, and I’m confident that we’ll be able to do so next year.

I was the Photography Editor for two years, and I will still hold the position next year. I’m used to being called “the kid with the big camera” around campus rather than by my name, which I love. Needless to say, I shoot a lot of pictures.

Here’s a good sampling of the kinds of stories I shoot: news, sports, arts, features, and the occasional landscape. Enjoy!


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I’m a Multimedia Intern for The Baltimore Sun this summer. My primarily responsibility will be to shoot video and photographs for breaking stories in the news, features, sports, and arts departments of the newspaper.  Additionally, I will be updating the newspaper’s website with photos, videos, and multimedia slide shows.

I just finished my second day in the newsroom during my first week on the job. It’s been amazing working in such an impressive newsroom around professionals whose print and visual coverage of Baltimore I’ve grown up reading and looking at.

I’m excited to learn and improve my video, audio, and other Multimedia skills as the summer goes on. I’ve shot lots of still photo, but I think it’s extremely important that a young journalist be well-rounded in all forms of media rather than just one.

I’m also looking forward to learning more about how a newsroom is run. Next year I’ll be in charge of my school newspaper, and I’m sure I’ll take in a lot of great ideas from The Sun that’ll be useful in helping me improve my school’s student publication.

Last Saturday I was sent to cover the 135th Preakness Stakes. Not bad for an intern’s first assignment! Ironically, after living in Maryland for twenty years, I had never been to the Preakness. The crowd there was full of energy and the weather couldn’t have been better. By the time the horses posted up around 6:30 for the big race, the track was filled with beautiful, golden late afternoon sunlight.

I shot this short scene piece of the atmosphere outside the track that morning. It’s my first news video piece, and it went straight up on The Sun website, so I’m happy with it. That being said, there’s a few mistakes I made. First, I should have kept my mouth shut while the ladies I interviewed were talking. Second, I think I could have been a lot more creative with the angles I shot from and the focal lengths I used.

All good things to keep in mind for future shoots!

How Bout Them O’s?

I was the Photography Intern for the Baltimore Orioles for the entirety of the 2009 Major League Baseball season.

My primary responsibility was to photograph game action during Orioles home games as well as various Orioles events and community programs. I also scanned, edited, and keyworded thousands of photographs from the Orioles archives. Some of the photos date back to 1954. The collection, which is comprised of over 500,000 photographs, is being converted to digital format and stored in an easily searchable database.

This internship was ideal for me. I played baseball at a serious level from when I was five until my first year of college. I also grew up an Orioles fan and spent my summers watching and going to their games. Photography is one of my passions and I hope to incorporate it into my career in the future. Needless to say, the opportunity to combine baseball and photography, two of my biggest loves, was incredible.

I was extremely lucky to work under Todd Olszewski, their team photographer. I’ve learned countless lessons from him about photography technique, both in live action and controlled situations. Additionally, I’m grateful that he let me use his highly advanced (and expensive) equipment, both for the internship and personal projects I’ve worked on.

During home games, I sat in the photo pits on the field next to professional photographers whose work I grew up studying and admiring. It was an honor to work alongside them, and I’m very lucky to have learned from them and have fed off their enthusiasm as well.

I shot about fifty home games and countless other events during my time there, so I’ve got thousands of photos. Here are five of my favorite action shots.

Hello World!

"Billie Weiss poses under a "This Is Birdland" Baltimore Orioles advertisement on the corner of 20th and Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland, Sunday, May 9, 2010. The photo on the billboard, an action shot of Orioles starting catcher Matt Wieters, was taken by Billie during his 2009 Photography Internship with the Baltimore Orioles. The photo is displayed similarly on billboards, busses, and street signs around Baltimore."

Hi! My name is Billie Weiss, and this is my new blog, Billie With An I.E. I’ll be updating it regularly with photographs, videos, and multimedia work that I produce as part of my schoolwork, internships, and personal satisfaction.

I’m twenty years old and I’m from Baltimore, Maryland. I’m a Senior at Goucher College in Towson, Maryland, where I’m concentrating in journalism and new media.

As I get more familiar with the blogosphere, I’ll post more frequently and have more to say. For now, I’m publishing a few simple posts to get acquainted with my blog.