MPEX Weekly Challenge: "Today's Paper"

Cheery is not necessarily the word to describe this week's post.
Midwest Photo Exchange challenged its followers to create a unique photograph that incorporated an issue of a newspaper published between April 1-6, with the date visible.
Locally, the big news has been the trial of Adam Longoria, who is being charged with a gruesome murder. Here's an excert from the Great Bend Tribune:
Adam "Longoria is charged in the death of 14-year-old Alicia DeBolt, who disappeared the night of Aug. 21, 2010. Her charred remains were found three days later at the Venture Corporation asphalt plant near Dundee. Longoria is on trial for allegedly murdering her after an attempted sexual assault."
Yeah, not exactly a model citizen, eh?
Driving by the courthouse was slightly ominous, as you knew the alleged killer was a mere 100 or so feet away. The photo I came up with was my attempt at illustrating that feeling, while staying within the parameters of MPEX's contest.
Using a tungsten (full CTO) gel on my flash, I balanced for tungsten and turned daylight into a darker, gloomy shade of blue. The overcast sky certainly helped the cause.
The tricky part was getting the newspaper to behave in this nasty Kansas wind. I broke out the handy gaffer tape and forced the pages to behave so I could get this shot. Otherwise, I would have to get through a cardio workout chasing the silly thing down.
The winner of this week's contest gets something from Lowepro, which is a company that makes some pretty sweet bags for gear, something I could use right about now. Wish me luck!

A week without a DSLR

As many of you know, I sold my old DSLR last week, and I thought I would be spending the week completely bored without something to shoot with.

However, I was pleasantly surprised to see Midwest Photo Exchange's weekly contest announcement: camera phone images.

Umm... Thanks MPEX, but you didn't have to do that just for me. :-\ I'm pretty sure I grew out of that whole "the world revolves around me" phase when I was 5, but I will file this away as a piece of evidence to the contrary!

Back to the contest - what am I going to do? No strobes, no DSLR, limited control over exposure elements...

It didn't take me long to decide to do a self-portrait after reading the post that inspired this particular photo contest. 

I just needed a similar rigging, which I made out of a cheapo-off-brand-not-a-Gorillapod, an office clippy, a rubber band and a table-top shoe mount I ripped apart with fury that burns with the heat of 10,000 suns dismantled for the sake of this project. I attached that masterpiece to an old broken tripod I had laying in my closet. I know, it just keeps getting classier!

Here's my set-up:

It didn't take me long to realize that the most visually striking hobby I have (other than photography, ahem) is airsoft. So, I donned a tactical vest, my trusty rifle and a few extras for effect, and took a few snapshots.

To replace a would-be flash set-up, I broke out my old heaters 500-watt continuous lights.

The resulting image was OK - the phone gets to determine what is in focus. Making lemonade out of lemons, I ventured off to the editing bay.

My eyes looked cold and unforgiving, so I ran with that, blacking out most of the color and upping the saturation on my eyes.

 

Some would argue this is technically unsound, but since photography is so subjective, and I had to deal with using a camera phone, I have to say I rather like the result. What do you think? Maybe you like the slightly stylized version below?

 

In other news, my new camera arrived Thursday evening, and I've only shot a couple different things to test it out. After getting a few more presentable images, I'll post about the Canon 60D and why I chose it over a higher-end model.