EIU Journalism

Brian Poulter’s Photo Journey Down Illinois Route 1

By Stacey Catterson

Professor Brian Poulter spoke to students on Oct. 29, 2013 at the SCJ-sponsored “After Hours” program about his summer trip down Illinois Route 1 where he took photos on a smartphone.

Poulter has been documenting the lives of total strangers on summer trips for the past five years.

Professor Joe Gisondi helped Poulter along the way on Illinois Route 1 collaborating with story ideas.

“One of the reasons I did this one too is because last year Verizon Wireless gave me some equipment to experiment.”

“I was like oh ok, i’ll do Illinois Route one” when Verizon Wireless asked about his summer plans.

“And they sent me the stuff so they prompt me and tricked me into doing it this summer.  ”

They went to five different locations on Illinois Route 1 taking photos with an iPhone 5 and a Verizon Wireless Nokia Lumia 928.

Along the way they stopped in Lawrenceville, Harvey, Danville, Paris and the south-side of Chicago

“If you just go some place and show an interest in people’s lives they’ll tell you everything about them.”

“The guy on the motorcycle we literally found him in the first 45 seconds we were there.”

Poulter got some of his work published on the Verizon Wireless Midwest website from his summer trip in 2012 when he was documenting photos on the national road with and iPhone 4S.

“There’s something really fun about journalism and setting your own agenda, knowing that you can write it the way you want, you can photograph how you want”

Toward the end of “After Hours” program Poluter gave advice on how to enhance your photo skills on a smartphone.

Knowing what your smartphone can and cannot do, paying attention to the lightning, understanding your software and finding the app that works best for you were some of the tips discussed.

“The fun part of it is when you can get people to tell you all these things that they shouldn’t tell you,” he said.

Poulter said he his is not planning to do a trip this summer; however, he said to check back with him in April where he will probably be planning something.

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