ESSAY – FINAL

Nimble: A quick and light motion, agile, marked by clever conception or resourcefulness.

If there was ever a city that encapsulated this word, it would be Columbia, Missouri. It is a town that might be small to some, but is pulsing with movement and life. Everywhere you look people are buzzing with creativity and thought – moving quickly to meet with friends at one of Columbia’s many parks, to pursue creativity, or to cook up something delicious. It is an active city where its citizens and visitors alike can get a good work out in – whether you choose to exercise your body, your mind, or your tastebuds.

Columbia is quick, clever, light, resourceful and agile – nimble as can be. Here are the places, people, and activities that make it that way.


Josie M., 9, molds a hand for her robot at Art Underground in downtown Columbia, Missouri. She was one of about 10 young students building robots out of clay and discarded computer parts donated from the near-by Gravity computer repair shop. The children twisted and turned their little fingers to bring their creations to life, bouncing ideas off of each other along the way
Tyler Shrum, 21, hurls pizza dough into the air during his shift at Shakespeare’s Pizza in downtown Columbia, Missouri. Shakespeare’s is largely considered a Columbia staple, serving up hot and tasty pizza since 1973.
Two women practice their tennis skills at the Cosmo-Bethel Tennis Courts in Columbia, Missouri. Columbia has over 70 parks within its city limits, giving citizens plenty of opportunities to keep their minds and bodies sharp. 92% of Columbia households make use of the recreation areas, according to a 2015 survey done by the city.
Allie Ziegler, 22, crochets a hat for her niece in her home in Columbia, Missouri. She lives four hours away from her family, including her 2-year-old niece Liv. “I’m really close with my family, so not seeing her is hard,” she said. “But knowing how happy she will be when she gets this puts a smile on my face.”
Gage Martin, 17, sails through the air on his skateboard at Cosmo Skate Park in Columbia, Missouri. He made the same loop over and over, refusing to quit until he got it right. “Everyone here knows each other and encourages each other,” he said. “Most of the time, the people out here are pretty cool.”

SELF-EVAL

This project was definitely different.

I am a methodical person. I am used to making a plan, calling my sources, confirming appointments and making it happen. I am not a “wait and wander” kind of gal. But for this, I was.

Don’t get me wrong, I had a plan. I had ideas, but ideas that were designed to be done on the fly. I feel like I never explore anymore, so after listening to the rest of the class talk about how they were taking the opportunity to do that, I decided to try it on for size.

I actually really like a lot of these photos. I was trying to be conscious of exploring all aspects of the word nimble – nimble hands, nimble feet, nimble bodies – and activities that required a creatively nimble mind. I think I did a great job of capturing a lot of the aspects of Columbia’s nimble side, so that is a win in my book.

I was also happier with my variety of lensing for this project. I wish my wide was a bit cleaner, I had this great vision of the symmetry of the women and the light poles on the court, but that darn recycling bin distracts me! However, other than that, I tried to really work my angles, my distance, and my aperture in a conscious way for maximum visual variety.

I did find it difficult to choose an order for the essay. The photos are all very different from each other, so figuring out an order without a concrete story line was hard. I tried to base it off of details, action, wide angle, etc., but I look forward to hearing the class’ ideas.

I thought this project was really fun. I don’t know if it is my most visually cohesive body of work, but I am proud of myself for trying something different and getting to see a side of Columbia I don’t often see!

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