Final Project: A glimpse into Detroit’s Techno scene

My final project for photojournalism was a true test of strength. Truth be told, I struggled during this entire semester. I had to try very hard every step of the way and I really had to try to adapt to using my camera. Writing has always come easy to me, but using photos to tell stories felt genuinely foreign. Each task and assignment taught me new things about myself and one of them being that I am not very good at photography, but I don’t think most journalists are at first. With each assignment, I grew more and that is what matters most to me so, above all, I am very proud of my final project even if it isn’t as magnificent as my other classmates.

I chose my final project out of pure curiosity. I grew up in Flint, MI. My town is very sheltered and uneventful so when I moved to Detroit on my academic scholarship, a brand new world opened up to me. I began meeting people and adapting to new environments, circle of friends and cultures. I began meeting people very different from me and so my final project revolves around one of the new environments I was exposed to.

Ahead of its time, Techno was born and ignited within Detroit around 1980. This genre of music can be dark and electric, but this is what makes it so unique. I did not want to do a story about the beginning of Techno because it felt cliche. Instead, I met with a local Detroit DJ who understands the history of Techno and on many occasions, has played with Carl Craig, a Detroit born Techno legend. I thought it would be interesting to have DJ Jeff Tabb describe to me what he likes and thinks about Techno. I wanted my project to be more personal because human interest is my focus in journalism.

Tabb took me to one of his shows to experience the scene. The one thing that peaked my interest was the strobe lights and trying to capture the same image with my camera. This was one of the most difficult events I had ever tried to cover using a camera. It made me appreciate the amount of knowledge a photojournalist has to know about their camera to try and replicate the moment as if the viewer was actually there. This was the very moment I felt completely overwhelmed by technology and I give so much credit to photojournalists for what they do.

Overall, Tabb and I had great conversations and I was able to learn so much history from him. This was by far one of my favorite events I had ever attended because the atmosphere is so free and electric. And without photojournalism and the skills I have learned, I will never be able to forget the memories I had during my time at the Magic Stick. Here is my photo story:


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