Doozie’s Ice Cream Place “The Best Ice Cream in Town”

A young woman sits on a bench grinning as she eats Rockie-Road ice cream from a cone on a chilly spring day.

Brittani Davis, Central Michigan University junior, has been coming to Doozies, a local ice cream shop in Mount Pleasant, Mich., since she first arrived at school.

“I come here once a week, it’s my tradition,” Davis says. “The first time I came here was my freshman year when my friends were skipping class for their opening; it sounded cool so I came.”

Students from CMU and Mount Pleasant residents have been going to Doozies ice cream shop since it opened 28 years ago.

The growth of the store was steady until it reached a plateau three years ago, says Clyde Dosenberry, the store’s owner.

Store Growth since opening:

  • 1990- six workers total, 10-15 gallons of soft serve mix used per day
  • 2013- 15-18 workers, 35-50 gallons of soft serve mix used per day

The hours have also increased and new flavors have been added to the menu over the years.

Once a builder who taught at a vocational school, Dosenberry said he had no plans of running his own ice cream shop.

“I was originally looking to open up a hardware shop, but I couldn’t find one. I eventually took a friend’s advice and opened up an ice cream shop,” Dosenberry said. “My original plan was to grow the shop for three years and take the money and run, but I fell in love with the shop, so I’ve been here ever since.”

Since opening in 1985, Doozies has been voted the best ice cream shop in Mount Pleasant consecutively by The Morning Sun.

The shop also has some of its own creations such as the Arctic Swirl, which comes in 81 different combinations and is similar to the Dairy Queen Blizzard.

“We do a lot of things that the average ice cream shop doesn’t,” said Bri Weldy, an employee at Doozies. “We give ice cream away for free on the first day of the season that we’re open, we sponsor a race where the winners get ice cream and we once made a giant hot fudge Sunday at CMU that fed over 800 people.”

Even though the shop has been around for years it is still attracting new customers.

“Everyone here is so friendly,” said Nieya Gatson, first-time customer at Doozies. “This ice cream is real good too, I’ve never heard of an Arctic Swirl before.”

Exploring Types of Film

I have some limited experience with shooting film. I started shooting 35mm film a few years ago, and used a Canon Rebel XS SLR for a year or so. I loved the photos I made with that camera, as the limited number of frames on each roll forced me to put much more thought into each frame.

I later bought a plastic remake of the classic Holga, which uses 120 film, or medium format. This camera didn’t produce the quality I was hoping for, but I should’ve expected so when purchasing the camera – it could probably be considered a toy camera, after all.

I also took a darkroom photography class in high school, in which I learned the basics of developing film and using a darkroom to make prints. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience, and someday hope to build a darkroom in my own home. It felt like I was watching magic happen the moment that shapes began to emerge on the paper. I also felt much more involved in the process of making a photo. Once I had a print made, I could claim in every sense that that photo was mine.

I have yet to experiment with medium format film in the way that I’d like to, and I have never had access to a large format camera. Some of the most beautiful, crisp, realistic images I’ve ever seen have been shot with medium or large format film. This photo, taken by a favorite photographer of mine, Lou Noble, was shot with medium format film.

Olivia's Back

What are your thoughts on the different types of film? Do you have a favorite? Share your comments and experiences in a comment below!

William Albert Allard

William Albert Allard is one of the most masterful photographers of our time. He began as an intern for National Geographic, and at age 27 shot a story entitled “Amish Folk: Plainest of Pennsylvania’s Plain People,” which is considered a landmark in the magazine’s photographic evolution. He went on to work full-time for National Geographic at two different points in his career, and has also published two books, “Vanishing Breed,” a photographic essay documenting the “old American west,” and a retrospective of his work entitled “The Photographic Essay.”

You can view much of his work here, but I’d like to focus on one specific gallery. One subject Allard spent some time shooting was blues musicians. In his gallery The Blues, you can see photos he shot in Chicago, Tennessee, and Mississippi. All of his collections showcase his gorgeous use of color and movement, but this collection also shows his ability to attain access to his subjects. As a photographer, it seems to me that he was completely invisible when many of the photos were taken.

Many of the moments captured have a sense of intimacy and raw truth. Not only are they revealing, but also compelling. It can be difficult to get to know a subject well enough to know when that compelling moment will come. I’m curious as to his process in terms of gaining access to these people’s lives.

Another aspect of these photos that I love is the way he works with color. The subtle and ethereal color palettes remind me of paintings. This adds a unique tone to his photos. The colors used contribute greatly to the emotion each photo evokes. His work reminds me of the beauty of life and human character, and inspires me to emulate his style.

How do you feel about Allard’s work? Have you seen any of his images before? Leave your thoughts in a comment below!

Hopes for the Future

Today I’d like to talk about some features I’d like to see on DSLRs in the future! It’s a very exciting time in photography in terms of technological developments. Recently, GoPro came out with their newest camera in the Hero series, the Hero III. With this new version, there is an option for a WiFi use, meaning all of the camera settings can be controlled with a WiFi remote or even an app downloaded to a smartphone. This is just one example of a recent, innovative development in the world of digital cameras!

The first feature I’d love to see in a DSLR is a small LCD screen on the front of the body, allowing for a digital mirror of the camera’s view. This would be a simple addition, and a great help when taking self-portraits.

Another new trend that I’d love to see continue is the exploration of cameras that allow the photographer to change the focus and even shift the perspective of a photo after it’s taken. Here’s a video explaining the first camera of its kind, the Lytro.

The third feature I’d get excited about in digital cameras is more control over HD video capabilities. I’ve been very pleased with the DSLRs I’ve had that can take video in terms of the video quality, but I’ve been pretty unhappy with the control I have while filming. I’d like to see a DSLR that can take well-exposed videos in the same difficult lighting scenarios it can shoot photos in.

What would you like to see in the future of DSLRs? How do you feel about the prospects of a front LCD screen, light field cameras, and better control over video? Please share your thoughts below!

My Thoughts on the Canon/Nikon Debate

As we all know, the majority of photographers have chosen either Nikon or Canon as their preferred brand to shoot with. Once they’ve chosen, they swear by that brand and that brand only. Not only do they refuse to use products made by the other brand, but they look down upon other photographers who do.

In my opinion, this debate is silly and does not contribute to our individual and communal growth as photographers. Both brands produce quality cameras, lenses, and accessories. Of course, the two do differ in terms of pros and cons. However, we all know and respect work made by Canon photographers, Nikon photographers, and everyone in between.

What are your thoughts? Do you think one brand does make better products overall? I’d love to hear what my readers have to say on this subject!

Below I’ve included a video in which the specifics of the Canon/Nikon debate are discussed. Skip to 6:56 to hear their thoughts!

Photojournalist Chip Somodevilla

I was lucky enough to meet and spend some time with Chip Somodevilla recently, as he was one of the judges at the annual Michigan Press Photographers Association seminar. He works as a wire service photographer for Getty on Capitol Hill, and has previously worked for the Detroit Free Press. He has been twice named Michigan Press Photographer of the Year and just months ago was named National Press Photographer of the Year.

On the last day of the MPPA seminar, he gave a presentation in which he showed some of his work, shared wisdom he’s gained through years of experience, and inspired me to work much harder as a photographer. What I am most impressed with in his work is the variety and visual interest he brings out of the sometimes repetitive and mundane day-to-day happenings of Capitol Hill. Often he finds himself shooting the same people in the same places, giving the same speeches. However, Chip manages to create beautiful and compelling images without fail, even when that means waiting for an hour, crouched on the floor for that one moment in which the subject lets their guard down. He describes his work as extremely mentally tiring.

Before seeing Chip’s Instagram photos, I wasn’t sure how I felt about professional photographers using their iPhones as cameras. His photos show me that there is indeed an art to shooting with a phone, and that it provides unique possibilities.

I think above all else, what I appreciate most about Chip Somodevilla as a photographer is his passion for the art and enthusiasm when it comes to helping students find their way in the field. He took an entire weekend off from his work to travel all the way back to Michigan for the MPPA seminar not because he would benefit from the experience, but because he knew us students would. He remembers sitting in the same chairs when he was a student, and how much it meant to him that successful, talented photographers cared about his progress.

Seeing how passionate he still is about photojournalism immediately awakened an immense amount of inspiration and dedication to photography in me. For that, I will forever be grateful.

Photojournalism vs. Fine Art Photography

It always surprises me when I tell someone I’m majoring in photojournalism and their reply is something along the lines of “what exactly does that entail?” I assumed it was a pretty self-explanatory term, but as we all know, it’s never a good idea to make assumptions. In this post I’ll explore the meaning of the word and how photojournalism differs from other types of photography.

In order to explain my thoughts on the distinctions that separate photojournalism from other types of photography, I’d like to tell the story of how I found the field. When I was 15 or 16 years old, I unofficially inherited the family camera. I documented everything, and when nothing was going on, I’d wander out into my backyard and try to emulate pretty photos I’d seen online. At first it was just something I did for fun, but it eventually became a quest to make art.

For years, photography was a creative outlet for me and nothing more. When I was 19 years old, I was hired at the University of Michigan-Flint as a part-time photographer. I shot events all around Flint, and discovered photojournalism in a very hands-on, practical sense. I had responsibilities beyond making nice photos. I had to tell stories. This is what I fell in love with. I immediately signed my major and committed to photojournalism.

To me, photojournalism has all of the aspects of photography I’ve always loved, but also much more. Photojournalism has long been an extremely important way that we communicate with each other as a society. Certain iconic photos (think Tiananmen Square and Iwo Jima) have become symbols of major events in world history, and behind each one was a photojournalist. We carry a huge responsibility – to create images that will stand as a historical documentation for generations to come.

I don’t mean to discount the importance of other types of photography. All forms of art serve as channels for social change, methods of self-expression, avenues of entertainment, and much more.

This brings me to one limitation I will experience as a photojournalist. Art photographers are free to explore any subject, technique, or format that they choose. They can express very subjective feelings without fear of crossing an ethical boundary. That is something I will envy, and most likely continue to explore outside of my professional work.

All art forms have unique opportunities and limitations. I believe every one of us, whether we consider ourselves artists or not, could benefit from finding the form of expression that best suits us and giving it a go. I’ve chosen photojournalism, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

How do you like to express yourself?

Photojournalist Dan White

I’d love to share with you all the work of a very talented Kansas City, Missouri based photographer, Dan White. If our schedules line up this summer, I will be interning with him. I feel incredibly lucky to work with such a hardworking and passionate photographer.

That shows clearly in his work. What I am most impressed with is his obvious vast technical knowledge. He has mastered many different techniques, which has to have taken years of incredible dedication.

One gallery in particular I’d like to discuss is called From the Archives {A}. In my opinion, this group of photos really shows Dan’s personal vision when it comes to use of color and composition. It’s also a nice variety of subjects and includes work from different points throughout his career. Here are a few of my favorite photos from this gallery.

Another aspect of Dan’s work that I appreciate is that not a single photo on his website loses my attention. Each photo is like the beat of a drum, and the portfolio as a whole never skips a beat. His photos are always perfectly composed, exposed, and edited.

I cannot wait to work with him, as I know this will be one of the best learning experiences of my life. What are your thoughts on Dan’s work?

The Importance of Fostering a Community

I recently attended an annual seminar held by the Michigan Press Photographers’ Association. Most of the three days were dedicated to judging the work of some of the best professional and student photographers from around the state. There were three judges, all with impressive backgrounds and bodies of work. I was honored to simply share a room with many of the people who attended, but we also had opportunities to share our portfolios with the experts for critique, whether we entered work in the contest or not. I encourage you to check out the work of one of the three judges in particular, Chip Somodevilla. He has worked as a wire service photographer for Getty on Capitol Hill for many years. His work in particular struck a chord with me.

What I walked away with most from the seminar was a sense of community. I met dozens of photographers either working in, or with connections to, Michigan. This was a group of people I could have in-depth conversations with regarding photojournalism and what exactly makes that one photo out of thousands that best tells a story. I had many technical discussions that I could not have with someone who hasn’t worked in photography for years. Simply watching the judging and listening to the incredible insight that each judge brought to the analysis of each photo helped me to better understand the standards of the industry as a whole. This experience provided me with a powerful epiphany: we must remove ourselves from our narrow vision of what a beautiful photo (or a work of art of any kind) means. In order to improve, we must immerse ourselves in the work and ideas of others.

MPPA deserves much of the credit in terms of my motivation for creating this blog. I’d like to do all that I can to help foster that sense of community in the world of photography that I enjoyed so much for those three days. Let’s talk about what we like, what we don’t like, what we want to create, and how we may go about doing it.

Welcome!

Welcome to Click Chat! My name is Katy Kildee, and you can read more about who I am and what I do on the “About” page. You can also view my online portfolio here.

The purpose of this blog is to provide a place where photographers can gather and discuss their work, ideas, and any other thoughts pertaining to photography with others who share their same passion. Community and the sharing of knowledge is the best, free resource we can all take advantage of as students of any discipline. This blog will serve as a meeting place for members of the photographic community.

I’d like to start by sharing the gear I shoot with. The camera I use for school work as well as personal photos is a Canon Rebel T2i. I have three main lenses. The lens I use the most is a Canon 50mm f/1.8. This is my favorite lens because of the shallow depth-of-field I can achieve. This makes for clean portraits and can help emphasize the subject of a photo. The next lens I use is the kit lens that came along with the camera, a Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6. This is useful for situations in which I may need to go from a wide shot to a tighter one without enough time to switch lenses. The lens I use the least often is a Rokinon 8mm f/3.5 full-frame fisheye. This lens can make for some really beautiful landscapes and interiors.

I’d love to hear from you! Please leave me a comment. You can simply say hello, introduce yourself, show me your work, or share any other thoughts you have! The point of this blog is to foster a sense of community among photographers, and we have that power right at our fingertips. Let’s do it!