Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Sports Shooter Academy V - March 5-9

Passing this along ... I've heard from several people that this is well worth your time and money to attend ...


SPORTS SHOOTER ACADEMY V SET FOR MARCH 5 - 9, 2008

Sports Shooter Academy V will be held March 5-9, 2008 in Orange County, California. This hands-on, 5-day shooting workshop will have the "best schedule of events ever," according to workshop director and Sports Shooter founder Robert Hanashiro.

With the cooperation of the NCAA Division I Big West Conference, the shooting schedule for Sports Shooter Academy V will include:
  • * Men's basketball
  • * Women's basketball
  • * Baseball
  • * Track & field (Ben Brown Invitational)
  • * Softball (Long Beach Invitational Softball Tournament
  • * Tennis
  • * Water polo
  • * Men's volleyball
  • * Crew

Also on the workshop shooting schedule will be events like beach volleyball, boxing and rugby.

"It's real events, in real time, with real editors," said USA TODAY staff photographer Jack Gruber, a faculty member of SSA IV. "It's like an Olympics because there are multiple events in a day and you're going to edit on deadline. It shows you what it's like to work in real time, in the real world."

"I came in expecting a lot but I got way more than what I expected out of the workshop. It was amazing meeting so many different people and being able to work together with them and talk about our photos, even just among the students," said Paul Gallaher, a student at Whittier College at the time he participated in SSA IV.

Classroom sessions at previous workshops have included: using remotes, digital workflow, portrait lighting, arena lighting and sports picture stories.

The Academy faculty confirmed at this time include:
  • * Matt Brown, Southern California freelance photographer
  • * Donald Miralle, Getty Images staff photographer
  • * Wally Skalij, Los Angeles Times staff photographer
  • * Sean Haffey, San Diego Union-Tribune staff photographer
  • * Michael Goulding, Orange County Register staff photographer
  • * Myung J. Chun, Los Angeles Times staff videographer/photographer
  • * Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY staff photographer (and Sports Shooter founder)

Participants in the Sports Shooter Academy will have three full days of shooting events throughout Southern California. Faculty members will be present at all events, offering their insights, shooting tips and any other help participants need while covering these sports.

"I got to do a variety of sporting events that I'd never done before," said workshop participant Corey Perrine. "I looked for different angles, looked for something new, think outside the box. It was called 'see better, shoot better' and some of the biggest things I learned was during the edit and then you were able to take digest that and take it for the next day."

Talking about the progress participants make during the workshop, SSA co-founder Brown said: "There was a lot more thinking going on by Saturday. On Thursday people were taking a lot of pictures. On Saturday people were making pictures."

The evenings are spent editing the day's work, while receiving one-on-one critiques from the faculty and area photographers and picture editors. The best work of the day will be recognized during the daily slideshows. Prizes will be given out to the best photographs made daily and for the best work produced overall during The Academy.

"The experiences participants take away from The Academy are priceless," Hanashiro said. "The photographs they make are one thing, but the friendships and the contacts they establish during the workshop really make this career - boosting on many levels."

For more details about the Sports Shooter Academy, check these links on the website:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/workshops.html
http://www.sportsshooter.com/education/workshop_profile.html?id=22

"It's been an awesome time shooting all of those different sports. Overall it was a great experience," summed up Nick Iwanyshyn who traveled from Canada to attend Sports Shooter Academy IV.

Several videos from Sports Shooter Academy IV, held in April 2007, gives viewers insight into the program and what working professionals and students gain out of their experience at this unique workshop:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/special_feature/ssacad4_vid/SPORTS_SHOOTER_ACADEMY_IV.001.mov
http://www.sportsshooter.com/special_feature/ssacad4_vid/SPORTS_SHOOTER_ACADEMY_IV_Faculty001.mov
http://www.sportsshooter.com/special_feature/ssacad4_vid/SPORTS_SHOOTER_ACADEMY_IV_Students.001.mov

Hawaii photographer Bruce Omori said after attending SSA IV, "I came with high expectations and what I got out of the workshop was even more and it exceeded that by a millions times. I enjoyed the portrait lighting sessions and what I got out of those sessions will really helps me in the things I need to do in this business in the future.

As an added bonus, the judging of the Sports Shooter Newsletter Annual Contest will be held in conjunction with SSA V. Participants in the workshop and the publics will be able to watch and listen as the workshop faculty critique the contest finalists and select the top sports photographs of the year.

The open judging of the Annual Contest is always a great learning experience with lively debate, sharp comments and praise throughout the session. For a look at previous winning photographs in the Sports Shooter Annual Contest, check these links on the website:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/2006_contest_winners/index.html

To see what the open judging session of this contest is like, check these videos:
http://www.sportsshooter.com/special_feature/2005_contest_vid/index2.html
http://www.sportsshooter.com/special_feature/2004_contest_video/index.html
http://www.sportsshooter.com/special_feature/2003_contest/index.html

"The Sports Shooter Academy and the Annual Contest judging session are two wonderful educational programs," said Hanashiro, "For those attending the workshop, to see a high level of photography during the contest judging, then have three full days to go out and shoot REAL events is an opportunity I wish I had when I started out in this business.

"Great sports photography, inspiration, learning, meeting people, establishing contacts in this business and having a great time is what this week is all about," Hanashiro added.

Carolina Sports Photojournalism Workshop

This has been sitting on my to-post list for a while, but back in November, the University of North Carolina hosted a sports photojournalism workshop. Images from the weekend are posted online for your perusal.

Additionally, they have a blog where they're posting content from class shoot-offs. I like this idea and, if there's interest, think we'll incorporate it into this blog for the spring semester. Let me ruminate on that idea for a few days, but if you have thoughts, let me know.

(This idea has been bounced around before, so it's not new, I just never did anything with it. VERY OPEN to ideas here - weekly themes? Monthly themes? Prizes?)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

DotCom go BOOM*

Okay, this started as something fun ...

The Richter Scales posted a paradoy song and video about the second coming of the Internet bubble. It's catchy, it's funny (especially for those of us who sort-of survived the first bubble) ... and the original apparently used some copyrighted material without the permission of the owner.

I started to scan through the comments after Lane Hartwell's entry and ... wow.

I knew the Internets were full of people who weren't too bright, who don't understand the concept of copyright or how it's applied. But, wow ...

Ms. Hartwell's copyright was infringed upon, so she set out to negotiate with the infringer. Without knowing more of the details, it seems they're not willing to pay her. (The original video was viewed more than one million times.)

Some of the comments:

"alexjuno" - Get a life, you have WAY to much free time on your hands. It’s a picture, which isn’t a big deal! If you don’t want anyone to use your “famous” pictures, leave them off the net. This is one area you obviously don’t understand.


Um, no. Federal copyright laws do apply to the net.

"Ronni" - Why do you care if they use your image?! I don’t get you


Um, because it's hers? And she makes a living off of her images?

Now, there are questioons as to whether this would constitute a derivative work or a parody, both of which would be protected under the fair use clauses of federal copyright law.

I'm not a lawyer, but ... the photograph appears to have been used, without alteration, as a whole element. Yes, it's within a collage of other images, but I'm not sure how that would affect a court's ruling. And the image itself wasn't being parodied, which would exempt that usage as well.

Again, not a lawyer. But it seems the original usage may have been a copyright violation.

(* Obscure reference to a text message I got years ago, some one person will appreciate it.)

"Our Hidden Poor"

The Chicago Tribune has an audio slideshow by Kuni Takahashi looking at the hidden poor of Illinois. Nicely shot, the transition/text frames are well designed. Simple, elegant. Worth spending seven minutes with.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stand Ups

Robert Capa said, "If you're pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." I guess that may not apply to television news ...


Flash Duration

File under Geek Alert ... some of what you need to know about flash duration and sports photography, courtesy of Shawn Cullen over at SportsShooter.com.

How To Publish When There's No Power

After the ice and snow storms that blew through the midwest last week, a lot of smaller publications were left in the dark. With no power in their offices, and possible no access to their presses, how were they supposed to get the news out? Several papers picked up everything and headed home where they had power and continued to publish.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Travel Edit

Photo District News has a 10-photo feature up on travel photography. They talked with Travel + Leisure photo editor Whitney Lawson about a recent shoot by David Nicolas, looking at what images were accepted and rejected and, more importantly, why.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Books the Working Photojournalist Should Own

A brief, and expanding, collection of non-photo photo books. These are about people, about the craft and about vision.

______________________________

Blue Highways, William Least Heat Moon - This is the book that made me want to be a journalist. He was a college professor losing his job and his wife, so he headed out in an Ford Econoline plumber's truck to find America and himself. It helps that he was trained as a photojournalist, but this is about connecting with people.

Slightly Out of Focus, Robert Capa - An autobiography from the man who said, "If your pictures aren't good enough, you're not close enough." Perhaps the greatest war photographer of his time.

Requiem, Horst Faas - A look at the work of the photojournalists killed during the Vietnam war. Only available used now, well worth the price.

The Picture: The Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism, Brian Horton - Out of print, but still a very usable introduction into the types of images the AP and newspapers are looking for.

Unreasonable Behavior, Don McCullin - The autobiography of another legendary war photographer.

The Great Picture Hunt 2, Dave LaBelle - This is a second edition of a classic. LaBelle is a master at shooting - and teaching how to shoot - feature photos. He approaches his assignments like a hunter, methodically, and comes back with great images again and again.

Portrait of Myself, Margaret Bourke-White - Another autobiography, this of a legendary woman at a time when men dominated the field. Bourke-White was one of the original Life Magazine shooters. Also worth looking at is "The Early Work, 1922-1930," a book of her early, non-journalism work where you can see her style develop.

Get the Picture, John Morris - Morris is the photo editor who ran Eddie Adams' streetside execution photo, BIG, in the New York Times. He's worked for the major publications, and has the stories to prove it.

Visual Impact in Print, Hurley & McDougall - This is one of the original books to talk about designing around photos.

The Art of Innovation: Lessons in Creativity from IDEO, America's Leading Design Firm, Tom Kelley - IDEO is an amazing company. If you're in any sort of creative environment, it would help you immensely to think about the way they handle the process of inventing.

More to come ...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"The Ninth Floor"

MediaStorm has posted an audio slide show by Jessica Dimmock looking at the lives of heroin addicts who used to live in a ninth floor apartment in New York City.

Access is what this is all about - Dimmock has manages to make her subjects so comfortable with her presence that she is there for everything. (And, I will warn you, some of it is graphic and may not be appropriate for work or younger people.)

Worth the 13 minutes to watch.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

And I thought Iowa was the Corny State ...

But, apparently, curators with the Wisconsin Historical Society are cornier. They have a collection of vintage postcards titled, "Exaggerated Postcards, 1900-." I assume that means they're still working on the collection.

But who knew corn could break a wagon? Or be ridden like a horse? Or that it could take a whole train car to move one ear of corn?

You can see the whole collection online, so if you need a reason to procrastinate, say you're researching faked photos and you can get away with this.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Is Photography Dead? Or Just Being Beaten to a Pulp?

Two recent pieces worth looking at ...

In the New York Times is a story about Richard Prince's "art" - done by rephotographing famous ads and printing them large. Fair use? Copyright violation? No one's sure yet.

Up next is a piece from Newsweek titled, "Is Photography Dead?" Which ... well ... no, it's not. But author Peter Plagens has wandered off into the woods and stared a little too long into the sun from the edge of a large field and has, well, lost his mind.

Mr. Plagens, I invite you to come visit any of my photojournalism classes and you'll see tht photography is most certainly not dead. Or even ill.

Quotes

As classes came to a close on Thursday, I shared some quotes with my advanced class about our roles as photojournalists. One asked me to post it on the class blog, but I suspect some of them may resonate with others, as well.

We photographers deal in things which are continually vanishing, and when they have vanished there is no contrivance on earth can make them come back again. We cannot develop and print a memory.
–Henri Cartier-Bresson


I shared this to emphasize our role in documenting history as it unfolds. In class, we watch several videos and one of them, focusing on National Geographic’s Joel Sartore, has a line talking about how much of what he shoots is disappearing at an alarming rate.

All too often, we delude ourselves into believing that by simply focusing a live camera on an event, and dropping in the occasional ad lib, we are committing journalism. We're not. Journalism requires context and prioritizing. It entails separating the wheat from the chaff. What is deliberately left out of a news story is every bit as important as what is left in. Events don't happen in a vacuum. That's why we provide context.
–Ted Koppel


There’s a difference between a “first person report” and journalism. It is one thing to say something happened, and that’s often the first step in journalism. But there needs to be additional layers of information in order for it to be journalism.

Life magazine photographer Flip Schulke watched a group shove children to the ground in Selma. "He stopped shooting photographs and began pushing the men away. King heard about the incident and reminded Schulke about his "duty as a photographer."

"The world doesn't know this happened, because you didn't photograph it," King later told Schulke. "I'm not being cold-blooded about it, but it is so much more important for you to take a picture of us getting beaten up then for you to be another person joining the fray."
–From "Race Beat," by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff


It is hard, some days, to witness what we do. And it is easy for passersby to call out and call us cold-hearted vultures. But, as James Nachtwey asked, if we don’t tell these stories, who will?

The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it.
–Ansel Adams


I am a gear-head. I won’t deny it. But I have never let gear get in the way of telling a story and, I hope, my students understand that. We have amazing tools at our disposal now, but that’s all they are - tools. We, as photojournalists, are more definitely a “grass is greener” group. If only I had that new body, that new lens, that new flash ...

Do you need to understand and master them? Yes, and then you need to forget about them.

Education is irreversible.
–Ray Bacchetti


I wrote about that quote eight months ago, and so I’m going to quote myself on it.

A recent entry by Ray Bacchetti on the Tomorrow’s Professor Blog has had me playing with words. Towards the end of a piece titled “Birthright” he has a simple three word sentence - “Education is irreversible.” And I like that sentiment, but in talking about the line I quoted it wrong to my class today, saying instead, “Education is irrevocable.”

The more I think about it, though, the more I like my butchered version. An education once given can’t be taken away, but it can be left to erode. And erosion of education is close enough to reversing its effects, I think.

All this has been rattling through my head as today was the last class for my advanced students, half of whom will wear the funny gowns in two weeks and then go do good things. Some are excited, many are nervous. What comes next is huge - and hugely important.

One of my favorite journalists, William Jeanes, wrote many years ago that, “Today is always better than yesterday. Tomorrow, better still.”

So a word or two for them - it gets better from here. Take what you've learned and go apply it. Be good journalists. Be good students. Be good citizens.

Your education is irrevocable, use it.


It really is.

ScanAthens.com

One of the Advanced Photojournalism students, Richard Hamm, pointed out that Clarke County police, fire and emergency medical services, as well as University of Georgia campus police, have their radio traffic broadcast on the web through ScanAthens.com.

Looks like you can have it fed into iTunes, a Real Audio player, Windows Media player and a few others.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Internship: NYTimes.com

If you've got your multimedia skills up to snuff, the New York Times wants you.

Passed Along ...

While heading to lunch, one of my colleagues, Dr. Hugh Martin, said one of our shared students came in to class on Monday a little frazzled. Seems she'd spent most of the weekend working on an audio editing project and said, "I now know what an 'um' looks like ..."

Monday, December 3, 2007

"Ian's Peace"

The Raleigh (N.C.) News & Observer has posted a video package on Ian Creath, a 19-year-old who died at a local quarry. A team from the paper had been working on a project at the quarry when they met Creath a month before he died. The piece is narrated by his mother and is very well shot and edited.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Offline for a Few Days

I'll be at the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar for the next two days. If something big happens, I'm sure you'll find out about it.

Full report when I return.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Internship: Washington Times

FYI ...

Summer Photo Intern - The Washington Times

Washington, D.C., is the place to be this summer as candidates
race to the White House.

The Washington Times is a metro daily located in the District of
Columbia, with an award-winning photo staff. We are now
accepting applications for our summer internship program. Our
coverage, which centers on national political trends, stresses
thoughtful, analytical long-term photo projects, as well as
daily assignments.

The intern will work with 12 staff photographers and a video
journalist, including last year's NPPA Photographer of the Year
and Pulitzer Prize finalist.

At least three current members of the staff started here as
interns. Will you be next?

The perfect candidate will have experience working with both
audio and video, and the ability to produce rich multimedia
stories for our website.

Applicants must have the use of a car, and even though some pool
equipment is provided, their own camera equipment. The intern
will have access to pool lenses and lighting kits. The pay is
$350 per week.

The application package must include a resume, a 500 word
autobiography, references with daytime phone numbers and a
portfolio of not more than 20-40 images with at least two photo
stories and one multimedia piece. Edit tightly. Show us your
best work.

Portfolios cannot be returned, and should be Mac-friendly. (We
will review images via Photo Mechanic, therefore images should
be in a folder separate from the multimedia piece(s) and include
full caption information. Grammar, spelling and AP style should
be carefully examined before the portfolio is submitted.)

The deadline for applications/portfolios is December 14, 2007;
however, they will be reviewed as they arrive. It has been said
that the early bird gets the worm.

Staff work can be seen at http://www.washingtontimes.com/photo

Please send materials to:

C.D. McGonigal
Photo Editor
The Washington Times
3600 New York Ave. NE
Washington, DC 20002

Questions can be emailed to: cmcgonigal@washingtontimes.com

New Lincoln Photo

Some of you may have seen the news that a "new" photo of President Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg was found. Now, the New York Times has a column about the photo and it asks some questions we, as photojournalists, should be thinking about.

In class this week we talked about the differences between "general news" photographs and "documentary" photographs. How one shows the here-and-now and the other deals more with time and space, with the era in which it was created. I particularly like how the writer, Verlyn Klinkenborg, wraps it up:

And this is somehow the inherent bias of the camera. It always directs us toward the center of attention, never away to the periphery, even though that is where our attention eventually wanders.

60 Ways to Find Inspiration

Over on the Photopreneur blog, they've got a list of 60 things you can do to get inspired.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sunday, November 25, 2007

REVIEW: Flip Ultra

My wife was sent a Flip Ultra video camera from Pure Digital Technologies for her to review on her bargain finding web site. Since she doesn’t deal with technology stuff as much as we do, she handed it off to me.

First impressions were positive. It’s a simple little device, easily fits in a shirt or jeans pocket. The model we have has a one gigabyte flash drive in it which will provide 30 minutes of video and costs about $100. There’s a 60 minute version for $150, as well.

The build quality is pretty good with a decent heft to it and the number of buttons and switches is kept to a minimum power, record, play, delete, and a four-way rocker switch for zoom and playback selection. There’s also a standard tripod thread on the bottom.

It runs on two AA batteries and, after filling it twice, it’s still running on my first set of alkalines. Go figure, with no moving parts it’s pretty efficient.

There’s a built in microphone and speaker and two ways to get video out - a jack on the side that’ll feed a TV or VCR with audio and video signals (cable included) and a built-in USB jack.

Wait, a what?

Yep - there’s a switchblade-like USB plug on the side of this thing. Open it and plug it right into your computer, no extra cables to haul around. The camera writes .avi files and it has built-in editing software for Macs and PCs. Meaning you can connect to just about any computer, edit and upload to the web. (You will need to install a specific codec to get the audio to work, but it’s in the camera as well and only takes a minute.)

Video is of limited quality which you’d expect for a $100 camera. But, to be honest, it’s better than most of what you find on YouTube and beats most cell phones hands down. If you’re in close, the audio isn’t bad, either. Though move back a few feet and it has trouble hearing what you want. The only thing that would make this better is a mic jack - a simple stick mic would make all the difference.

How’s it to use? Brilliantly simple. With it’s limited number of buttons, it’s a true point-and-shoot camera. There’s a 2-1 digital zoom, but after looking at the results I’m tempted to say just leave it at the wide (i.e., full resolution) setting. The zoomed images get really chunky.

The lens is also so wide, due to the small video chip, that hand-holding it doesn’t make you ill on playback. With almost no magnification of movement, motion isn’t as bad as most other video cameras.

So who should buy this? Is this what every newspaper reporter should be handed?
Well, no. The video and audio quality aren’t there for professional pieces.

That said, it may be the way to introduce video into journalism classes. At $100 a pop, it’s just a little more than the audio kits we’ve been buying here at Grady College. It’ll let students experiment, it’ll let them learn concepts of storytelling and it won’t be a huge financial burden. Additionally, given the compact size, it’s easy enough to order them to carry it everywhere.

Families would be the next in line to pick one of these up. As long as you can get close to your subjects (remember, zoom=bad) you can get some good stuff with it. Haul it to the beach or the park, haul it everywhere you go. You never know when those moments will happen.

I took it over to Stone Mountain this weekend to play. I did not use the built-in editing software, so this was done in about 20 minutes in iMovie. Check out the video (and, yeah, I know - jump cuts galore).


Saturday, November 24, 2007

News Photographers Refused Access to Illinois High School Football Championship Games

The Illinois High School Association, who oversees high school sports in the state last night denied access to several newspapers, according to an article in the Pantagraph.

At issue here is the policy of newspapers to sell reprints of published photos. The IHSA is considering this a commercial use of the images, and they claim ownership of the commercial rights to the games. Newspapers claim that reprints are a long-established customer service initiative. The vast majority of those reprints are sold to parents with no rights beyond personal display.

As a former photojournalist (and editor) who covered a lot of high school sports, I offer this opinion: While newspapers may be charging $20-30 a print which the average person believes can be made for a few bucks, the reprint "business" is not a profit-making one for most papers. The time it takes is substantial. The need to maintain printing equipment that meets the professional standards of the newspaper is substantial.

Now, newspapers that are creating photo galleries of everything that's sharp, with no thought to news value, those papers are looking at it as a revenue stream and, well, I'm not sure I can support that, ethically, as they may be profiting off of the players.

There's a slightly off-center middle ground here, giving newspapers the ability to sell prints - with no additional rights granted - to the public as long as those images are part of their "standard" news coverage.

Now, go define "standard."

(See earlier post about the Illinois Press Association suing the Illinois High School Association, a suit which was dropped when the IPA believed they were close to an agreement with the IHSA.)

Black Friday (Updated 11/26)

Ugh. I hated Black Friday when I was shooting. Dealing with the mall PR office to get permission to shoot, then still having to deal with the mall cops ... just, ugh. And for what? Pictures of people shopping. Blechh.

So how would this work in video for a newspaper site? Check out how the San Jose Mercury News did it. Feels almost as chaotic as being there.

The Pittsburg Post-Gazette's video has a nicely done opening shot and a bit of humor at the end. Some audio issues with the interviews, and it could use some better detail shots, but that opener works well.

UPDATE: The Roanoke Times followed a group of high school friends as they camped out in front of a BestBuy. Why? There's nothing else to do in Roanoke ....

Friday, November 23, 2007

Upon Reflection ...

The Reuters photo blog has a collection of photos of reflections. Something to think about as you put together an end-of-semester portfolio - can you make one that works?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Five Legal Horrors

Not as catchy as Richard Feynman's "Six Easy Pieces," but you get the point ... over on Photopreneur is a listing of five recent court cases involving photographs. Worth taking a look at.

The lesson on some: You can't use any photo you take any way you want.

Monday, November 19, 2007

"A New Dawn"

David Stephenson's two year coverage of a woman going through drug court is up on the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader's web site. Broken into several chapters, it follows her through the courts and treatment programs and ends up ... close to where she started.

Canon Makes Significant Loan to Grady

Okay, I don't like to brag. Much.

But we scored a big loan from Canon this semester, and there's now a story up on our web site about it.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It Pays to Reedit


Sometimes. Other times, it just annoys you. But after shooting what will probably be my last football game of the season on Saturday, I sent my 18 photos out to my clients and headed home. Sitting on the couch Sunday evening, I poked through again, just to see what else was in there.

Sometimes, you find nothing. Sometimes, you shake your head and ask how you missed that. This time, I just wondered if this is worth anything.

Moral? Edit and reedit, or, better yet, have someone else edit. New eyes see new things.

Friday, November 16, 2007

More on Bokeh

I mentioned this concept of "bokeh" in class the other day - the term for how a lens renders the out-of-focus areas in an image. (I think I likened it to trying to explain to a high school friend why the silence of CDs was important in 1986 ... he kept asking why anyone was paying attention to the time between tracks ...)

ANYWAY ... The Online Photographer has a nice bit up about bad bokeh.

BBQ & Multimedia ...

... does it get better than that?

Mark Dolan, a former faculty member at my old school, has been on the road for two years now telling the story of barbecue in America through his BBQ Pilgrim web site. The collection of audio slideshows is developing into a nice catalog of work.

Worth checking out, but you'll be hungry when you're done ...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

College Photographer of the Year

The College Photographer of the Year awards are out - and up. All the photos, audio slideshows and videos have now been posted online. Go, explore, question.

Monday, November 12, 2007

On Campus

From our friends in TeleComm ...

Dan Goslee, an emerging specialist in Telecine and Digital Imaging will visit Grady College November 14 - 16th. Dan will give a short lecture/demo on Wednesday, November 14th in Room 214 of the SLC from 4:30pm - 6pm.


Worth exploring.

Joel Meyerowitz on Printing

HP has a video on Joel Meyerowitz - shooting and printing for a Paris show. Yes, it's a puff piece for HP, but there's some good information in there and he talks about the creative process.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Sunday Morning Humor

My generation believed that "War Games" was about as cool as computer movies could get. Of course, we also thought that "Tron" had the greatest graphics ever, too ... so what did we know?

But imagine what would happen if some modern shows were done in an earlier time ... say, "24" being done in 1994 ...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Sports Portfolio - John Biever

Okay, aside from this being basically an ad for (our excellent and truly supportive friends at) Canon, Sports Illustrated's gallery of photos by John Biever is worth wandering through.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Filter Ethics

I've been sitting on this one for a while because I'm not sure how I feel about it. Part of me is angry, part annoyed and part ... well, just accepting.

CNN.com posted a video several weeks ago about a Scottish farmer who is refusing to sell his land to Donald Trump. Trump wants to build a golf course, the farmer says his family has lived there for generations and he has everything he wants. Trump claims he's stalling to drive up the price.

Good story, and being of Irish descent I tend to migrate to the little-guy stories like this. While watching the video, though, something didn't seem quite right. I've never been to Scotland, though I've spent time in Ireland. The skies in the video seemed ... very blue. Which was fine, until I noticed this sequence of images. Watch the way the "line" of blue moves.



Based on how the depth of blue never changes as the composition does, I suspect there was either a graduated filter dropped in front of the lens or this was punched up by an editor. Either way, in a news story, I'm not sure I'm comfortable with this.

Thoughts?


Monday, November 5, 2007

Motion Graphics Talk - Wednesday Night

From David Hazinski in Broadcast, something to think about going to. Meaning, GO!!

Motion graphics workshop Wednesday night in the photo lab, room 130. Unless we get too many people, then we'll probably move to the newsroom.

My classes had asked for 'more' on motion graphics, so I set this up... then invited Mark Wright. Mark has been the chief graphics designer for CNN. He now holds the same job at CNN International. Runs a crew of about a dozen folks I think who create all the graphics for them and is also responsible for creating the new, clean look they've had for about nine months. Mark says he's also bring a UGA grad who works for him, but I don't know who he or she is.

The original idea was to give students some "hands on" in creating simple screen grabs, backgrounds and "read on" full screens. It will also now morph to whatever Mark wants to explain and as much hands on as we can accomplish.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Illinois Press Association sues Illinois High School Association

As the headline says, the IPA is suing the IHSA. The IHSA has set restrictions on how photos and video from high school sporting events can be used - limiting still photos to printed newspaper stories only and video to 30 second clips, a maximum of two minutes per game and not to be used for more than two days after an event.

Why?

They've signed a contract with Visual Image Photography for the "exclusive and unlimited access to IHSA tournament locations and photo opportunities."

There's a slippery slope in here that I've mentioned before, but the IHSA's action has huge issues in its limitations on how a newspaper uses images for editorial purposes. It would be extremely hard to say a paper's web site is not an editorial usage. It would also be difficult to deny the editorial value of archived stories - or stories that are season-wrap ups.

The problem for newspapers comes when they start to defend their rights to sell reprints, as that is a fairly clear commercial, i.e. non-editorial, usage of the images. Granted, those images are going into private hands and not being used for publications, but a portrait photographer, for example, is in different realm than a photojournalist. The value in the formers images is the specific subject whereas in the latter it's in the moment or story the subject represents - the individual could have been replaced by someone else, doing the same thing, and still had value.

Newspapers will defend their reprints as a public service, which to some extent they are. The problem may arise when they defend their pricing. As a "public service" you're implying there is no profit margin on those reprints, which I know is not the case. If you're doing it in-house, the prints are costing you a dollar or two and you're selling them for $20-30 each.

There are some newspapers that are treading on extremely dangerous grounds by generating "web galleries" that have limited or no editorial value - dumping everything that's sharp online and hoping to either drive traffic to the web site or make reprint sales. There's no storytelling aspect to those galleries and could, in my non-legal opinion, be considered commercial ventures.

The IPA and their 600 member newspapers are on the right track - but they need to make sure the reprint issues isn't brought into this because, again in my non-legal opinion, that's been thin ice for years and will only get thinner. As for the IHSA, think - without local newspapers covering high school athletics, you essentially cease to exist in certain communities.

To that end, if the Illinois High School Association doesn't back down and admit they have overstepped their bounds here, then the Illinois Press Association should explain to their readers why there is no coverage of high school sports in their paper. The parents' outrage should send a clear message.

Friday, November 2, 2007

The Smile - and Other - Shutters

Okay, so Sony has a new camera that recognizes smiles. Now I could make some comment about how if the person behind the camera can't recognize a smile they must be in art school or be a 20-year newspaper veteran, but that just seems cruel.

So, instead, I give you the other shutter releases I would like to see on cameras ...

  • Tree Branch/Telephone Pole Shutter - Waits for it to fall down or blow over in a hurricane before releasing the shutter.
  • Zebra Crossing Shutter - Waits for referees to move out of the frame before firing.
  • Paparazzi Shutter - Only fires when (in)famous people do stupid things in semi-public places.
  • Golden Hour Shutter - Will only activate when the color temperature is below 4300 degrees Kelvin (which is sunrise or sunset).
  • James Nachtwey Shutter - Waits for you to have at least three layers of information of a relevant issue to a world-wide audience.
  • Double-Truck Shutter - Will only fire when your composition allows for a gutter through the center of the frame.
  • Stan Grossfeld Burn Shutter - Will only fire when the sky is overcast to allow you to burn it down to black later.
  • Annie Liebovitz Shutter - Fired only after you have sweet-talked some celebrity into doing something totally out of character.
  • The HCB/Decisive Moment Shutter - In honor of Henri Cartier-Bresson, only fires when it recognizes “both the fact itself and the rigorous organization of visually perceived forms that give it meaning.”
Feel free to add your own, I'm sure you have some in mind already

The Mundane Becomes Cool

One of the things I love about newspapers moving into new storytelling modes is the ability to make a seemingly mundane thing more interesting. Had I ever told my staff to go to a football game and cover the chain gang - the volunteers who move the first down markers around - they would have had a fit.

But the Portland (Maine) Press Herald has a series looking at high school football called "Beyond the Scoreboard." Check out the chain gang story, has some severe audio problems but the concept is really nice.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Okay, I Know It's for Charity ...

But, still, this just doesn't seem right - Harper's Bazaar is auctioning off a one-month internship at the magazine. It's bad enough so many places aren't paying interns, but to have to pay for one ...

Geek Alert - Eye-Fi

So you think downloading your cards takes too much time? Wish you could "live post" images to the web as you shoot them? Without having to spend hundreds of dollars on wireless bits from Canon or Nikon?

Check out the EyeFi - a SD card that acts as a wireless transmitter, moving images from your camera to computer to the web.

(Super Geeky Continuity Alert - If you watch the video, about half of the photos have been flopped. Grrrr ...)

Playing with Light

See, photography can be fun ...

"Media & Public Life" lecture - TODAY

The Peabody Awards will present its inaugural Peabody-Smithgall Lecture on the theme of "The Media and Public Life" at 4 p.m. on Thursday, November 1, in the University of Georgia Chapel. Author and journalism professor Michael Schudson will be the first speaker at what is scheduled to become an annual event.

His lecture will focus on the news media, but he will also comment on universities, think tanks, the research, information and investigation capabilities of government agencies, and the openness of legislatures themselves to public and media scrutiny. A primary concern will be the re-configuration of informational sources in public life over the past 30-40 years. His specific topic will be "Moderating the Conversation of Democracy."


Should be worth a listen. (Thursday's class will wrap up early enough to get over to the chapel.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dilbert and Journalism

Scott Adams must have had a bad experience with a journalist based on today's comic strip.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"The Shot" on VH1

Karlee Baumann sent this link along ... VH1 has a new reality show based on ... fashion photographers who want to make it big. Ten wannabes will live together, shoot against each other and be deemed worthy or not ...

You know, I may have to DVR this ... just for, you know, fun.

Monday, October 29, 2007

FREE PIZZA - And Pictures of Bugs

How can you pass up that combination? You can't, you just can't ...

On Friday, November 2, Professor G. Keith Douce from the Department of Entomology on the Tifton campus, will be in the Photojournalism Lab at noon to talk about the Bugwood Network - an image archive of pests, plants and problems around the world. The photo archive is impressive - more than 60,000 images that can help you identify flora and fauna.

Prof. Douce will talk about where the photos come from, how they're used, how you can contribute to the archive and how a publicly accessible archive of this size is managed.

This is open to everyone, student and non-student, but please let me know (through the comments below) if you're coming so I can order enough food.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Information R/evolution

Stolen from Flash Goddess Mindy McAdams ... Michal Wesch, from Kansas State University, has a YouTube video that looks at the way we think about information. It's worth the five and a half minutes, will have you rethinking the way we've changes our thinking of what "information" is.

"Photoshopping the Red Sox"

Most of you know of my affection for the Red Sox (GO SOX!!), but the hometown Boston Globe has a contest going on that, well, just makes me really queasy - "Photoshopping the Red Sox." Fans and readers can send in their Photoshopped illustrations of the Beantown Boys and their posting them online.

The problem? They're using copyrighted images as the basis for these illustrations. Some are going far enough with the illustrations that there may not be an issue, but some are ... well, go look for yourself.

I'm sure - sure - the Globe talked with their lawyers about this, right? And I believe the Digital Millennium Copyright Act says it's okay for site users to post this stuff, but if anyone complains they need to take it down ... which makes this even more annoying, that a major media company may be flaunting the DMCA which was designed to protect their copyright interests.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

You Can Fool Some of the People All of the Time ...

So, Leica is well known for special edition cameras that commemorate all kinds of things (such as the M6J, the MP Herm├ęs or the Royal Wedding M6), but this is just silly ... for $180, you can get a White Stripes Special Edition Holga or Diana camera (turn down your volume before clicking).

Current price of a Holga online: about $20.

Act Now! Only 3,000 examples have been made!

Friday, October 19, 2007

:] CONTENTcontentCONTENT [:

Get your attention?

Over on the VII agency web site, Lauren Greenfield has a video posted titled "Kids + Money" - and it's one of those things you just have to watch. No bells, no whistles - just startling content.

You may feel in the first few minutes that there's a definite bias here, but watch it all the way through.

Our Consitutional Responsibility

Greg Mironchuk, an old friend and a damned fine photojournalist, sent the following to the National Press Photographers Association's discussion list. I'm reposting it with his permission because, every now and then, we need to be reminded of why we are journalists ...

Newspapers are an integral part of the "System Of Checks And Balances," here in the United States.

The New York Times sees The First Amendment to The Constitution of The United States as a license to print and sell Tee Shirts, with images from NFL and MLB games on them, for profit, in a blurring of the line between "Commercial" and "Editorial" ... the folks who wrote the Constitution saw The First Amendment as a way to keep The Gov't from having a monopoly on Information.

I don't have to convince anyone that ... nationally ... The U.S. Gov't has exercised this monopoly quite forcefully, in this era of Newspapers' Decline.

But ... it's everywhere.

In the town where I live, there is a phony "Budget Crisis" going on, in an effort to bully the town's taxpayers into approving a higher property tax rate than Massachusetts requires, by law ... they've closed the Library, cut Firemen's hours, and curtailed gym/music/art and many Special Ed programs in the schools.

The Bozos at Town Hall (my apologies to Bozos, everywhere, for comparing you to our Town Gov't ...) would have been beat up one side of the road, and down the other, if there was a real newspaper here ... but there isn't.

All three alleged/purported 'papers which regularly print "news" about our town (including Boston's biggest Metro Daily) print verbatim press releases from the town ... and photographs, only when someone calls up, with a "Photo Op."

The demise of the Newspaper Business has negatively affected the Balance of Responsibility in every level of Gov't. Nobody in my town is interested in policing the Town Gov't, or anyone who provides services for the town ... including police, fire, and schools.

Only a real, viable, newspaper can hold feet to fires ... can identify graft, malfeasance, and criminality ... and can provide a forum with which Citizens can intelligently exercise their Franchise, at the ballot box.

To paraphrase a quote from everyone's favorite movie ... the problems of Photojournalists, as a result of the demise of newspapers, don't amount to a hill of beans ... when compared to the problems that everyone has when newspapers have abdicated their Constitutional Responsibility, whilst hiding behind their Constitutional Protections.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

New Principal

Sean Elliot, at The Day, in New London, Conn., sent along a link to one of his first video pieces - a look at a new elementary school principal. It is simply shot - there's nothing fancy in here - and the editing is very straightforward. The audio works well and the compositions mirror how a still shooter (which is what Elliot is/has been) would work.

It works well - here's a woman who almost everyone in the town will come in contact with in some way, shape or form and Elliot is letting her tell her own story. It's the modern interpretation of the community profile story, a staple of good community journalism, being translated into a multimedia piece.

Will it set the world on fire? Will it win a bunch of awards? Probably not, but it will get watched - a lot - and talked about. And, more importantly, it puts a voice to a community leader, it makes them more approachable. It connects them.

Stop Talking About Gear

And start thinking about how to use it better. Ken Rockwell, who has a ton of information on his site about cameras and lenses, wrote a diatribe a while back about why the camera you use doesn't matter. Some of his analogies are weak, but this one always rings true:

We all know how to play the piano: you just press the keys and step on the pedals now and then. The ability to play it, much less the ability to stir emotion in those who hear your playing, is an entirely different matter. Don't presume the most expensive gear is the best. Having too much camera equipment is the best way to get the worst photos.


Nothing has prompted this, but I had bookmarked the page and reread it this morning. Well, maybe that's not true ... I stumbled across a photo of a Makina 67 - a camera I'd never heard of - and have been somewhat fascinated by them for the last few days. If only I had that camera I could do ... what?

I can't answer that. I mean, I have an answer in my head, and maybe I could make a different kind of photo that the average reader would be able to identify. But probably not. (And since they're selling for $1500+ on ebay, I'm not buying one.)

Likewise, when I started shooting football this year I hauled out my 300 mm f/2.8 manual focus lens and 1.4x teleconverter. I bought both of those - used - in 1993. Before every game, my wife listens to me fret about how I really should spend the money and get a newer 300, an AF-S Type II and a new converter. And as I edit, I see where I missed on the focus.

Now, there is a legitimate reason to replace the lens - the helicoids are worn and the focus is a little sloppy at some points. But, you know, my clients aren't complaining. I am, but they aren't.

Would the pictures be better? Hmmm ... maybe there would be a higher percentage of sharper images, but the moments are the same.

Yes, sports is different - shooting Moonrise, Ansel Adams probably had a little more time then I did to catch a flying Ole Miss defender, so that newer lens maybe - maybe - would have made a difference.

Well, now I'm rambling. The idea is the camera doesn't matter as much as any of us think it does. I crave a Leica M8. The Makina 67 looks really sweet. And that new 300 probably would help me make better images. But it's not the lens or camera, it's the eye and brain - exercise those more and your photos will get better.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Eddie Adams Workshop - Multimedia Pieces

The annual Eddie Adams Workshop, which was last month in upstate New York, has posted their multimedia pieces - created in just a few days, there's some very nice pieces in here.

Two I'd take a closer look at ... "Never Checking Out" looks at the life of two men living at the Liberty Motel. And "Pro/Con" which has some very nice sequencing in it, giving a feeling of motion.

What the Duck goes Animated

Check it out - there's a video version of our favorite comic strip, What the Duck.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Photo Workshop in China

Passing this along ...

China Pre-Olympic Photographic Workshop
December 26, 2007 to January 12, 2008

Travel to Beijing China for a once in a lifetime Experience!

The workshop will be conducted in cooperation with the School of Journalism of Renmin University, Beijing China. Renmin University is amongst the top rated universities in China. The photojournalism program of Renmin University has been delegated the duty to train photographers to work with the Olympic Committee photographing Olympic facilities and pre-Olympic events for the Beijing Olympics of 2008. This workshop has been invited to work in Beijing in cooperation with the photojournalism program of Renmin University with the intent of producing photographs that will illustrate preparations, events and other places of special cultural and artistic importance during the pre-olympic period. It is contemplated that a book will be prepared from the photographs taken during the workshop. The purpose of the book will be to serve as a portfolio piece for each participant.

The workshop will be conducted by two American Master photographer/professors, Larry M. Kushner and Joel DeGrand. Both Mr. Kushner and Mr. DeGrand have held Masters degrees in Photography for more than 30 years. Mr. Kushner has been doing photography in China during the past 40 years. Additionally, members of the faculty of the photojournalism program of Renmin University and local Chinese photographers will participate in the workshop sessions. Each American workshop participant will be paired with a Chinese workshop participant to photograph at various locations around Beijing. This workshop provides a once in a lifetime opportunity to participate in a photographic workshop documenting the preparations leading up to an event of worldwide significance.

Reservations for this workshop must be made by mid October 2007. Students wishing to receive credit for this workshop should contact their college to determine if independent study or directed study credit may be available.

For more information concerning costs, curriculum and itinerary contact:
Larry M. Kushner, tel: (818) 343-6242, email: lmkphoto@gmail.com
Website: photoworkshopchina.com

Obit: Alexandra Boulat, 45

Alexandra Boulat, a founding member of the VII agency, has passed away after suffering a brain aneurysm in June.

Photo District News article.
Blogher article.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Meth or Suicide?

Mindy McAdams, Flash Goddess, posted this to her blog the other day - it's an interesting look at how a possible suicide unfolded in Reno, Nev., as done by the Gazette-Journal.

This is a basic SoundSlides presentation - but with strong narration and using the publicly available 911 tapes, it has a lot of detail. The visuals are simple but they help advance the story.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

UGA Photojournalism Students at Petit Le Mans

On Saturday, October 6, 13 University of Georgia photojournalism students headed out to Brasleton, Ga., for the 10th Annual Petit Le Mans and the Second Annual Motorsports Photojournalism Workshop.

What?

Yep, for the second year Grady College students spent a day covering the ten-hour (or 1000 miles) sports car race sanctioned by the American Le Mans Series. Three editors worked with them throughout the day - helping with critiques of their work and shooting alongside them around the course.

The idea is fairly straightforward - given the length of the event, students can shoot for an hour or two, then come into a make-shift newsroom to download their cards, have an editor critique their work and then go right back out and apply what they'd talked about.
Each student ended up having between three and five editing sessions and the growth throughout the day was amazing.

The Petit Le Mans is a huge event - it's one of the three major endurance races in the world and brings more than 60,000 people to the track. With manufacturers like Audi, Porsche, Ferrari, Acura, Maseratti and Panoz on the track, it's a high-stakes race and a massive event. Through the assistance of John Evenson from the American Le Mans Series, students were fully credentialed and given complete access to the course, garage and pit areas. If a journalist was allowed to go there, so were the students.

The professionals who worked with the students are all veterans of the industry and past UGA workshops. Mike Haskey, chief photographer from the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, is now five-for-five as an editor. Robin Nathan, from the Gainesville (Ga.) Times, and Woody Marshall, photo editor of the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph, worked their event with the students.

Funding for the event was provided by the Georgia Press Association and technical support, including the loan of several long lenses for the students to use, came from Fred Metzler at Canon.

As editors went through the student's work, they pulled out the best work which we sent over to the ALMS media center for posting on their web site alongside race updates.

By the end of the 17-hours-long day, students had shot more than 40 gigabytes worth of images. They'd practiced pans, stop-action and night photography. They'd worked pit road and the photo openings along the fence. They flew in helicopters over the track and worked angles with 600 mm lenses.

And they moved from being intimidated by the scope and spectacle of a major auto racing event to being comfortable in their fireproof suits to go over the wall and onto pit road.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Yet More Student Blog Work

Someone lit a fire under those kids ... check out Richard Hamm's "phlog" (as Kelly Wegel is fond of saying). He's thrown up some galleries of older stuff to go with the new work.

Ten percent of page views at NYTimes.com are of ...

... slideshows. So says Vivian Schiller, general manager of NYTimes.com, in a piece on MarketWatch.

(Thanks for the lead goes to Mindy McAdams, Flash Goddess.)

Monday, October 1, 2007

Workshops of Note

The NPPA's Flying Short Course: Washington, D.C., on October 26 & 27. This is the 50th anniversary and looks to be hosted at USA Today's headquarters.

The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar:
Gwinnett, Ga., on November 30 and December 1.

Email me if you're interested and I'll put together a contact list. Do it now so we can try to fund some of this.

Reuters on Kenji Nagai

The Reuters photo blog has a brief on the image of Japanese journalist Kenji Nagai who was killed in Myanmar last week.

UGA Magazine Club

Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. – The Magazine Club is having a meeting and Kelly Simmons, editor of Georgia Magazine, is coming to chat with us. It's 6:30 in Journalism 505. Georgia Magazine is looking for freelance writers, so this could be a good opportunity to get some clips, as well as network and get career advice.

The Real Reason Newspapers Need to do Video

The Austin American-Statesman shows us why we need journalists who are prepared to work in all areas ...


(Okay, for some real commentary on the YouTubification of Amer ... well, the world, try this piece instead.)

The War on Error

That Aaron Johnson, he just cracks me up every day now ...



Friday, September 28, 2007

More Student Blogs

Some sent, some found. (Are you trying to hide these from me or something?)

Rusty Bailey - no photos, yet. (Right?)
Tyler Goforth
Waites Laseter

Blogging For Bucks

Sort of ... Dr. Kaye Sweetser points out that here is now a scholarship for bloggers ... and, at $10,000, it's, like, real money. (I'm SO going after my undergrad degree again with this.)

More details details are on the CollegeScholarshop.org site.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Burning Man 2007

The Las Vegas Sun has videos - and Flickr photo feed - up from this year's Burning Man festival. This goes well beyond what a "normal" broadcast station would do on this type of story - it has the traditional journalistic narrator, as well as interviews, but adds text and stop-motion style photography to the package.

It's smooth, sophisticated - and integrates well. You have videos, slide shows, maps, panoramas and blog posts, all collected together.

Monday, September 24, 2007

New Student Blog

Kelly Wegel has joined us in the blogosphere ... where are the rest of you?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In the Wild New World, Thieves Abound

Outside the realm of photojournalism but certainly a legal issue many of us are dealing with ... a blogger (who's a laywer, of all things) had a photo of one of his kids lifted from Flickr and dropped onto a post on babble.com (a parenting site) - a post about child lead poisoning.

So, aside from the copyright violation (even under a "creative commons" license you usually can't use the image on a commercial site), an instance like this could become a libel case. By associating that child's parent or guardian with lead poisoning, it's implying some level of negligence.

Type Show

Didn't see anything about this until today ...

The Broad Street Gallery in Athens has a show up called "Snap to Grid," on Brett MacFadden's experimental typography.

Show runs through Sept. 28, I'm going to wander over there soon ...

Matador Traverse Award Series for College Students

MatadorTravel.com, a web site for travelers, is starting up a competition for college photographers and writers. You'll need to create a login to see the contest bits, may be worth your time if you've got some images in your archives. (Login requirements removed.)

(As an aside, editor David Miller has some UGA/Grady ties and had us take a look at some of the language before this went public.)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Finding the Way Home

MediaStorm has posted their latest package by Brenda Ann Kenneally looking at a family two years after Katrina.

I see some interesting things in this 10 minute piece, but I'm curious what others think. So you speak first.

Starry Community

This has almost - almost - nothing to do with photojournalism, but it's kind of cool ...

According to a story in this morning's Athens Banner-Herald, there's a new community forming in Taliaferro County. Themed communities are nothing new (look at golf or motor racing developments around courses), but this one is somewhat unique - it is focused on astronomy. Located on a hill 40 miles southeast of Athens, the 10 acre plot has one unique feature - a lack of light pollution.

Photo content: You can do astrophotography remotely now.

There's a photo to be made out there ... somewhere ...

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Legacy of Joe O'Donnell

Photojournalist Joe O'Donnell died in August and, since then, there have been many questions about whether he actually shot many of the images he took credit for during his life. There's no question about his images from post-atomic bombing Japan, but he also claimed images that predate his becoming a photographer and several iconic images, including one of John F. Kennedy, Jr., saluting at his father's funeral.

The National Press Photographers Association has posted an in-depth look at his life, his work and the controversy.

Friday, September 14, 2007

John Harrington Speaking in Atlanta

John Harrington is, by far, the leading speaker on how to survive and thrive as a freelancer right now. I've seen his presentation in a few places and come away with a tremendous amount of new info every time.

He'll be in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 17 and you MOST DEFINITELY SHOULD GO. There's not many things that will affect your future as a photojournalist as much as how you set up and run your business. Get there, learn, then come back and share.

(UGA students should know we may have some secret funding to offset your fuel costs. HINT HINT.)

I Love This Guy

I have often said I can teach my students almost anything about photography - except where to point the camera and when to push the button. That, at its highest level, just comes from within. I can guide them to that but not teach it.

So Aaron Johnson's (no relation) comic strip today has me laughing out loud.

One Flash, Lots of Effects

Back in February, PhotoshopTV had Joe McNally on talking about using a single strobe for some of his work. Go to the 12:30 mark for his bit, runs about seven minutes.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

FREE PIZZA - And a New Media Talk Here On Campus - Jim Alred, Tuesday, Sept. 18

Did I get your attention with the headline? Should I make it bigger?

FREE PIZZA!!!!!!!!

Jim Alred, New Media Director for the Rome (Ga.) News-Tribune will be doing a public talk in Grady College's Drewry Room on Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 12:30. You need to RSVP to Sophie Barnes by Monday, she's in room 233.

Alred will speak in some classes, but more info is always better, right?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

How They Covered Katrina

For the second anniversary of Hurrican Katrina, the New Orleans Times-Picayune has put out a 25 minute long video talking about the photo department handled the disaster. Well worth your time.

The Error of Our Ways?

I took a cognitive psychology class years ago (with a brilliant professor who's moved on from Syracuse) who had us analyze science stories in mass media publications and then compare them to the original research. So when this Editor & Publisher story about research comparing "user" sites and traditional media came along, I was, well .. shocked.

"Mass media" means it's for the masses, you know? The News Coverage Index looks at general subscription news papers, yet the three web sites they targeted (Digg, del.icio.us and Reddit) are mostly technology oriented sites. The users are all geeks, not mainstream news consumers.

So ... uh, hello? Of course they're going to be vastly different. Geez ...

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Forgotten Lens

Well, hopefully none of the 3710 students have forgotten this lens as each of you was issued one last month ...

Regardless, an interesting treatise on the wonder of the basic 50 mm lens over on Gary Voth's site. I've decided my 24 mm is my standard lens, but have been thinking a second body with a 50/1.4 would be a great walk-around kit. (I learned on a Pentax Spotmatic with a Super-Takumar 50/1.4, though "my" first camera had a Rikenon 50/2.0 on it.)

We just don't talk about image craft enough anymore ... need to do more of that.

Monday, September 10, 2007

CPOY Contest

Contest season is starting up ... first up is the College Photographer of the Year, hosted by the University of Missouri. Deadline is October 5 and there's no entry fee.

And check out past winners
... some nice stuff in there.

Go get famous.

iDMAa Conference in Philly

Dr. Scott Schamp writes about it better than I can ... so go read his 10 reasons why you should go. I may.

Great Relief - Rugby Photo Boycott Lifted

I spotted this just recently and was about to blog it ... but it all seems to be settled now. Not sure what some of those terms mean, though ...

Syracuse Student Detained, Questioned

While shooting for a class on the sidewalk in front of the Veterans Administration hospital in Syracuse, student Mariam Jukaku was brought in to a security office and told to delete her images.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Resizing Algorithms

This popped up on David Pogue's blog this evening - a new chunk of software that can "dynamically resize" an image.

It's going to take me a few days to put into words the absolute fear this has just instilled in me.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

In the mail today ...

Yes, in the POSTAL mail, not the electronic kind, came a flier (who sends fliers) from Penn Camera advertising ... film and paper supplies for students. And a Promaster 2500PK camera and lens package for $169.95.

Granted, there are inkjet supplies on here, too. And if you're still shooting film some of these deals look good. But ... mailing a flier for film? The irony is itchy.

Penn Camera is a great shop - I've done a lot of business with them over the last 15 years (including a stint working for them), so I'll let this pass now. If you're in the market for film, chemistry or darkroom supplies, I'll post the flier in the lab.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Color Tests

We should talk about color theory in class a lot more than we do, I keep trying to get it in there and it just keeps slipping by. So in its place, here's a small online game for looking at color gradations. See how you do.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Back in Class

One of the truly neat things about where I teach is that we supply equipment to all of our students. Everyone in the Introduction to Photojournalism course is issued a digital camera and lens that they use for the entire semester and advanced students get a body, three lenses, flash and access to more gear than I think I have.

Why is this good? For one, I can tailor the assignments to the equipment which lets them get the most out of it. The main reason, though, is there is no financial barrier to taking our photojournalism classes - if you have the academics and drive, you can do it. Everyone is on the same level when they walk in the door.

We issued cameras this week and since many of the students have never held a digital single lens reflex camera, we spend a lot of time talking about the mechanics of photography. We even do field trips out on the lawn ...

One More Reason I Shouldn't Buy a New MacBook Pro

This really doesn't belong here, but, darn, it is funny ...

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Sides Hurt ...

Scott Schamp, director of the New Media Institute at UGA's Grady College, is teaching a class in Second Life this semester. It's an experiment, of sorts, to see how a virtual world could be used for learning. Based on his latest blog entry, I think Dr. Schamp is in for a long and entertaining semester.

To quote:

But last Friday, I found myself saying things I never thought I would have to say. “Please don’t sit on the fountain during class. Don’t forget that everyone needs to wear clothes the next time we meet. And, please, try and remember not to fly during class time."


I would like to think I keep a fairly tight reign on my classes, but my advanced students will tell tales that disprove that very quickly. (And probably create yet another Facebook group about the photojournalism sequence.) (Stop. Just, please, stop.) At least they all stay clothed.

Most of the time.

Regardless, I'm thinking I want to sit in on one of these. But I'm not sure where to sit ...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Is My Reaction Inappropriate?

Nikon has announced the D3, their next-generation high end digital SLR. And, at last, Nikon is building their own CMOS "full frame" chip. For us old folks, that means a 24 mm is a 24 mm again and we can control our backgrounds like Cartier-Bresson and Capa meant us to.

There's also a new D300, though it doesn't have the up-sized chip.

Some places with the announcements and commentary:

UPDATE: The New York Times has a blurb. Not much new, but if the Times is talking about it ...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Photo Contest: The New American Farm

I like the theme, take a look and judge for yourself, lots of stories that could be told around Athens.

From their site:

SARE’s 20th Anniversary Conference:
The New American Farm:
Advancing the frontier of sustainable agriculture

SARE's 20th Anniversary Photo Competition Rules (Word) (PDF)

Theme: Groundbreaking Innovations, People and Partnerships in Sustainable Agriculture

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, we are excited to announce our first-ever national photo competition.

We’re looking for photos from all corners of the nation that depict groundbreaking innovations, people and partnerships advancing the frontier of sustainable agriculture in America.

The top four photos, one from each of SARE’s regions in the United States, will receive grand prizes of free attendance and accommodations at SARE’s 20th Anniversary conference, to be held March 25-27, 2008 in Kansas City, Missouri.

What kind of photos are we looking for?
We are looking for imaginative, striking photos related to groundbreaking innovations, people, and partnerships in sustainable agriculture. While our top four regional winners will be chosen based on how compelling and clearly they depict this general theme, honorable mentions will be chosen per the categories below. We’ve offered some ideas, but this is just to get your imagination going!

1) The Diverse Sustainable Agriculture Community:
Who’s doing the work of sustainable agriculture? Photos entered in this category can feature a range of people in the agricultural community going about their work: for example, farmers planting cover crops; dairy farmers rotating cows through fields; workshops of people learning from each other, including researchers, educators, and producers; consumers buying sustainably grown produce; restaurateurs working with sustainable farmers and ranchers; people at farmer’s markets; people next to their innovations. Photos in this category should clearly depict people – can be from all walks of life and professions – working to advance sustainable agriculture.

2) Land and Water Stewardship:
Cover crops; incorporating a diversity of natural ecosystems into farming and ranching; innovations and new technology to protect water and soil, organic crops; sustainable pest management strategies; pastured grazing and other sustainable livestock operations – these are just a few ways farmers and ranchers are advancing sustainable agriculture. Photos in this category should depict sustainable farming and ranching practices that protect land, water and produce healthy crops.

3) Energy and Climate Change:
Solar, wind, sustainable bio-fuels, efficiency technology – across the country, farmers and ranchers are transitioning their operations to self sufficient, clean energy technologies. Photos in this category should depict clean energy technologies/practices being developed or in operation on the farm and ranch.

4) Communities and Markets
How is sustainable agriculture changing communities – your ideas in photos! From community-supported agriculture, to local contractors and consultants hired to install sustainable systems; to farmers’ markets and supermarkets – photos in this category should show how communities are benefiting from sustainable agriculture operations.