Friday, April 27, 2007

Insomnia Photo Festival - Friday, April 27

Want a new MacBook Pro, 80 GB iPod and a copy of Aperture? Then plan on being wide awake for 24 hours starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 27, for Apple's Insomnia Photo Festival. Register in advance and at 5 p.m. Apple will give out the info on what to shoot.

Pay close attention to the details on how to submit - sizing and what not are on the web site. All photos need to be shot in that 24 hour time span and processed on an Apple MacIntosh. (I'm sensing a Saturday afternoon gathering at the R&B ...)

I've perused the terms and conditions - you are giving Apple the rights to use your photo and likeness, but only in connection with promoting the competition. Not a bad deal, IMHO.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Irreversible vs. Irrevocable

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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What The Duck's 200th strip

Today, Aaron Johnson posted his 200th What the Duck comic - a must read for photo-folks. In addition, he asked others to post their versions of some older strips - his drawings, their text - and they are a riot. (The Ansel Adams-button made me laugh out loud.)

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bad Exit Interviews

When you wrap up a job, either of your own volition or your now-former employers, you'll usually go through an exit interview. Across the transom came this report today:

We let a photo intern go today because he was nuts. During his exit lunch he was talking about how he thought he'd improved and his boss here said, "If it wasn't for your lack of professionalism and technical ability, you'd be okay." And she said it so straight faced and nicely he took it as constructive criticism.

So, listen closely in those exit interviews, could help you decide if there's a reference you'll want to use later.

NBC Logo - To Alter or Not

Jim Romenesko asks whether NBC's act of stamping their logo on the photos and footage they received from the Virginia Tech shooter is the same or different from Allan Detrich altering a photo for the Toledo Blade last month.

Eddie Adams Workshop - Barnstorm XX

For twenty years, some of the best editors and young photojournalists have gathered for a fall workshop in upstate New York for Barnstorm - the photo shooting seminar organized by the late, great Eddie Adams. Resgistration is now open, deadline is May 14. Tuition is free, though you need to get yourself up there for the week of October 5-8. Go, apply. Then GO!

VT Student Photojournalist's Images

In the chaos following last week's shootings at Virginia Tech, police detained a photojournalist shooting for the campus paper. Shaozhuo Cui was detained for two hours and his equipment held for two days. Now, his story and photos are in Newsweek and posted online at - including him talking about the events and a collection of other images shot by students on cell phones.

A Prayer for Father Tim

Jim Gerhz and Maura Lerner at the Minneapolis Star Tribune teamed up for a story looking at a military chaplain who was injured in Iraq. Note the use of audio - subtle and effective. Look at the variety of images - no two ever look similar.

Thanks to Lindy Dugger for the link.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Correction needed

In a comment appended to a story out of Syracuse University about a member of the university community having contracted tuberculosis ...

Please correct the following error in your article the test is a TB test not a TV test as stated in your paper.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

From Laos to Barrow

Su Anderson, the newest staff photographer at the Gwinnett Daily Post, has the first in a three-part series of audio slide shows looking at a the Hmong population in Barrow County, Georgia. Pay close attention to how she helps the reader identify who's speaking - by cropping in on a group photo, then fading to the full version, the viewer knows instantly who is speaking.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Photo Manipulations Through History

Hany Farid, a professor of computer science at Dartmouth College, has a good listing of manipulated images (and seems to be updating it continually). A good resource.

Virginia Tech Student Photojournalist Detained, Equipment Held

According to an article on the Student Press Law Center web site, Collegiate Times photojournalist Shaozhuo Cui was detained by police on Monday because he matched a description of the possible shooter on the Virginia Tech campus. While the student newspaper isn't objecting to his being detained given the circumstances, the authorities have not returned his cameras or identification cards yet, including images he shot early that day.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

UGA Student Wins Southern Short Course Shootout

Last weekend, seven photojournalism students from UGA's Grady College went to the Southern Short Couse for News Photography in Chattanooga, Tenn. Their trip was funded by the Harry Hodgson Journalism Student Support Fund.

Part of the three-day workshop was the Nikon Shootout - participants are loaned a Nikon point-and-shoot camera and given one hour to illustrate a theme.

This year, our own Kelly Wegel took first place with her photo about the weather. Ms. Wegel picked up a Nikon digital camera as well as a book of Life Magazine photos, which she has offered up as the first volume in the now-created UGA Photojournalism Library.

UPDATE: More info on the Grady College web page now.

Alan Kim talks about the Virginia Tech Photos Seen Around the World

Roanoke Times staff photographer Alan Kim talks about how he made the photos from Monday's massacre at Virginia Tech. A part-time photographer, Kim was at home when an editor called him about a reported shooting on campus.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Toldeo Blade Finds 79 Altered Images - from 2007 ALONE

The Toledo Blade has published the results of their investigation into the work of former staff photographer Allan Detrich - and found that Detrich submitted 79 digitally altered images since January. Detrich had originally stated the March image from a Bluffton University baseball game that had a missing set of legs was a mistake. In their investigation the paper found other images where items had been added to photos (including a basketball and a hockey puck) as well as items and people that were removed from photos.

According to Ron Royhab, vice president and executive editor, "Honesty is the fundamental value in journalism. When a Blade reporter or photographer covers a news event, the newspaper and its readers expect an accurate record of the event."

Don Winslow, editor of News Photographer magazine, originally brought the question up to Blade editors and has a recap on the events, as well as the examples of altered images, on the National Press Photographers Association's web site.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

"Chicks Who Click"

Okay, first? It's in quotes - it's NOT my phrase. Second, it leads to "MWACs" - "Mom With A Camera." Also, not my phrase.

Moving on, the New York Times has an article on the growing number of women who are opening photography businesses that specialize in shooting kids. Some are doing well, with established business plans. Some are weekend shooters. If done right, it's not a bad way to make money. If done wrong, it's a good way to drive yourself nuts and put professional colleagues into red zones - fiscally and emotionally.

(FWIW, I see bad form in the photo of the photographer ... brace yourself, will ya?)

Friday, April 13, 2007

Toldeo Blade to Reveal Other Detrich Altered Photos

In Sunday's newspaper, the Toledo Blade will talk about their investigation into altered photos by former staff photojournalist Allan Detrich, the National Press Photographers Association's web site is reporting. Sunday's story will appear as a refer on page one, though the newspaper isn't saying how many altered images they have uncovered.

Stuck in Oldthink Muck

Mark Glaser writes in Mediashift about a recent visit to Ball State University and he rambles on about the issues educators are facing. How much of the old curriculum is worth saving? How much can be repurposed? How much new stuff do we need?

The educators amongst us have been wrestling with this for a while, some are close to a pin and some are close to running out of time. I have proposed a "Sherman Approach," but accept that's not going to happen where I'm at. And while we're making progress, we're still slipping further and further adrift of where the industry is headed.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Six-part Video Series on Remotes

Over on, they've posted a six-part series on remotes - how to shoot them, the gear you'll need, tips, etc. Good info.

Roads Not Taken

Ctein over on The Online Photographer has a cautionary tale about missed opportunities. Every photojournalist I've ever met has a story about the photo they didn't go after. (I don't like to talk about mine.) (Any of them.) (Though I've gotten better about them over the years.)

If you're reading this, you're probably young and impressionable and desirous of a successful career. Take Ctein's advice - take chances, be flexible, go after those once-in-a-lifetime possibilities.

News from Elsewhere

We have Kate Marymont, editor of the Fort Myers News-Press in town for a few days. She gave a great talk on the University of Georgia campus Wednesday about Gannett's "Information Center" concept and how her paper is applying it. With a few minutes of spare time, I headed over to the News-Press web site and found this entry on where the cops are hiding out for the day.

Hmmm ... part of me likes knowing this, part of me wonders whether it's good to tell people where NOT to speed. All legal, but ... but ... I don't know ...

I took a look at their videos (which do not work with my version of Apple's Safari browser ... grrr) while on the site. One of them deals with a disabled veteran who competes in Olympic-style games. Reasonably well done ... but at the end, they flash a disabled veterans address, phone number and email info on the screen. Ummmm ...

Spend some time exploring the site. They're doing some neat things with "mojos" - mobile journalists who spend their days in neighborhoods, looking for stories and then posting them immediately to the web.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Corbis artice in the New York Times

The New York Times has an article on Corbis, Bill Gates' stock photo company, and the challenges it is facing. (Not really sure why the NYT is writing about this, no real news peg ...)

(Thanks to Tom O'Connor for sending me the link.)

Adena Stevens launches website

I've been a fan of Adena Stevens' work for a while, and she's finally online with her work. Her attention to the details in stories has always impressed me and she shoots very clean - through choices of lens, aperture and background. She self-assigned herself to cover a local college's basketball teams for a season and vastly improved her sports shooting. Take a look.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Detrich resigns from the Toldeo Blade

Allan Detrich, who removed the legs from behind a sign two weeks ago, has resigned from the Toledo Blade, according to an article on Photo District News. He has posted a few comments about his plans on his personal blog, as well.

David Burnett (are you sick of him yet? I am not)

David Burnett's show is up at the Georgia Center and he's made his public talk ... and we're all better for it. Really, we are.

After picking him up in Atlanta, we stopped to shoot a 81-year-old World War II vet who jumped into Normandy in 1944. And in 1994. And again in 2004 ... the guy is a true paratrooper, sending us off with a "Blue Skies!" salutation. Mr. Burnett had his 1950s Speed Graphic for the shoot, with a 1925 lens mounted on it. (Built the same year as the vet.)

After his speech, he mingled with the masses and answered questions about his show, "Measures in Time," which will be on display through the end of April. You really should go see it.

Monday, April 9, 2007

David Burnett of Contact Press Images in Athens - Monday, April 9

The must attend event of the semester: On Monday, April 9, at 7 p.m., Grady College in conjunction with the Georgia Center and the History Department, is bringing David Burnett to campus. His show, "Measures in Time," is on display at the Georgia Center and running through the end of the month. Burnett, a founder of Contact Press Images, has been one of the leading photojournalists working internationally over the last four decades. He has worked for Time, Life, Sports Illustrated and National Geographic. (In fact, his latest story on Orlando is in the current issue of NG.)

Burnett's talk (in Masters Hall at the Georgia Center) will be followed by a reception.

Don't Miss This.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Talking Color Space

John Harrington has a very good primer on color space, how to choose one and how to ask your client which one they want. Not too geeky, but certainly something any freelancer needs to know about.

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Southern Contrasts - Photojournalist David Turnley looks at the South

According to the blurb, David Turnley spent six weeks and 8,000 miles looking at how the south has changed - or remained the same - 40 years after the Civil Rights movement started. I like this concept, especially the idea of fading between two scenes at opposite ends of a spectrum. There are some very nice images in there, and some that need a little more control. (Am I allowed to say that about a Turnley brother?)

Friday, April 6, 2007

James Nachtwey, TED Prize winner

James Nachtwey won the TED Prize for 2007 and his acceptance speech was recorded. At more than 20 minutes in length, it will take some time to get through - but it is well worth the effort as he talks about the stories he has told and why he believes in their importance. (Note that clicking that link will start a very large download - 312 MB.)

The TED Conference (named for it's topics of Technology, Entertainment and Design) meets each year and brings together industry leaders to work on solving problems.

Baseball in Infrared

Peter Lockley, shooting for the Washington Times, tried something different during his six-week stint at spring training. With an infrared camera and a tilt/shift lens, his portfolio of images gives a very different look to the boys of summer.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Toldeo Blade photo altered

The National Press Photographers Association has a story on a photo that was digitally altered in the Toledo Blade last week. Several other photographers were standing in the same position making the same image, all of which were published in various newspapers. According to the article, the photographer altered the photo for his personal files and accidentally sent it to the paper for publication. When first contacted by the NPPA's News Photographer magazine, he claimed he didn't know what had happened.

Update: Another story on Photo District News about the doctored photo.

Department of Defense - Military Photographer of the Year Awards

The Department of Defense runs an annual competition for all military photographers, called MilPhog. The latest results are now online - good chance to see what combat photographers work on.

(And three of my former students have done well - Stacy Pearsall, David Murphy and Christopher Stoltz were all in the Military Photojournalism program at Syracuse University when I was there.)

Leicas, free film and a pixelated future

It's an odd day here in Athens. This morning, I took four boxes of frozen Fujicolor film out of the freezer and brought them to work. In a few short hours, I'll be handing out the seven year old film to some of my students who are experimenting with their parents 35mm cameras.

I've moved this film from freezer to freezer since 2002, leftovers from when my newspaper went digital in 2001. With the sale of my beloved Leica M6 in January (and subsequent purchase of a Nikon D200 - the most amazing camera I think Nikon has ever made), I have no use for 35 mm film anymore. Sure, I still have my original Nikon F3HP - brassed beyond recognition - on a shelf, along with a battered FM2 and a well worn N8008s, all workhorses of my shooting days. And the Pentax Spotmatic that my dad taught me to shoot on is still in my possession, along with a couple of point-and-shoot play things.

But my days of being a film photographer are pretty much over. The Leica sale came after the realization that I had shot 12 rolls of film in 2006. One a month. Hard to justify keeping a lot of money tied up in one camera for one image a day.

And then, today, over on The Online Photographer is an entry praising Leica for creating the M8 - the digital rangefinder (that I admit to lusting after, but the price ... the price ...). And I think the piece is a good read, because it talks about learning the craft, of experimenting - something I'm not sure a lot of us are doing any more.

When was the last time you went out and played with light? But images down to just see the images?

That's what I thought ...

(And in a semi-related tone, Greg Mironchuk up in Massachusetts has a great series of pages about equipment and craft, well worth spending some time on. I'm a big fan of Mironchuk.)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

USA Today has been assimilated ...

In this era of rights-grabbing work-for-hire contracts, USA Today was a refreshing break. A fair wage for one-time usage, a payment schedule for re-use on the web or in print. It was a good deal - the paper got high quality work from respected journalists and those journalist received decent pay for their work.

That's changed according to an article on Photo District News' web site.

*Disclaimer - I was emailed the new contract last week as I have freelanced for USA Today in the past. The very distant past - 2000, I believe. - World's Greatest Time Suck

I listen to a couple of podcats each week (MacBreak Weekly and This Week in Tech) and they've been yammering on and on about ... so I decided to try it.

There is no reason to do this. Absolutely none. Yet, here I am ...

So, there must be a reason ... right? Productivity monitoring, perhaps?

The New York Times - on the move, literally

The Gray Lady is pulling up stakes - and moving in to a news building in the city that never sleeps. After a century at 229 West 43rd Street, staffers are beginning to move to a new tower at Seventh Avenue and 41st Street.

Why is this important? The new building represents as much of a philosphical shift in the Times as a geographic one. In the new building, online will be integrated across the board - multimedia producers will sit on all desks, brainstorming ways of getting the news out faster. The NY Observer has an interesting take on the changes, well worth a read.

I liked this quote from Jill Abramson, managing editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, about the move and the shift:

“The biorhythms were set to the newspaper. What everyone thought about first, and sometimes thought about only, was the Platonic ideal for a newspaper story.”

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Saving Texas newspapers

Vicki Vaughn of the San Antonio Express-News writes that newspaper expers are saying they "must engineer their own transformation" in a story about a Texas editors meeting.

Say it together - progress or perish. Choose one, then do it well.

Biased photos in Cleveland?

Ted Diadiun at the Cleveland Plain Dealer takes on the question of biased political photos in a recent column. Readers had been complaining that images of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice always seemed to make her look bad, so he asked the photo editor to take a look at the last year's worth of published images. The results will ... well, go find out.

For what it's worth, while I spent a large chunk of my shooting career doing sports and politics, I don't ever remember making a conscious decision to make one candidate look better than another. Did it happen? Probably. But I never chose sides while shooting, I always tried to shoot the event.

Top 10 Web Design Tips

This has been out there for a while, so it's not really new, but Jakob Nielsen has updated his "Top 10 Mistakes in Web Design." Good reading if you're about to build (or rebuild) your web pages.

He's done this for a few years - see the 2005 version, the 2003 version, the 2002 version, the 1999 version and the 1996 version (I admit to having violated #7 in 1996 - I was young and arrogant).

Monday, April 2, 2007

Karen Ballard talks about photographing Sadam Hussein's arraignment

Photojournalist Karen Ballard was chosen to photograph the arraignment of Saddam Hussein six months after he was found in a spider hole. In a video posted on, she talks about what happened that day and some of her impressions.

Camera wonks or photographers?

Some of you already know of my affection for "elitist" cameras (like my recently departed Leica, the last of my usable film cameras ... *sigh*). But I hope I have always stressed the importance of the tool only in relationship to the final product - that the image is what matters most.

There's a comic strip out there and today's edition brings to mind all those photographers on some forums who like to talk more about gear than great images. I've been a fan of Aaron Johnson's "What the Duck" since discovering it a few months ago. Spend some time reading through the archives, well worth an hour of your time. (No relation, by the way.)

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Arm Wrestling

During our UGA Weekend Photojournalism Workshop we heard many of the editors cajoling us to use longer lens, to get away from the wide angle zooms and explore the beauty of the 70-200 mm lens. Scott Lewis has posted an audio slideshow from the 2005 Arm Wrestling Championships that has some great, tight, indoor images - a good model on how you can use long glass to get to real emotion and impact.

Gmail Paper

Google has a beta program to print all of your Gmail correspondence and mail it to you. Attachments? Those, too - and if you're emailing photos around, then you'll get those printed on high quality paper.

Limited time offer, I suspect - just today.

Skills journalism students NEED

I kind of feel bad about stealing so many things from Mindy McAdams' blog, but she's so friendly I hope she doesn't mind too much ...

So here's another post of hers that journalism students Must Read - it's a look at "The Changing Skill Set for Journalists."

How blogs get ranked by Google

Google, if you weren't aware, indexes and ranks blogs like they do everything else on the web. (Can they rank produce vendors? I can't find good apples in Georgia.) Mindy McAdams put up a link to a blog entry by Danny Sanchez on how the rankings work.

(For what it's worth, Technorati ranks blogs by popularity - you're reading the 1,883,223rd most popular blog on the web.)