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 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:

"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:

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:

To see what the open judging session of this contest is like, check these videos:

"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

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.


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.

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

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


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.