Monday, March 31, 2008

Flip Ultra vs. Canon HD

David Pogue at the New York Times pointed this out ... Kirk Mastin, from the University of Washington, shot a story on a Canon high definition camera and a Flip Ultra, then edited them exactly the same way in Final Cut Pro ... and the results are, well, surprising ...

It is not the gear, folks. It is the story.

This American Life and the Ethics of Journalism

I neither watch nor listen enough to Ira Glass' This American Life, and I really need to. Take a look at this four minute video illustrating one of the stories they did.

We'll be talking about ethics in the intro classes next week, this will come up. Why does the camera (or the pen and paper) become a barrier to our humanity? Should it?

(Thanks to Multimedia Shooter for the link, we're glad to have you back.)

Society of Professional Journalists' Regional Award Winners

Hmmm ... let's see ... there are 14 teaching members of the journalism faculty here, one of whom teaches photojournalism. At the Society of Professional Journalists' regional award ceremony, the Red & Black won 16 awards this year (scroll down to the second editorial) ... seven of them for photography.

Hmmm ...

Congrats go to:

  • Richard Hamm - first place in Sports Photography
  • Josh D. Weiss - first place in Photo Illustration, second place in Feature Photography, second place in Sports Photography
  • Kelly Wegel - second place in General News Photography
  • Danielle Hutlas - third place in Breaking News Photography
  • The Red & Black staff - third place in Feature Photography
Also heard this weekend that Josh D. Weiss won in the sports photo category at the Southern Short Course in News Photography.

Nice work, guys.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

NPPA Convergence 08

Info is up on the National Press Photographers Association's Convergence 08 conference. Held in Louisville, Ky., at the end of May, this is a total immersion program - four days of hands-on learning.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Adobe Photoshop Goes ... Mainframe?

There's a word you don't here much anymore. Mainframe. It dates back to the time when all computing was done on a centralized machine and you fed information into it via either punch cards or "dumb terminals."

The 1980s saw the explosion of the desktop computer and, since then, every 18 months computing power has doubled for the same cost. (A variation on Moore's Law.) Heck, your cell phone probably has more memory and computing power than my first computer (which was, for the record, a Commodore 128 with the 300 baud modem, 80 character monitor and an external 5.25 inch disk drive).

Now, we do all of our processing on our own machines - everything from word processing and spread sheets to video and photo editing. Will we continue to?

That's a big question. Google Docs has moved two of those activities online. (Haven't played with it? If you're in any sort of organization that does collaborative works, it's a great tool. And free.) We now store photos online, too.

And, now, Adobe has introduced Photoshop Express - an online version of Photoshop. You upload your photos to their server, send a series of editing commands and it pushes the edited image back to your screen.

Which is kind of like, oh, I don't know ... a mainframe computer?


Here's the scene: You're a wire shooter, assigned to cover the European Swimming Championships. There's a guy, Alain Bernard of France, who may set a record. So you know you're concentrating on him. Of course, every other wire and agency photographer is going to focus in on this guy, how do you do it differently?

Well, shoot it from underwater, of course. It's been done that way for years. But ... then he sets the world record in the 100 meter freestyle. If you're shooting from underwater, on a remote control ... how do you get your photos out faster? Can you afford to wait until the end of the meet, then dive down to fetch your camera?

Read all about how Wolfgang Rattay set up not just an underwater camera, but a remote controlled underwater rig that wirelessly transmitted the photo to his laptop over on the Reuters photo blog.

Geek to the max, but ... but ... four minutes after setting the record, he had the photo on the wire. FOUR MINUTES.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Chip Simons, Then and Now

In the 1980s, I wasn't much of a studio/fashion/commercial kind of photographer. I was a journalist, I looked up to people like Stan Grosfeld, Susan Meiselas and Michel DuCille and didn't think much about the rest of the photography world.

Of course, there were a few names we all knew - Mark Seliger, Annie Leibovitz and Chip Simons were high on the list. Amazing portrait and conceptual photographers, I wondered where that energy came from.

It's been years since I thought about Simons. I had always liked his bold color, his use of gelled strobes mixed with ambient light ... really offbeat stuff. Today, over on Rob Haggert's blog, I learned a little about why I hadn't thought about him - he sort of disappeared into the west.

Here's hoping he makes a comeback, the world needs more magenta gels.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When Shoots Go Wrong

If you're freelancing, it pays to have insurance. So says John Harrington at Photo Business News and, well, anyone else who's thinking ...

Why? Because things go wrong. In this example, it's a model who gets injured by a lion. (No gore, a lot of bruising, though.) There are lots of stories of equipment getting damaged out there, but this could have been a really tragic situation.

Monday, March 24, 2008

What Does a Multimedia Package Need?

Mindy McAdams, Flash Goddess, has the answers on her blog now, based on reviewing projects from masters students.

Al on Colleges Covering College Basketball

The Poynter Institute's Al Tomkins put up a piece linking to how college newspapers are covering the NCAA tournaments. A little late for us here, but thinking about how to do this as future events unfold is a good idea. Say, the gymnastics championships ...

(And if you're not reading Al's Morning Meeting, what are you doing with your life?)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Photoshop Disasters

Really, a blog totally devoted to Photoshop mistakes. I never get enough of these .... 

Bearing Witness: Five Years of the Iraq War

Reuters has put together a multimedia package looking at the first five years of the war in Iraq. The introduction piece is a nice summation of what Reuters has been doing to cover the war, specifically talking about using local journalists as opposed to parachuting in folks. (The intro runs just under five minutes, watch your audio - the video clips are jarring.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We Scooped the New York Times

Tech writer David Pogue just wrote a review of the Flip Ultra, something done here back in November.

Jeez, no wonder the Times is in trouble ... though Pogue does point out that the Flip has captured, ahem, 13% of the video camera market. Which is, well, stunning.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

New (to me) Blog: A Photo Editor

Just learned of this (from the rejuvenated site): Rob Haggert, former photo editor at Men's Journal and Outside Magazine, is blogging about life at the other end of the phone.

I've only read a few entries, but I'm feeding it into my NetVibes account. I'm quoting too much here, but under an entry titled "Magazines Behaving Badly" (about slow payments) he tells this tale:

One day I got a call from Mary Ellen Mark who’d recently shot a feature story for us. I was so proud that I’d landed her to shoot for the magazine and was so intimidated when I had spoken with her about the assignment and then when she’d called me from location to discuss the images she was getting and in general giving me an update on what was happening. Well, M.E.M. was not calling to tell me what a fabulous Photo Editor I was. No, she was calling to rip me a new one from head to toe because it had been over 90 days since she’d turned in a bill and had yet to receive payment and Christmas had passed and all those expenses we’d owed her would have come in handy. So, I sat there on the other end of the phone for a good 15 minutes possibly half an hour as Mary Ellen Mark shredded me into tiny little pieces and then stomped up and down on the pile of pieces and then loaded them into a cannon with a couple pounds of gunpowder and shot them out so they fell from the sky like confetti.

Having been a director of photography who had to take the calls about missing checks, I felt that pain. But never from a Mary Ellen Mark. (The rest of you, though - I felt that just as much.)

"10 Tips for Becoming a Wired Journalist"

The Student Newspaper Survival Blog has a post on 10 things you must know. Go read it, it should sound familiar by now. If it doesn't, read it again. And memorize it.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

VII Seminar

FYI ...

Come Celebrate VII Turning 7


Dates: May 16th, 17th & 18th, 2008
Location: Klitgord Auditorium-New York City Technical College
Address: 285 Jay Street (in downtown Brooklyn), New York 11201

This expanded 3 day seminar will include the following:
VII Photographer presentations including their latest work along with newest members, Marcus Bleasdale and Franco Pagetti.
VII Network Photographer Presentations.
Special guest presentation by Simon Norfolk
Panel discussions on “Photojournalism Within The Context of Contemporary Photography”
Breaking product news by our sponsors including, Canon U.S.A.
Book Signings by VII Photographers and special guests.
Exclusive VII Seminar evening events in the new VII DUMBO space on 28 Jay Street

General admission - $50

PORTFOLIO REVIEWS (includes reviews by two VII Photographers) - $200

VII Seminar Site at:

Monday, March 17, 2008

Athens Photo Night - The Return

A small tradition from the past is returning to Athens Tuesday, March 18 - Photo Night. It's a gathering of pixel pushers, something I heartily endorse. (The gathering, not the beating up of pixels.)

Skedded for 6:30 p.m. at Copper Creek (140 East Washington Street). Open to current and past students, working photojournalists and those who just wish to hang around with them. (While I won't be there, there'd better be darts. It is not an official Photo Night until someone starts the Cricket taunting.)

Job Opening

Those soon to depart Athens looking for photo work, drop me a note - one of our alums has an opening at her paper. (Don't want to post it all here to keep her boss form being spammed.)

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Photo Booths

The New York Times has a story and video about photo booths and their transition from chemical to digital. Interesting and entertaining.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Bad Photo Deals

There are some things that just make me ill. Over on a Flickr forum, Boston Magazine - the highly profitable magazine that's aimed at affluent readers - is claiming they're too poor to hire a photographer, but will give credit to whoever they rip-off ...

Thankfully, the comments are taking them to task, but I bet they'll get their free photos. Photographers keep forgetting that what they make has a value beyond a credit line.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Baseball Shooter

ESPN has a nice piece up on Gregg Forwerck who shoots for Topps baseball cards. Not very technical, but a nice profile.

Pictures of the Year International Award Winners

They've announced who's won, but haven't posted the photos yet. Keep checking, this, and the National Press Photographers Association's Best of Photojournalism competition, are always great resources for studying where our industry is.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

An Air Disappears into Thin Air

Tech writer Steven Levy over at Newsweek has, ahem, lost his computer - a loaner MacBook Air from Apple.

And that's why I didn't buy one ... plus, it really wouldn't work for me. Well, it would, but, you know, not without some other things ... like a Mac Pro for home.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Odd Photography

Okay, for you slightly-off photographers, be wary of traveling to London.

(My generation's excuse for odd behavior was sniffing the Dektol. What is yours?)

We've Arrived! (UPDATED!!)

If you measure your success by whether people are trying to steal your content, at least. Intrepid internet searcher and current student Rusty Bailey stumbled across another blog that has been lifting content from this blog and posting it on their own site, surrounded by advertising.

I've begun the notification process to have it taken down, but if you look up at the top and don't see "" as the URL - you're not reading the original. And if it's your ad on the side, then, well, you're contributing to a copyright infringer.

(We'll know shortly whether this is an active lift, meaning someone's copying-and-pasting, or if it's automated. Wouldn't it be funny if they posted this note and left in the reference?)

(UPDATE: They did it! They posted the entry that says they are stealing content!)

(Sorry, I find that funny. I wonder what else I can feed into their display ...)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I try to bring as many guests into my classroom as possible. For starters, this is an excellent way to decrease the amount of time I need to prepare for any given class ... I kid, of course.

In reality, I bring folks in to offer up different perspectives, to help flush out something that I've discussed or to add new knowledge that I don't have to share. The last few folks have all been asked the same question towards the end of their discussions, and I'm going to start sharing those answers with all of you because today's was just simply amazing.

Mandrallius Robinson from the Greenville (S.C.) News was with my Multimedia Journalism class this afternoon. Robinson, a six-year veteran of the News, was "volunteered" last spring to go through Gannett's video training. He has quickly become a rising star, putting together two sports "shows" every week for the paper.

The question: What five things must every newly-graduated journalist know?

  1. Have an open mind
  2. Precision - be careful in your choice of words, avoid clich├ęs
  3. Pay attention to co-workers - they can help
  4. Find a way to keep your drive
  5. Journalism is a service

An excellent list, I thought.

5th Annual Gordon Parks Celebration of Culture & Diversity

Legendary photojournalist Gordon Parks's is remembered through a competition and a workshop in Fort Scott, Kansas, each year. If you're headed towards Kansas in October, may be worth checking out.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Blog Note

Small note here - that last post, on trapezoid cropping, was the 300th post on the UGA Photojournalism blog. Which also happened to celebrate its first birthday on Thursday, February 28.

Strange Crops

I have been reading newspapers for 30 years now, on and off. I started with the comics, then moved to news and features. And I read the sports pages, but I admit to not being a huge sports fan.

I've worked for small news papers and mid-sized newspapers. I've shot photos, edited photos and done some page layout. Wrote a story or two, too.

I even got to witness the Society for Newspaper Design do its annual judging, which was very cool.

But I've never seen a page design - in a daily newspaper - quite like this.

A trapezoidal crop? A triangular ad?

John Kao on Innovation

This is SO WORTH an hour of your day - Robert Scoble interviewing John Kao about innovation. In fact, I may require every one of my students watch this. And suggest it be played at the Northern Short Course and the Southern Short Course.

Some quotes I pulled out of it:

People sometimes confuse creativity and innovation.

On General Motors and Detroit in general:

Change is hard. You have to drop a bomb on the complacency and mainstream culture of an established organization or you’re not going to get change. You cannot incrementally fix that kind of a problem ... They mistake cool marketing and cool concepts for genuine change

Without visionary leadership and a new narrative you’ve got nothing. But even then it’s dicey. It’s a constant blocking and tacking, it’s like fighting entropy, you have to keep doing it.

And my favorite:

We always have this invitation to invent the future we want.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Zogby Says: Traditional Journalism is Out of Touch

Or at least, that's what their latest poll says. This interests me greatly:

The survey also found that while most Americans (70%) think journalism is important to the quality of life in their communities, two thirds (64%) are dissatisfied with the quality of journalism in their communities.

There's lots of other info on where folks are getting their news, as well. But it is refreshing to think that 70% of those polled still believe news is important, even if they can't get what they think is good journalism.

More Conferences and Workshops

Since I've just posted about the Southern Short Course in News Photography, I should mention two other events you ought to consider attending ...

The Women in Photojournalism conference will be held in New Orleans on August 8-10. (Link not working as of Sunday morning, not sure why.)

From their email flyer:

The Women in Photojournalism Conference has been traveling across the country for the past 19 years. We have a rich tradition of having inspiring and engaging speakers of any program out there. This conference features a full program for both print and television photojournalist. It features two days of critiques, new trend and multimedia classes for every level of your career, and informative presentations to give your career a shot in the arm. We have a proud history of offering the finest speakers to help you define your career in this ever changing field. This conference also features a top notch photography contest that has always had entries that are absolutely impressive. Each year, we have had over 900 entries for this contest. The winners from the contest are displayed in our juried exhibit at a gallery.

Up next is the legendary Eddie Adams Workshop in Jeffersonville, N.Y., October 10-13. If you've never heard of this, go poke around the web site. I have known a lot of folks who have gone and it can be a stunningly good experience, both in storytelling growth and networking opportunities.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Southern Short Course in News Photography - March 26-30

Any students interested in going to the Southern Short Course in News Photography need to see me ASAP - we have some funding to help you go. Meaning, it won't cost you much to learn and schmooze in Charlotte for a few days.

Really, why wouldn't you go?

The End of a "Sacred Career"

A Chinese "news" photographer has admitted to altering a photo of antelope galloping past a new high speed train. The photo, which was circulated widely, had calmed some fears that the new rail line would affect wildlife. After being published around the country, someone noticed some odd lines on an enlarged version in a Beijing subway and started to investigate.

The photographer, Liu Weiquing, said, "I have no reason to continue my sacred career as a newsman. I am not qualified for the job."