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Monthly Archives: February 2008

This morning, I filled the Drewry Room with an exhibition from the Associated Press that looks at their history. Tied into their book “Breaking News: How the Associated Press has Covered War, Peace and Everything Else,” the show will be up until Friday, February 29.

Additionally, at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 28, Michael Giarrusso, the AP’s Regional News Director for the South and a Grady alum, will given an open talk with Prof. Conrad Fink about where the AP has been and where it’s going.

The exhibition and the talk are open to everyone, please swing through and take a look.


Well, if you’re enrolling at Abilene Christian University. Not here in Athens.

So, is an iPhone a teaching device? I’m going to think about how I could use one. Well, use one in class … I can think of lots of ways I could use one for myself.

– Vodcasting classes (though I may move around too much to make that work)
– Sending out class updates/assignments via SMS
– Forwarding relevant links to everyone

Any others? I’m sure there are lots, add your ideas below. Maybe I’ll look for a grant …

Next category for the Hearst Photojournalism Award is Picture Story/Series. Look at what you’ve shot since September 1, 2006 (not 2007, 2006) and see if you’ve got a killer story. I know some of you do. Bring it to me on CD by noon on March 1.

We can send two in for judging, so get me this stuff ASAP.

I spent time working for the wires (Associated Press and Agence France-Presse) and did enough newspaper night coverage to have pushed deadlines as much as the next guy. I remember waiting for a lower-office candidate to concede one night in Providence, R.I., so we could get the governor to come out and celebrate his win.

That little twerp, down by 10 or 15 points, refused to accept he wasn’t going to be elected to Chief Bottle Washer or some such thing. Shooting for the AP, I had an editor in New York paging me every 10 minutes asking where the photos were … she actually asked me why I couldn’t make the governor appear.

Anyway, once my image was on film, I had to drive across town to my bureau to soup, edit and transmit. It was only a five minute drive and it would take about 12 minutes (cutting some corners) to have the film ready to scan (chemistry was mixed and cooking hours earlier in preparation). Another 10 minutes to scan, caption and send and I was done for the night. Less than 30 minutes from appearance on stage to bouncing off the satellite, I thought that was pretty good.

(We built a lot of darkrooms on-site, too, but not that night.)

Fast-forward eight years to November 2002. I’m photo editor of the Utica, N.Y., paper and have all hands out for election night. Me, I’m an hour or so outside of the city, waiting for a city councilor to make his victory appearance at his brother’s bar. My deadline is 11:15 p.m.

It’s clear he’s taking the seat early, but he’s not there. Nine p.m., 10 p.m., 10:30 p.m. I find his brother to get an update. “He’ll be here when he’s ready.” Uh-huh.

He shows up at – honest to God – 11:05. Why? Television is live …

He gets out of the car in front of the bar. Five frames of that. He hugs mom, four frames of that and I run to the parking lot. I have a laptop sitting on the front seat of my truck. Card in one side, cellphone plugged to the other … seven minutes later, I have a photo on my designer’s screen.

I was The Man.

John Harrington put together a video of interviews from Sen. John McCain’s Potomac Primary celebration. I knew about Reuters’ remote editing system (though I’ve never seen it in action), but J. Scott Applewhite’s statement shocked me: TWO MINUTES from appearance to being on the Associated Press’ wire … and that’s working by himself.

Preparation is everything, even now.

Got an email from one of our big supporters, Mike Haskey at the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer.

As to why this is important…… may tell your students that we recently filled a staff photographer opening with a local TV videographer who also has a PJ degree. I was only able to fill the position because of his “hybrid” skills. We had plenty of good still shooters apply but didn’t even make the final cut, so to speak, because of their lack of video experience.

Emphasis is mine. Think about it.

This has been coming for quite some time, I suppose, but Polaroid – the company that invented the instant camera – is laying off 450 workers, shuttering factories and will cease production of all instant films.

Many readers here will scratch their heads and wonder why this matters. Film’s dead, right?

Probably, or at least gasping for air on a lot of fronts. But some of us have very fond memories of those white-framed prints that developed before your eyes. And, those who had to go through a studio photography class, have lots of memories of Type 53 and Type 55 in 4×5 sheets. Mostly about how bloody expensive it was …

Of course, there are lots of site dedicated to instant photography … currently has 123,348 images in its gallery. Scrapbookers love them, as well.

Two stories about The Capital Times, a 17,000 circulation paper in Madison, Wisc., shutting down their daily editions and moving to a twice a week tabloid and, primarily, the web.

(That may be the longest title I’ve written for a post.)

The White House News Photographers Association has announced their 2008 student contest. Entries need to be submitted between February 1, 2008 and 11:59 p.m. on March 1, 2008. (That’s specific.)

Info is on their web site. Winners will get a $1000 scholarship, two tickets to the black tie gala in D.C. and have their work in the annual book, “Eyes of History.” (There is an entry fee of $25.)

Get your stuff together.

For the Multimedia Journalism class, my students will be producing multimedia autobiographies today. They’ve been playing with audio and web design, today they get SoundSlides.

Because I still haven’t produced enough audio slide shows (I mean, who has?), I decided to do another so I had examples and samples. I scanned images at home last night (after digging through several boxes), recorded the audio in my office this morning (on the Olympus WS-300M with a Nady SP-4C mic), then edited in Audacity and SoundSlides.

Total time, excepting scanning, was less than 60 minutes. I don’t expect they’ll get through this that quick (though they’re supposed to have their audio and images ready to edit), but, really, this isn’t that hard.

We’re looking at doing a series of online/multimedia/new technology workshops for faculty later this semester. The biggest thing we’ll need to do is get them over The Fear. And that’s the same battle I have with some of my students: they are afraid of what they don’t yet know. They know they need this, they know they have to learn it. But they are afraid of failing more than they are excited by learning.

So for the 5990ers that are reading this before class: Go Fail. It’s good for you. has an Associated Press story about a photo of legendary World War II journalist Ernie Pyle. It’s never believed to have been published as it shows him just after he was shot and killed on Okinawa.