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Monthly Archives: March 2008

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.


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.)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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?)