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Monthly Archives: July 2009

The Reader’s Representative Journal at the Los Angeles Times got a question from a reader pertaining to a photo they had published and suggesting they look into it.

Turns out, there’s nothing wrong with the image – it was made with a 400 mm lens and a 2x converter, which means it was shot at a focal length of 800 mm, giving the image a very large amount of compression. But the piece, and the comments that follow it, are a decent discussion of how suspicious readers are of photographs now – and should act as another warning to us that reality matters.


We all know friends and colleagues who are worried – will their paper survive, will they survive the next round of cuts … so how do you prepare yourself to either find a new line of work or keep your current one?

If you’re a (youngish) dinosaur like me, who grew up with Tri-X, Fujicolor and F3HPs you need to learn video. But not just at a “push this button, point it that way” level – you need to know it. But where so you learn it?

There have been lots of workshops over the last dozen years that have attempted to teach photojournalists multimedia skills, but most of the best ones involved a weeks worth of time and a large outlay of cash. The National Press Photographers Association has now put together a workshop that you can do on the cheap from the comfort of your own home …

The Virtual Video Workshop is coming to a computer near you. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 19th. Among the presenters are the first-place winners from this year’s Best of Photojournalism video contest, including:

  • Darren Durlach – Photographer of the Year, WBFF, Baltimore
  • Greg T. Johnson – Editor of the Year, WFAA, Dallas
  • Boyd Huppert – Three-time winner of the NPPA Special Award for Reporting, KARE, Minneapolis
  • Travis Fox – Multiple awards in the Web Video categories, Washington Post

If you can’t commit to the entire day, don’t despair — presentations will be recorded and as a benefit of registration you’ll have free online access to all sessions at your convenience.

The workshop will be delivered via Poynter’s e-learning site, News University to your computer.  All you need is a broadband connection and speakers to hear the audio.

Each session will be an hour long and will take you “behind the curtain,” with practical discussion of the skills and techniques used by each presenter in creating their award winning work. Between sessions, participants will be able to ask questions and carry on conversations with the speakers through online text chat sessions.

The event will be hosted at The Poynter Institute in front of a live audience. In these tough economic times, prices have been kept low to make the workshop accessible:

  • $45.00            NPPA member
  • $55.00            Non-NPPA member
  • $35.00            NPPA student members currently enrolled in school
  • Free                Laid-off NPPA members who held a full time job in journalism and are currently unemployed

More information on the NPPA Virtual Video Conference is available online, but, really, what more do you need to know? That’s unbelievably cheap for that sort of access, and to be able to revisit the info in an archived version after the event? Priceless, as the ads tell us.

Jon Vibe spotted this … has a selection of photos from Anthony Karen’s upcoming book, “The Invisible Empire: Ku Klux Klan.” The editors refer to the photos as “unnerving,” so you know. There is a good discussion in the captions about gaining access and trust.

So says Khoi Vinh in this New York Review of Ideas story, “Black, White and Read Online.” Can user interface design save journalism?

The new York Times‘ Lens blog is kind of rocking my world … today they have up a set of David Burnett’s images from the 1969 Apollo 11 launch. Burnett, being the genius that he is, didn’t shoot the launch – he was a young Time magazine shooter and wasn’t going to get that gig. So he pitched the idea of shooting the people who were watching, and off he went to Florida.

(And for you space junkies, you have to look at this site – They’re going to cover the launch of Apollo 11 and the landing on the moon as if it were live, 40 years later, via the web and Twitter.) (And, yes, I have the desktop widget ticking away to the launch.)

So, there’s this whole legal wrangling going on about Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster – the Associated Press claims the illustration is based on one of their photographs. Except now the photojournalist who actually took the photo is claiming it isn’t AP’s – it’s his. This should be fun …

One of the best photojournalism workshops out there is done by Western Kentucky University every fall – the Mountain Workshops. Info to apply is now online, along with some of the past work. It runs in late October, definitely worth the road trip. Spend some time with the stories and you’ll see why it’s legendary.

New series on the Washington Post called “Scene In” that looks at personal style. First segment is shot at Dupont Circle as a series of person-on-the-street interviews, which could have gone horribly awry – but didn’t. Very clean, great details, gorgeous light and composition and a nice pacing, assisted by some nat sound music.

And I love the way they’re handling the comments at the end of the video. I want that for Grady Journal.

(Seen first on the New York TimesLens blog.)

While many of our word colleagues are excited about the public release of the Reuters Handbook of Journalism, I wouldn’t expect many to start deviating from the more widely used Associated Press Stylebook.

For us, though, there is a very nice page on what you can and cannot do with photographs. I’m still processing a few bits of it, but it’s a pretty strong general guide and may be something used in future classes.

Dorothy Kozlowski sent along a link to a multimedia piece she did on the University of Georgia’s summer orientation programs. I share it because it’s a really strong example of finding a story within an event – instead of having some officials ramble about what happens at orientation, she profiled one student and parent which adds a lot of detail and life to the piece.