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Category Archives: Video

Find a comfy chair with a good WiFi signal and stock up on snacks–you’ve got about 90 minutes until the National Press Photographers Association’s Virtual Video Workshop starts up.

Lined up for the day:

  • 10:30 a.m., Darren Durlach, WBFF-TV in Baltimore, NPPA’s 2009 Ernie Crisp Television News Photographer of the Year, “Six Essential Skills To Maximize Your Storytelling Process”
  • 11:45 a.m., Boyd Huppert, KARE in Minneapolis, a three-time winner of the NPPA Special Award for Reporting, “Storytelling in The Moment”
  • 1 p.m., Greg T. Johnson, WFAA-TV in Dallas, NPPA’s 2009 Video Editor of the Year, “Seven Daily Habits of Highly Effective Editing”
  • 2:15 p.m., Pierre Kattar,, Emmy Award-winning video producer, “Let’s Dance–Finding The Right Voice and Approach For Your Stories”

If you REGISTER NOW, you get a great rate–$35 for student members, $45 for members, $55 for everyone else. AND–even if you can’t watch it live, you get access to the archived versions. If you register later, you can still see the archived sessions but it’ll cost you more.



The Virtual Video Workshop – A Workshop you can attend in your pajamas.

Darren Durlach
The Durlach Attack – essential skills at the speed of news
Will demonstrate how “staying in the moment” and being an “active photographer” leads to better sound and pictures. He’ll also show some recent stories he wrote as well as shot.

Boyd Huppert
Storytelling in the Moment.
Suggestions for keeping the action going and keeping the story real; including active interviewing, active voice, and writing with natural sound.

Greg T Johnson
Seven Daily Habits of Highly Effective Editing
Great editing isn’t magic and these seven techniques can help improve anyone’s editing.

Location – a computer near you (all you need is internet access)
Date Saturday, September 19th.
Time 10:30 a.m. EST – approximately 4:30 p.m. EST
Sessions will run an hour, followed by a half hour online “chat” with the speaker.
Sessions will be taped and available online to all who register.

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.

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. During and between sessions, participants will be able to question speakers through online text.
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

Visit to register.

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.

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.)

Also first seen on the New York Times‘ Lens blog … a marvelously simple and effective documentary piece on the conversion of the abandoned High Line railway into a park. The framing of the two interviews is bordering on exquisite and there are some artsy camera movements that work amazingly well to help the viewer get s sense of place and scale.

For those who think about online compression, around 2:30 into the piece is a massive pan – and the compression is just about killing it, wiping out most of the detail. The smaller movements work, but that big one – while it would look fine at full resolution – really suffers here.

My good friend Seth Siditsky at the Newark Star-Ledger sent along a link to his staff’s latest project – a look at a chain of kidney donors and recipients. It’s an amazing story, and one that works amazingly well in video. Spend the time watching it.

One of the easiest ways to start doing simple video is with a Flip Ultra or Mino – and you can get the Mino for $95, shipped, now on We have an Ultra and a newer Mino and use them far more than we expected to – great fun and, if you treat it well, great quality.

At the end of every semester, the deluge comes in: semester-long projects, last minute reshoots – they all flood in. They come on my class server, by CD and flash drive. In the last week alone, I have ingested 8 gigabytes worth of images, audio and video … the little iMac in my office was really looking forward to this weekend, after having pulled two over-nighters compressing video. 

But it’s worth it … I think … as two of the Documentary Photography projects are now in the wild. The first was a look at Rural Health Care issues in the counties around Athens, done in collaboration with Prof. Patricia Thomas’s graduate Health and Medical Reporting class. Students tackled everything from aging to gangs in text, photos, audio and video. Considering only two of my students had ever shot video seriously before this semester, the results are pretty amazing. Spend some time with those stories.
On Friday, I built and released the second project – A Day at UGA: One campus, one hour, one story. This was a joint effort with Prof. Valerie Boyd’s class and is fairly close to a dreaded “day in the life,” but man … some of these stories just rock. My sixteen students worked on profiles with the sixteen students in Prof. Boyd’s class, but that left eight hours uncovered … so my students paired up and did eight more. 
We’ll launch one more project next week – and it’s huge. I’m hopefully these sixteen students realize what they’ve accomplished this semester. It would have been very easy for this class to become a technical class – shooting HD video, editing in Final Cut Pro, refining audio – but they never once looked at it that way. During our weekend workshop in early March, when they were struggling with the tech stuff, they did not waste time with editors asking about those problems – they talked about their stories. 
And that, to me, is what this class was all about. Stories. 

CNN has apparently modified a Flip camera with a fisheye lens and is giving you – yes you!a tour of their work space

Nice to see they’re using technology to save journalism …

(Okay, that was pretty snarky, and it is kind of cool …)

Embedded video from CNN Video

Over the last few months, the students in Documentary Photography have been working with students in Prof. Patricia Thomas’ Health and Medical Reporting class to look at health care issues in the rural counties around Athens. A few moments ago, the final package went live on The Grady Journal.

Working in teams, 22 students produced eight videos, eight audio slide shows and eight text stories covering everything from aging to teen pregnancy. Go take a look and leave a comment, they’d love to hear them.