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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, WashingtonPost.com, 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.

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Slaid Cleaves sings that, “Everything you love will be taken away.” Do you love your online life? Robert Scoble is afraid it may all rot away on you.

Have you backed up enough today?

I have been a Joe McNally fan for … well, as for as long as I’ve known who he was. Which is a long, long time. And it’s not just because our sheepskins are stamped with the same bit of Latin (“Suos Cultores Scientia Coronat” – look it up). So the question then is, why?

Well, he’s a heck of a shooter–Life, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated. He’s a generalist, a visionary. But, more importantly, he’s a problem solver–something every one of us should aspire to. He’s also a photo geek of the highest level–he can out watt second ratio anyone I know over the cheese dip.

But he never lets that stuff get in the way of the photo–it’s always about the photo, even as he’s stringing up 10 or 20 or 30 Speedlights. So this blog post really speaks to who he is, and I love this little vignette:

Met a pretty confident, aggressive guy recently, while shooting this Geographic job that is currently turning me into an angst ridden pretzel. He went the equipment route immediately. No wonder. He had lots of turbocharged stuff, like, I don’t know, the Canon 3D Mark4S with the Eddie Bauer camo coating and the fast glass with the low rider flame decals. I was, you know, respectful, saying intelligent, pithy things, like “Whoah.” And, “Cool.” Maybe the occasional, “Yeah!”

It was an extensive recitation, to be sure. He flat out said he really had the gear down, knew how to work all of that stuff and that he could be a photog. Lock solid. Done deal. Shoots lots of pictures.  Then, he got thoughtful and said, “My big problem is content.”

You know how you’re smiling at someone and there’s that moment where your face just kinda gets fixed and slightly immobile, cause it doesn’t know what to do next? You keep smiling, but it feels like somebody just slapped on a quick facial mask, one of those gooey, crusty, pomagranate, blue green algae seaweed paste numbers? A glazing, if you will.

What do you say? In my head I’m screaming, like, “That’s a pretty big problem, dude!” But I think I mumbled something about just hanging in and working it.

Been there many times over the years. How many parents came up to me on the sidelines of some high school game and said they could send the paper photos if I couldn’t be at the next game … or wanting to know what kind of film I was shooting, because they thought that was their problem … or how they could have spent $5,000 on that big lens but, really, this blue-light-special, off brand lens is just as sharp … or, my favorite, that it’s nice I’m trying to break into the business, but I should really buy cameras that aren’t all brassed out, they don’t look very professional.

One of the things I’m most proud of here at the University of Georgia is our ability to supply every one of our students with gear. All of the intro students are issued a Canon Digital Rebel and Tamron 28-75 mm f/2.8 lens that they use for the entire semester. The upper level students get a kit built around a Canon 30D and three lenses. We also have a pretty decent pool of specialty gear they can tap into. We do this through a lot of begging and support from Canon.

But we do it because it eliminates both an economic and psychological barrier to taking–and succeeding–in the class. Any student who is eligible to take the class has the same ability to succeed as every other student. Same instruction, same gear.

So what separated out the A students from the C students? Passion. Desire. Commitment. An understanding that photojournalism isn’t about photography, it’s about content.

And that, as McNally says, is a pretty big problem.

The New York Times‘ Lens blog (really, a must read at this point) has an essay up by David Hume Kennerly where he talks about a photo he shot of former Vice President Dick Cheney at home with his family preparing a dinner meal. The image was picked up by Newsweek, but two thirds of it was cropped out. Kennerly believes this radically changed the meaning of the image and damaged his credibility.

Photojournalists fight the credibility battle every day, from combating digitally faked photos to being lumped in with the paparazzi, a group of camera-carrying cretins who have no respect for anything, particularly the people they hound. In the case of my Cheney photo, Newsweek is guilty not just of blurring but of blowing up that line between tabloid-style sensationalism and honest photojournalism.

The comments, so far, are very telling as to how people think about images – they range from folks saying they believe he’s over-reacting to those who believe an image should never be cropped.

What do you think?

Art show opening over at ATHICA this weekend that looks at the problems of the journalism industry through art. May be worth swinging by, opening is Saturday, 7-9 p.m.

FYI …

Internship Description

Are you interested in media and journalism?
Do you think campus media could do a better job of serving students?
Do you wish coverage of student issues and activism was better?
Are you interested in playing a formative role in a growing organization?

Join the effort to improve campus journalism nationwide and apply for an internship with the National Student News Service!

About the National Student News Service
We believe that the media have a duty to serve their communities—and on campus, that means students. We are working to promote and produce news stories that (1) focus on issues of student concern, (2) explore the actions that students are taking on and off campus, and/or (3) promote investigative journalism in the campus media. We produce a weekly news digest, provide ongoing trainings in critical journalism skills, and work with student journalists across the country to build a national network of student newspapers.

About Our Internships
Our interns are primarily responsible for the production of the NSNS Newswire, but our interns are involved in all aspects of what we do. This means monitoring news outlets, writing articles, conducting research projects, and helping to build our organization through networking and outreach. We also offer leadership roles within our organization, and we are interested in matching your individual strengths and interests with our service’s many needs. Some specific leadership opportunities we offer include:

Copy Editor. The copy editor ensures we’re at the top of our game, making certain our content is clear, informative, and free of errors.

Content Editor. The content editor develops a running list of fallback article topics (and angles) on student movements, administrative trends, and legislative happenings nationwide.

Recruitment Coordinator. The recruitment director works with internship offices and career centers across the country to manage our internship program and works to recruit the next wave of NSNS staff.

Webmaster. The webmaster runs our website and Twitter, and maintains our Facebook page.

And more!

To Apply:
Send resume, cover letter, and a short writing sample (500 words or less) to: info@nsns.org .

FYI …

As a reminder, the application deadline for the White House Internship Program’s Spring 2010 session is Sunday, September 20. Please encourage your students to apply.

A White House Internship provides a unique opportunity to gain valuable professional experience and build leadership skills. This hands-on program is designed to mentor and cultivate today’s young leaders, strengthen their understanding of the Executive Office and prepare them for future public service opportunities.

Our mission is to make the “People’s House” accessible to future leaders all around the nation and cultivate and prepare those devoted to public service for future leadership opportunities. Encourage your students to take advantage of this incredible opportunity!

Warmly,

The White House Internship Program

You’ll be in good company …

If you’ve never watched Rear Window, you should. But this has nothing to do with that. Monica Almeida has a post up on the New York Times’ Lens blog about shooting from her car.

Another reason why you should have your camera with you all the time – you never know what you’ll see.

Boston University’s Daily Free Press is in trouble, trouble similar to what many newspapers are facing. But, as a college daily, it has an entirely different issue – turnover. Every few semesters the staff cycles through and institutional memory vanishes.