Teaching Examples

Three ideas to improve your motion video
June 22, 2007, 7:41 pm
Filed under: photography, storytelling, video

A really nice column by my friend Regina McCombs: Meaning in Motion: Ken Burns and His “Effect.”

Burns believes the photograph is still the core of visual storytelling, that “the still image is still the essential building block, the DNA, at least photographically speaking, of visual creation.” From that foundation emerge three concepts to consider when working with movement and photography.

Yes, she interviewed Ken Burns about the Ken Burns Effect!

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Double dust-up in online photography world
May 17, 2007, 3:02 pm
Filed under: community, online, photography

Part 1 was the deletion of a very successful Flickr member’s photo, a subsequent apology from Flickr management, and a discussion about copyright and disputed naïveté. (The member is Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir, whose commercial success via Flickr was recently the subject of a fascinating post at the photo-flash blog Strobist. Photocritic posted a great how-to about what to do when people steal your photos, which is connected to why Rebekka’s deleted photo drew Flickr management’s attention in the first place.)

Two points of value I saw in the discussions and events:

(a) Once again, we witness that people do perceive they are part of a private and personal society — a community, if you will — when they belong to a purely online (and even purely commercial) group. An earlier example was the uprising at Facebook in September, when it imposed a News Feed feature on users that made them feel virtually naked.

(b) Anything you put on a server that you do not control might be deleted, erased, destroyed. The simple lesson: Always keep backups of your work. The broader lesson: Somebody else owns the rights to that space. The owner makes the rules.

Part 2 was the departure of Derek Powazek and Heather Champ from 8020 Publishing and JPG Magazine. There’s a similarity to Part 1 because contributors to JPG Magazine have that same sense of belonging to a society (and in fact, JPG Magazine grew out of a Flickr group). There’s also a link in that Champ works for Flickr, although that didn’t bear directly on the JPG Magazine incident, so far as I know.

JPG Magazine has now cut ties with its origins (see the bottom half of the About page):

The first version of JPG Magazine was created by the husband and wife team of Derek Powazek and Heather Powazek Champ. It was a quarterly printed publication devoted to brave new photography that took submissions over the internet and printed on good old fashioned paper. It was edited by Derek and Heather, printed in digest format, and sold through Lulu.com.

These first six issues of JPG Magazine served as inspiration for the new JPG Magazine, and they are available exclusively through Lulu.com.

You’ll notice there are no discussion forums at the JPG Magazine site.

I was on the verge of subscribing to JPG Magazine last month, but I subscribed instead to Wholphin, a quarterly DVD of hard-to-see video published by McSweeney’s. Now I won’t subscribe, because part of what appealed to me about JPG Magazine was the same thing that led me to join the Flickr group — a sense of community and people doing something in a peer-to-peer manner. Now it’s clear that it’s just a business.

Like Facebook, the printed magazine was always “just a business.” Don’t think I’m naïve. But also, don’t underestimate the power and commitment of a group of people who feel like — no, believe — they are part of a community.

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How Flickr could help your career
April 20, 2007, 3:26 pm
Filed under: online, photography, photojournalism, socialnetworks

From a fascinating post on the popular (and excellent) flash photography blog, Strobist:

While Guðleifsdóttir’s experience is certainly the most famous Cinderella Story of the Flickr world to date, it is by no means unique. The explosion of digital photography — and legions of talented new photographers — is combining with the leveled playing field of ubiquitous access to photographs via sites like Flickr. Professional photo buyers are combing through thousands of photos in search of new photographers like you.

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NPPA – BOP winners: Best Multimedia Package
March 25, 2007, 1:40 am
Filed under: journalism, multimedia, online, photography

Among sites with more than 2 million page views per month:

  1. Being A Black Man (washingtonpost.com) Excellent, humongous. Probably the biggest Web package ever made. But of immense journalistic value. I’m not complaining.
  2. The Lifeline (latimes.com)
  3. A Sister’s Gift (Rocky Mountain News) Well done, but long.
  4. (HM) The Vanishing Class (latimes.com) Too many pieces and too disconnected for me to get anything out of this. I don’t like the photo interface at all; it’s too clumsy.
  5. (HM) Altered Oceans (latimes.com)

Among sites with fewer than 2 million page views per month:

  1. Frank Sandoval: A Survival Story (San Jose Mercury News)
  2. Jordan’s War (roanoke.com)
  3. AIDS Orphans (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
  4. (HM) Real to Reel (The Post-Crescent, Appleton, Wisc.) This blog features Mike De Sisti’s video work, which is really charming.

Among unaffiliated, and Web-only, journalism sites:

  1. Kingsley’s Crossing (MediaStorm) I like this story even though it’s so long.
  2. Atacama Stories (UNC Chapel Hill; see the credits page) A team from UNC produces an amazing project every summer via a partnership with a university abroad.
  3. Bloodline (Kristen Ashburn/MediaStorm)

See more winners.

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Aerial photography on a low, low, low budget
March 20, 2007, 10:11 pm
Filed under: online, photography, video

I laughed when I saw this, but it also made me want to go out and try it myself.

See the post about how this was done with a point-and-shoot (still) camera and a $58 toy plane at The Long Tail blog.

Found via Online News Squared.

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Eight women, eight stories
February 19, 2007, 2:14 pm
Filed under: audio, online, photography, slideshows

Just found this — a really nice collection of stories from Will Yurman of The Rochester (N.Y.) Democrat and Chronicle, from October 2006:

My Body Myself

First, the subject matter is stuff women think about all the time, starting at an early age. The audio interviews are great, well edited, and just so personal … wonderful.

Second, the photography is really cool. It’s all model shots, wholly self-conscious. But it’s a blend of behind-the-scenes and “the scene” all superimposed. Such a creative approach. I admire photojournalists like Will more than I can say.

I e-mailed Will with my compliments and asked him some questions. He did everything you see and hear in this package — photography, lighting, audio interviews and the Flash (it’s not Soundslides; correction: it uses the Soundslides Component for Flash). When I asked him how he got such candid interviews, he replied: “I grew up with three older sisters and my mom — so maybe that helped.”

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People who love photography and people who love stories
January 17, 2007, 1:12 pm
Filed under: journalism, online, photography, photojournalism, video

Rob Finch “made the transition recently from being a bad-ass photojournalist to [becoming] the first at his paper to embrace video and figure things out as far as the direction he’d like to see it go,” writes Melissa Lyttle, who is a bad-ass photojournalist herself — and the driving power behind A Photo a Day.

In APAD’s first long-form interview, Finch said:

My advice is that we all must embrace change. Don’t push video/audio/whatever away. Celebrate what it can do. There are two specific camps of people in our still picture world. There are people who love photography and there are people who love to tell stories. People who love photography only for the act of photography might have some trouble in the future assuming they want to work at a media outlet. Those who want to tell stories have a bright future….

I don’t think we can think of ourselves of photographers anymore. If that is what you believe your job is, I don’t think you will have a job for very long. We need to put content first and then come up with the best way to tell that story, in multiple forms.

Read the full interview with Finch at APAD.

Finch was named POYi Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2003.

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