Visual Journal(ism) – Region 1

Strohmeyer gets some ink

July 23rd, 2010 | awards, industry news, MA | 5 comments

Region One member Damian Strohmeyer was featured recently in a nice write up in his hometown Lexington Minuteman newspaper.

Read the story here.

Sports Illustrated photographer Damian Strohmeyer holds one of his most famous photos from Super Bowl 42, of the key plays in the game. He and his family live in Lexington, Mass.

Strohmeyer's award-winning photo was taken in the fall of 2009 during the Patriots/Ravens game at Gillette Stadium. Photos courtesy of The Lexington Minuteman/Ann Ringwood.

Pimping my DSLR

July 1st, 2010 | gear, multimedia, technology | 36 comments

I use a 7D now.  I’m interested in fully exploiting it as a reporting tool and found this on the Travis Fox site.

-Don

Travis Fox 7D rig

Travis Fox 7D rig

Kahn, trust and citizen photojournalism

June 30th, 2010 | ethics, images, MA, news coverage, technology | 3 comments

Boston.com blogger on Barbara Lacerra’s video of Aftab Kahn.

-Don

Boston.com

Boston.com

An EPpy for Aurora’s Lerner

June 28th, 2010 | awards, industry news, MA, multimedia, projects, web | 2 comments

Aurora in Portland has posted news about Paula Lerner’s recent award for work done for the Globe and Mail.

-Don

Behind the veil

Behind the veil

Seen Around Town

June 24th, 2010 | industry news, MA | 4 comments

Have any pictures of our R1 colleagues hard at work (and play) ? Send them here, with caption information.

Freelance photographer Joe Brown (third from left) reaches to reload his musket, during during a re-enactment along Battle Road in Woburn in May.

Freelance photographer Joe Brown (third from left), a member of Gardner's Regiment of the Charlestown/Woburn Militia, reaches to reload his musket, during a re-enactment along Battle Road in Woburn in May.

Cheryl Senter, a freelance photographer shooting for The Boston Globe, covers a June softball playoff game in Lowell, Mass.

Cheryl Senter, a freelance photographer shooting for The Boston Globe, covers a June softball playoff game in Lowell, Mass.

“It just came out of the blue.”

June 18th, 2010 | news coverage, Uncategorized | 35 comments

Another one of our family, Rodney Curtis, is in a chemo battle with Leukemia.  Former Concord Monitor and AP photographer, writer, teacher and all-around great guy.  Read his blog here and send healing thoughts while you’re at it.

-Don

All in the Family- New Englanders now with VII

June 15th, 2010 | industry news, MA, news coverage, NH, projects | 5 comments

Like the U.S. Marine Corps, and maybe the mob, you never really leave.  Great news about a pair of former New Hampshire photographers Andrea Bruce (Concord Monitor) and Peter DiCampo (The Telegraph).  The two have become tied to VII.  According to the news release Bruce for “the distribution and resale of images” and DiCampo joins the mentoring program, working under the tutelage of John Stanmeyer.

The release offers this on Andrea-

“Andrea Bruce has chronicled the world’s most troubled areas as a staff photographer for
The Washington Post for the past eight years. She covered Iraq from 2003 to the present,
following the intricacies and obstacles of the conflict experienced by Iraqis and the U.S.
military. She also wrote a weekly column for The Post called “Unseen Iraq.” Andrea
continues to work for The Washington Post as a contract photographer. Her awards include
top honors from the White House News Photographers Association (where she has been
named Photographer of the Year four times), several awards from the International Pictures
of the Year contest, and the prestigious John Faber award from the Overseas Press Club in
New York. She has also been a finalist for The Aftermath Project grant and the Alicia Patterson Foundation
Fellowship. This year she received the WHNPA grant for her work in Ingushetia. Andrea has exhibited
her work in Scotland and the United States. She is currently based in Afghanistan and is available for
photography and multimedia assignments. www.andreabruce.com

And this on Peter-

“Peter DiCampo is an American photographer who divides his time between Africa and the
Americas. He launched his freelance career in 2007 while also serving as a Peace Corps
volunteer in rural Ghana. As the media landscape shifts, and the role of photojournalism
becomes less defined, Peter prides himself on using his pictures to further educational
initiatives and cultural awareness. His photography has been used in educational programs
in the U.S. and Africa in partnership with Peace Corps, the President’s Emergency Plan
for AIDS Relief, Rotary International, and the Friends of Ghana Society. In 2009, he was
awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and was a finalist for the Open
Society Institute’s Documentary Photography Distribution Grant. Peter’s photography and multimedia work
have been published by Time, Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal and others. www.peterdicampo.com

Congratulations to both of you.

-Don

The Spill

June 11th, 2010 | images, MA, news coverage, projects | 1 comment

I read a Facebook post from Kevin Jacobus about an associate of ours and his experience covering the spill.  Timely and interesting in light of the recent coverage about, well, coverage.  Read about Nicolaus Czarnecki’s experience and see some of his photos here.  Additionally, read an interesting post out of Miami and see what’s been posted on the Big Picture. If you haven’t yet seen the local coverage you can find some at Nola.com

Nicolaus Czarnecki, Boston Metro

Nicolaus Czarnecki, Boston Metro

-Don

Hi folks. News from R1 director Don Himsel

June 9th, 2010 | awards, CT, industry news, multimedia, New England, projects | 1 comment

Hi everyone.  Thanks to Sarah for hooking me and associate director John Walker up with our blog.

I’m hoping that we’ll be able to ramp up communication between organizations and members here and in other ways.  We’d love to hear from you.  I need to know what’s on your mind and how best members can be served in these, well, dynamic times.  To start I have some recent news from Sean at The (New London) Day.  Here you go.  Now, what have you got?

-Don

From Sean-

“In October of last year Abigail Pheiffer joined our staff. Abby’s most recent gig was graduate student at Missouri and director of photography at the Columbia Missourian. Abby’s arrival kept The Day’s staffing from sinking to historic lows, though still down from the highs of around 2002-2006.

In February staff photographer Tim Martin and reporter Karin Crompton traveled to Haiti to cover earthquake recovery efforts by workers from the Catholic Diocese of Norwich, Conn., Haitian Ministries. The diocese’s mission house in Port au Prince collapsed in the quake and local workers went down to help re-build their programs. Tim and Karin reported live from the ground and The Day published a two-day special repot after their return that included audio slide shows, video, photos and stories.

http://www.theday.com/section/NWShaiti

At the end of March Chief Photographer Sean D. Elliot and reporter Ted Mann traveled to Cuba to cover the historic visit of the Freedom Schooner Amistad to the isolated Caribbean island nation. Amistad, a replica of an 1839 Spanish coastal freighter seized by the African captives being transported from Havana to Cuba’s eastern plantations, was built at Mystic Seaport and launched in 2000. Amistad America, the ships owner and operator, had long hoped for a “homecoming” for the schooner and finally got approval from both U.S. and Cuban governments this year. Elliot and Mann flew to Havana, met Amistad upon arrival in the port city of Matanzas and sailed from there to Havana where the Cuban government hosted a greeting and series of events to commemorate the United Nations World Remembrance of Slavery Day. Elliot and Mann negotiated the limited connectivity, transmitting via very slow DSL lines at hotels, or from state-run telecommunications kiosks as well as the only T1 line in Havana, at the AP bureau.

http://www.theday.com/section/NWSamistad

Less than a week after getting home from Cuba Elliot was back off to warmer climes, this time San Antonio for the NCAA women’s basketball final four, where the Connecticut Huskies won their second consecutive national title. Sean is mostly glad to be home for a while now.

The photo staff launched a new photo blog with the launch of the paper’s web site redesign last year.

http://www.theday.com/section/INTERACT010404

How could I have forgotten this one?  Peter Huoppi, The Day’s multimedia director, hauls in two regional Emmy’s in May.  Congratulations Peter.

-D

Sportsfolio and an Emmy nod

May 11th, 2010 | industry news, New England, NH | 2 comments

A documentary about the rivalry between War Admiral and Sea Biscuit showed footage of several races – the name of the reel? Sportsfolio. One word I’d like to bring back into the photo industry vocabulary. Sportfolio. Websites, contests, newspapers – the word travels well to all sorts of locations.
Dan Habib’s film, Including Samuel, received a New England Emmy nod. Action shot of Dan photographing his son – Samuel Habib, 7, sits in his power-assist wheelchair and smacks a t-ball off of a batting T.  His father, filmmaker Dan Habib, videotapes him with a Canon XL1S MiniDV Digital Camcorder in their Concord, NH, driveway. While making the film INCLUDING SAMUEL, Habib says he continually asked himself, “When do I play filmmaker? When do I just play with my kids?”

photo: Isaiah Habib/includingsamuel.com

Also Region 1 director Don passed along information that Rich Beauchesne, photographer at the Portsmouth Herald, was in a motorcycle accident.

Random blog info for a random blog day.

-Sarah Evans

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

March 25th, 2010 | gear, industry news, technology | 3 comments

The digitization of the image started over 10 years ago and now anyone can go out into the world and be a photographer. Maybe not a good photographer, but a photographer. Much of the visual industry is automated from batch processing to auto brackets to image transfers. Our collective skill has been studied and packaged into products like Sony’s remote Party Shot camera. One step away from redundancy.

So with great glee, I turn to the reporters of the world and say : your turn!

Crafty researchers at Intelligent Systems and Informatics Lab at Tokyo University created a robot that knows when scenarios change, what changes are relevant, explores a scene, interviews people and publishes items online. Imagine a reporter strapped to a Segway. A confused robot? Not with on board access to Google and the web. Singularity Hub says the robot can “gather primary source information from people in the field.” Yikes! Care to see the journalist robot flow chart?

I’ve glossed over the fact that Gonzo can snap photos. Not new technology. Granted, the robot doesn’t say soft, personable and please share your story with me. Subjects may run away in a panic. Scenario change! Item posted to web immediately!

Valued asset to news teams or do we still imagine a future where we interact as humans? The parting shot – your next partner in news.

Roll on.

-Sarah Evans

Your ad dollars in 2010.

March 16th, 2010 | business, industry news | 1 comment

Several blogs have reported the Forbes.com quote “Of the $368 billion marketers plan to spend this  year, 32.5% will go toward digital; 30.3% to print.” Easy read is the demise of print is now and move aside for a digital explosion.

But according to Outsell, the company which performed the study, “Ad spending for magazines will rise this year by 1.9%, to $9.4 billion.” That is a 4.2% increase for consumer titles. Cut down a tree, print is back!

As for more ads and aps clogging your iPhone. Marketers plan on spending 16% less on mobile in 2010. Just not making the money like, yes, you guessed – print. Read the Forbes story for the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition mobile vs mag ad revenue difference. No photos just stats.

For more on the numbers, check out DMNews. Or spend $1,295 for the Outsell study.

-Sarah Evans

No Plastic Sleeves and one Boston conference

March 10th, 2010 | business, education, events | 12 comments

A classroom moment. No Plastic Sleeves, co-authored by Endicott College professor Larry Volk, helps photographers master the art of the portfolio. Learn how to present yourself.

Reinvention Weekend: VII photo agency, Mediastorm and PhotoShelter are just a few of the headliners at American Society of Picture Professionals annual conference held from April 15-18, 2010 in Boston at the Omni Hotel downtown. Multimedia story-telling, non-profit partnerships, licensing, future of the industry, business advice.

Not an ASPP member? NPPA members are like family and get a discount rate on the total package cost. Day passes also available. Check out session descriptions and rates on the ASPP conference page.

Between the book learning and expert advice, you can be ready for whatever the market throws your way.

-Sarah Evans

Obey the Don. ‘Shaped by War’ worth every pound.

February 17th, 2010 | exhibits | 1 comment

Writers block. Frantic running on the hamster wheel of work. Fear of looking at 752 unread blog entries on Google reader. Winter. My seemingly endless holiday from the blog is now over thanks to uber photographer Don McCullin. In the mail today? His new book ‘Shaped by War’ – a book accompanying his new exhibit from The Imperial War Museum North in Manchester, England via amazon uk. I’m giddy.

Fresh and in plastic wrap.

Unwrapping the plastic.

Don.

Don is my photo crush. Astounding images despite the gear limitations. McCullin photographed with a Nikon F. That is like the first letter of the Nikon alphabet. The access and risk in a pre-embed visual era war made for lasting photo trends and styles.

I’m not a crazed fan. Not writing while hiding in the shrubs outside Don’s home in Somerset. Never heard him speak. Or talked to him. I’m a silent fan who has bought enough of his books to expect a plaque be glued onto one of his living room chairs: Made Possible by Sarah’s Book Buying.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.” – from Sleeping With Ghosts : A Life’s Work in Photography.

Sure, may be winter and skies may be gray. But get outside and feel.

-Sarah Evans

Nikon rules the ivory tower.

November 16th, 2009 | events, industry news, web | 7 comments

The data crunchers at CPOY plotted the shutter, aperture, focal length and camera choice for the 636 sports action entries for the 2009 contest. I want all contests to create pie charts for the public. World Press Photos, NPPA contest or maybe even monthly clips!

I’m impressed that anyone can capture a sports moment with a Canon Rebel. Those photographers should get honorable mention for effort in the face of equipment adversity. Is Nikon giving away free D3s? Everyone seems to own one.

According to the judges’ blog, D3 college shooters opted for a 300mm and a 1/1000 f/2.8 combo. Now go shoot some football.

-Sarah Evans

If you only do 1 thing, streamline.

November 3rd, 2009 | happy nugget, images, industry news, management, projects | No comments

In the sensory overload world, eliminating clutter and streamlining work flow can be a challenge. You can’t have that big picture success without an attention to detail. I have two good examples – one for photographers and one for editors – of pushing through nonsense to get the job done. Bring on back the Monday Happy Nugget!

Do 1 Thing is a non-profit that uses multimedia to publicize the blight of homeless youth. The group relies on all sorts of contributors from photogs to volunteers to folks to donate cash. Their website is clean and easy to read. For those visual folks working behind a desk, is your work flow this pretty?

That is such a fabulous work chart. I dream of such a work flow running seamlessly in the background of a busy day. Sigh.

Photographer Andrew Zuckerman is a bird nerd. Audubon featured his newest images. Haggart wrote about the publicity. Zuckerman has a slick and streamlined way of distributing his new book published by Chronicle Books. Cost is $60 and you can buy via Amazon. So simple his media PR applications.

(1) Zuckerman created his own bird book site: http://www.birdbook.org/. (2) He added behind the scenes videos on Vimeo. (3) Publisher Chronicle is using Scribd to give viewers peeks inside the book. (4) he is, appropriately, tweeting on Twitter (http://twitter.com/zuckermanstudio). And Facebook. That is taking new media by the horns and telling it what to do. Easy, streamlined, effective.

The streamlined happy nuggets go to Do 1 Thing co-founders Najlah Feanny Hicks+Pim Van Hemmen and Andrew Zuckerman. All cutting through the noise in the most effective ways.

-Sarah Evans

The Eagle has landed, again.

October 14th, 2009 | business, industry news, layoffs/cuts/buyouts, management, NH | 5 comments

Talk about economic recovery! New Hampshire welcomed back the Claremont Eagle Times. The newspaper shut the doors and laid everyone off in July 2009. The new owner is Sample News Group – a company that owns several local papers along the east coast. By my research, the two are perfect partners. Both entities fly very much under the radar. No website up yet. Sample News is using the slow roll-out model.

A Vermont TV station quoted publisher Harry Hartman as saying “Our belief is that a local paper, with hyper local coverage as we say, is going to be very successful in Claremont and we are looking forward to that.”

About 20 of the 62 staff laid off three months ago were hired back. Check out the WCAX video coverage about Monday’s work day as the front page headline declared: Your Daily Paper is Back.

Sample News is a family-run business based in Pennsylvania. The  founder, George “Scoop” Sample, and his wife published The Morning Times in Sayre, Pa., for 14 years before creating their media empire of dailies, weeklies, magazines and printing plants.

In 2008, Sample News bought that Sayre newspaper and another in New York according to an AP article. Scoop wasn’t the only person scooping up new titles. 2008 was an active year given economic pressures. By the third quarter, 16 papers worth a total of $883 million had been sold.

The Star wrote that Sample ‘had finely honed an efficiency model against which the papers were measured on the 15th of each month and which rested on the simple equation that, for each employee, the paper should draw $100,000 in advertising revenue annually.’ He passed away at 84 in the summer of 2008 but was remembered as a cost-cutter with a jolly personality.

The Eagle Times is jumping out of the blocks with 8,000 subscribers. Fly eagle fly.

-Sarah Evans.

Sony Party-Shot : Remotely Interested?

October 8th, 2009 | gear, technology | 6 comments

I’m on a mission to make my photo life easier when I’m not in work mode. Enter Sony. And Vanity Fair. In the newest issue, FanFair showcases a few spectacular can’t-live-without discretionary things. One item is Sony’s camera dock called Party-Shot which uses facial recognition to detect people in a room. Finds a face, takes a picture.

The result to all the moving, shaking, weaving and bobbing? “With the Party-shot personal photographer, you no longer have to worry about taking photos when you are with your family or friends,” said Shigehiko Nakayama, digital imaging accessories product manager at Sony Electronics.

So party around a brightly lit conference table with your closest friends. New media is about automated decisive moments. With wowwee‘s Rovio mobile webcam and you can be “just a click away from the people and places that are important to you.”

I’m seeing great potential for feature photo hunting in the best multi-tasking way. Strap hundreds of Party-Shots all over a city. Send out the Rovio to monitor activity levels then you’ll know which camera to download images from first. All before deadline!  :)

-Sarah Evans

Chasing the weather.

September 28th, 2009 | history, images, RI | 2 comments

A quick and torrential rain just fell through my office window drenching the curtains. In a second floor apartment, one doesn’t worry too much about flash floods. Terrible flooding in Manila after tropical storm Ketsana raged for nine hours. Areas under 20 feet of water. Storm namers need to retire the letter ‘K’ for a few years.

Jay Directo/AFP/Getty Images actually found a pink car backdrop as two people wearing pink sorted belongings in a suburb of Manila. The ability to color coordinate your disaster coverage is taking photography to a whole new media level.

What about New England? In May of 2006 the area experienced the worst worst flooding since the New England Hurricane of 1938. Back then Rhode Island did not fare well against 40 foot wall of water.

Now I’m storm chasing from my chair cruising through Flickr. Check out Mark Johnston of the Daily Herald. Little girl taking a break after dancing in the rain a week ago in Utah.

Another fabulous after rain moment by Hau Si Yuan Julian.

And then I found a link to a photographer who runs quickly toward the storm. Jim Reed.

I’ve run with gear. Mostly at parades or marathons. And I just ran into the kitchen for some Skittles. Last weekend I walked in the rain. Jim and I are practically twins. Though my preference would be to wear pants while rushing a tornado. Or tornado pants – a popular base layer in extreme sports. Jim looks too casual and exposed for a date with a swirling storm cloud.

Reed gave an interview with PopPhoto when his “Storm Chaser” book came out in paperback in early 2009 and said “Trees were coming out of the ground” during a dangerous photo moment.

Lightening tips: set focus to infinity, shutter to bulb or 10-30 seconds, aperture between 2.8-5.6 (anything higher than f/8 will get you many bolts of lightening in frame). More tips on the difference between night and day lightening – check out the weather photo tips.

Now go chase after a good weather feature.

-Sarah Evans.

Serena inspired : from pain to pretty

September 14th, 2009 | images, MA | 8 comments

Maybe Serena’s yelling spree put me in the mood for painful sports images. Or I could be cranky on Mondays. Either way, when I saw Mike Cassese’s Reuters photo of a foul ball embedded in the cheek of Minnesota Twins Justin Morneau – I went looking for more peak action moments of the uncomfortable sort.

Not to be outdone, Reuters’ photog Dominic Ebenbichler matched the ball impact and added sweat and three athletes at the womens’ Euro 2009 quarterfinal.

I saw a speed skater with a nasty blade cut and a horse flying in the air after being hit by a race car. Then Michael Dwyer of Boston saved you all from the gorefest with a brilliant golf image.

Shooting for AP, Michael caught the sun in Tiger’s club at the Deutsche Bank Championship here in Massachusetts. Since the sun now sets at 7pm in New England, even seeing a reflection made me happy. Which lead to pretty paragliders floating in air at the world championship near Rome by Tiziana Fabi/AFP-Getty Images.

Why not stay in Italy? Mark Rossi of Reuters was at the Italian Grand Prix watching bikers take curves.

We circle back home with New Orleans Saints Troy Evans – sadly no relation so I pay full ticket prices at football games – walking onto the field for a preseason game by Sean Gardner/AP.

From pain to pretty in six easy steps.

-Sarah Evans

Modular Redesigns. Good for images? Hmmm.

August 31st, 2009 | business, industry news, web | 34 comments

The LA Times always wants you to find your way home. The paper’s site redesign goals were streamlined navigation and, as CyberJournalist points out, a better video experience. While newspapers and magazines strive to break out of the rectangle confines of columns and pictures in print, seems the online world is rushing back into the modular box.

Feeling confident as a self-appointed web design critic and out to prove a point, I surfed other dailies for the LA Times twin. Lately, to me, I see a lot of boxy grids. Kansas City Star, Dallas Morning News, San Jose Mercury News, Washington Post, Miami Herald, Star Tribune. Bingo: San Francisco Chronicle (design twin!).

LA Times

San Francisco Chronicle

Sure, square square square with a rectangle thrown in for good measure. But both allow for a more flexible larger photo in the upper left corner. That is a win for the visuals team.

Not sure what to put in that high eye traffic corner? Listen to a podcast series on Adbase with art buyers.

-Sarah Evans

Resolve your fears. liveBooks series has after staff resources.

August 17th, 2009 | business, education, happy nugget, projects | 4 comments

Resolve blogger Miki Johnson and the folks at liveBooks created the After Staff series to help share, inform and enlighten ex-staff photographers from magazines, newspapers and agencies who are transitioning into an after staff career shift. The week-long series is finished and archived online.

We decided to do our part by developing this online home for resources, stories, and discussion about this sea change for photojournalism and photography in general.”

With Experts of the Day, Group Therapy and Resources, the series is full of useful, practical information you can use right now. Still not convinced? Topics include ‘Running your own business, ‘Commercial and editorial assignments,’ ‘Wedding Photojournalism,’ ‘Fine Art’ – aren’t you already doing some if not all of these things?

David Leeson, Bill Owens, Maren Levinson. Big names who have big tips. If you dream of starting a virtual newsroom or working with NGOs – more big tips from those who are on the ground working the angles.

Go ahead, give yourself the gift of free advice. Just what the economy ordered.

-Sarah Evans

Why we like the Boston Herald.

August 11th, 2009 | industry news, MA, multimedia, web | 13 comments

The paper fills an open photo staff position. Unheard of in the recession! Welcome Chris Evans. I asked Director of Photography Jim Mahoney about our new Boston photo friend, a transplant from Springfield. If you haven’t checked out the Herald’s photo and media page yet – run to look. Showcasing more galleries and photographer work.

For those Fantastic Four fans, Chris Evans, the photographer, has a celebrity twin – an actor who was born in Sudbury, MA. Photo Chris is eclipsed online by his famous name twin. If you want to check out his images at evansfotos. Neither Chris belongs in my family tree.

Sarah Evans: What does Chris’ style bring the Herald photo team?
Jim Mahoney: What helped Chris separate himself was the total package. Like most of the candidates he is very skilled at multimedia and has a good command of working on the fly, is a solid shooter with a good mixed portfolio. His prior training as a desk man and his level of newspaper experience really may have been a key in our decision to bring him. Chris also has an interest in pursuing spot news. So his all around experience and our desire to fill a desk shift and night shifts really fit our bill. We’re looking forward to seeing what he can do here after a nice run in Springfield. August 9 is his first day.

SE: How did you become aware of Chris? Any particular image or project that caught your eye?
JM: I got the word Chris had been laid off after 12 years from the Springfield paper and was very eager to see if he might want a shot at working here. His old boss Dale Ruff said he was great guy and excellent shooter. I’ve known Chris since he started at Springfield and used to see him at Pats games when I was on the street. So that was the easy part, he came in and tried out against a solid group of candidates and beat them out scoring a Page 1 pix along the way. Our other candidates put a great battle and we thank them for their interest in the job. Many are still freelancing here.

SE: As an editor, I’m both scared and inspired by the choice to use multiple extreme horizontals on the Herald’s homepage. The design definitely provides an adventure in editing. What strategy are you using to sustain the design and avoid composition repetition?
JM: I had input on the rebuild of the “Photos and Media” page but none on the front page. The front page design has evolved from the straight flat run to a design that looked similar to the NY Post to what we have now.  We’ve had good success with this page design so it has stuck. They have a couple of variations on it they use when we have the art or story that demands it.

SE: I’m very keen on the tab name “Photos and Media.” Celebrates the importance of the still image while incorporating other mediums. How do you decide what gallery goes in the top spot on the page?
JM: The photo page is about 2 months old and we’re very excited by it. It is a combination of features from other sites we liked and some in-house design. The huge gallery of galleries was a Dallas concept that you can scroll over and get the gallery or movie to pop into the player.

The still galleries are good sized and we are looking at a full screen option soon. The movies can be played full screen with a click. You can search by shooter, video and still and get the show you want. The galleries are by time loaded and have no particular sorting beyond last in. We also have the “photo of the day” idea and that is a select either by me or one of the web editors. You can also get linked to all the stories that go with the pictures and should have a link to our blog “Freezeframe” We don’t do enough blogging but it’s there.

SE: As the director of photography, what do you like best about the Photos and Media page? Flexibility? Showcasing talent?
JM: The opportunity to showcase all the various pictures and talents of the staff has been the best by product of the redesign. What a morale booster it’s been and soon we’ll be adding Pictopa for ecommerce purposes. As any photographer desires is to be publish that’s what we do!

Thanks to Jim and the Herald for doing their part in the recession.

-Sarah Evans

I didn’t make $4,000 from the Gates/Crowley arrest. You?

July 30th, 2009 | business, industry news, MA, news coverage | 2 comments

“So I grabbed my camera, because when you see police, you know something’s going on.’’ A victory for citizen journalism. Big round zero for the pros. The Boston Globe tracked down new amateur photographer William B. Carter who snapped the now famous photo of Gates on his front porch in handcuffs. Carter, a retired bank manager, has the right photojournalistic impulse but how did he find the right worldwide distribution?

Enter Demotix. The U.K. agency has recently gained strength as a professional player in the world of citizen journalism. The website quotes non-exclusive images selling between $150-3,000 and videos for $500-1,000 per minute. Royalty split 50-50. As imagined, the philosophy is our website is your website. With 6,700 contributors in 110 countries that is a big community. Pro, amateur, come one come all.

Carter found Demotix himself a few days after his photo career began. I’m guessing that is exactly the way Demotix prefers contributions to be posted. According to a PDN article, Demotix launched last December to skepticism about the financial viability of citizen journalism. In the short term, the agency is proving doubters wrong after getting two NYT front page credits during the Iranian protests.

Demonic? Pix? Tickets? Dominatrix? What does that name mean? What are they getting at? The website answer: “We are named after Demotic, the form of writing used and most easily understood by the man in the Alexandrian street in 200 BC. The word ‘demotic’, meaning ‘of the people’, is still used to refer to the language of the people; today, it describes the modern language spoken by everyday Greeks.”

Photo agency named after a form of written script. I find that entertaining. For those Greek geeks among us, check out the Wiki definition. Now go out and make some money.

-Sarah Evans

VERVE PHOTO: A new breed of documentary photographers

July 21st, 2009 | industry news, MA, projects, web | 2 comments

Lucky day for blog readers. Every month or so I google various photographers I know and like to catch up with their work. While looking for D.C. photographer Hector Emanuel, I came across an entry about him on Verve Photo – a documentary photography blog by Geoffrey Hiller.

Hector joins 23 other NPPA members who have been highlighted by Hiller. To date, over 200 photographers have been profiled. A new post every other day. What makes his blog unique is the combination of a biography and a statement by the photographer about the selected image. From a photo editor perspective, such a combo is ideal. Facts with personality.

As a nod to the Verve Photo blog format, I asked Geoffrey to send me one of his photos with a statement. I also asked him five questions about his motivation to start Verve.

———-

Geoffrey Hiller is recently home after a nine month stay in Bangladesh teaching and researching for a Fulbright project. To read about his experience go to Bangladesh Blog-Photographs and notes from Dhaka and beyond. For thirty years he has traveled across continents and to many cultures to capture ordinary moments that give life meaning. He has won awards from Apple, CNET, and USA Today and received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the California Arts Council.

In 2008, Hiller started a blog called ‘Verve Photo: A New Breed of Documentary Photographers’ to feature photos and interviews by the finest young image makers today. Verve is a reminder of the power of the still image. Verve will also point you to new photo agencies, publications and inspiring multimedia projects.

Tea Stall, Dhaka Bangladesh, 2008

About the Photograph:
“I arrived Dhaka, Bangladesh shortly after the month of Ramadan when most of the restaurants and food stalls are closed during the day. The majority of Bangladeshi’s don’t even drink water during this time. The few that partake of food do so undercover of the cloth hanging in front of the few tea stalls that remain open for business. As soon as the sun sets there is a mad rush for the evening call to prayer followed by Iftar- the traditional meal that Muslims eat to break their fast.”

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What was your motivation to not just start Verve but to use the tag line “A New Breed of Documentary Photographers.”
I began to notice that there were an increasing number of young photographers, mainly Americans but I’m sure from other countries as well, based outside of the USA. Photographers who have made a commitment to live in other parts of the world closer to where they were working. For example Istanbul is home to a number of American photographers who located there to have better access to stories in the mid-east. Others have re-located to India and China for obvious reasons.  Another advantage are the economic factors. It’s a less expensive to live in Bangkok compared to Brooklyn. I began to think of them as the “new breed.”

The other reason was my belief in the power of the still image. I’m very involved and excited about new forms of multimedia story telling but during 2007-2008 felt that some of the hype (look at where it led us) at the same time distracted us from our work as still photographers. I think this is more of an American phenomenon. European photographers still seem to be more grounded in the tradition of documentary image making.

When did you start Verve and why did you pick the first photographer to profile?
I began Verve in March 2008. The first photographer I profiled was Shiho Fukada. An outstanding photographer who recently relocated from New York and is currently based in Beijing. Her color work resonated for me. It’s full of emotion.

How do you find or select photographers? By submission or research? Since the Region 1 is in New England – I’d be curious how you came across Yoon S. Byun of the Boston Globe.
I look at a lot of work online and often one link leads to another. For example sites like Reportage by Getty feature work by many photographers in the early stage of their careers.

I discovered Yoon from the collective Aevum. I liked his personal style and commitment to his subjects.

Digital cameras have gone global. More people and cultures are familiar with the gear and cognizant of the purpose and power of photographs. Does that democratization of photography help documentary photographers get closer to subjects more quickly? or are subjects more apprehensive? Or perhaps building trust transcends technology.
It really depends on the country. Bangladesh is an interesting example. Many of the people on the street insisted on photographing me with their cell phones. After all that was only fair. Of course cultural issues play a very large part. Often one goes into these situations and the exact opposite is often the case.

On another level, not having to buy film has allowed young photographers in the “developing” world to pursue careers in photography. In the past that was a huge barrier for people who wanted to become photographers. The medium has definitely become more democratic and that is a good thing.

What is your goal for Verve in the future?

My main goal is to share my love of photography. I’m  planning a  re-design of Verve Photo this summer. Besides a place to find inspiring work the site is used as a resource by photo-editors and art directors from major publications- some photographers have sold work and have gotten assignments as a result of being showcased.  Verve photo is labor intensive in the sense that I first contact each photographer and get their permission- edit an image of theirs and request that they write something about it. It’s a time consuming process and I plan to soon recruit an intern to help with it all.

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Yes indeed, a good day to read the blog.

-Sarah Evans

Hear Weegee Speak.

July 20th, 2009 | happy nugget, history, multimedia | 6 comments

Today’s photo stars are regulars on lecture circuits, at workshops, seminars, in blogs. I don’t know Eugene Richards personally but I’ve been one of a billion in a lecture hall listing to him speak. David Burnett, Annie Leibovitz, Gary Knight, James Natchtwey, Mary Ellen Mark. All familiar voices.

Enter Weegee. I am a life long fan of Mr. Arthur Fellig. His crime scene photos are better than most detective novels. Brash and unapologetic. He was a “just the facts ma’am” photographer. I hadn’t known what Weegee the photographer actually looked like until I read a PDN article about vintage audio of both he and Cartier-Bresson being unearthed.

Nothing is as fantastic as listening to the soft French accent in comparison with the street smart sound of Weegee. Both talk about how they view their work and photography. The audio comes from Laura Levine who get the Happy Nugget. She owns Homer & Langley Mystery Spot Antiques. Word from a blogger friend of hers is that she bought 15,000 LPs – among them the “Famous Photographers Tell.”

For mp3 links go to the Boogie Woogie Flu blog.

Look for a new design and better functionality on the blog! Soon, we’ll be able to listen to audio from the blog. Maybe even video and multimedia. Dream big people.

-Sarah Evans.

Maine photographer shoots and saves.

July 13th, 2009 | ME, news coverage | 1 comment

The photographers in Maine are a sturdy bunch. Andy Molloy, a staffer at the Kennebec Journal, was out on a feature the second week of July. He stopped to photograph a few guys swimming in a local watering hole near a dam. As Molloy worked the scene, one of the men swimming drifted too close to the dam when the stream pulled one of them over and down a 15 foot water fall. According to the Portland Press Herald:

Molloy, who has worked as a first responder in the past, and two men who had been working nearby were able to pull Lawson to shore and hold him above water until rescuers arrived.

“Andy (Molloy) went into the water and dragged him to the edge,” Roche said. “He was the man who saved (Lawson) from going under permanently.”

A life jacket and an ambulance. Two more things to put in your bags when out shooting. Thanks to Damon Kiesow, our NPPA member to the north, for the alert.

-Sarah Evans.

Alteration and communication.

July 9th, 2009 | ethics, industry news, management, web | 4 comments

Photojournalism’s digital alteration prevention strategy seems to be to wait for an infraction, blame photographer, check photographer off list of future offenders, put ethics in check, feel better about industry, wait for next infraction.

Perhaps digital alteration will always be the case of a rogue photographer. But we won’t know because we tend not to discuss other factors – like the assignment process between editors and photographers. Are editors and photographers communicating effectively? We discuss ethics on a global industry level but what about between just you and me?

From a New York Times correction explaining the removal Martins’ photographs from a gallery:

“Had the editors known that the photographs had been digitally manipulated, they would not have published the picture essay, which has been removed from NYTimes.com.”

Why didn’t the editors know? Are editors off the hook in cases of manipulation? Always hoodwinked? Taken by surprise? As an editor, I only like good surprises. I want more control over the final product.

The Martins situation brings up very interesting questions about the working relationship between editors and photographers. Specifically freelancers who are privy only to information given by editors. Are we communicating effectively?

What I know about Martins after about 15 minutes of research is that he a fine art photographer and not a photojournalist. On the Edgar Martins website, he describes his artistic expression.

“My work explores the concept of landscape as an idea and a form and summons a disquieting conjunction of reality, hyper-reality, fantasy and fiction.”

“Photography offers me a structure, the structures of the world. Using these as a starting point I am then able to redefine the parameters of the medium (whatever these may be).”

Martins has won awards for his landscape work – notably for Personal/Fine Art Series in the 2008 New York Photo Awards and second place at the Sony World Photo Awards. Fine art is not just Martins’ personal work. Fine art is Martins’ work.

The definition and purpose between the documentary and the fine art worlds are vastly different. Martins is a fine art photographer who did an editorial assignment for the New York Times newspaper. That doesn’t excuse him if he lied about alterations. But as an editor, for me, hiring Martins for an editorial job puts a few more layers of complexity into the assignment. I wish we would hear more from the NYT editors who worked with Martins about the process.

What can editors do to help mitigate misunderstandings or misinterpretations of definition and purpose with freelancers and staffers? I’m starting a list from my own experience.

1. Don’t assume. Send out ethics guidelines: Don’t assume a photographer knows your expectations or ethics guidelines of your publication. Email ethics guidelines separate from the contract. Talk about the guidelines before you start the assignment process.

2. Know the style and background of the photographer: Spend time researching a photographer’s work and philosophy. I am a proponent of trying new styles and new talent. But everyone has a comfort zone and if you ask a photographer to jump out of that zone be clear on your expectations. Portrait photographer shooting a riot. Fine art photographer shooting an editorial job. Editorial photographer shooting a commercial campaign. All possible scenarios but be realistic about results and clear on expectations.

3. Request a loose edit for the first few times you work together: Spot trouble early. Multiple frames from the same moment can be very illuminating. Once, while editing an assignment sent by a freelance photojournalist, I noticed that a poster had been removed from a wall between two sequential images. The photographer said the background looked too busy so physically moved the poster off the wall while on-site and continued shooting. We only published unaltered scenes with the hanging poster intact.

4. Problem? Be honest with yourself and others: In regards to composition, content, ethics, post-production and final results, I approach working with freelance and staff photographers the same way. If an assignment doesn’t go as planned, I am very honest with myself in terms of fault ratios. Editors have a responsibility not only to photographers but to the industry to inform, communicate and listen.

Two editors worked on the assignment with that poster moving photographer. Neither of us sent out the company’s ethics guideline which was standard to do with first-time freelancers. Busy office, blah, blah, blah. Should the photographer had known not to move the poster? Absolutely. Was my responsibility to send out the ethics email? Yes. Did I? Nope. I made sure my mistake was a learning moment for the photo department.

5. My ethics may not be your ethics: In grad school, one of my internships was at La Nacion in San Jose, Costa Rica. Great experience. During government press conferences, food buffets were set up for the press courtesy of the government. I never ate. The University of Missouri-Columbia taught me avoid all conflicts of interest. But different countries, different rules. The Costa Rican reporters ate without impropriety because they were following the accepted rules. My ethics may not be your ethics so make sure to communicate with the photographer.

6. Open door policy: Don’t hand off an assignment and sit silently for images. Let the photographer know you’re only a phone call away. Encourage questions and suggestions. Building a relationship helps build trust and understanding.

Let’s not wait for the next infraction. Communicate early and often. Be truthful.

-Sarah Evans

Kodachrome was made by God and Man.

June 24th, 2009 | history, industry news, news coverage | 2 comments

Leopold Godowsky, Jr. and Leopold Mannes, two musicians, invented Kodachrome in the early thirties. God and Man. Eastman Kodak is stopping film production after 75 years. The news might be sad, but the media is having great fun with headlines thanks in large part to Paul Simon. He should get royalties for such liberal lyric use. For your entertainment, a few of my corny favorites.

They Gave Us Those Nice Bright Colors
New York Times

Mama, they took our Kodachrome away
Las Vegas Sun

Picture This: Kodak Cans Kodachrome
Barrons

Sorry, Paul Simon, Kodak is taking your Kodachrome away
Richmond Times Dispatch

Kodak is the mama taking Kodachrome away
another try from Richmond Times Dispatch

Kodachrome, the wicked world, and the sunny day
Tech Gear News

Kodak is taking Kodachrome film away forever
Chicago Tribune

Kodak winds last rolls of Kodachrome
CNET

Not a sunny day: Kodachrome fading to oblivion
USA Today

Kodachrome is killed by its digital offspring
U.K. Telegraph

An Ode to Kodachrome
Wall Street Journal

No more bright sunny days
BBC

My grandma, Gladys, used Kodachrome film in 1953 to photograph her mom during the safety test aboard a ship bound for Sweden.

For more fabulous Kodachrome color, check out Guy Stricherz’s ‘Americans in Kodachrome 1945-1965′ or listen to him talk about his photo book. Or a National Geo tribute to the film with video. Steve McCurry made that iconic girl portrait with Kodachrome. Actually, according the the Eastman Kodak press release, McCurry will be given one of the last rolls and images will be donated to the Eastman House.

I can only hope McCurry plans to shoot at Utah’s Kodachrome Basin State Park.

-Sarah Evans

Word of the Day: Transition

June 19th, 2009 | business, industry news, layoffs/cuts/buyouts, multimedia, web | 3 comments

As some of you may know, I am in the midst of the longest job search in the history of long job searches. We timed a move to Boston in 2008 to coincide with the stock market crash. With such pitch-perfect timing, rather than rent a car to move north I should have bought a lot of lottery tickets. I could haven been a cowboy in Winner, South Dakota.

The budget theme for June is ‘life after newspapers.’ Both NPPA (in mag not online yet) and PDN have stories out interviewing photojournalists who either picked themselves up after a layoff or buyout or who saw the crash coming (I didn’t get that call) so got out while the getting was good.

David Leeson, a Dallas Morning News buyout recipient, spoke to PDN about transition challenges for photojournalist breaking into selling their brand of storytelling outside of the media market. The story, Multimedia Journalists Discover Life After Newspapers, is up and worth the read.

Leeson says, “One thing you learn as a still photojournalist is how to get in and out and produce something with high quality. We know how to tell a story. We don’t have to story board it, and go through all these pre-production meetings. All I need is a grasp of what the client is hoping for. In newspapers, you get an assignment with a basic outline of the story, and beyond that you’re expected to find it.”

Good lesson for us all to remember. Skills are transferable but you need to describe the skill set and explain how each works to your advantage in the new industry. An art buyer is a photo researcher is a photo editor is a PR executive is a photo rep. Get out and sell yourself. Go to page 5 of the PDN article for a primer on starting a production company.

Geri Migielicz of Story4 has useful advice from the same article.

…if you’ve done multimedia production at your newspaper job, you have pitched and managed projects for a client: the newspaper that you worked for. Pitching and managing a project for another client—whether it’s a non-profit, an NGO, or a private company—isn’t such a leap.

Given the folks interviewed for both PDN and NPPA stories, my advice to all of us in the midst of transitioning and selling? Get yourself a Pulitzer Prize.

Haven’t won yet? You can find a shirt that says “This is What an Unknown Artist Looks Like” which a friend of mine just bought. I wanted to give you a link but can’t find one. So instead, buy the funny ‘Honk if you’re about to run me over” shirt at Threadless. Combines the classic rally poster with a useful safety message.

Wear the shirt next time you are out shooting a multimedia campaign for your favorite NGO.

-Sarah Evans