Bruce Martin cuts bridle reins from a side of leather.

After my first two project ideas fell through, I was scrambling for another story. Luckily, I remembered seeing a tack saddle repair shop between Ashland and Hartsburg this past year! I called Mr. Martin and he agreed to let me pester him for the rest of the year with photos, interviews, audio, and video.

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Venting… Professor Agran said that was OK!

So one of our upcoming assignments will be to start playing with video. Some of my classmates and I were discussing the task.

I’m terrified.

Let me just say, I really dislike videography. Oh, don’t get me wrong, there are some great videos out there. Some people are very talented at capturing video and making it look good. What I don’t understand, is how.

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Heads-up

Guitar Lessons

Here’s a heads-up for what we’ll be going into during class. I found a wonderful example of the marriage of audio and photography in soundslides.

The story is an 80 year old woman who decided she finally had the time to take guitar lessons. She is adorable, especially since the whole group of people is mostly older women. The slideshow is easy to listen and watch, if maybe a little slower than normal. It is a good tempo for the audio and subject matter.

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Always on duty

Many times, as a budding journalist, sometimes finding a story seems to be a constant struggle. Sometimes I agonize over talking to people, trying to dredge up a story, or narrowing down my topic. However, after lecture this week I realized that I’m probably making it too hard on myself.

The video we watched in lecture arose from an off-duty journalist who happened to overhear a conversation between a Walmart shopper and a greeter. From that conversation, he heard a tidbit that made him want to learn more. From that grew an award winning story.

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Visual storytelling

First, I want to share with you all a link to a YouTube account I stumbled upon today. There are many informative videos here! One was even about wide, medium, and tight shots, just like our last assignment. If you’re interested in watching photography tip videos, click here.

This week in lecture Professor Rita Reed spoke to us about visual storytelling. One of her points was that still photos can reveal relationships in a way that words never can. It can also express emotion, feelings, and a sense of place; many other forms of story telling cannot compare to conveying a story through photography.

She then went into the details of telling a story with photos. She called it the “Life magazine formula,” or the various photos you have to get in order to make a story:

  • Sense of place- Overall establishing shot
  • Relevant detail
  • Portrait
  • Interaction in a medium shot
  • Lede
  • Clincher

With all these in mind, I set out to find an example of a good visual story! YouTube is a great place to look, and here’s one that I found. 

Now I am sure there’s millions of examples I could choose from, but I especially liked this example. One reason is the subject matter– a story about a local business and the family and community tied into it. Human interest stories are my favorite; while they may not be hard-hitting journalism, I find them to be the most captivating. Another reason a human interest story caught my eye is that these are the types of subjects I’m looking to do my J2150 final project on. A third reason I liked this was it contained each element of Professor Reed’s Life magazine formula. The photographer got many of the “3 shots,” and also many interaction and portrait photos. The simplicity of black and white photographs was simply beautiful to me.

Try going through the video and picking out Professor Reed’s formula!

Ethical photojournalism

Taking environmental or expressional portraits is a common element in picture stories– the absence of one is considered strange and a viewer will probably get a sense of incompleteness. The viewer has to be connected to the subject in order for the story to have much impact. Capturing the essence of the subject in his or her environment helps the audience understand who, what, and why the story is important or noteworthy.

This is where my understanding of journalistic portrait photography ends. I understand the importance of it, that a story must have one. However, exactly what constitutes a portrait is where my struggle begins.

Many times, you see a portrait like this:

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The Shock of Recognition, 3 out of 5 stars

For today’s blog, I am going to offer a personal critique of this multimedia piece, The Shock of Recognition. I am subscribed to New York Times’ tweets and when I read the tweet about this story I decided to give it a look. I first read the accompanying article, then the multimedia piece.

I am no expert on the good and bad of multimedia, so this opinion is completely based on my own feelings and taste.

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