Photo Shoot–Take One!

Posted on February 20, 2013 by maburdei.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Online Journalism isn’t just about words online. It’s about the multimedia components that make those words come alive.

Yesterday, Alexis Glenn and Evan Cantwell, two photographers from GMU’s Creative Services, came in to share their snap-shooting knowledge.

Below are some highlights:

  • Frame things a little differently. Most people think about photography in the same way. If there’s an event going on, they try and capture a wide-shot of the main character and the action. To impress your audience, or your boss, try taking pictures from an uncommon angle, zoom into the emotion or action, or frame the subject with unique lighting.
  • Ask the gatekeepers. If you need a photo for an event, contact the coordinator or the subject of interest and ask if you can take their photo. This may give you access to a spot other photographers in the room don’t have and make your pictures stand out that much more.
  • Be at the right place at the right time. This is easier said than done. What Alexis and Evan meant was anticipate what the right place or the right time is. Anticipate when the subject will turn to face you, for example. To better explain this, check out the next bullet point:
  • Get their early and stay late. This ingenious, though perhaps exhausting, work ethic could get you the best picture of the day. You never know what you’re going to get from your photo shoot, so being there for the longest period of time is beneficial. Staying a while gives you access to different types of natural lighting (if you’re outside) and provides opportunities to capture unexpected happenings.

Photo courtesy of A. Mansour.

  • Photography vs Photojournalism. Photography is capturing life in picture-form. Photojournalism tells a story. How you frame a subject with the lighting and composition can portray a certain perspective of your subject. If you put them in poor lighting that says something completely different than if you put them in bright lighting. Evan shared a picture he took of Pr. Obama waving at the mass of people attending one of his pre-election rallies. To show that the whole event had a sort of artificial nature to it, Evan famed Obama walking on a field of perfect (aka fake and almost neon green) grass and beneath a massive American flag. The picture looked cheesy. And that’s what Evan was going for. This was more of a pep-rally than a political occurrence.
  • Know where the light is. The best time to capture people on camera is during the “golden hour.”  Another great time is on an overcast day. To calculate the golden hour where you are, check out this nifty calculator.

Photo courtesy of Nina Scholl.

  • Check out blogs. Alexis noted that she checks out renown photography blogs on a daily basis for inspiration. Some of her favorite were Lens of the New York Times, Framework by the LA Times and NPR’s Picture Show.
  • Practice. Photography is mostly a skill. So get out there and experiment with it. Before you know it, this art will become instinctive to you.

Citizen Journalism Takes Command

Posted on February 15, 2013 by maburdei.
Categories: Uncategorized.

Citizen journalism — or collaborative journalism — is said to be replacing traditional journalism in the 21st century.

Everyone knows what traditional journalism is. Those who might be too young to recall it probably have seen an old movie or two that could give them the gist of it. Traditional journalism is all about going door-to-door for the story, hunting down the experts to give their opinions on relevant topics, and looking up information in libraries, office buildings, and nothing being with WWW dot.

In this new internet age, the spread of information is far more rapid than ever before. If you need to find the right person to interview, it’s as easy as a few key strokes on a search engine. Need to get the opinion of third parties or the public? You can find your way to them, too. And all without ever leaving your desk–or smart phone, for that matter.

In checking out Paul Lewis’ Ted Talk on Citizen Journalism from Thessaloniki, Greece, I learned more about how citizen journalism is working for news organizations in particular.

Journalism is everyone’s job. In the age of traditional journalism, expensive, professional equipment was needed to capture sound, video, and still photographs. Now, as a large portion of the population has a smart phone, all of those tools are affordably combined into a pocket-sized device. When breaking news happens, anyone at the scene can immediately capture what’s happen on their device and upload it for the world to see. This collaboration and spread of information is creating the new era of journalism called citizen journalism. The lines of who is a reporter and who is not are blurring. People around the world not directly involved in news media, now get to decide what is newsworthy. And access to links with more information on any subject reported are just as easily accessible. Social media is transforming into the new form of news media.

Even the spread of breaking news becomes faster through citizen journalism. A small post highlighting what just happened can be shared without a conclusion to the story. Adding to that post as the story progresses in real-time is a benefit of citizen journalism. Smaller posts are acceptable in this new journalism realm. Even formal news stations are taking on this method of reporting. In essence, citizens are collaborating with the news media, and vice versa, to disseminate information like never before.

Obtained from