ARCHIVES

ON STORYTELLING: IT’S NOT THE GEAR, IT’S YOUR SKILL

April 6th, 2012

With the release of the new Nikon D800 and the Canon 5D Mark III, both amateur and professional photographers have new tools at their disposal. Questions abound: Which camera is better? Should I upgrade? What will it let me do? Should I go pure-video like a Canon C300 or a Sony NEX-FS700?

I am appreciative of the Canon 5D Mark II; I own two, and these compact DSLR’s have allowed me to shoot more video for my clients and for my personal projects. I’m enjoying the medium and how the combination of video, audio, and stills gives me more tools for storytelling, in spite of the increased complexity and greater workload. Will I upgrade? In due time, when it makes financial sense and there’s a need. For me, my main concerns are better ergonomics, audio capture, rolling shutter and moire.

The thing is, it’s just gear, and without story you’ve got nothing.
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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, coolness, editing, gear, human rights, inspiration, iPhone, journalism, media, technique, technology, video, war, work of others Comments Off on ON STORYTELLING: IT’S NOT THE GEAR, IT’S YOUR SKILL

KIVALINA WORK FEATURED IN WINk MAGAZINE

August 26th, 2011

My Kivalina work was recently included in a grant to the Open Society Institute by film maker Jenni Monet as part of her distribution plan. Subsequently, the photo agency Worldwide Image Navigation (WIN-Initiative), which holds an “image collection from the independent minds and unique creative perspectives of gifted photographers worldwide,” featured my work with a joint interview in their WINk Magazine, an online publication with a very attractive presentation. Click through to Page 75 to read the article.

The slow creep of things like climate change means stories created a few years ago are still extremely relevant. In 2008 I went to the remote Alaskan village of Kivalina on assignment for Germany’s Spiegel Magazine. My five days in Alaska was an amazing experience; having grown up in the northwest and having a librarian for a mother, I was exposed to many stories about native cultures. Reading about whale hunting is one thing, actually going out on the sea ice for a whale hunt is something I’d never imagined actually doing.

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COMMITTING TO LONG-FORM STORYTELLING

June 29th, 2011

I couldn’t help but write about another Tucker Walsh post at the Digital Naturalist because he interviewed Noah and Tim Hussin or America reCycled. I was one of the 103 backers who donated a (meager) sum to their Kickstarter campaign, and continue to enjoy their long-form storytelling as they bicycle across the country and document “people…finding innovative ways to come together and make revolutionary change on a local level, to regain control of their lives, rediscover independence, and recycle the American Dream.”

Along with their Kickstarter campaign, they won a $5000 grant from National Geographic, have a PayPal button, and manage to get by living simply on the road.

It’s definitely a commitment to a lifestyle, and having met Tim Hussin in the MediaStorm office (he’s another alumnus of the MediaStorm family…and another Tim) before he left on the trip, I enjoyed getting a glimpse of how the journey is unfolding. If you read the interview, you’ll find a lot of the MediaStorm ethos in the brothers’ words, as well as some insight in their process.

Say the brothers (and I agree):

“…it’s common that people hardly spend time producing their stories, so how can they expect people to spend the time to watch them? We spend months shooting and editing some of the longer stories in this project, so in the end 20 minutes of material isn’t really too much.

“We firmly believe that as long as a story is interesting and engaging, then people will continue to watch and listen. And it’s important to show and prove to people that the content you produce is in fact worth dedicating more than three minutes of your time to. Then, when people come to your site to watch whatever you’ve produced, they’ve already set aside enough time to watch it all. ”

Set some time aside, I think you’ll enjoy it.

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, coolness, inspiration, media, multimedia, work of others Comments Off on COMMITTING TO LONG-FORM STORYTELLING

FROM JAPAN’S TSUNAMI

March 16th, 2011

Matt Allard, for Al Jezeera, and Dan Chung, for the Guardian, have filed some video reports from Japan’s earthquake and tsunami.

Allard for Al Jezeera (more newsy):

Japan Earthquake, Natori from Matthew Allard.

Chung for The Guardian (more cinematic with a lot of dolly shots):

Aftermath – The Japanese Tsunami from Dan Chung.

Courtesy of DSLR Shooter.

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, media, video, work of others Comments Off on FROM JAPAN’S TSUNAMI

AIRING ON LINK TV: SREY NETH, CROSSING THE GENDER GAP

March 15th, 2011

Several months ago I entered the Link TV ViewChange contest, looking for another means of distribution for a story I felt needed to be told. As a finalist, I found Srey Neth’s story would see the distribution I hoped for. I think it is a great example of independent distribution leveraged by social media.

Yesterday, Link TV told me they’ve compiled half-hour episodes from the ViewChange entries. Srey Neth’s story will air in the “Crossing the Gender Gap” episode.

The film will air Wednesday, March 16th at 8:30pm PT/ 11:30pm ET and Saturday, March 19th at 6:30pm PT/ 9:30pm ET on DIRECTV 375 / DISH Network 9410. Srey Neth: Victim to Survivor will be part of an episode featuring inspiring stories of women fighting poverty, disease, and oppression in the developing world.

The film is also available to watch at Hulu.com/viewchange and Link TV is planning to disseminate my film through other outlets as well such as Snag Films, WGBH’s “World” Channel (which is carried on 150 PBS stations), and other international stations.

Many thanks again to Transitions Global and Srey Neth who offered me access and their trust to tell an important story.

www.linktv.org/programs/viewchange (where the “Crossing the Gender Gap” episode will be available online, starting later today)
www.viewchange.org/videos/srey-neth-victim-to-survivor (Srey Neth video on ViewChange.org)

@ViewChange (twitter)
@LinkTV (twitter)
facebook.com/viewchange
facebook.com/linktv

And don’t forget my Facebook Page and Twitter Feed!

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Posted in activisim, advocacy, articles, award, coolness, events, human trafficking, media, multimedia, publishing, recognition, social justice, video Comments Off on AIRING ON LINK TV: SREY NETH, CROSSING THE GENDER GAP

FROM AFGHANISTAN

March 4th, 2011

This is a series of shorts that I feel tells a story about a place I’ve never been, through the eyes of a military that I do not know. However, as a viewer, I found these shorts had impact and provided me with a sense of what it is like to be a foreign soldier in what is now the longest war fought by the United States. Sadly, it is just one of many wars the Afghans have fought over the decades.

I don’t have a real comment nor a proposed solution. Staying the course means more lives, more money, and more trouble with our relationships to Pakistan and India. To withdraw will likely mean more Afghan lives–especially those of women–and, again, Pakistan and India. Much smarter people than myself have run the scenarios. They know the players and possible outcomes, so I’ll let them speak about it. Either way, we’re there.

I compiled these clips is because I believe we cannot forget what our country is doing and we cannot forget the people who are doing it. In our name. Regardless of how you or I feel about the war itself. I have also compiled these clips because of the journalists who are there, and the risks they face to bring this war home to their viewers.

This first clip is in French. I don’t speak French, but in a way that makes me pay more attention to what is happening. I think the film crew did a good job of capturing some of the life on base, but the reason I’ve put this in here is because of what happens at roughly 06:15. It’s news video, not multimedia, but make the time to watch it. Let the moments build.

There are six more clips in this post. See them after the jump.

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Posted in afghanistan, articles, conflict, journalism, media, video, war Comments Off on FROM AFGHANISTAN

EBAY: THIS IS HOW I SHOP

February 18th, 2011

shot_1296176000907In January, I spent 14 days on assignment for eBay and PayPal. The work was through the multimedia agency Aurora-Novus.

We had a firm–and close–deadline as the video would lead eBay CEO John Donahoe’s presentation at the company’s Analyst’s Day. “This is How I Shop” is about the convergence of online and offline shopping and how eBay and PayPal are well positioned to support this trend. I learned a lot about the company from the client, who traveled with us to interview the customers. I had no idea about some of the technologies being integrated into daily life; as the client said “the future of shopping is now.”

Our itinerary evolved as we worked. We shot in San Francisco, LA, New York City, Houston, and New Orleans, sometimes buying flights only a day ahead. I was Director, and I shot video and stills, but I couldn’t have done this without strong second shooters. It was a pleasure to work with talented people like Dane Henry of Deep Roots Media, Andrew Hida, and Wes Pope. Each joined me on a leg of the journey, bringing their own skill set and creative eye to the project. I would love working with all of them again. (iphone photo by Wes Pope)

I then spent a long weekend of long days working with Aurora-Novus video editor Jason Bosch, eating take out Indian and Thai food in the editing suite as we pulled select clips, hashed out the stories, and began building what became the final piece.

It was exhausting, but it was fun; I just wish I’d been able to enjoy each city a little more!

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Posted in Canon 5D Mark II, client, clients, media, multimedia, photography, video Comments Off on EBAY: THIS IS HOW I SHOP

ONE-EIGHT BASETRACK: TERU KUWAYAMA’S EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA PROJECT IN AFGHANISTAN

December 21st, 2010

Teru_1-8Journalism is not dead, in spite of what many in the industry bemoan, it’s simply that the industry is changing. Drastically. Photojournalist Teru Kuwayama is doing just that: frustrated by traditional outlets, he spent the last year as a Knight Fellow researching new means for content distribution. This year, he’s surprised himself by winning a Knight Foundation Grant to use his new content distribution model to report from Afghanistan.

Audiences are increasingly fragmented, diverse in their interests and able to refine how, and what, they view. Largely because of the internet. RSS feeds, Digg, Facebook, Twitter, etc. are online tools allowing viewers to pick and choose their content; no longer are they bound to the morning paper and the five o’clock news hour.

Teru_UKAs content dissemination changes, so does the role of the journalist. Objective reporting is the journalist’s creed–though “objective” is becoming increasingly less so (think FOX News versus NPR).  Journalists can now publish via the web, circumventing the filters of large publishers, and so can citizens, eyewitnesses to events. Being so close to the source, their view may be myopic and rife with opinion. This may be where the journalist’s role is changing. He or she may become more a curator of information provided by eyewitness sources, feeding to the web. That means journalists need to maintain a technological leg-up on content distribution, utilizing and designing new platforms. The tool is no longer just the pen or camera.

Where does this leave traditional media outlets? They’re still powerhouses, backed by infrastructure and revenue, but I believe as their content suffers, as viewers grow increasingly fragmented, and as technology allows additional means of distribution, traditional media will need to evolve or be relegated to the back channels of the new media world. Which may not be a bad thing.

NYT-lens-basetrackWhat Kuwayama has done is use largely existing technology and code to create a website that leverages social media. His publication is Basetrack, his distribution Facebook and other social media, his photojournalists are himself, Balasz Gardi, and Tivadar Domaniczky in the field, with support from the States. His reporters are the marines, their family, and their friends who also become their readers. It is a social media microcosm of news dissemination curated by  journalists.

Does this mean Facebook is the new news platform?

Read More About Kuwayama and Basetrack:
• Basetrack.org
• Q&A at journalism.co.uk
• On PBS.org
• NY Times Lens Blog interview by war photographer Michael Kamber
• Knight Foundation Grant

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Posted in afghanistan, inspiration, journalism, media, photography, publishing, technique, technology, war, work of others Comments Off on ONE-EIGHT BASETRACK: TERU KUWAYAMA’S EXPERIMENTAL MEDIA PROJECT IN AFGHANISTAN

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