The Power of Video

26 04 2010

In response to Herbert Zettl’s “Video Basics 3” Chapter 5.

Up to this point, our entire projects have consisted of photography and writing. Now it is time to get a little more creative. What I learned from the video reading assignment is that taking video can be as interesting and creative as you want it to be.

Creating a new angle or a new look can make the everyday interview looking incredibly engaging. Rather than shooting someone head on at medium length away, why not shoot from a corner of the room at a different height? There are so many options.

I had never capture a lot of video before, but since working on this project I have found myself bringing my flip camera with me everywhere just I case I can get a good clip. You never know when you will need to capture something.

What I liked about the videotext was that they gave you all sorts of information and tips as well. It was a great article.


A Visual War

22 03 2010

A combined response to The Long Haul, Sides of the Wire, and How I cover the Afghanistan war with the 5DmkII.  

If we have learned anything new from recent wars overseas, it is that they have been more visually available than ever. With the technology available today, images can be sent and posted all over the world. This is something that has never been seen before with any other conflict. The impact of a single photo can be so meaningful, especially in incredibly dangerous circumstances. Hope, joy, sorrow, and tragedy are all readily present. Emotions are just flooding out of people’s faces in these types of images. It is remarkable to view. As in “The Sides of the Wire”, the American presence overseas in Afghanistan makes life different for the everyday citizen. American soldiers are now as common as the man selling bread on the street or the woman walking to a mosque. One could argue Americans are nowhere near as affected by the constant reminder of war as the people of Afghanistan. But thanks to photojournalists, we can now be exposed to more information than ever before.

A different kind of conversation

25 02 2010

To be able to speak to a person and learn their story first hand is one of the most rewarding experiences. I did my first professional interview this past semester when I interviewed the new University at Buffalo football coach for Generation Magazine.  It was a great experience. Interviewing is like having a strange sort of conversation with a person, where they are willing to give you a detailed story.  It is so personal that many people can get the most candid information from a five-minute span of time.  The silence in between questions and answers can sometimes be a good thing, causing the interviewee to divulge even more.  Keeping your personal opinion about a certain topic away from the questioning can make the interviewee more comfortable in the situation. No one really likes to be judged, and if you are looking for a fresh & clean cut piece about the interesting life of a person, staying neutral is key.  I really enjoy interviews not only because it gives the people a chance to share stories, but also that I am completely interested in human lives. Everyone on this planet has a story of who they are, where they came from, and where the want to go.  It’s our job as interviewers to make their voices heard.

In response to Fieldwork chapter 7 by Bruce Jackson


Smile for the Camera

18 02 2010

Oh the technical side of journalism. Not only must we write to our heart’s content about interesting topics, we must document it now too. Some people may consider this a heavy burden to have to cover so many outlets of the news, but I see it as an incredibly exciting adventure. As a student journalist, it is my duty to write about interesting stories and people, while capturing photographs or film in an engaging fashion. People want to look at images while they read (if any text is even included). The art of capturing a moment in time along with the story is not a new idea, but one that has changed since the beginning of reporting. As backpack journalists, we have shorter deadlines and more responsibilities than any other generation of writers.  With this comes the great opportunity to capture moments in time or short film work to accompany our stories. It is a fascinating concept. Getting different shots of the same object and working with interesting and new angles can be creatively inspiring. Messing up the focus could sometimes make a picture more meaningful than ever imagined. Conventional journalism, while still important, is slowly being eclipsed by new technology and innovation. Editing photos is easier than ever and the everyday student with no professional experience can make images beautiful. If you have a camera, you can create.

In response to Online Journalism Chapter 10 (Gathering and Editing Images, Audio, and Video)

A picture says a thousand words

5 02 2010

Nothing can move a person more than a visual image. Photojournalism has become one of the more interesting ways of developing news all around the world.  There are so many ways to capture a single moment in time, with different angles, positions, lighting, and background. Even the smallest and unnoticed things in the world can become beautiful through a photograph.  Photographing people in action is a great way to take a photograph.  You don’t notice the small instants that can happen, especially with dancers or athletes where time is everything. Choosing close up shots versus whole picture shots is also a great way to take a fantastic photograph.  Sometimes getting the whole view and background makes a big statement. But then on the other hand, small, intimate, and close up shots can be incredibly meaningful. Catching candid shots I feel is one of the best ways to take a picture. When there is limited posing, that’s when the subjects true emotions and feelings can be caught in an instant. It is a beautiful way to take a snapshot of a memory.

Journalist’s Top Ten

21 01 2010

A response to Ten things every journalist should know in 2010 by John Thompson

1. How to monitor Twitter

2. You are in control

3. You are a curator

4. Your beat will be online

5. Core journalistic skills are still crucial

6. Journalism needs a business model

7. You are your own brand

8. You need to collaborate

9. Stories do not end once they are published online

10. Technology is unavoidable

Tips like this for budding journalists are priceless. Not only can we use this to our advantage, we may even break and newsworthy story of our own. I agree with Thompson that Twitter is where it’s at for fast information. (Follow me @katprz). Controlling the content and interpreting it in a way that is interesting to your readers also makes a great journalist. Being able to know the business you are working in and branding yourself correctly is great advice to help you succeed. Collaboration and content that can be constantly updated is such a great innovation. We have great tools available to us that journalists before us never had. Editing content while it is in the hand of the reader is mind-boggling. But in my opinion, what can be viewed as the most important thing for journalists to know is that technology is avoidable. With all the great things we can do online and with social media, it’s exciting to think what is to come in the future.

(screen shot)

Excuse me while I lead the way

21 01 2010

Collaborative creation is the new way to produce. While we used to have media and news delivered to us from a singular source, we are now faced with a multitude of numerous venues for information. It is no longer a way one street. Produsage has turned media into a 10 lane highway with people coming and going as they please. Brun explains, “User-led content creation in this new model harnesses the collected, collective intelligence of all participants, and manages-through in some cases better than in others-to direct their contributions to where they are best able to make a positive impact”. Blogs and sites like Wikipedia have turned the internet into a widespread collaboration for large group of users. Consumers are no longer forced to accept what they are told and they can now tell the producers what they want. We are experiencing a continuing paradigm shift. What is fascinating is that consumers can now communicate and engage directly instead of going through any sort of medium, while bypassing producers and distributors all together. This phenomenon does not only affect an elite group of people either. Trendwatching suggests that anyone with even a tiny amount of creative talent can, and most likely will, be part of this not-so-exclusive trend.

In response to Blogs, Wikipedia, Second Life & Beyond by Axel Bruns