Wyclef on Haiti

January 26, 2010


Glimpse Magazine has posted an interview with Wyclef Jean on their Facebook page. I shot this more than 2 years ago and he’s got some great stories and interesting things to say.

Technically, it brings home the reality of handing off the tapes to someone else to edit and color correct and compress well (or not). I’ve learned a lot in the past 2 years.

Hidden Haiti photos

January 26, 2010

Dominic Nahr's Haiti Coverage

The Wall Street Journal has some amazing photography coming out of Haiti but it only appears online. Dominic Nahr, Julie Platner and Jason Henry have three excellent galleries. Really interesting to see these three photographers vision of the same world event. But why haven’t these images appeared in print editions of the WSJ?

It must be true

August 31, 2009

Of course the camera never lies…

I believe everything I read and see in the papers too….

…from Louis Vuitton, a fashion company!?

The story of three American astronauts talk about their adventures in space. Check out the multiple camera view. Listen to the very well written questions and see the interesting stories they elicit.

LouisVuitton

Moments

August 23, 2009

I like to think that all great photos have both great light and great moments. But what IS a moment? Here’ s a wonderful short film about that idea from director/editor Will Hoffman shot by Julius Metoyer III. Super sweet!!!

Imagination

August 15, 2009

Is a very powerful thing in the hands of Muzorama.

Story in a Single Shot

August 8, 2009

As a still photographer, the challenge is to tell the story in a single photograph. It’s a little more complicated when you get to moving images but here’s a nice version of a 5 minute history story in a single unbroken film shot. OK, it’s for whiskey but it’s still engaging. Robert Carlyle is the actor and Jamie Rafn is the director.

The Cove

August 6, 2009

Louis Psihoyos and I were photographer’s together at Fortune Magazine and also National Geographic Magazine. He’d gone quiet for a time but now I see what he’s been up to: The Cove.I call it a brilliant documentary; a friend called it an advocacy movie with a sense of humor. Make a difference and go see it. The trailer here is brilliant too.

Food Inc.

July 1, 2009

I’m a huge fan of documentary films but it wasn’t until I saw Food Inc this week that I realized how poorly so many other documentary films are made.

This is a doc that’s well shot, well scored, well paced and well plotted with good graphics and even a message of hope at the end and a call to action.

Go see it.

Here’s the opening….very clever credits too.

Also, digest it in HD at Apple Trailers site.

Play them off, pleeze!

June 15, 2009

Look3

The close of Look3 last night left many images, people and conversations lodged in my psyche. The 7 hour ride home today left me with some time to digest. A few of the things that I burped up included these pleasant memories:

  • Martin Parr’s talk about photography, creativity and innovation
  • Gilles Peress and the concept of Ambiguity
  • Philip Toledano for his 3 bodies of work sketched in quick and entertaining succession
  • Simon Bruty’s talk about luck and preparation and sports. Sports? uh-huh.
  • Yolando Cuomo Studio’s Paper Cinema. Leave it to a pair of book designers to create one of the most creative multimedia events of the week.

Chaskielberg

I was also pleasantly surprised by the BURN Magazine grant to to Emerging Photographer Alejandro Chaskielberg for his project The High Tide. Wow, work that is truly fresh and exciting gets rewarded? My hope is renewed, if just for a little while. Thanks, David.

For the grand finale, I was looking forward to the “Works”, multimedia pieces “showcasing some of the most current photography projects.”

The evening program included three wonderful and stimulating projects:

rax_is

These ranged from a simple, straightforward but extremely well crafted visual story with music and sounds to a very sophisticated narrative that left me breathless to a mind blowing seemingly breathing, living multimedia triptych that was like a very bad nightmare–but in the best way.

As for most of the rest of the multimedia last night, the only image that came to my mind was Play Them Off Keyboard Cat. And the sooner the better.

My second big take-away from the festival was about storytelling. “Storytelling” is the buzz word for everyone these past few years but it seems that only people from the United Kingdom really seem to comprehend what it means, at least at Look3 this past week.

As my colleague Jessica explained it to me on the long drive home, Americans pretty much think they themselves are the story, that anything they say or do or happens to cross the very shallow threshold of their attention span is interesting to someone else.

Perhaps it’s because it’s illegal to say to someone of any age: “That is boring” or “You are not the winner,” that American’s think that anything that pops into their mind is as fascinating to everyone else as it is to them. It is not. You are not the star of the show. Play Them Off.

Photographers so often think that because they’re talented image makers, they’re going to be equally good at things like writing and voicing narration. There are legions of talented and award winning people who are very good at those things. You are not. Play ‘dem Off .

Telling a story and engaging an audience that is not your family or friends does not include taking a pile of your very excellent images and dropping them onto a stolen pop song and expecting them to have any cohesion or power. They do not.

Contrary to your belief, your belly button is not the most interesting thing onstage. Look, I love you already and your images can tell me a story. But you have to work at communication else, Play YOU Off.

Look3The third Look3 a festival of the photograph founded by National Geographic photographer Nick Nichols and Jessica Nagle comes at an interesting time for photography. With newspapers and magazines losing subscriptions and every photographer I met telling tales of diminishing assignments and struggling for survival, it seems like a great chance to explore where photography can go next.

So I was particularly excited to see the Shots show at the open air pavilion at the end of the pedestrian mall in charming Charlottesville, VA where the festival is held. This was all about multimedia, and trumpeted as “work from emerging and internationally recognized photographers.”

and there was some mighty fine work and presentations, including:

Michael Wolf’s Transparent City,
Christian Ziegler’s Art of Deception,
Saiful Huq Omi’s Bangladesh,
Alejandro Chaskielberg’s High Tide,
Andrew Cutraro’s Out Yonder
and the merciful relief of Alex Prager’s Big Valley.

But at the end of 2 hours, I came away overwhelmed from that distinctly American desire to confuse giving people too much crap the better option over smaller more thoughtful bites of quality.

So for a festival of three’s, I offer my gallery of too’s:

  • too much volume. YEAH!! DISTORTEDAUDIO!!! YEAHHHHH!!!!!
  • too many pictures. Thank god for the 4 minute limit
  • too much self importance, visually and in narration, without showing me why
  • too many things I’ve seen before in terms of style and approach
  • too few surprises
  • too many wide angle pictures following by more wide angle pictures
  • too little desire to communicate understanding.

One big surprise was the amount of stolen popular music. It’s astounding that photographers, an artistic community that values ownership and rights to creative work would baldly rip off other artists, often without credit and most probably without permission. A colleague suggested we should have a music festival where all of these images were shown onstage without permission and without credit or payment. Any objections?

But if you’re going to steal, be bold so my vote for the best use of stolen music goes to Michael Rubenstein for his witty use of Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get it On’ with his photos of Mumbai Sperm Banks. For a moment we got to laugh .

I watched this project come to fruition at MediaStorm over the past year or more. I’m excited because it shows how multiple media will come together for a great tale.

It’s a fantastic example of powerful, expressive photographs by Danny Wilcox Frazier and powerful video by Taylor Gentry tied up as good, smart storytelling and brilliant editing by my MediaStorm colleague Eric Maierson.

Here’s the trailer>

See the complete project on the mediaStorm site. Be sure to click on the expanded player button Driftless, Stories from Iowa

no, F*#@ you!!

March 15, 2009

This past week I talked with two amazing journalists who are out of a job because their newspapers folded. And there are more to come.

So, how are J-Schools teaching bright eyed students to prepare for jobs in the brave new world of journalism, whatever that might be? According to a sharp item on New York Magazine’s website, here’s how one of the “greatest” journalism schools sees the future: Columbia J-School’s Existential Crisis

dailyintel

Note to self: check out more stuff at the Learning Annex before having a tenured professor try to teach me how to do things they’ve never done before.

deconstruction

March 3, 2009

People often ask me to come speak about my work. These days I love talking about multimedia because it’s my current passion. So when the American Society of Picture Professionals asked me to stop by on Tuesday, March 10 at 6.30, I thought it’d be fun to look at a single piece from start to finish. Hope you can make it.



click for details

click for details

Bigger and Better

February 28, 2009

I was impressed when I saw Pete Souza’s work going up online. What’s even better was the image size: bigger than many photo websites I’m still seeing ( and twice the size of this blog…might be time for me to find a new wordpress style when the Federal government has a better template)bigger and better

Happy Holidays

December 24, 2008

Happy Holidays.

Happy Holidays from Bob and Regina

Back to Beijing

August 4, 2008

I’ve been to China on assignment for National Geographic Magazine four times in the last decade so it was interesting to dig into that story again, this time for MediaStorm on behalf of the Asia Society. The website and Longing for Blue Skies, the short film I produced and edited, just launched last week on their website.

It was fun to look through all the wonderful photographic coverage on China. One of the things I’m learning is to craft sequences using a single photographer’s work as a way to give more structure to the narrative.

The other fun part of this project was the chance to sit down with Orville Schell, a writer, former journalism school dean and now the Arthur Ross Director, Asia Society Center on US-China Relations

It was my first major on-camera interview (which I directed and lit ) and Orville was a joy. You could hear the sound bites tumbling out of his mouth and the hardest part of the job was getting the two hour interview down to my first cut of 9 minutes, then again down to the current 6 minute piece.

While you’re on the site, check out the Room with a View feature. A nifty piece of citizen journalism that involved a simple look out the window.

Please pass this along to anyone who might be intersted.

And let me know what you think!

deep water

June 17, 2008

I love teaching and I love learning too. So I was in good company as a coach at the NPPA MultiMedia Immersion session in Louisville, KY. The students were photographers (one a Pulitzer Prize winner) picture editors, newspaper directors of photography and even other teachers; photojournalism professors from the top three PJ universities in America. It was great because I learned a ton. You can see all the student stories online.

whoo hoo, a winner

May 18, 2008

My work as multimedia producer and editor on Bearing Witness was awarded the top prize in the Multimedia- Photo/Video at the new New York Photo Awards. It’s a huge thrill for me as Bearing Witness was my first MediaStorm project.

New York Photo Festival Awards

soldier online at msnbc

March 20, 2008

Everyone is always asking how to make money in multimedia .

In time for the 5th anniversary of the conflict, a multimedia story I produced with photographer Brian Sokol, about a family who lost their son in the Iraq War, is now online at msnbc.

soldier_msnbc.jpg