New Portfolio, online

August 26, 2007

My first attempt at making a flash movie out of Final Cut Pro….still a WIP.
1 Magazine 3.5 minutes 21 years.

China, mon amour

August 26, 2007

Sunday’s New York Times hit my doorstep with a major package on China’s pollution crisis, headlined with a huge photo stretching across 4/5 of the top front page.

What caught my eye was a prominent notice under that Chang Lee photo that read: This series, with extensive multimedia features, can be found at nytimes.com.

Well, I finished my coffee, pushed aside the rest of the paper and rushed right over to my computer to find a juicy online package with a beautiful slideshow by NYT staffer Chang Lee, a small uncredited video complete with the excruciating Times reporter as badly lit talking head –god sakes, I want to see China, not some American talking to me with books behind him. I can get that in my own living room– and interactive graphic/map. You can even hear a summary of the story read to you in Mandarin.

At least check out the slideshow in full screen mode.

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[I did a similar story for National Geographic Magazine in 2004, in the age before multimedia.]

Leaping into Digital

August 22, 2007

August means another installment of the Leaping into Digital class at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport, Maine. Designed for people who want to jump from silver based film to digital media. The class worked hard and this week I’m slowly learning how to covert those files into a flash movie using FCP and a very cool free flash player from Jeroen Wijering.

One thing that’s cool about this player is that it scales the movie up to the size of the player. Here I scaled it 2x. I know this needs work but it’s fun to deliver it as such a big movie with a custom designed interface.

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Curious to know what you think about the quality vs. size.

I’m still struggling with how to bring all the pieces of a story together powerfully in an interesting multimedia format online. Here’s a great story from the Toronto Star: great images, a tightly written story piece so beautifully voiced (by the writer!) that it made me swoon and great orginlal music.
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This is something you can’t get on TV or in the newspaper. It has mood and feeling and texture and a story too.

Just talkin’

August 16, 2007

I love talking with interesting people. Last week I had breakfast with George Jardine, a very cool guy from Adobe who helped design Lightroom. We met at one of my favorite restaurants in NYC and talked about a few things that we’re both extremely passionate about, with the big one being photography.

Two days later we got together again and this time he recorded our conversation for his great series of podcasts. We spoke about photography, new media, films, audio and where this might all be going. It was a fascinating and enlightening conversation for me plus I got to wear a very cool and amazingly efficient microphone on my ear, just like a popstar.

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Have a listen.

Friends

August 10, 2007

Gianluca and Sophie in Pienza

One fun thing about my trip to Italy was the contrast. In Sant Anna in Camprena where I was staying, there was no internet access and cell phones only worked in a far off corner of the property. So Gianluca and Sophie and I went to nearby Pienza where an entrepreneur has set up a satellite internet point. The cool part is that after you buy your online time, you can go outside and sit on the medieval walls of a building with your laptop and use the “weefee”. After the three of us finished catching up with the virtual world, we engaged in that old fashion form of communication: a conversation.

We’re not evolving.

August 5, 2007

Last month in Rome, I visited Paolo Pellegrin’s Broken Landscapes, an excellent exhibition at Museo di Roma in Trastevere.

It’s a retrospective of sorts, work from 1995-today by a still young photographer who seems to have won every major journalism award: a Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, eight World Press Photo awards, the Leica Medal of Excellence, the Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, and the Olivier Rebbot Award for Best Feature Photography and on and on .

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After I looked at the work, I started to wonder why everyone–myself included–seems to be still shooting in a style developed in the 1960’s. Clothes have changed, music has changed, even car design has changed. And thank goodness people like Pellegrin have changed the way they see this world too.

How about the rest of us? When are we going to start taking pictures in a way that’s a little more contemporary? Yes, a good picture is a good picture but the way we deliver it can change. It’s no wonder that the NY Times Magazine is equally populated by photojournalists and art photographers. Maybe we’ve bored ourselves out of business? Maybe we’ll have a second chance with multimedia?

You can also see a video interview with Pellegrin, part of a project by Lelen Bourgoignie-Robert and other faculty in the Visual Journalism program at the University of Miami and part of the World Press photo website.

Broken Landscapes closes 09 September, 2007.