Author Mark E. Johnson

Saying No to Client Requests

Nice piece by Jeff Guyer at DIYPhotography about how to deal with client requests for all of your raw images.

Nice rational here:

I like pointing out to these clients that when their best friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s uncle buys a novel, the price tag does not include all of the author’s rough drafts. Paintings and sculptures do not come with the artist’s initial sketches.

The cynical, bitter part of my brain got to working … maybe I would allow them to have all of the unedited images, though that would be a higher fee to mitigate the potential risk of the client choosing poorly and processing the images to a lower standard than I would. Also, require the deletion of the credit and a total transfer of all liability and copyright, the latter of which would involve an additional fee.

(Thanks to John Harrington for the link.)

Bloodletting in New York

Photo District News has the story of the nine photo department folks who were let go, including David Handschuh.

Handschuh was crushed by debris from the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Yeah, 27 years of and nearly his life, walked out the door.

I’ll quote myself from almost a year ago: If journalism is the first draft of history, you just ripped its eyes out.

Ask NPPA’s Lawyer Anything

Mickey Osterreicher, the National Press Photographers Association’s lawyer, will be doing a Reddit Ask Me Anything session today at 12 noon ET. Great opportunity to get a question answered or to see what other people are concerned about.

Monster Marks

First, disclosure: I have been friends with CJ Gunther for two decades. Was even in his wedding. I’m also an unabashed Red Sox fan who cherished my nine years of Fenway Park coverage.

So when I see that my buddy CJ’s project on baseball impressions on the Green monster is being featured on National Geographic’s Proof blog … well, I’m going to share that.

We were kids when we started at the Associated Press, CJ has come a long way since then and I’m still thrilled by his work.

Sound As Transport

This is a bit commercial, but the Music Bed has done a piece for RODE microphones on Passion for Sound.

Passion For Sound from The Music Bed on Vimeo.

(Thanks to Will Yurman for the link.)

We Have Lost John Seigenthaler

While not a visual journalist, every one of us should pay attention to John Seigenthaler’s dedication to serving his community.

I was luck enough to meet and talk with him several years ago at the First Amendment Center at Vanderbuilt University, a moment I’m sure slipped into his memory but resonates with me to this day.

Ed Kashi on the Direction and Quality of Light

Short interview with Ed Kashi done by Marc Silber where he talks about how he sees and interacts with people.

Wall Street Journal Takes on Hand Out Photos

There has been a long-running debate between the Washington press corp and the current presidential administration about photo access. The short version: the White House hired an accomplished photojournalist, Pete Souza, to be the president’s photographer and has been much more active in releasing photos from Souza to the press and public. Which seems like a good thing, except they have also severely restricted the number of events the free press has access to. Many of the images the populace sees of the president are not journalistic images, they are PR handout photos.

The Wall Street Journal decided to have a little fun and created a one-play game where readers can guess which of five images is a PR handout photo and which are actual acts of journalism.

They only did it with one event, but I’d love to see a whole string of these – that would be really telling.

Playing With Music and Emotions

A few years back I did a talk at the Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic titled, Photojournalism, Instagram and Artificial Authenticity. You can probably figure out where it went, that applying the latest filters to pristine images was playing with the emotions of your viewers, not helping them comprehend what was happening in the image before them. I am, after all, a strict constructionist and very limited when it comes to the artistic pursuits of photography – a picture should be accurate, that’s what I profess to believe to be true.

My students often ask me about putting music into their videos – news videos – and I always walk them through some questions. What’s missing from your story that you feel the need to decorate your story? What are the emotional consequences of doing this? And, lastly, what are the copyright concerns that you have to wrestle with?

After seven years of teaching video at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, I believe I’ve only had two pieces come in with music – and one of them the student wrote and performed it.

Al Tompkins down at the Poynter Institute has taken on this same subject this week, adding various types of music to UAV footage of fireworks.

He brings up the same issues but handles it more elegantly than I do.

My short answer to the question: News is news, let the story tell itself. Illustrate, don’t decorate.

Speed Is Not the Survival Solution

I like Twitter, I like it’s variety and breadth. But to believe news needs to be fast is a fatal decision. News needs to be accurate and fair, not just fast or first.

Latest example comes from photo site PetaPixel which was duped last week.

As we tell students all the time, If your mother says she loves you, check it out.