Category At Work

Finding Your Color

I have a small list of photojournalists who never disappoint me, storytellers who always make me stop and stare, ponder what they’re showing me, force me to rearrange the neurons in my brain. Michael S. Williamson of the Washington Post is on that list. For years I’ve come back to his work, to his way of seeing, to understand my world and, maybe, dip into his pool of vision.

Jim Colton has a stellar interview up with Williamson at ZPhotoJournal – well worth spending time on. It’s a long, deep read, but the advice it builds to at the end is spectacular:

I would tell young people “Don’t be afraid.” And I don’t want to hear anybody under 40 talking about their “STYLE.” Your style just comes as a result of what you love and what loves you. If you are thinking about style, I will take a bb gun and pop you in the shin…I really will. Because then you are trapped by some “LOOK” some “WAY” of the way YOU see it.

And you know something, when you’re 22, I don’t really care about the way you see it. I want you to cover the event…so I know what happened. Of course, at some point, you mix the two, you can have your vision…you can have a take on life…just don’t forget who you are working for.

Yeah, a lot of his social media images are filtered, but the core vision in them … I hope to see something so well some day.

Walter Iooss, Jr., on College Football

Nice collection of images by the legendary Walter Iooss, Jr., from his early days covering college football. This was pre-autofocus, pre-14 frames per second, pre-64 GB memory cards, pre-histogram. Old school – manual focus, manual exposure, shooting on chrome film so the exposure has to be perfect in the camera.

Ahh, those were the days …

And if you scroll down, there’s another Iooss piece with him talking about his Super Bowl photos that’s worth a look.

What you notice about the photo is the facial expressions. With those single bar masks, you can see so much more of the humanity of the game. You don’t see anything today. It’s all covered up. The other thing that’s striking is the natural light. Playing an outdoor game in daylight gives you such a sense of place. When you play in a dome in Dallas or New Orleans, it kind of sucks the reality out of the game.

(Thanks to Cody Schmelter for the link.)

How Do You See Someone?

Canon did a little experiment …

Layoffs at National Geographic

Not a good day as 21st Century Fox takes over National Geographic.

NPR Internships

Deadlines for NPR’s winter and spring internships are approaching, here’s what you need to know to apply.

Stay Off the Tracks

It happened again, another person killed by a train while taking photos on railroad tracks.

New class rule: Shoot photos on or near railroad tracks without written permission, you fail the assignment.

Grant for Projects Dealing with Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Identiy

ViewFind is sponsoring three $5,000 grants to visual storytellers to produce issues of race, ethnicity and cultural identity. Application deadline is October 9.

(Thanks to Evey Wilson for the link.)

Report or Help?

John Freeman, a photojournalism professor at the University of Florida, came across a man in distress – what would you do?

In this case, his choice was clear (and I fully support his decision). But what if the situation were different? What if someone else was there?

What would you do?

Our French Gift

A little bit of history today from The Atlantic’s Alan Taylor, something I didn’t know: In 1839, the French government acquired the rights to Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre’s photographic process, the Daguerreotype … and then made it publicly available, for free.

The Woman in the Photo Pen

Nice profile on Elsa Garrison, one of the premier sports photojournalists, by BuzzFeed’s Lindsey Adler.