A photo from Frozen Land, Forgotten People (photo by Barbara Davidson, Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles Times)

A couple of weeks ago I attended the Southern Short Course in News Photography.  It’s a conference that’s held in Charlotte, NC and it’s basically a weekend filled with guest speakers and workshops all related to News Photography.  I meet so many amazing photographers and learned more than my brain can hold.  I wanted to share the work of one of those photographers, Barbara Davidson of the LA Times.  Click here to view her multimedia piece, Frozen Land, Forgotten People.  This audio slideshow won in NPPA’s 2010 Best Of Photojournalism contest, taking first place in the News Audio Slideshow category for Web sites that are affiliated with a major media organization.  It’s a story about an area of Navajo land in northeaster Arizona that was affected by the so-called Bennett Freeze which halted all development on the land for 40 years.  While this ban has been lifted, this area is still severely poor and undeveloped.  It’s an incredible story told with beautiful photography and I was shocked that this exists in America.  I found this piece especially inspiring because I am currently working on a couple of audio slideshows myself.  At the Short Course, Barbara spoke about this project and talked about the shock she felt when traveling from LA to this area.  Please watch this story and let me know what you think.

[http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bennett-freeze-ss,0,760471.htmlstory ]

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Over Easter weekend I had the opportunity to test out a new product on the market – The ColorRight Pro white balance corrector.  I had never heard of anything like this and after spending about 15 minutes learning how to use it (there is a tutorial video on the website), I was able to start shooting.

It took me a few tries to figure everything out, but it’s very easy to use.  You hold the product over your lens and take a photo pointing towards the light you want to use (the Auto Focus must be off for this part).  The photo will look like a gray scale.  You then change your white balance setting to use the last photo taken.  Then, you shoot the subject as you normally would.  When you change lighting situations, you have to re-calibrate the white balance.

In my photos, the difference was subtle but noticeable (in the photo above, the change is most apparent in the wall and skin) and I think this product would save a lot of time in post-production.  I must admit that at first I was not blown away by the ColorRight Pro, but in the past few days, I’ve realized how beneficial this product would be in constant light.  I can especially see this as a useful product for portrait photographers and others who use light that doesn’t change.  As a budding photojournalist, I can see this as being more useful when shooting indoor events.  Because it does take a few minutes to set up, it wouldn’t be ideal when shooting outdoor, news situations.  Overall, I had a blast trying out a new product and was fascinated that this little doohickey actually worked!

Have you used a ColorRight or another product like this?  What did you think of it?

(www.colorright.com)

In my previous post, I talked about my new job at World Child Relief, a non-profit to give direct aid to the children of the Tree of Knowledge School in Port Au Prince, Haiti.  This video is my most recent project.  My boss and one other man traveled to Haiti to negotiate food for these children.  Even though the Damien neighborhood (where the school is located) is less than 4 miles from the main food distribution centers, the over 7,000 people of this neighborhood had not received any aid, even 60 days after the earthquake.  My boss saw these distribution problems during his first trip and created World Child Relief to help fill in the cracks.

He negotiated for enough food to feed over 200 children and 500 families for a month and he created a school lunch program to ensure that these children will be feed for the next month.  He hopes to continue the lunch program into the future.  To help with this project, please visit worldchildrelief.org.

I’ve had a great time working at WCR and have learned so much.  My video editing skills are constantly being challenged and I feel like I am improving already.  In addition to editing video footage, I’ve been writing press releases and content for the website.  Next, we will be working on updating the website and starting a couple of long term projects to benefit this school.  I’m very excited to continue working at World Child Relief this summer and hope to have more updates to share with you.

[I did not collect this video material, but I produced and edited it.]