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March 21 2011


Sometimes complaining pays off…

…as I discovered recently.

As I ease into retirement and (hopefully) back into shooting the occasional video gig, I’ve been updating my resources. Got the thinknews site up with my info for potential clients seeking my services. Working on my linkedin page and other connection sites. And moseyed on over to NPPA to make sure my information was current on their Find a Photographer site, when I noticed the following:

Now I’d obviously been to this page before, but a continuing discussion on b-roll about whether NPPA adequately serves it broadcast members made me pause and really look at the wording on this page.

It is generally accepted that a photographer is a still shooter (even though a photographer is “one who draws with light). That was pause #1.

When I read the next section I nearly choked laughing. What the heck is “video photography”?!! Video shot by a still photographer of course. Which explains why they put in “video editing.”

Once I had my breath back, I moved down to “Who specializes in a particular area of photojournalism.” Hmmm…no mention of VIDEOjournalism.

Now what you can’t see, unless you are a member signing onto your account is the section for photographic specialities, which specifies “leave blank if you are not a photographer.”

This went from funny to WHOA in a split second.

So it was back to b-roll to air my complaint. Yeah…we all do that when frustrated, but rarely does it get beyond the steam blowing stage. I didn’t expect a fast response from one of NPPA’s finest, Vice-President Michael Borland. He held me accountable for my remarks and even asked for input on how to rework and reword the “Find a Photographer” section. So a brief flurry of electronic exchanges ensued and it looks as if changes may be in the air. The only point of dispute may be what the heck to call a very diverse group of folks who sling an equally diverse batch of cameras…everything from consumer to broadcast quality video gear and state of the art still equipment. I tossed out “visual journalist” as a starting point…it’s gonna be fun watching the process and finding out what the consensus is.

I knew there was a reason for being in NPPA…monoliths have ears and actually listen.

December 11 2010


What is a “Controlled Shoot”…

You’re never too old to learn…and I picked up a new term this week, thanks to a request for a critique onb-roll. I’m not gonna post the comments made – you can look them up yourself.

Courtesy Okinawa Soba through Creative Commons

But the new term is “controlled shoot.” Or as the camera (one-man) band says, aka “staging.”


And as if that weren’t bad enough…it was followed a few days later by a posting titled “Fun staging.”

The CS/controlled shoot video was something I would imagine a lot of camerafolk get trapped into in some way or another. Short on time…there is NOTHING happening visual, and somehow a visual story has to be turned.

So in this case, the photog asked the subject (a marathon runner) to take a run around for the camera. I’m not sure how much CS “controlled” that shoot – if he just shot the guy running or directed each shot. But – as CS admits – it is staging. Which is frowned upon in news because it is not what is actually happening. It is redone/rehashed/done only for the camera.

Now in the case of “Fun staging” the entire video was staged. And I don’t mean asking for something to be repeated for the camera. This was staged as in have people acting out an entire scenario for the camera…shot by shot. As if it were a movie. Not just a step beyond a controlled shoot – but an entire leap into a fantasy world that was created JUST FOR THIS STORY.

Ummmm….can I have a platter of the “good ole days” please?

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