Posts Tagged ‘Multimedia’

Kickin it old school

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This multimedia piece, Ted Baryluk’s Grocery, was created the year I was born…. 1982.
Check it out. Powerful story telling, simple narrative. Very effective.

Thanks to Colin Corneau for pointing this out.

Behind The Veil – The Globe and Mail -All this week

It’s soooooo nice to see a full browser presentation on a newspaper’s website. Really looking forward to this unfolding throughout the week.
See the package HERE
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Advice for next generation journalists-Adam Westbrook

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Adam Westbrook is posting a series of 6 blogs, each with 6 tips for the next generation of freelance multimedia journalists.
Check it out HERE

Bombay Flying Club Featured on NYT’s [Lens] Blog

Our first Chapter of Wasteland featuring the people who live on Jharia’s fiery mines is featured today on the New York Times [Lens] Blog.
Check out the our piece and the rest of this inspirational blog designed by Zach Wise and crew at the Times.
From the blog: ““Wasteland”
Are you prepared to spend six minutes in hell? This is the question posed at the beginning of “Wasteland,” a mulitmedia documentary project by Bombay Flying Club. And with good reason: as the first installment of a series on industrial pollution, “Wasteland” explores the burning coal fields of northeastern India. Whole families live and work in the toxic dust, their homes built on burning ground. Many make a living by illegally collecting baskets of coal to sell for the equivalent of $1 to $1.50, enduring extremely hazardous conditions.
Bombay Flying Club is composed of two Danish photojournalists and one Canadian videojournalist. Their motto is “online journalism as it could be.” It’s easy to see why.
The entire multimedia package is presented in black and white, and the film delicately weaves video and still photography. The images are elegant and beautifully composed, which at times distracts from the horrific realities at hand — instead of sweltering suffocation, some images convey a cool detachment.
But the film is undeniably stunning. “Wasteland” should not be missed. (K.B.)”

Still Hoping – Luceo Images

Still Hoping
Luceo Images presents “Still Hoping,” a wonderfully crafted multimedia project. From the site: “Still Hoping is a multimedia reminder to the Obama administration from his constituents 6 months into the President’s term. These letters from around the country are pleas for equality and better lives.”

Hell Hole: Jharia’s fiery mines multimedia featured in Globe and Mail

The story that Bombay Flying Club teammate Poul Madsen and myself along with radio journalist Line Wolf Nielsen produced on the people living on Jharia’s coal fields is featured in today’s Globe and Mail, a national paper based out of Toronto, Canada.
Check out the multimedia piece HERE, and the still gallery HERE

MediaStorm offering tuition-free advanced multimedia workshop


MediaStorm is offering a tuition-free advanced multimedia workshop in New York City.
This is a workshop that normally costs 2500-3500 dollars.

From their site:

Given the tough economic climate and the critical need for multimedia training, MediaStorm will be holding a one-time, tuition-free Advanced Multimedia Reporting Workshop, in Brooklyn, NY from June 20-26, 2009.

The MediaStorm Advanced Multimedia Workshops are designed for multimedia storytellers who want to get to the next level. It is not an introductory course. Students are responsible for their own travel, room and board. Reporters are expected to have a high level of competency with still photography, and be familiar with audio and video techniques. Editors are expected to be comfortable in Final Cut Pro.

We only have spots for 8 participants as Multimedia Reporters, Editors or Observers so we are expecting a competitive process. Applications are due no later than Friday, May 15, 2009. Participants will be selected based on the content of their applications.
Download an application HERE

Drag, drop, share … Storyplanet

Magnum in Motion co-founder Bjarke Myrthu and team bring us Story Planet, a site dedicate to create, produce, and collaborate multimedia content.

From their site:

“Many years ago some young journalists set out to try and create a new form of storytelling using Internet and digital media. They wanted to create cinematic, narrative experiences with interactive paths and clickable content – like a great documentary movie fused with a cool magazine feature all wrapped into an online game. They wanted to create something that would capture people and sometimes even make the world just a little bit better, like great journalism and storytelling had always done. They were sad to see how this type of content was slowly disappearing from traditional media, and not really an essential part of the new online media scene either.

The years went by and the internet became full of video, photos and music. The audience grew and advertisers came along with money. But today the unique language for online storytelling is still not really there. YouTube and all the other places are great – but they are just a new type of old school tv-station.
It is not really interactive. No layers of information, no links, buttons and different ways to navigate and drive the story from the viewers position. And what happened to the mission of great documentary storytelling? Funny online videos are fine, but what if we could really make someone’s life a little better through online storytelling.

The young journalists are still fairly young, and they still believe in interactive storytelling with something at heart. It just has to be easier for people to create the stories. So they said to themselves: What if some tool would let you drag and drop you way to an awesome interactive story without touching a single line of code? And what if you could share photos, video and audio with the worlds best storytellers to get the pieces missing for your project? And in the end you should be able to spread the story all over the internet, and make money from advertising and licensing.

And so they build Storyplanet.”

Joining forces with BombayFC


I’m very happy to be joining forces with Poul Madsen and Hendrik Kastenskov of Bombay Flying Club as a new member. I couldn’t be more excited to be working with two people who I feel share the same passion, and enthusiasm about photojournalism and multimedia storytelling. Together we plan to continue to produce compelling multimedia stories and to support and promote strong visual storytelling.

Check out our new blog here, and stay tuned for more.

Sweating under a blanket and talking to myself

Thankfully this time it’s not due to illness. Well sort of. I feel a bit ill doing it. Narration that is. This is my first go at it, as I spent the better part of the last week working to produce a multimedia piece for Time Magazine. I’m actually doing it more as practice and a placer as the editor plans to remove my voice and narrate the story, which I am more than content with. I’ve battled this for a while, and I knew it would come eventually.
Narration for me has always been something television does, not a photojournalist. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking any one way of doing anything, I just have always felt for me, it doesn’t work. I’m no Ira Glass.

I’ve learnt a few things from the first go.

1) It forces me be a better photojournalist- Writing a script, collecting information, and knowing the story inside and out.

2) I suck at it. I counted down 5,4,3,2,1 about fifty times. I tried to time it while watching the video with no volume, and then swore. Repeat that 50 times over, and you get my experience.

3) Lastly, when renting a flat, seek out a room with a carpet. It may save the whole blanket look.

Aside from that, life in India has been grand. I’ve been shooting the odd still assignment, producing several multimedia pieces, planning a couple trips, and dealing with visa issues(not so grand while doing this one). Thankfully I’ve been able to extend my Indian visa, and start to call Delhi home.

A dog day Delhi afternoon

I am blogging this week for the News Photographers Association of Canada.
See fullposts here.

Wow. I’m working as an international journalist. How romantic. Traveling the world, camera in tow. How prolific. I’m living the dream and running free. Enjoy the journey, I keep hearing. You enjoy the journey; I just want to take pictures. Moving, still, audio, multimedia. I’m sick of the debate. I just want to run away and tell stories. Wait, I’ve already run away. Now what about the stories? Well to be honest, I’m having a hell of a time wrapping my head around this place. Everything seems like a story, yet nothing seems like a story. I better get on that.
Today was another exciting day at the office. Try to contain yourself while reading this blog. I dare you.

I spent the day waiting for the Internet to arrive at my new place. She stood me up. The candle is still melting; I’m still waiting. I had hoped to spend at least part of the day visiting an ngo that I hope to hook up with for a story. But there’s always tomorrow.

Today was certainly a new day. A dog day, if you will.

This fine sunny Tuesday marks a week in India. When I reflect on the past seven days they feel like a month. That being said, I’ve figured out the basics: what’s up is down (light switches), what’s left is right (steering wheels). In fact, a lot was accomplished, and I am one modem away from having officially set up shop. Ready to roll. Bring on the assignments. Oh wait. Obama’s not in India…hmmm. Maybe they’ll come in a few days. I’ll keep you updated.

The Delhi dilemma

I am blogging this week for the News Photographers Association of Canada. Will be posting a similar version here as well, but please check out the full version on NPAC’s site.

Plain and simple. Today sucked.

The morning started with a trip to the Ministry of External Affairs Publicity Division.

To get to that you need to know a bit of the back story.
On Friday last week Natalie Alcoba, a friend and colleague who is taking a year leave from the National Post to travel and write, and I went to the Foreigner’s Regional Registration Office. After standing in line for an hour or so, we made it to the front just in time for lunch break at the FRRO. Promptly, everyone picked up and left and returned a half hour later to assist us.
We were there to extend our journalist visas, which are currently three months. Many people I know have come to India to work on tourist visas, but I felt it smart to take the journalist visa approach as I have heard story after story of people not being able to come back to the country after working as a journalist on a tourist visa. Google does wonderful things.
After meeting with the FRRO, we were sent to the Ministry of External Affairs as we were informed that a letter was needed from them to extend our visas. After arriving at the Ministry of External Affairs we were sent to the Ministry of External Affairs Publicity Division. It was closed. This brings us to today. I hope it sounds as confusing as it is.

Today we made it to the Publicity Division where we met with a man who gave us bad news. Chances of extending our visas were slim to none. Not going to lie, my heart sunk more than a little. I know it’s two and a half months away from expiration, but I really want to sink my teeth into a country, and am extremely interested in what India has to offer. From the day I got here I pictured India being a lifelong project. I am infatuated with the people, the country’s environment, and the divide of new and old, rich and poor.

I gave my pitch to the man at External Affairs, as well as the letters that I brought from my past employers who intend to use me as a freelancer. I was told the main concern is no one is responsible for me. I’m not part of a bureau, and the man stated his other concern was they don’t want journalists to move here who can’t sustain themselves, and start other businesses within the country.
I gave it my best. Told the truth, and made it very clear who I am and what I do and reiterated the fact that I have no plans on becoming a jewel merchant. All I can do now is cross my fingers, work hard in the time I’m here, and start to look at a plan b. I left the LA Times because I want to live, and work internationally. It’s just looking like India may not be the place I plant roots for long.
In the meantime the weekend was spent looking for places to live. After seeing 15 places, Sunday ended with a successful find in an area known as Green Park.

After the stomach sinking visit to the Ministry, we met our new landlord. Things went well in the end, after a bit of a stressful meeting. There were concerns such as visas, 11 month leases, wanting cheques rather than cash, and price negotiations, but in the end things worked out and we immediately moved upstairs. Nat’s room has a nicer toilet than mine, but alas, not battling that one.
Our hood is awesome. There’s an alley right beside our place loaded with merchants, and people cooking fresh street food. A cow walked in front of our place today, which made me more excited than most of the locals. Samosas run 3 rupees in the new hood(8 cents Canadian) and are the best I’ve found so far.

The day ended as unpleasantly as it started. India is amazing, communication wise. It’s very cheap to set up a cell phone and internet access via a usb modem that will work country wide. Unless you own a Mac.
We spent the rest of the evening going from internet cafe to internet cafe, hotel to hotel in search of wifi. Wireless was banned in all coffee shops and public areas after the Mumbai attacks. The night finished with traveling back to a hotel we had previously stayed 15 kms away from the new pad to send this blog post, and will be capped off with dinner and a much needed beverage.

Tomorrow is another day…

Hello Delhi

Day one. Get bearings. Find cell phone.

Everything I’ve read was true. The congestion, the smog, the traffic, the touts, the beggars, the beautiful women in saris, the men drinking chai, the smell of samosas frying, people yelling, and horns honking. What I didn’t picture was myself fitting somewhere within that scene.

My first 24 hours has been an interesting mix of culture shock, excitement, and relief in that order.

Let’s start with the culture shock.

Today I awoke, and Natalie Alcoba (see her blog here) the writer I am traveling with and I decided to take a walk since we were still on North American time, and the sun was just rising. Late last night we arrived in India, and cabbed it to an area of New Delhi called Karol Bagh, a section of Delhi populated with shops, and a plethora of people.

Natalie and I walked our way through the dusty streets as the sun rose creating streaks of light down long straight alley like roads. Most people went about their business, and we worked hard not to get run over. My close call was a bus, Natalie’s a motorcycle. I like her odds on that one. The real culture shock set in when we were walking back to our temporary hotel and a woman threw a used sanitary napkin at my shoe as part of what I can only assume was a scam set up with the many young shoeshiners on the street. I have heard feces being used in a similar fashion, but that one honestly cough me off guard.

Onto excitement. The great cell phone hunt.

Natalie and I spent the rest of the morning, into the late afternoon on a search for a cellular. After a long rickshaw ride, we went from shop to shop trying to haggle our way into the best deal. By lunch we felt defeated and took a break over some mutton, and chicken, then back at it. Eventually we both walked away phone in hands ready to attempt tomorrows venture, find a place to call home for a while and set up shop.

Lastly relief.

Back in Karol Bagh we went on a hunt for food and a beer. No dice on the beer, but some great samosas and aloo tikki.
Day one complete, and onto the next adventure. My goal is to up and running for freelance assignments in a weeks time.

Beyond Bootcamp Live

Live from Beyond Bootcamp:

The Impact of War

A well rounded package of audio, text, and visual storytelling from NPR. I particularly liked this piece.
Great to see all the medias coming together as one on their website, and looking forward to more.

Bucharest Below Ground -Poul Madsen- Bombay Flying Club


From Poul Madsen of Bombay Flying Club:

In the summer of 2007 I started to think about shooting a film documentary
about street children in Bucharest, Romania.

At that time, I had seen some smaller documentaries and some footage on
Youtube about this issue and I was quite surprised to see, that children
in Romania were still suffering severely from political things that had
happened and taken place way back in the early nineties. At that time I
was still working as a staff photographer at a Danish daily called
Nyhedsavisen, and I was pretty upset with the working conditions there.
The news flow was so intense and fast, that I rarely had more than 10
minutes to shoot an assignment and I just really started to miss in depth

By fall 2007 I had managed to convince the photo-editor at the paper, that
they should fund a cheap one-week trip for me to Romania so that I could
do a multimedia piece for the website. I had managed to get in contact
with an American based NGO called Archway and I had also decided that I
would drop my film approach and instead try to develop a full screen
multimedia presentation about the issue. The thing is….I was kinda fed
up with Soundslides even before trying the software. I was fed up with
photographers who embraced the program but obviously didn’t know how to
tell stories in an way that could capture an audience. Danish news sites
were packed with basic sound- and slideshows and it just didn’t work for
me. I thought we could do better, or at least try to do better.

In late February 2008 I went to Romania with a good friend of mine who’s a
radio journalist. He’s always been up for a good adventure, he’s
consistent, dedicated, and even paid for his own trip because he
thought it could be an interesting story to do. We had a somewhat chaotic
week in Romania. It was bitterly cold, we had severe problems finding the
kids who lived in the sewers and after the first three days we still
didn’t have any footage or sound. I think we were quite lucky to pull this
one off. We ended up meeting two unfortunate and very different groups of
homeless people who were living right next to each other, and we decided
to stick to their story.

For us it was quite a schock to see this harsh reality. On our first
”field trip” to the sewers there was a fight going on within the group of
drug addicts. Bottles were flying throught the air and bloody syringes
we’re used pretty much as weapons. And then in the middle of it there were
these small kids running around barefooted in the dirty piles of trash,
outside in – 10 degrees celcius. It was just horrible to see. We ended up
spending 2-3 afternoons with the groups, trying to document their lives
and situation.

When I came home I started to do the programming in between my assignments
at the paper. That’s why it took me two full months to do the story. Also
it was quite a task to do the full screen thing. I didn’t really know how
to approach it in Flash and it took me a long time to get the things to
work properly. I am not an advanced flash programmer at all. Everything is
really basic, but it works and I think that the full screen thing is super
cool. It draws you into a story in a completely different way when you’re
not disturbed by other elements on the screen. And today I am still using
a lot of the scripts from that project in my new stories.

Flash is a great tool, but time consuming. Too time consuming if you ask
me. But if we can use these tools to tell stories in a way that can draw
an audience into a world of powerful storytelling combined with still
photography, then we have an obligation as photojournalists to keep
exploring new ways of communicating. At the end of the day it’s all about
making a difference and about giving people a unique glimpse of what’s
actually going on this crazy world. And that’s a good thing, isn’t it?

10 days and counting… here’s my gear list

I’ve had quite a few inquiries and with 10 days to go before I head to India to start my freelance career I thought I’d share the gear I plan to take along with me. I’m trying to keep my load as light as possible, but also want to make sure I have everything I need to get the job done properly. Happy New Year!

(2) Canon 5d Mark II and 6 batteries
(1)Canon HV20 video camera with twoneil adapter and 3 batteries
(1)Canon G7 with underwater housing with 3 batteries

(1)Canon 24 1.4
(1)Canon 50 1.2
(1)Canon 135 2.0
(1)Nikon 35 1.4 for the HV20

(1)Rode Video Mic
(1)Beachtek apapter
(1)Rode NTG-2 Shotgun Mic
(1)Sony MDR-7506 headphones
(1)Zoom H4 Audio Recorder
(1)Sennheiser EW112P bodypack lavalier kit

(1)15″ Macbook Pro 2.8 GHz w/4GB ram
(1) Drobo with 4 terabytes
(1)250 gig LaCie Rugged Drive

(1)Canon 580ex speedlite
(1)Canon STE2 Transmitter
(4)SanDisk Extreme 16 gig cards
(2)Sandisk 16 gig SD cards
(3)Card readers
(1)Ipod touch
(2)XLR mic cords
(1)Manfrotto Modosteady 585

Crafting beauty from death

A Harlem funeral home owner works hard to do his clients justice.
Simple, beautiful, and powerful. Storytelling and imagery at its best by Gianni Cipriano.

Not to be missed – Left Behind

Left Behind, by Dai Sugano at the San Jose Mercury News. This multimedia piece is not to be missed.
Thanks to Richard Hernandez at Multimediashooter for pointing it out.

Exit Iraq

Exit Iraq from the Sydney Morning Herald:

For Australian combat troops the war in Iraq is over. Almost 14,000 Australian soliders have served in Iraq in the past five years, and the commitment has cost about $2.3 billion.
The shattered nation of Iraq has paid a heavy toll. As many as one million Iraqis have died, while twice as many have fled as sectarian violence filled the power vacuum left by Saddam’s fall.

Zach Wise

The multimedia work of Zach Wise

The Great Debate

edgeoflifeI hate to bring this up, but at the same time I feel I have to.
Sonya N. Hebert of the Dallas Morning News has an incredibly powerful 5 part series on life and death in 21st century medicine.

But what about the music? Where do we stand on this? Does the music evoke emotion that isn’t already there?
This became a great debate at a recent course I was a part of, and in the end, no one really had an answer. Most agreed that music was okay in funny, feature pieces, but it wasn’t fair to use it to further tug at our heartstrings. Some felt it made them feel manipulated, like someone was trying to pull the wool over their eyes. Others felt it okay as we are constantly making these decisions with the way we shoot, our choice of light, composition, and even when we choose to click the shutter.

I’m wondering where people stand on this, and, if one day there may be a common set of guidelines pertaining to newspaper and multimedia storytelling.
Until then, we march to the beat of our own drum…

The VJ Movement


The Video Journalism movement is recruiting qualified freelance video journalists from throughout the world but, have an immediate need for additional journalists in the following countries:

France (outside of Paris)
USA (outside of New York, Chicago, Texas and California)
Brazil (outside of Rio)
South Korea

What it is:

The Video Journalism Movement, an online international video news network, is looking for freelance video journalists to contribute stories for our launch in early 2009. The VJ Movement seeks to be a platform for international news that goes beyond headlines and attracts viewers who are frustrated with the way mainstream media covers international issues.

Required experience:

The ideal freelancer will live outside the United States. He or she will understand the culture of their region, know its language, have access to key leaders, and know how to tell character-driven and explanatory stories that connects facts and add context to headline news. They will have excellent research, reporting, shooting and editing skills. They will be eager to experiment with the power of the web to foster communication between viewers and journalists. They will embrace our core philosophy about news: There is more than one truth. We prefer that they have experience reporting about conflicts, religion, environment, natural resources, immigration and refugees, or technology.


Please send a resume that includes links to your video work to Emily Kopp, reporter/coordinator at Please include your name and location in the subject line. No calls please.

Jenn Ackerman


The multimedia work of Jenn Ackerman, a documentary photographer working in Dallas, Texas.