A (very) full summer…

Coming from a career that demanded more than 24/7, it’s hard for me to sit back and do nothing during my summer break. After a few days (heck – a few hours) of relaxation, I get bored. Not bored enough, mind you, to clear out the back forty. But after months in a classroom full of high school students, bored enough to look for adult company.

This summer, as part of an experiment, I’ve offered to shoot the occasional news story using video for my local paper – the Lodi News Sentinel.

The why? First, can’t live without a camera in my hand and a reason to turn it on. Plus, a lot of curiousity about whether video adds audience to a website.

So far, I’ve posted one – about the dedication of a new section of a county park. I think the video added something photos and maybe even words couldn’t – a sense of place. What the area really looks/feels like.

My final reason for wanting to volunteer in this capacity is to learn how a newspaper works. I’m not sure if the Sentinel is an exception or the rule, but from what I’ve seen it doesn’t have the chaos and tension of a broadcast newsroom. Discussions are thoughtful, focusing on the subject at hand. I’ve only had one or two news directors who could equal Editor Richard Hanner; a thoughtful man who paces his thinking and questions in such a way that the listener must also slow down and reflect before responding. None of the shoot-em-out style so often seen in old movies.

The organization and workflow mirror broadcast news…with differences. More on that later, as I continue my journey.

2 thoughts on “A (very) full summer…

  1. Just stumbled across your blog tonight & enjoying it very much. I could learn a lot from you! I’ve had a long interest in video but no professional experience. I’ve always been working with computers throughout my career, now am moving into digital media technologies.

    Like you, I have been writing for a small-town newspaper (they don’t do video yet). Also this summer I’m working with a telecom company who wants to start putting local content on their TV system. I’m really interested in this, but mostly all I’ve done to this point is research & recommend equipment they will need.

    Looks like you are doing a fantastic job teaching the kids about this stuff. I’ve subscribed to your blog & will check back from time to time.

  2. You really want to pick up some help, go to http://www.newsvideographer.com which belongs to Angela Grant.
    Yeah, I know video, but the stuff for the internet and newspaper feels different. Thus, the summer experiment. And I’m not writing…I’m sticking to what I know, which is telling stories visually.
    Don’t be afraid to get your feet (or whole body) wet. Even if all you have is a still camera, you can shoot pretty good stories. Take a look at the Absailing video I shot last October. Done with an Exilim 7 megapixel still camera.
    My whole emphasis is that it ain’t the gear – it’s and gearhead. You.

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