Intended Intimacy, Unintended Consequences – Part 1

In one of my Master’s in Multimedia Journalism graduate classes at the University of Miami’s School of Communication, we have recently been discussing the relationship between a documentary photographer and his/her subjects – Is the proper, ethical relationship strictly professional, or can an ethical photographer/subject relationship include or evolve into something that is a more nebulous amalgamation of the professional and the personal – a friendship based on a professional relationship – as a result of the necessarily intimate and confessional nature of the interaction?

In no way do I claim any greater insight on this long standing and complex discussion than the next guy or gal with a camera strung around his/her neck, but having worked as a professional photographer for 25 years and during that time photographed “people in their environments” literally throughout “North America and the entire world,” (that’s 50 countries and 38 states thus far) I have the experience of countless photographer/subject relationships to draw upon as I consider the issue.

One of these relationships came to mind during class last week, and I would like to share it here, along with two edits of the one-minute film that was born of that relationship.

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The Evolution of a 30 Second Advertising Spot. Plus: “Name That Project” Answered!

Again using Canon’s 5D Mark ii and the Zoom H4n audio recorder, I shot and produced the video above for Rich Beckman’s Multimedia Storytelling graduate seminar at the University of Miami School of Communication. The assignment was to create a 30 second public service announcement promoting Special Olympics. I decided to produce a spot for Special Olympics’ “Spread the Word to End the Word” campaign, an effort designed to encourage people to stop using the words “retarded” or “retard” to describe individuals with intellectual disabilities.

My concept was to show a series of video clips of things that begin with the letter “R,” and to end with a clip of a Special Olympian followed by the words “Role Model.” I decided to test the concept’s potential by blogging stills and video clips as the shoot progressed, and asking people to “Name That Project.”

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Name That Project! (The First of Many…)

UPDATE: SUNDAY MORNING, 11:24am EDT: NEW VIDEO CLUES POSTED BELOW.

Please forgive the impromptu nature of this post, but I’m up to my ears in alligators with various deadlines before the end of my second semester in the University of Miami’s Multimedia Journalism master’s program.

This is the first in a series of little contests I’m going to do wherein I will post raw imagery from a project as I shoot it. These are not tight edits, but rather simply screenshots that represent content. From the stills above, and the video clips below, a savvy observer will find clues in the images that will hint at the project’s concept.

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Getting Great Sound and Stability with the Canon 5d Mark II in the Documentary Mode

(Photographs above by Paula Echevarria: pechez@gmail.com)

If you are a still photographer, you’re probably moving toward incorporating motion into your arsenal of marketable skills.  If you’re a videographer, you’re probably exploring the myriad possibilities opened up to you by the new 35mm DSLR video-capable cameras from Canon and Nikon.

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