Sep 17

I do the photographic Don’ts – sometimes on purpose

I delivered a lecture on photojournalism composition to a graduate class today. So we talked about the rule of thirds and margins and the golden ratio and visual storytelling and all of that.

My favorite section — after Step 1.) Removing the lens cap — is the Don’ts section. Don’t do grip and grin shots. Don’t shoot buildings. Don’t put people right up against a wall. Don’t let mergers creep into your shots. Don’t do the Facebook photo poses. You know, the let’s all get together and squat down, or throw fists on hips or, my favorite, just stand in front of a thing. It’s good for Facebook, not so much for the work you’re trying to do here. I show the students, who are always paying close and careful attention, several examples. I used this one of my mother-in-law for the Facebook photo:

Also, I need a haircut.

Yesterday’s sports talk show from the sports talk guys:

From the Department of You Gotta Love People:

Sep 17

That’s a nice upgrade

Seventh best in the world.

Take that, planet earth.

Sep 17

People overcoming things

We’ve been in this weird debate off-and-on over much of the last year about whether there is anything redemptive in sports. I really think it started as the slight souring of one person’s opinion until that person saw it was getting a reaction out of people. And when you get a reaction, of course, you go all the way with it. So this conversation has morphed and twisted and disappeared and reappeared several times over the last year. And it has done so to the point where The Yankee and I will be watching some sporting event or reading some athlete’s story and she looks at me and says “SEE!?”

Like I’m the one that offered the offending opinion. I was not. Sports are silly, but there’s plenty of redemption in them. Redemption is sort of the theme of many sports, and one of my favorite humanistic themes in general. And while the following anecdotes, all from this glorious, long weekend, don’t really offer redemption, they do tell the tale of worth in sport. I commend them to you:

Aug 17

Today’s notes

I don’t mean to pile on to anyone’s circumstance. If you aren’t there and you don’t know, then it is about the farthest thing from walking a mile in someone else’s shoes as possible. So I don’t want to speculate, because there was, perhaps, a legitimate concern or distraction of some sort at play here. And not knowing the story, I’d just be making one up and doing a disservice, perhaps even an injustice, to another person. I want to be mindful of that.

Besides, I’m hard pressed to imagine the sequence of events that would lead to me forgetting my belt in a public restroom:

Preying Mantis

But I hope it makes it back to its rightful owner eventually.

Last Thursday, before we produced our first live television broadcast of the school year, I gave four guys a crash course in podcast production. And then, on Friday morning I gave them a glimpse into audio editing. And now they have a show. Here is their first episode:

Not bad for a bunch of print students, I think. It’s all there, if they but seize the initiative. It is so cool when they seize the initiative.

Meanwhile, in Houston:

That is a friendly neighborhood Spiderman, indeed.

Aug 17

And so it begins

With the sweaty palms and nervous smiles of new graduate students at the dean’s annual welcome event, the new school year is upon us.

Dean Shanahan welcomes new grad students and new and returning faculty to a new year at @iumediaschool. #360

A post shared by Kenny Smith (@kennydsmith) on

For the record, I voted for an endless summer. But at least I have a 360 camera to tinker with.