How Aggregating!

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What an awesome day in the news facility! I got to read articles, choose a few to package together, and write a little blurb to lead people in.

Anchoring for WUFT News

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Today I anchored for the “News in 90″ morning segment on WUFT News. Check it out!

Writing from the audio of someone else’s story…

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It’s not my favorite, but its not difficult — unless of course, you have a question about the story and can’t reach the reporter to ask. All that’s there is all there is. Since it is audio, though, it’s likely to make sense. The task is only to transcribe and rearrange, maybe add an angle and get creative with it.

Another day in the newsroom…with Silver Springs returning to a more “natural state.”

Burrito Bros. reopens

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I gathered information from the video produced by Isatou Sarr for WUFT News, and wrote the story to accompany her multimedia during my shift today as web producer for WUFT News.

First WUFT Video Update

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This is the first WUFT News Video Update I produced for WUFT’s website. I’m relatively new to Adobe Premiere Pro, but getting comfortable with it.

Florida teachers disappointed in Supreme Court decision

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I started my first five-hour shift in Florida’s 89.1 WUFT-FM newsroom today as web producer in the Integrated News Facility at the University of Florida. This directly followed my editing lecture, so I skipped out on lunch to get to work.

I read the follow sheet as I awaited an assignment. This just in! The Florida Supreme Court rules to uphold a law which…just kidding, you’ll have to read the article linked above to get the full story.

So I had some vague details, a four graf article handed to me a little after 1 p.m. to get some hint at what was going on. I brainstormed with fellow INFers on whom I should contact as sources.

I called the Florida Education Association first, and was put in touch with spokesperson Mark Pudlow, who told me to call back a bit later, which was great ’cause that gave me time to actually figure out the recording studio.

I recorded my interview with him, and then called Janine Sikes to get UF’s take on the deal.

I talked with her, and then looked for a teacher to contact locally. I ended up with Karen McCann, president of Alachua County Education Association. I talked with her the longest, she was very passionate about the subject and wanted to make it clear what she thought and why, which made my job easier.

I left a message for the United Faculty of Florida, but didn’t hear back so I started. I emailed myself the recorded audio and began to form my story. Deadline of 6 p.m. was approaching, and my head was starting to feel the hunger. I had a meeting with the Fine Print in an hour, and still had to bike home and eat something. I didn’t want to let all this work go wasted, though.

So I closed up my laptop and took it home with me. Went to the meeting, returned home, pieced the rest of the story together, emailed Ethan that the draft was up, and viola! Now I can eat something.

Well, almost…the audio I recorded from the interviews may be used on the radio in the morning. How cool! I had such a productive day going from class, to the newsroom, to the Fine Print meeting, to finishing up a story. And then, to see it published on the WUFT website was quite refreshing and warmed me with such a sense of accomplishment that I almost forgot how tired and hungry I am.

Jags, NAACP, CoRK Arts District & Courthouse Weddings

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[It's another photo published in the Times-Union!]

On Tuesday, I shadowed another Florida Times-Union photographer, Will Dickey. We went to an event at an elementary school which three Jacksonville Jaguars and two ROAR cheerleaders attended. The Jaguars donated over $1 million to help the kids.

There were billiards, ping pong, jumping gyms, face painting and more in a loud afternoon of children running everywhere and eating pizza. The tough part of this assignment came with the concern that one of the kids would run away before I could get their name. I had to be aware of the shots I got — anything good enough and I would need to act quickly to record it. The lighting inside was fluorescent or sunlight from the sides — always bring a flash.

Later we went to a NAACP meeting over at the Legends Center. The talk was of getting rid of the ‘school to prison’ track so many students seemed to be on. I held the flash from the back of the audience while Will got some shots of the newly-elected superintendent. None of the shots ended up running in the next day’s paper.

On Wednesday, I was supposed to meet up with Bob Mack in Ponte Vedra to shoot golf. But I awoke to rain, and the golf was canceled. So I went in and hung out with Bob Self instead.

We drove around 5 points looking for a  girl who dances there. It was a bit damp and gray out, so we didn’t see her. We drove around looking for features. We drove by CoRK, a complex on King Street where artists have their studios. There were two people painting on the outside. We parked and walked across the street.

One was Jon Graham, from Asheville, and the other was Danielle Brutto, from Atlanta.  They were adding to the artwork on the outer walls of the building. Both were on their way back from Art Basel Miami Beach, and stopped in CoRK to stay and paint before traveling onward northerly.

Brutto stood on a ladder painting a sleeping girl. When asked why, she said she slept a lot because she had narcolepsy, so it had to happen at some point.

Graham thought of a few different titles for his piece, but said he didn’t want to influence the onlookers’ perception by naming it, so he just let it be. It was a photo of him painting that was published in Friday’s paper.

We drove on to the new courthouse, the most intimidating building I’ve seen in Jacksonville. The story was a local take on the national story of lots of people getting married since the date was 12/12/12. Once we got smoothly through security, we escalated up to the room of the weddings. A party stood in the hallway changing a baby’s diaper, they’d just finished. We walked in and sat waiting for couples to come in deciding to take the plunge. The chapel was nice, lots of red and white flowers, clean-looking, courthouse-efficient-looking. An aisle, rows of chairs, a podium for a judge to stand behind. Or the clerk.

We caught one wedding that ended up being the front page story. First the parents entered wearing Santa Claus hats, they’d come from South Carolina to surprise their daughter for her wedding – it was also her birthday. By the time we’d watched a whole other wedding in the chapel, in which the bride and groom were each from different countries in South America, the rest of the group had arrived in the waiting area, including the bride and groom. Bob asked the bride if it would be alright to attend and take pictures and she said it was.

And yet again, I am reminded of the importance of carrying a flash. I don’t know what to compare the lighting in that chapel to. This was the first time I ever photographed a wedding, and I’m not going to sugarcoat anything, it was tough. For one, the bride and groom are facing upstage toward the judge during the good parts. The bride smiled, the groom looked serious. Their daughter was running around and then everybody’s taking pictures. There isn’t really room in the aisle for more than one photographer.

Thursday Will and I went to the Bolles School to shoot a Sportrait of a swimmer – Kasey Schmidt, I believe. He set up a blue-gelled flash across the pool and an-umbrella diffused flash in front of her on the ladder out of the pool. I held it so it wouldn’t fall in the water (first thing to do if a strobe gets wet – turn it off, he said. Then take out the batteries and take it all apart and blow it dry. It’s worked.). We went back to the newsroom and that was it. I saw the changes in his photos as he adjusted the flash.

The week went by so quickly. It was such a insightful experience to work closely with the photographers of the Florida Times-Union, people who take photos every day as a way of life.


Feature Photo, B-1 in the Florida Times-Union

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Yesterday I met Dede Smith at the Times-Union in downtown Jacksonville. She gave me a tour of the news room and I sat in on the morning meeting. I met photographers Bruce Lipsky and Will Dickey.

Bruce and I headed to the beach for some feature-hunting. There was a boy running by the pier with his grandfather, there was a man with a very colorful umbrella enjoying the sunny afternoon. We were walking inland when I saw the row of lifeguard chairs that I immediately thought would make a cool photo – if only there were people doing something near them. Like on cue, two lifeguards start setting up weights and bringing out other work out materials. We hung around and took some photos, letting them just do what they were doing.

My photo ended up on B-1, front page of the Metro section, in color. I don’t think it could be any bigger. What a beautiful reward for effort. (Link above)

We went to Mojo for lunch and Bruce told me about the Look 3 photography festival — worth checking out, he said, its very cool to be around other photographers.

For the Record — No, Literally

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I awoke at 6 a.m. Friday to drive the two hours to St. Augustine to spend the day with photojournalist Daron Dean, who shoots for the St. Augustine Record (and also taught one of my advanced photographic journalism courses this semester).

It was a dreary day, not to be helped by beginning the day with stopping by the last remaining arches of the Florida Memorial College, and then heading to an unkempt cemetary. Buried there, were the founders of the university.

Dogs barked, Daron found three heads-up pennies and I took photos of Nathan Collier’s headstone in the overgrown Woodlawn Cemetery (–the link above will take you to the article and photo).

A court hearing was canceled for the afternoon, so we drove around looking for features. We ended up at the fort. The fog was so thick you couldn’t see across the inlet. Daron got some great shots of a man fishing, and I managed to catch fire from the canon, and then we went back to the Record.

It was an eerie day, the fog didn’t ever clear up, but it was cool to know that the paper needed photos, and I could help with that.

Boxing Team to compete in Tallahassee! (article in the Alligator)

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Members of the University of Florida Boxing/Kickboxing Club will compete this weekend against six other Florida schools. See full article here: