Good Movie for Photographers!

Bill Cunningham

Bill Cunningham New York

If you read the Sunday NY Times On the Street Column (on paper) or seen the videos you’ve seen his photos of what people are wearing in NY.  He also does their column that looks like socialites (but he says he only covers events for worthwhile charities).

He’s 80 and bicycles around NY (on his 29th bike; 28 have been stolen) looking for people wearing interesting clothes and spotting trends.  He clearly has 2 loves: fashion and photography. Works in film, carrying a little Nikon and snapping pictures right and left.  His “apartment” is a small room filled with file cabinets and a pallet that he sleeps on. He’s never there except to sleep.

The big people in fashion all know who he is, as unprepossessing as he is on the street in his simple clothes and his Schwinn.

It’s also interesting as a documentary — noticing how they do it, how they captured the images and sound, how they set up the interview situations, how they edited it together.

I came out of the theater noticing a LOT more about the people on the streets of Berkeley and wishing I had my camera!

It’s playing at the Shattuck but has been there for a while, so may not be there much longer.

Totally Optional Photo Discussion

Since people said it would have been nice to have more discussion of photos — and there won’t be time on Wed since we’ll be doing presentations:

I went to this track meet on campus this weekend specifically to photograph it. I didn’t carry my longest lens, so many of these are cropped from larger pictures. These show the value of having MORE megapixels: you can crop and still have an fairly good image. A couple of images are online in more and less cropped versions; I cropped them further in response to feedback from a photographer friend. I think you can see how cropping out the extra strengthens the image.

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For March 16

a. Finish presentations of student work from last week

b. Semiotics, more:

Barthes, R. (2003). Rhetoric of the image. In L. Wells (Ed.), The photography reader. London: Routledge.  (Not my scan)

c. Editing

We are all used to editing ourselves, such as when we write papers.

We also do a form of editing when we forward information – posting, retweeting, whatever we do to pass on information from a source other than ourselves.  This is similar to the kind of editing that, say, news media editors do in deciding what stories to cover, what to print (or post), where to place stories on a page or a timeline, and so forth. Editors make decisions about both content and emphasis.

In creating multimedia products we are editing, in several ways. We do a form of editing when we decide what media content to make: photos, video, interviews.

We do another form of editing when we make selections among the available content. We may take 10 minutes of a person talking and reduce that to two. We decide what’s most important (for our purposes) in what they said. With photos, we not only pick images that tell our story, but we may pick those in which our subjects (human or not) look the way we want them.  We may pick flattering images, or unflattering ones.

We also make editing decisions in our post-processing of media. In audio, we take out their pauses, their “ums” – we may make them sound better.   In processing images, we make decisions have to make decisions in the processing that affect how subjects look – e.g., the infamous OJ Simpson news magazine cover images.

Finally, we make editing decisions in putting all the pieces together. We’ve talked about the power of sound; and about montage and the meanings created from sequencing.

This week we will look more closely at editing.  It is a part of our decisions about how we interpret and present what we observe.  It also has implications for our relations with our participants and how we represent them.

Most of the discussions that I found about this topic relate to ethics – clearly an important aspect of this topic, but not the only one relevant to us.

  • Liz Danzico. 2010. BETWEEN THE LINES: The art of editing: the new old skills for a curated life. interactions 17, 1 (January 2010), 16-19. This overlaps with the topics of interest for us.
  • Barrett Golding,From Edit to Air. November 16th, 2001. Special Feature w/ Hearing Voices. A concrete example of editing for radio.

Abstract: Below are three versions of a radio script for Savvy Traveler, the fifth part of a series about bicycling the Lewis & Clark Trail. The left-hand column is the first draft. The middle is the revision based on the comments of the SavTrav Editor, Celeste Wesson. On the right is the final broadcast version, revised after one more editing session. AX stands for actualities (field recording of interviews, sounds, musics); TRAX are my narration tracks. All AX times are actual; times for TRAX are guessed in the first two drafts, and actual for in the final.

Below are from the perspectives of journalism and oral history, not social science research. But very useful.

Tutorials on Media-Making and Tools

This is linked from our blog but I had forgotten —
They have online tutorials on Final Cut Pro, audio editing including Garage Band and Audacity, Photoshop, Soundslides…and so forth.

There are also tutorials on making media, not just tools.  I skimmed through the one on making video — started really obvious, but had some good advice, points I hadn’t thought about.  I think it’s worth going through their tutorials (which it’s easy to to quickly) for various media, just to see what they may say that you don’t already know. Especially, tof course, for whatever media you plan to use, but others as well.