Friday, 8 August 2008

Lightning's Last Dance

While I haven't been overly vocal, at least publicly, in the ongoing debate about the merits of newspaper multimedia, and specifically video as a tool for photojournalists, I have been consistent about one point.

The opportunity for photojournalists to step up and accept a greater role in our newsrooms, as journalists - storytellers, has never been greater.

For years many of us have struggled to be accepted as journalists and have fought against the "just a photographer" label. Many newspapers today, more than ever, seem more willing to give photojournalists time to work on stories because the new potential home for our works - the web - has limitless space, and papers are motivated to fill that space with content. The discussion about the quality of work we provide, and/or papers demand, and in turn the resources they are willing to commit to these efforts I'll save for another day.

Enough said.

My latest story, which was shot primarily in video, with some stills - I also wrote the story - was posted yesterday on theglobeandmail.com and ran on the GlobeAuto front, and inside on page five.

Much of my work in recent years has tended to be documentaries about social issues, but I felt I needed a break from the norm and thought I would try my hand at something completely different. Perhaps not completely, since it still deals with overcoming challenges, but it is certainly a "lighter" story than most people are used to seeing from me lately.

The two parts of the multimedia story, each a little over five minutes long, tell the story of a low-budget stock car team competing in the Nascar Canadian Tire Series.

Finally, a word about luck. This entire story seemed to be lucky for me, despite being about a #13 car. Many aspects of the story just fell into place, and then there was simply the odd "lucky" moment.

I was once told, and I firmly believe, that photographers make our own luck. We anticipate something happening, prepare properly, and if our instincts are correct we are rewarded with the image we'd hoped for - or better. You'll see what I mean if you watch Part 2 to the end.

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