News Archive

Choosing Software, A Personal Choice

By Katelyn Umholtz

Picking software for photo and video editing can be a lot like picking camera equipment. Everyone has a different preference, and each software has something a little different from the rest, making it difficult to decide which is right for the workflow part of the job.

In some news organizations, there are preferences over which software is used. For those on their own and have a tougher choice to make, it’s all about finding the perfect fit.

What the pros are saying

Craig Hartley, a freelance photojournalist in Houston, Texas, uses Photo Mechanic and Photoshop. He said Photo Mechanic is best when you need to organize a lot of photos in a short amount of time. It’s where he does his captioning and photo selection.

“[Photo Mechanic is] especially handy when you’re shooting sports assignments and when you’re really on a tight deadline,” Hartley said. “Once you go back and figure out which pictures you’re interested in, you can tag them and narrow them down even further.”

Ever since he was a photo editor back in college, Matt Weigand, intern photographer for the Ann Arbor News, has preferred using the combination of Photo Mechanic and Lightroom. While he uses Photo Mechanic for sorting and captioning, he chooses Lightroom over Photoshop for edits because of its convenience.

“I like that I can have specific import settings in Light Room that are tailored to exactly what I want,” Weigand said. “If it’s a lot of photos with the exact same lighting, I like that I’m able to copy and paste and quickly tweak each photo just to make the workflow that much faster.”

Though Amanda Voisard, a freelance visual journalist in Washington, D.C., does her video editing in Premiere, she has an alternative preference when it comes to video compression. With Pavtube, video compression comes quick and easy. Voisard said she doesn’t know too many people that use it, but it was something that she caught onto after a co-worker introduced it to her. “If I’m going to compress quickly, I use Pavtube,” Voisard said. “It’s an unusual one, but a boss at one of my former positions found it because it compressed files very quickly. It could compress four at a time rather than waiting for individual compression.”

With deadlines always an issue, Nick Serrata, a freelance photographer for the Batavia Daily News and Livingston County News, said iMovie comes fast and easy to him when editing videos. Though the free OS-user application may not be an industry standard, Serrata said he can shorten clips, tweak audio and add title slides just as one would be able to in Premiere, but at a much quicker pace. “Believe it or not, I pretty much use iMovie,” Serrata said. “I have external mics and things like that to make sure the audio is good, but I use iMovie because it’s quick and easy. You just get right to the point and then export it.”



Charges Dismissed Against Journalist Who Recorded Video Outside of a Courtroom

By Tom Burton

Charges against a journalist who was detained and arrested while recording video with his cell phone outside a New York City courtroom have been dismissed, following motions made by the National Press Photographers Association.

Daryl Khan, a reporter for the Juvenile Justice Information Exchange (JJIE) was covering the sentencing of Taylonn Murphy, Jr. on June 24, 2016 when court officers confronted him outside the courtroom when they saw him recording video of the defendant’s family.

Officers escorted Khan from the hallway and detained him in a jail cell. The legal motion describes officers intimidating Khan with threats of felony charges if he did not delete the video from his phone and eventually, he complied with the officers. Kahn was still charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct.

“We are very pleased that the judge agreed with our motion that the allegations against Mr. Khan were “facially insufficient” to support the elements needed to show he was disorderly,” said NPPA General Counsel, Mickey Osterreicher, who made the motion.

“What is almost as disturbing as the violation of Mr. Khan’s constitutional rights under the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments, is the fact that the officers coerced him to delete his footage which itself is a form of prior restraint on the press and a violation of the Privacy Protection Act of 1980, a federal statute enacted to protect the unlawful seizure of a journalist’s work product,” Osterreicher said.

Osterreicher said that the relevant subsection of the New York state penal law, a person can be guilty of disorderly conduct when they cause inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, create risk or disturb lawful assembly.

“ In this case Mr. Khan’s intent was to gather and disseminate news on a matter of public concern. The only people apparently inconvenienced, annoyed or alarmed by his mere act of video recording were the court officers which does not satisfy the ‘public order and peace’ component of the statute,” Osterreicher said.

The murder trial was part of the story of violence between rival gangs in New York that Khan had been covering for the JJIE. The judge had ordered additional security for the sentencing and Khan’s story from that day reported that a number of young men were gathered outside the courtroom. Friends from both the murder defendant and the victim were sharing space in the hallway.

A judge’s order had prohibited video recording inside the courtroom, but there was not an order outside the courtroom. Kahn was one of an estimated dozen reporters waiting in the hallway, including journalists from the New York Times and a crew from ABC’s Nightline. Photos and video were made in hallway without any issue for at least 30 minutes before the sentencing hearing started.

Kahn had previously interviewed the defendant's father, Taylonn Murphy, Sr., several times for stories about feuding gangs in Harlem. Murphy’s daughter had been shot and killed in a gang retaliation hit and her brother, Murphy, Jr., had just been sentenced for killing one of the men involved in that shooting.

After the sentencing, Kahn was waiting for the father for an interview. He began recording video on his cell phone, as many reporters do, hoping to get footage of the father to go with his reporting. Court officers confronted him before he could see Murphy, Sr.

The full legal motion can be seen here.



NPPA's New England Driving Short Course Kicks Off Tonight, Walk-ins Welcome

For so many reasons, it's good to feel you belong, especially when the world seems upside-down. You belong to the NPPA for a reason and it isn't that often we get the chance to spend time together and learn from one another. Whether you work in print, online or tv, are a staffer or a freelancer, there's something for everyone. We have great gifts and giveaways too! And a simple lunch! Just come :)
So get yourself registered now at, and spend the day at The Boston Globe with some of New England's best photojournalists and storytellers. We have an awesome program planned that you don't want to miss. Registration closes at 5pm today, but you may also just walk-in and register on Saturday if your schedule is up-in-the-air.
My hope is that this workshop will become a tradition for the New England region and I'd really like your support in making it a success. As an NPPA volunteer, it's worth the effort if you come, because I believe our work as photojournalists is more important now than ever before.
We also have an evening of networking and portfolio reviews, tomorrow, Friday October 21, 6:30pm - 8:30pm. 
Stop by and say hello, or bring some of your work for review by your peers.
Location: The Boston Globe "The Link" conference room, 135 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester MA 02125 

MAIN WORKSHOP, Saturday, October 22, 9am - 6:30pm. Doors open at 8am. 
Free Parking onsite. Simple lunch and refreshments provided too.
The Boston Globe Auditorium, 135 William T. Morrissey Blvd., Dorchester MA 02125
Jess Rinaldi "Amplify your voice, by listening"
John Tlumacki "The Marathon Bombing: Survivors move on but the hurt remains"
Dominic Chavez "Passion Beyond Normal"
Christopher Wood "Down to Business"
Greta Rybus "Finding your True North"
Vern Williams "A View from Above: The latest on drone journalism"
Bob Dotson "A Survival Kit for Professional Storytellers: How to compete in the age of social media"
Plus discussions on the business of freelancing and the value of entering competitions and being recognized moderated by Peter Southwick.
***Awesome gifts and giveaways!!***Everyone who buys a ticket will receive a copy of "Make it Memorable" Bob Dotson's best-selling book, and one lucky attendee will be going home with a SONY 4K VIDEO CAMERA FDR-AX53, retail value $999.00. PLUS we'll also be giving away a $250.00 certificate towards gear rental from Rule Boston Camera and some goodies from ThinkTank*** 
$65 for members. $30 for student members. Non-members $100, students $35 with proper ID. Register now!
Come be inspired by our speakers, their stories, their work, their passion and go home with new ideas for your own work. Bring your friends!!
We know these are uncertain times. We know the lines are blurring more and more each day between print, TV and online platforms and that jobs are changing or disappearing. We all need a bit of moral support and inspiration to carry on with our work and keep those ideas coming.
Thank you to The Boston Globe for hosting us, to our speakers, giveaway donors ThinkTank, Sony and Rule Boston Camera, our supporters and our volunteers who are all generously giving their time and resources to make this happen.

Current Privacy Laws Can Cover Drone Issues, News Media Recommends

By Tom Burton

Existing laws will protect both the right to privacy and the First Amendment even with drones in the air, according to an argument presented to the Federal Trade Commission by media industry organizations.

The News Media Coalition has presented comments to the FTC arguing that the commission avoid creating additional regulations concerning drone use for newsgathering. The FTC held a public meeting last week and is soliciting input from the general public on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and rights to privacy.

The coalition of 23 media corporations and professional associations, including the National Press Photographers Association, presented the opinion to the FTC through the Holland & Knight law firm on October 7. Mickey Osterreicher, general counsel of the NPPA, helped draft the comments. The full text of the draft can be found here.

“As we did during the stakeholder meetings of the National Telecommunications and Information Agency (NTIA) regarding best practices for drone privacy, we will continue to advocate for First Amendment protections in the area of newsgathering regardless of the technology involved,” Osterreicher said.

The comments from the coalition noted that privacy concerns with new technology go back at least as far as the introduction of the Kodak Brownie camera in the late 1800s. Current privacy laws can protect citizens “whether by traditional cameras, camera phones, telephoto lenses or UAS photography.”

In addition, the coalition argues that no new laws should prohibit UAS photography in public places or in situations where there isn’t a reasonable expectation of privacy. Also, editorial decisions on the use of those images must be left to the newsrooms, the coalition recommended.

The FTC has heard arguments from other sources that data collected by drones, which can include data beyond video and photography, is a threat to privacy similar to some internet website data collection. There are also arguments that because a drone operator is not physically with the UAS, they could try to circumvent existing laws like trespassing.

The FTC will continue to accept public comments on UAS operations and privacy issues until Nov. 14.



Workshops Provide Hands-On Experience For Students

Elizabeth Mansour, 17, from Coweta County, and her cow Elle at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia. Photo by Cory A. Cole

By Katelyn Umholtz

The 40-year tradition of the Mountain Workshops will continue this week as Western Kentucky University visual journalism students spread out to document Paducah, Kentucky.

“It is not intended to be a ‘how a camera works’ workshop,” Tim Broekema, a photojournalism professor at WKU, said. “All the workshops are based upon the art of storytelling and the craft it takes to put visuals together to tell a story.”

The workshop, which typically take place in different communities in Kentucky or Tennessee, started in 1976 as only a photojournalism workshop. Now it’s made up of six workshops that include photojournalism, video storytelling, picture editing, time-lapse, data visualization and a special workshop for K-12 educators.

This isn’t a new idea. Many photojournalism programs across the country have similar workshops. The hands-on aspect is central to all of the programs.

“Particularly in a medium like photojournalism, the only way to understand the power of an image to inform and educate is to go through the whole cycle,” said Mark Johnson, a lecturer of photojournalism at the University of Georgia. “Students need to explore and find stories, tell them well and then analyze what the result of that effort was.”

The Mountain Workshops program is made up of 60 percent students and 40 percent coaches. Students are grouped with a coach that helps them angle their stories. The teams pull pre-researched story ideas from a hat for their projects.

“They read a brief description of the person or concept for a story idea. Each person then meets with their individual coach, and they analyze the story more in depth,” Broekema said.

Once the story idea is fleshed out, students and their coaches go to work. The program ends with a large cast party where students all show their work.

Syracuse University’s Fall Workshop took place Oct 13-16 with 70 students, including military visual journalism students.

“The Fall Workshop is often cited by students as one of the best educational opportunities they had during their time in Syracuse,” said Bruce Strong, MPD chair and director of the workshop.

The Missouri Photo Workshop was founded in 1949 by Cliff Edom. The 68th edition of the workshop recently concluded, having focused on Cuba, MO, the self-described “small town with big ideas.”

Johnson at UGA was inspired by Syracuse University to begin his own weekend workshop for his photojournalism students.

“We prototyped a workshop in the fall of 2005, my first semester here,” Johnson said. “We brought in a handful of professionals to coach students in covering UGA’s homecoming celebrations. Based on the success of that, we did the first weekend workshop in the spring of 2006, covering Morgan County, [Georgia].”

Now, the photojournalism program holds two workshops, one for the advanced photojournalism at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia, and the other for the documentary photo class in different counties throughout the state.

Riding a lift at the Georgia National Fair. Photo by Cory A. Cole

Cory Cole, a student who participated in the fall workshop on Oct. 8, said photographing and telling stories of the people at the fair was a valuable experience, despite it being exhausting.

“I definitely felt pushed the entire day, which was really good for me,” Cole said. “It was hard to be critiqued of your work and see what you were doing wrong, but at the same time, it was very helpful.”

The nature of these workshops, Johnson said, is to get students out of their comfort zone in the university’s campus and into a new community with different stories to be told. The UGA workshops are funded through the support the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at UGA has for experiential learning.

Cole said it was a experience like no other, and it was one that would prepare him for his future in photojournalism better than a classroom lecture.

“It gives us a taste of what we can expect in the future,” Cole said. “We got to go outside the classroom and work for the Macon Telegraph. That was a great experience.”

Broekema said students at WKU’s Mountain Workshops have called it life-changing. He knows it firsthand. Years ago, when he was a student at WKU, he participated in the photo workshop. He remembers seeing his work change and get better because of this workshop.

“The participants always leave with a sense of pride and accomplishment,” Broekema said. “We stress to our participants all the time that it’s not about the quality of the story you get in the end. It’s about what you learn along the way.”



Rich Clarkson to receive Missouri Honor Medal

Former NPPA president Rich Clarkson
Former NPPA president Rich Clarkson

COLUMBIA, MO (October 14, 2016) – Former National Press Photographers Association president Rich Clarkson is among three distinguished journalists and three organizations who will receive the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism during a ceremony on the University of Missouri in Columbia campus on October 18.

Clarkson’s career includes a turn as director of photography at the National Geographic Society, The Denver Post, The Topeka (KS) Capital-Journal and Sports Illustrated. He founded Denver-based Clarkson Creative in 1987 for the creation and management of unique projects based in various uses of fine photography.

He organized the photographic coverage of the Munich and Montreal Olympics for Time magazine, the Moscow Olympics for Sports Illustrated and for the Atlanta Olympic games. And Clarkson Creative does all the photography of the 91 national championships of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. In addition, Clarkson chairs NPPA’s Council of Presidents.

He has co-authored six books and among the 15 books his company has produced is Brian Lanker’s “I Dream A World,” portraits of America’s great black women, which became the best-selling trade coffee table book in American publishing history. Another landmark book Clarkson produced is “Where Valor Rests: Arlington National Cemetery,” a photography book featuring the work of many award-winning photographers which is given as a memento to families who bury someone at the nation’s premier cemetery.

Clarkson has been a Pulitzer Prize juror, a lecturer in a variety of venues from the International Center of Photography in New York City to the Sasakawa Foundation in Tokyo. He organized NPPA’s 50th anniversary celebration including a rededication of the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington with a week-long series of events. Read more about the Missouri Honor Medal and this year’s recipients online here.



Judiciary Committee Censors Member

ATHENS, GA (October 14, 2016) Six NPPA members in good standing brought forward a formal, written complaint regarding three separate social media posts by Charles Menefee about the Black Lives Matter movement, including one that showed an aerial view of protestors accompanied by his words: “BLM is blocking the street… But I have a solution! How about we box everyone in and drop a fu*cking bomb on it.” A second post read, “I think it would be cool if someone rained gunfire down on to the ignorant human turds at the next @blacklivesmatter March.”

The committee has met twice, and reviewed a written response by Menefee. The committee unanimously agrees that Menefee was in violation of the following sections of the NPPA Code of Ethics:

- Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.


- Avoid political, civic and business involvements or other employment that compromise or give the appearance of compromising one's own journalistic independence.

His membership has been revoked.



Nominate Industry Leaders For NPPA's Awards

ATHENS, GA (October 13, 2016) – Since the inaugural Joseph A. Sprague Memorial Award was given by the National Press Photographers Association in 1949, the organization has annually recognized individuals for their special contributions to both the NPPA and the wider field of visual journalism. 

These awards represent NPPA’s efforts to honor those whose efforts make our profession stronger, build our communities, and expand the reach of NPPA in its mission to promote visual journalism and journalists. 

NPPA's 16 awards recognize individuals who contribute to the profession in a myriad of ways. They honor people who elevate photojournalism, photojournalists who have reached outstanding technical achievements, leaders who advance NPPA goals, people who fight for First Amendment freedoms, and educators who inspire. 

NPPA’s immediate past president serves as the chairman of the Honors & Recognition Committee, the group that puts out an annual call for nominations and determines each year’s honorees. This year the committee chairman is NPPA's immediate past president Mark Dolan.

Please take ten minutes to nominate a fellow NPPA member by filling our online form here. The deadline for nominations is December 5, 2016.


Dotson Book Included In New England Driving Short Course Registration

Bob Dotson is our keynote speaker at the NPPA New England Driving Short Course October 22, and for those who have already had the pleasure of seeing Bob in a workshop setting you know what a treat it is to learn from someone who really has done it all and seen it all, yet is still so excited about his next story and how to make it better than his last. He retired from NBC last year after 40 years, but the stories keep on coming. 

Every person who buys a ticket to this event will receive a copy of the new second edition of Bob's classic book, "Make it Memorable, Writing and Packaging Visual News with Style" so you can carry on being inspired long after the workshop. More info and registration here:



When Access is Everything In Campaign Coverage

Donald Trump at a campaign rally. Photo by Stacie Scott, Colorado Springs Gazette

By Katelyn Umholtz

Covering presidential campaigns can be a process. When those candidates are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, things are even more interesting.

For Jessica Kourkounis, a freelance photographer from Philadelphia, it just makes access harder.

“I wouldn’t categorize either of them being awesome access,” Kourkounis said. “In 2008, access was better. It gets worse each cycle, from my experience.”

In covering both candidates, Kourkounis said she found the access at Clinton’s rallies to be slightly better. At the Clinton rallies, she said, she was allowed to stand in the buffers for as long as she wanted, whereas at Trump rallies, the time was extremely limited.

“It’s really difficult [at Trump rallies] to get crowd shots because it’s generally just the back of their heads if you’re in that riser area,” Kourkounis said. “With Clinton, you’re in the buffer for so long that you can work photographs of Clinton and the crowd.”

She’s not the only one in the riser area at the Trump rallies either. Kourkounis said she was packed in there with other journalists, with not much access to go anywhere else or move around freely.

“You really are kind of caged in,” Kourkounis said.

Stacie Scott, a staff photographer for the Colorado Springs Gazette, said she expected access to be limited when she showed up at a Trump rally. She didn’t that stop her, though, from getting a unique image.

“It’s a fun challenge because you want to get something a little bit different than just a podium shot,” Scott said. “But you don’t always have the access to do that.”

However, the event loosened up a bit for the press, which lead Scott to an unforgettable image.

“To my surprise at the end of his speech, someone from his campaign brought the still photographers up on stage,” Scott said. “He was handed the babies. It was a very lucky thing to happen, and I was in the right place at the right time.”

In the picture of Trump and the babies, he appears to be just as perturbed as the babies he’s holding. The photo won first place in the NPPA monthly clip contest for the Northwest Region.

Since covering two Trump events, Scott comes back to the newsroom with a disc full of “goofy expressions.”

“He’s just wild,” Scott said. “If you’re looking through your pictures of him when trying to send some to the paper, they’re just all these goofy faces.”

“I didn’t know how to portray him in a way that didn’t make him look goofy, but then I realized that’s just him,” she said.

Donald Trump at the airport during a campaign appearance. Photo by Stacie Scott, Colorado Springs Gazette


Just in the general way he’s handled his campaign, Scott said, Trump takes a much different approach than Clinton does, and that shows in the pictures photojournalists make.

To some ruffled viewers, the differences in pictures of Trump compared to Clinton may seem subjective, but Kourkounis said the photojournalists are doing their jobs and only shooting what is going on around them.

“If you were to look at all my pictures from the rally, you would see an entire gamut of expressions,” Kourkounis said. “You try to tell the complete story, and often times it gets pinpointed into one image. You might be able to tell the story of the night in that one image depending on what’s going on.”

As Scott said she caught the right moment at the right time “out of luck,” Kourkounis said that’s what a visual journalist’s goal is — to catch the perfect moment.

“You wait for these little moments that exude some sort of emotion or expression,” Kourkounis said. “That’s what you aim for.”