Monday, October 27, 2014

Al Diaz on Faculty of Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar 2014

A Pakistani man carrying a child rushes away from the site of a blast shortly after a car exploded in Peshawar, Pakistan, Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013. "Bomb Attack" Photo by Mohammad Sajjad / Associated Press

I’m honored and excited that I have been invited to participate as a faculty member at this year’s Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar November 13-15, 2014. I’ll be speaking on Saturday morning from 9:00-10:15am

I’ve attended this outstanding event several times over the years. I always leave with the hopes of returning for more. Hope you’ll be joining us this year.

The Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar was founded in 1973 by a group of photojournalists representing newspapers, magazines and wire services. Its reason for being is to promote the highest standards of photojournalism through an annual educational conference and a photography contest judged by working photographers.

Speakers throughout the years have included Pulitzer Prize winners, Photographer of the Year winners, major magazine and wire service photographers, influential directors of photography, important educators in photojournalism, academia, and others important in this profession. Founded as a regional event, the Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar has grown to become one of the most prestigious photojournalism competitions, with participants from throughout the world.

The Seminar will be held at the Westin Atlanta Perimeter North, which is close to the Dunwoody MARTA transit station and Perimeter Mall. There are dozens of shops and restaurants nearby. MARTA offers easy transportation to downtown, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as well as other Atlanta locations.

The following is the schedule for the 2014 Atlanta Photojournalism Seminar. For more information regarding speakers and topics, visit the 2014 Faculty page.
Thursday Video Speakers (November 13)
                7:30am – Registration desk opens
                8:30am – Eyeopener videos begin
                9:30am-5:45pm – Contest Judging (Open to public)
                9:30-10:45amAmani Channel / Visual Eye Media
                11:00-12:15pmOliver Janney / CNN
                12:15-1:30pm – Lunch on your own

                1:30-2:45pmLauren Frohne / Seattle Times
                3:00-4:15pmWes Pope / University of Oregon
                4:30-5:45pmEric Seals / Detroit Free Press

Friday Workshops (November 14)
                9:00am-6:00pm – Contest Judging (Open to public, except for portfolio judging)
                                  Location Lighting – Robert Seale /
                                  Shooting With Your Ears – Oliver Janney / CNN
                                  Location Lighting – Robert Seale /
                                  Shooting With Your Ears – Oliver Janney / CNN
                                  Sports – Jamie Squire / Getty Images
                12:45-2:00pm – Lunch on your own
                                  Go Pros: Dos, Don'ts, and Drones – Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press
                                  Sports – Jamie Squire / Getty Images
                                  Standing on Your Own Two Feet – Judy Herrmann / Herrmann + Starke
                                  Go Pros: Dos, Don'ts, and Drones – Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press
                                  Standing on Your Own Two Feet – Judy Herrmann / Herrmann + Starke
                8:00pm-??? – Portfolio Reviews

Saturday Speakers (November 15)
                8:40am – Eyeopener videos begin
                8:50am – Welcome/Announcements
                9:00-10:15amAl Diaz / Miami Herald
                10:30-11:45amKen Lyons / The Denver Post
                11:45-12:45pm – Lunch on your own
                12:45-2:00pmScott Strazzante / San Francisco Chronicle
                2:15-3:30pmAmy Toensing
                3:45-5:00pmMatt Eich
                5:00-5:30pm – Contest awards ceremony
                8:00-10:00pm – Breakout Sessions (topics and locations TBA)
                8:00pm-??? – Portfolio Reviews

***All speakers, dates and times are subject to change.

Exit Glacier ate my camera!


It was overcast, dark for midday and a bit foggy, with a cold and steady drizzle coming down on us, atop the icy glacier.
That’s when the camera slipped out of my hand — covered by a neoprene glove — as I was trying to stick it back inside a pocket of my rain parka.
I watched in horror as the Lumix compact digital camera fell four feet and bounced once off the slippery ice, before sliding ever so slowly toward the brink of a deep crevasse I had just finished photographing.
It was like watching a slow-motion video: The camera seemed to hesitate a second at the edge, before tottering forward and falling down the glowing, bluish-and-gray maw of the fissure.
We were hiking on the slippery ice and snow atop Exit Glacier, just outside Seward, Alaska, in late July 2011. And, with my feet firmly set with the help of mountaineering crampons clamped to my hiking boots, there was no way I could jump or dive for the doomed device – And that’s probably a good thing, since I might’ve joined it in the fall.
Hearing a string of expletives, one of our two escorts from Exit Glacier Guides trundled over to ask what the heck had happened. My wife, Elissa, was even more upset than I — she knew that the camera’s memory card was almost full, containing several hundred images I had taken while fishing near King Salmon earlier.

The other members of our group offered their sympathies. One even joked about how funny it’d be if 100 years from now someone found the camera, recovered the images and remarked on how oddly folks dressed in 2011.
Well, that’s sort of what happened — three years later.
Elissa got a call in early September from Ryan Fisher, one of our two guides and co-owner of Exit Glacier Guides.
Fisher said one of his colleagues, Andy Farrell, found the battered camera around mid-August.
“The camera was found in a compaction zone just below the icefall from where (it) had been dropped,” wrote Fisher in an email. “It landed in a crevasse at the top of the ice fall and slowly made its way down-glacier over the [next three] years.” As the crevasse widened and turned downhill, the glacier must have spit out the camera onto the surface of the ice.
Finding that camera was amazing enough. But after the guides brought it back to the shop, they popped out the memory card and stuck it into their computer’s reader.
Surprise! The images came up undamaged, all 501 of them.
So, how did they know that I was the owner of the camera?
When Fisher looked through the images, he noticed himself — or someone who looked like him — and another guide in some of the wider shots. That made him think the owner could’ve been taken out on the glacier by his company. He found the date the photos were taken in the images’ embedded metadata and checked it against the company’s records. Then he started making phone calls to clients out on the glacier that day
A couple of week later, Fisher shipped us the camera, and the memory card. Fine silt poured out of the beaten-up camera body, but the card and its electronic contacts looked brand new, without even a sign of corrosion.
Thanks to Fisher and to Farrell, I could end my lament of having lost a set of pictures important to me, captured memories that are worth far more to me than the camera itself.
And what a great tale I now have to tell!

Roman Lyskowski is photo/video editor at the Miami Herald

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