2.2 Behind a News Assignment
This lesson shows a raw take from a news assignment: inside Toronto City Hall on the day the news broke that mayor Rob Ford had been filmed smoking crack cocaine.
1.Introduction4 lessons, 13:43
2.News Assignments2 lessons, 15:04
3.Sports Assignments2 lessons, 11:27
4.Editorial Portraits2 lessons, 20:29
5.Food Photography2 lessons, 09:50
6.Feature Assignments and Photo Stories4 lessons, 28:03
7.Get the Job Done4 lessons, 36:52
8.Conclusion1 lesson, 00:34
2.2 Behind a News Assignment
Welcome back. Now, we're going to look through some of my raw photos from previous news assignments. So this assignment is covering Toronto's' at-the-time mayor, Rob Ford, the day that his crack use allegations broke. We went down to City Hall to try and get a photo of him. He woke up with press on his lawn in the morning, so he was not in the mood for talking to the media. They were in damage control, and this is when the entire saga of Rob Ford really started. So, this program we have here is Photo Mechanic. I'm going to be getting deeper into this program in following lessons. Great program for what we do in newspaper photography, but it's also going to be good to go through some of these images quickly. So what we're looking at is my entire raw take from the day. I'm not going to do this for every assignment, but this is a good way to understand what's going on behind the scenes. So this is it, inside of Toronto's City Hall. Nothing special, very dim, crappy lighting situations. Other media, like this guy. This is early. Just getting started. Here's some politician. Rival politician giving his comments before the mayor shows up. I was working for Reuters News Agency at the time, they wouldn't have been interested in a photo of this guy, it's too local news, but you never know what you're gonna shoot in the day and you never know, this could be an important photo at some point. Also a good time to start getting your exposure dialed in, as you can see, I don't have that done yet. So, yeah, a little over exposed, but I was shooting in RAW. These are jpegs, you may notice at the top, but I shoot all of my assignments in RAW. It takes a little extra time, but it gives you a lot of leeway, helps you save photos, especially in, like you're seeing here, tricky lighting situations with overhead lights, side light from one camera, different colored light from another camera, who knows what this cell phone's gonna do. So yeah, trying to balance the light, but also shooting at the same time. This was the deputy mayor at the time, so a little bit more important of a photo, but still not gonna be, the story is Rob Ford. And that's gonna be the photo of the day. But you never know, opposing politicians, so quickly start to skim through these, cuz these are all pretty crappy photos. This entire time I'm staking out a position here in front of the elevator, directly in front of his office where all the other media is gonna start lining up as well. Basically, just waiting for the Mayor to come up the elevator from the underground parking garage. So, here we see the Mayor arrive. Obviously not the best photo. Some other photographers splash- shot off and ruined- well changed the light in the frame, at least, but it still can be adjusted, and if we zoom in we have something going on there, at least. Next, exits Mayor Rob Ford and as you can see, struggling, my flash is lighting up him, his press secretary at the time, which is not helping with Mr. Ford. I'm moving, being jostled by other media and getting some camera shake which, even though my shutter speed was at one twenty-fifth of a second, still not the best. We can see a nice, unusable photo there. And again, coming through, this photo, kind of is a little shaky, and obviously the color is not the best, but we can correct that. But, it could be a possibility. Next photo, again, another person's flash. A lot of guys will shoot their settings, their flash really hard. I like to shoot it low so my flash can recycle quickly. So for instance, I like to shoot basically for what the exposure is inside, but people will shoot for what the exposure would be outside,so therefore their flash is powered way higher, which gives us that great effect that we just saw. But here we go, a frame where he's in focus, the color is okay. It kind of shows this situation, cut this guy out here. Okay, maybe we've got one, okay again, technical problems, worse technical problems, craziness, [LAUGHS] crazy scrum as you can see and that's it. That's his walk from the elevator, his morning walk from the elevator to the office and we're trying to get a photo. A couple in there we can use, but obviously not great start. Here he is walking into his office, and break time to find out what's happening. One person gives an update, he's not going to be saying anything, and then the mayor quickly leaves his office but during that update, which was kind of a side flank move, but okay. Yeah, crazy situation, the focus is missing. Okay finally got a frame with him there that can work. Another frame which isn’t the best. Got a couple. Okay, now we're unsure of where the mayor is going in the elevator. Here is a frame kind of showing a little bit of exhaustion, we can cut in here. We get word that the mayor is going to be attending the Gay Pride flag raising ceremony outside of City Hall, which is a complete shock to everyone, including the organizers, cuz Mayor Ford had not been the biggest supporter of Gay Pride events in the city of Toronto. So as you're running out the doors, changing your exposure, trying to get in a position while there's a bunch of other media following you, you got to stay calm and focused, and start to get some photos. So here, we have him here, talking at the podium. I'm sure he is thinking about other things other than [LAUGH] what he's saying right now, but he is holding it together a little bit, you know? There was now rumors out that he's caught smoking crack on video, so it's kind of a big day in his life. And for some reason he reason he decides to go stand in the back and take a moment for himself in front of all the media. And we start making frames like this, very thoughtful frames of the mayor. Not sure what's going on here, but these are these moments that are just gonna happen and make great photos. So here we have [LAUGH] the mayor doing his best Superman pose, something we've never seen him do before. And, yeah, kind of a sad situation to laugh at, but it was quite a comedy at the time. And, more frames. This is the longest we saw Rob pose in a place for the entire time that he was going through all of his struggle, so this is actually pretty lucky to get a lot of the photos of him here. And these photos can be used in a variety of different ways for a variety of different people. And as I'm working for the wire service multiple people, multiple publications, well, publications across the world will have access to these photos. These photos were on TV, on Jimmy Kimmel, they ran in magazines and television, and also newspapers. I think The New York Times ran one. So, that's the kind of cool part working for a wire service, you can have your photos everywhere in the world. So, yeah, I'm shooting a lot. This may seem repetitive, but just to give you an idea of how I'm working out here. A couple of other wide frames, just nothing great. And here he is leaving. This scrum event, and of course he is usually kind of aggressive with media, as his security guards are. You have to be ready and kind of try and work around them just to get a frame of him. So here, you can see kind of working with the scrum, my friend Peter trying to do the same thing. [LAUGH] There's a good move here, he just took his hand down and pushed the security guard's hand away, and the security guard changed directions after that. Funny. Here he is, some crappy photos of him coming in from the place. And then you see what happens when the light changes and you're not ready and there's everything going down. And we're back inside, not sure what's gonna happen, here's his doors. Okay, yeah now here he comes leaving, here's a photo. And quick debrief statement, you can see the white balance is horrible, note that, we're a second from now and that's it. That's the end of his day, he's gone. He's out. So, yeah, pretty crazy day at Toronto City Hall for sure. Let's look at what came out of that. Okay, so here are the file photos, you can see kind of a rough take, but got some. Corrected the color balance here. Was able to pull a few out of the fire. Got this one which I was happy with. This one. Cool working for a wire service, I think this photo ran in The New York Times, other photos ran on Jimmy Kimmel. Your photos go around the world, so it's really cool to see them pop up. Former mayor, and this is how one of the Canada's magazines ran the photo. So, yeah, quite an interesting day there. That's that assignment, that's general news. Hopefully that gives you a kind of an overview of what to expect in a crazy situation. Yes. Here's another assignment, I'm gonna not go through every single photo like I did on the last one. But this is a big fire. I was driving and I saw some clouds of smoke, so I turned my car towards it and it turned out a furniture factory was on fire, so went up to the scene. Establishing photo, we have smoke, firefighter, firefighting, building. Okay, first frame done. Go around the scene, something a little more creative, firefighters- this is gonna be a very visual photo as there's so much smoke now, just trying to find an angle that works for that. Kind of cool photo here, firefighters running across the water, fire in the background. In this assignment you don't necessarily need a photo specifically of the fire, although you do, but more kind of the general situation, a photo that tells a bigger story than just the fire. So that's what I'm looking for here, these guys fighting the fire. Interesting visual photo here, kind of cool, lots of lines, shapes. Same thing here, this is sort of a bigger visual photo. Run around the back, find out what's going on. This lady's walking through the smoke, covering her face, either from the smoke or from me. Doesn't matter, interesting photo. And this guy is watching the fire from across the fence, and yeah, that's it. Quick, straightforward news assignment. So that's it, some general techniques for news assignments. I hope it was helpful. Next we're going to be talking about sports assignments.