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Essential QuickTip #7: Hide the Lavaliere

LITCHFIELD BEACH, South Carolina, 24 November 2010 — You see it all the time. Lovely women wearing ugly lav microphones sticking out of their neck as if it were some malignant growth. Hide the thing! Go to a pharmacy and get some Moleskin tape, which you normally would apply to your heel when wearing new […]

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Essential QuickTip #6: Stick These In Your Ears

WASHINGTON, 18 NOVEMBER 2010 — I can’t tell you how many of my backpack journalism students lose critical visual and audio information because they are not connected to their characters with headphones. Once your character is out of sight and you are not listening to him/her over the wireless microphone, you’ve cut yourself off not […]

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Essential QuickTip #5: Shoot the Journey

WASHINGTON, DC, 30 September 2010 — Learn to document your story as it moves from one scene to another. Always shoot the journey, be it by foot, car, plane or train. Shoot your character’s feet hitting the pavement, hands on the steering wheel, face in the rear view mirror. Shoot through the windshield for the […]

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Essential QuickTip #4: Open Your Eyes

WASHINGTON, DC, 27 September 2010 — Get accustomed to using the eyepiece instead of the display screen. You’ll be better able to tell when your subject is in focus, especially when there’s a backlight, which is a big issue with many of these hand-held cameras. Keep both eyes open. Otherwise you lose peripheral vision on […]

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Essential QuickTip #3: Make Your Body a Tripod

WASHINGTON, 26 SEPTEMBER 2010 — Backpack journalists use tripods on a very, very limited basis. The whole idea is to cut down on gear, to be mobile and to be unobtrusive. So learn how to turn your body into a tripod. Turn your left hip toward your subject. With your left hand as a base […]

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NPPA Magazine Features American University’s Backpack Journalism Project

WASHINGTON, DC, 1 September 2010 — Here’s how Donald R. Winslow starts out his piece in the latest edition of “News Photographer,” the official magazine of the National Press Photographers Association and arguably the most important magazine dealing with our craft: OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS AT American University in Washington, DC, some of its […]

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