Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pintail Point and Chesapeake Bay

I took my spring break to College Park, Maryland, to look for housing since I'll be here this summer for News21. My dad came down to meet me here and help me out. Conveniently enough, there is a world-class shooting preserve about an hour away that we have been to before called Pintail Point. It is an absolutely beautiful shooting course and we had a blast running it. 350 clays between the two of us - successful shoot. My dad shot a 63 and I scored a 77. After that, we took a light hike on Kent Narrows East, on the Chesapeake Bay. A pristine salt marsh with ample opportunities for bird watching. After that, some good seafood, a tour of the UM campus, beer, and college hockey frozen four playoffs. Tomorrow - apartment searching until we find something suitable for my summer stay here.

Photos © Jason Lenhart

Thursday, March 25, 2010

International Night

Got asked by a good friend, Clay McGlaughlin, to photograph the first two hours of International Night in Jesse Hall at Mizzou for the Missouri Students Association. It was a diverse display of cultural song, dance, and a few skits. Thanks to LED stage lights, the lighting was fun to work with/around. Just pulled a few I liked. Got paid, too, which is nice.

Photos © Jason Lenhart for MSA

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Perche Creek Gutbuster

What do the first day of spring and a canoe race have in common? How about snow. Yea, it snowed on March 20th, 2010 - the first day of spring. The day before? I got out on the driving range for the first time this season. It was 70 and sunny. That's Missouri weather for you.
Anyway more than a dozen racers braved the low 30s temperature to compete in Charlie Lockwood's second Perche Creek Gutbuster - a 10 mile canoe/kayak race. The racers faced wind, snow/sleet, and words of encouragement such as "HURRY UP, WE'RE COLD!", from friends and family. Despite the weather, Charlie considered his race a great success. Everybody seemed in good spirits and, as always, had a great time paddling.
I'll be editing this entire character profile of Charlie Lockwood tomorrow and should have a complete story to present soon thereafter. I had a blast spending time with Charlie and his family and can only hope my photos convey to you what a good man he is. Also, if you're a canoer, you may want to check out Charlie's custom paddles on his website - Thetis Paddles.

Photo © Jason Lenhart

Thursday, March 18, 2010

1 Day Story, Revisited

Last week I sat down with my Picture Story professor and did a reedit of my 1 day story. We both agreed I had shot better than my original submission had indicated. This second edit is a little more conceptual (maybe?) than it is literal. I'm still not quite sure how I feel about the story presentation, but that just reiterates the point I made when I first posted this story - I over shot and wasn't focused enough. I would appreciate any and all feedback on this edit compared to my first edit.

Photos © 2010 JLenhartPhoto

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

For the Love of Canoes, pt.2

This is the first submission of my character profile. I have three more shoots scheduled, like I said in my previous post, so this is just a smattering of the photos I showed to my class. I got berated for not putting them in color (my excuse was poor color, which, apparently, they're not). Expect a more completed story in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

For the Love of Canoes, pt.1

This is a character profile that I'm working on for my picture story class.

Say hello to Charlie Lockwood - a local Columbia canoe enthusiast.

As of right now, Charlie's main business is furniture restoration and repair. It pays the bills he says, but his passion lies in the cluttered wood shop that he built himself.

Charlie began building canoes and canoe paddles out of necessity. Having a family establishes some financial priorities, and buying a canoe is not one of them. As a man who loves working with his hands and solving his own problems, building one seemed like the next logical step.

I have at least three more shoots scheduled with Charlie. He will be doing some instruction with a pair of female races this weekend. Next weekend is a short race, designed for all ages and skill levels that Charlie is overseeing. I'll post again after those shoots are done.

Photos © 2010 JLenhartPhoto

Monday, March 8, 2010

POYi Multimedia Reaction

Pictures of the Year International wrapped up this weekend after three long weeks of some amazing photography. Multimedia was the hot topic in the last week, where judges watched all the major categories' multimedia submissions. The story that struck me the most was the winner of the Issue Reporting Story Multimedia Category - A boy's Struggle - by
Screenshot from the Los Angeles Times

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

News21 conference at ASU

This past weekend I was invited to take part in the News21 conference on innovative journalism. It was the first gathering of top journalism students from around the country who will be participating in a 10-week summer program at 8 "host schools". For those of you who don't know, I'm headed to College Park, Maryland to focus on developing multimedia, as well as environmental investigative reporting on the failing Chesapeake Bay. The purpose of the program is to experiment with innovative ways of presenting stories to the public in the hopes of finding a remedy to the downward spiral of the journalism industry. For two days, about 40 or so of us met at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism in Phoenix, AZ, to converse about our summer projects and brainstorm possible methods of news media dissemination. News21, which called this event our "spring training", featured such speakers as Amy Webb, the CEO of Webbmedia Group, Chris Callahan, Dean of the Cronkite School of Journalism, Gabriel Dance, multimedia producer for the New York Time, Rob Curley, executive editor of Greenspun Interactive for the Las Vegas Sun, and many others.

Some presentations were good, others not so good, but when it was all said and done I walked away from Phoenix with a renovated and rejuvenated outlook towards the future of journalism. Before this weekend, I was mostly just scared. The outlook was bleak. As a student in the journalism field, we get a lot of "I don't know" when we try to probe our professors as to where this industry is headed. Graduating into uncertainty was a frightening concept, and it left me with a wavering confidence in the direction I was headed.

However, after listening to these various speakers and conversing with graduate and undergraduate students from different journalism schools, hearing new ideas and feeling a sense of determination to innovate really revamped my feelings. The dismayed feeling I had towards the static progression of journalism was shaken up by these forward thinkers. The opportunity to be an entrepreneur in the industry that one enjoys, in my opinion, is exponentially better than just taking part in it. We are at a pivotal time where either we do nothing and continue to demise, or find it within ourselves to break away from the established "norms" of Journalism.

While the essence of journalism, i.e. great storytelling, has not changed and should not change, we must wipe clean the slate that contains the rules of "publication". Engaging the reader/viewer is the foundation of surviving as a business. In a utopic journalistic world, all we would have to do is produce great journalism - society would then claw hand over fist to ingest our words and photos with little or no promotion or "incentive". Unfortunately, in the age of social media, digital mobility, and lack of public interest, it doesn't work that way. We cannot rely upon the old way of dissemination. It is time to try new things, embrace failure, and create journalism that our audience can engage in.

Rob Curley said something that hit really hard when he was showing us some great innovation on the Las vegas Sun's website. He said "When we stopped doing journalism to impress journalism professors, our hits increased over 10 million." Later he added that the most close minded journalists are the ones that just graduated. Have we been indoctrinated, as students, into a state of mind where the drive to innovate is wasted on the current model, instead of looking outside the box? I wonder.
I apologize for ranting. News21 ignited a spark for me and I think it is an issue that needs to be addressed in the best interests of our industry. Now I give you pictures, because everybody loves pictures. 2 shots from ASU's J-school.

Photos © 2010 Jason Lenhart