Travel and sports journalism


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  • Travel and sports journalism

    1. 1. Traveling “journo” A sense of place
    2. 2. A sense of place A goal of travel writing and/or photography is to give viewers a feeling of what it was like to be in that location.  We call this a sense of place.
    3. 3. The essence  In travel journalism, we try to capture the essence of a community, a lake, a mountain range, a country.  We try to give our viewers the feeling that this could be no where else on Earth.
    4. 4. A feeling  It captures not so much an objective view of a place, but a feeling of the place.
    5. 5. Evoke a feeling It tries to evoke something in the viewer that says:  This is Paris.
    6. 6. Evoke a feeling  This is New York.
    7. 7. Evoke a feeling  This is Fargo (NDSU, specifically).
    8. 8. Travel in spirit  The concept of travel journalism, to capture the essence of a place, does not mean you have to go far away.  You can try to capture the feeling, the essence of your home town.  Or your university.  Or your workplace.
    9. 9. Capturing the essence What describes a place? Two natural features often define a place:  Climate  Landform
    10. 10. Weather  Choosing to emphasize weather typical of a place can help us to feel what it might be like to be there.  The weather we choose might not be obvious. Tropical climates are usually sunny, but we know taking pictures in the middle of a sunny day doesn’t usually product the best images.
    11. 11. Weather  Instead, we might choose weather that helps to enhance a feeling of place, a mood we want to evoke.
    12. 12. Weather  We expect rainy days in England, and we can build on that by tying weather to typical scenes.
    13. 13. Changing weather  Weather may change quickly, sometimes in only minutes. This is particularly true at sunrise or sunset. You need to be ready, and work fast. (San Diego.)
    14. 14. Land and surroundings The place we live defines our lives: cities, mountains, plains, seashore, lakes, desert. People live differently in response to their surroundings. These also help to define our sense of place.
    15. 15. Customs and dress  Customs and distinctive dress contribute to our sense of place.  The way people walk, the things they carry, their surroundings also contribute.
    16. 16. Land and culture  In what country is this picture taken?  What are the visual clues?
    17. 17. Land and culture  In what country is this picture taken?  What are the visual clues?
    18. 18. Land and people  Could this be the Midwest? Why/why not?  Could this be the United States? Why/why not?
    19. 19. Visual cues A variety of visual cues can give a sense of place:  Worn wood and peeling paint  Glint of ice and snow  Narrow streets  Color contrast  Houses and buildings
    20. 20. Study a place  Begin by taking a close look at your surroundings.  Travel journos often begin by touring the area without a camera.  You can soak in the ambience and get a feeling for what might make a good photo.
    21. 21. Avoiding clichés  Photojournalists try to avoid cliché images in giving a sense of place.  For example, everyone knows the Eiffel Tower is in Paris. Taking yet one more photo is a cliché. Try to find something new.
    22. 22. Working a cliché  You can, however, take a cliché photo in an unusual way.
    23. 23. Campus clichés  What might we consider a cliché image of campus life?  Could we take the photo in a way to avoid the cliché image?
    24. 24. On campus  Here is one typical campus scene.
    25. 25. On campus  And one student’s attempt to try something different. We do miss having people in the scene.
    26. 26. Sports Writing and photojournalism: the interesting, the unusual, the emotional, the unexpected
    27. 27. Timeliness is paramount     You must be aware of subtle movement in the game. Avoid talking to others and keep your head in the game. It’s easy to get distracted and miss a huge play. Strive to capture sport in a unique way. A good sports photo and a well-written story are both timely and have high reader interest.
    28. 28.     If you can do it right, there’s money to be made. Star player photos and interviews get you paid. You must mimic qualities of a sports fan while trying to avoid becoming one. Read: no bias! Read, listen, talk sports. Look for stories you want to cover: injuries, major trade or fights and feuds, players and coaches, money, etc. Big money
    29. 29. Plan for the drama    Do your research and know which players are having hot streaks (on and off the field). A news angle like this adds extra dimension (read: money). History in the making Make friends with the team statistician by contacting the PR department. If the team breaks or ties a record, you need to make that a big part of the story.
    30. 30. Readers want winners (and losers)  The greatness is not so important as the STORY!  Get the photo that tells the story.  Start your lede with “What the story is about.”  Watch the action but don’t stop when the final whistle blows. Sometimes expressions tell the story better than the action. Look for that “afterglow” effect.
    31. 31. Get things that summarizes the game/match  Whether it’s the lead photo or the lede in your story, get the names of each team, key players and the outcome of the game.  Also describe the game’s highlights – turning point or winning goal, star of the game, and injuries to important players.  Note: you must follow the game closely so you know what to write/photograph
    32. 32. Crowds are key  Crowds reactions also help characterize the game’s emotions.  Don’t get a picture of the team celebrating when, at the same time, you could get a shot of the losers sulking. After the game, run into the middle of the field, if that’s what’s feels good. Don’t be afraid to get in the middle and mix it up. Or, stand back with your long lens and/or notepad if you agree to “shoot long.”
    33. 33. Reactions on and off  Watch the field and the sidelines but don’t miss anything on the bench or dugout.  Get the coach pacing and yelling at refs. How about a clenched jaw or the frown of an injured athlete wearing a cast.  Often but not always off limits – the locker room! That’s where a lot of emotions are revealed.
    34. 34. Tips for sports PJ Don’t forget your captions – names, what happened, when the action took place  Take photos of the scoreboard to know when action occurred  Take a picture of the roster  Take a copy (or a picture) of play-by-play stats available from officials after the game  Learn the shorthand and jot down descriptions after each play. Audio recordings on your phone or DSLR. 
    35. 35. Sports features   The news approach to sports usually involves inverted pyramids and sharp, freeze-frame images. However, a more impressionistic approach could add drama and be more appealing. Set your camera on a slow shutter speed or, if you’re a journalist, ignore the critical winning moment in favor of another moment that captures the atmosphere of the event.  Attempts like this usually transcend the actual event and become a universal statement about the sport.
    36. 36. Techniques for PJ sports      Freeze action: at least 1/500th second High ISO You need a faster shutter the faster the sport (runners vs. joggers) The closer the camera is to the subject, the faster the shutter needs to be to stop or freeze the movement. Look for the peak of the athlete’s movement – when athlete reaches the apex (use a slow shutter)
    37. 37. Shooting techniques cont’d  Panning – Slow shutter and move the camera to follow the subject during the exposure  If you do not follow smoothly, the subject will be blurry (don’t gamble solely on an impressionistic pan shot)
    38. 38. Techniques for PJ cont’d  Panning – Slow shutter and move the camera to follow the subject during the exposure  If you do not follow smoothly, the subject will be blurry (don’t gamble solely on an impressionistic pan shot)
    39. 39. Techniques for PJ cont’d    Get your assignment done, first. Then experiment. Play with light Continuous shooting – capture a sequence showing (before the action starts and continue holding until after the action stops) You can shoot faster this way!
    40. 40. Techniques for PJ cont’d  Autofocus is your friend. Most DSLR are more precise than manual  Focus points – activate the middle  Most cameras have a multisensor focus point that tracks unpredictable movement (Nikon is called Dynamic Area Autofocus AF; Canon is AI servo)  Zone focus – manually set the lens for the point you expect the action to take place
    41. 41. Techniques for sportswriters          Writer about players and teams, not games. Write about an individual player or group (offense, defense) Write about groups of games in one story, but look for trends (strong defense, injuries, stars, etc.) Identify players: don’t just say “Joe Smith.” Write “senior tackle Joe Smith.” Scores are numerals: 12-6 not 12 to 6. Records are numerals, too. 8-2 but 8 and 2 Winning score ALWAYS comes first. Don’t be a cheerleader. The team is an IT. The team won ITS game.
    42. 42. Equipment  Wide angle 20 mm  Telephoto 300 mm f/2.8 or bigger 400 mm  Tripod or monopod  Rain gear  External flash or a strobe
    43. 43. Sports stories       Advance coverage – to build up enthusiasm Short gamer– on the spot Parts Headline Lede: key player, outstanding player, analytical approach Body: highlights of game, decisive play, play by play, comparison of teams, best score, quotations, weather, crowd and celebrations
    44. 44. Tips for success  If you want to write about sports, find something else. This is about journalism. This is not about being pals with your favorite teams/athletes. Your passion has to be with reporting, writing, editing, taking photos and design. No exceptions.  Write a TON. Small papers pay for coverage of high school athletics. Write a blog for your own amusement but actually submit articles somewhere, too.  It’s always about the news. Championships, heartbreak and tragedy.  Don’t waste time learning about sports. Learn about writing and reporting. It helps to know sports but it’s more valuable if you can write well.