Cool Links #109: Not Taken By The Rapture

Contrary to popular opinion, I have not been abducted by space aliens, raptured away or joined a cult.  OK, maybe I did join a cult – or at least my son did – I was drafted by the cult known as Boy Scouts.  As a yearbook advisor, I already have very limited time. Now as a Boy Scouting leader AND still a yearbook advisor, free time has become a mystical concept that is heard about, but never seen.  I am not blog-fading, just trying to figure it all out.  With summer upcoming, I should be able to get back into a rhythm of blogging again.  (I hope.)  Now for the links…

1 – After months of indecision, the Texas Legislature has finally settled on the amount of pain to inflict on public school districts.  If you live here and want to know how bad it will be for the next two years, take a look.  Thanks to the Texas Tribune for providing our state with the best info on every twist and turn of the crazy pink building in Austin.

2 – I love photography.  Didn’t start out that way, but I love it.  I am intrigued by famous photos, especially of “regular” people who just happened to be in a famous photo.  Listverse has a Top 10 of the lives of people made famous by famous photos – especially what happened after the photo was published.

3 – Here is a great tool for creating visualizations for news stories called Many Eyes.  It appears to be free.

4 – Are our First Amendment rights in danger? They are when Police see cameras like this

How Police see SLR Cameras

How Police see SLR Cameras

5 – I recently wrote about how teachers in the US are taking the blame for a problem created outside of schools.  And Finland has been held up lately as the solution to all our problems.  But Finland and the US are nothing like each other.

6 – I deeply respect Mindy McAdams, I think she is one of the best professors in online journalism today.  I mainly agree with her post – that it is not stupid to major in journalism today, as long as the student understands the landscape.  They must be prepared to never work for a traditional news organization, or only work for one for a short time.  They must be ready to work for a small online startup, maybe even a series of them.  Their career will be very different from journalists of the past.

7 – Now this is a Facebook style photo that is worthy of being called a photograph.

Houston, that is going on my Facebook page.

Houston, that is going on my Facebook page.

8 – I love my Mac, but I hate waiting for Photoshop or Final Cut to render.  The Macintosh Performance Guide has all kinds of ways to help you get the most out of your Mac and the software on it, like the Adobe line of products.  Worth studying.

9 – This is turning into a “stuff I love” post, but I’ve had nothing but great experiences with the wonderful people at B&H Photo.  Apparently a camera they were testing (a used one) mistakenly ended up leaving their store with the photos still on it.  This gave the outside world a glimpse into the world of B&H.  I love the photos.  I love the fact that B&H is closed on Jewish holidays, just like I love the fact that Chick-fil-a is closed on Sundays.  I respect businesses that have a positive ethos and B&H does this well.  They provide a great service at a good price, by friendly people.

10 – Need a free, easy to use HTML editor look no further, just click on the link.

11 – At my school, we ditched our photo company a long time ago – too costly.  We now take our photos ourselves, and this means training the students on how to take a good portrait.  But what is good for a thin person, doesn’t work with someone like myself – someone who has a higher BMI.  dPs has a top flight post on how to photograph larger people.

12 – If you are like me, many of the photos in your yearbook are taken by staffers who never took a photo class.  They got a quick and fast version of it in yearbook class and they shoot most of their photos with a point and shoot – often badly.  Clifford Otto has a terrific post about how to hold your point and shoot to get the best photos.

13 – I know this is how many teachers and students feel about school right now.

Not sure you get 100% in May

Not sure you get 100% in May

14 – Do ethics matter in online journalism, maybe more so than ever.  Check out this post from Mindy McAdams with 10 Rules for Online Ethics.  Best takeaway – #2 Assume everything you write online will become public.

15 – Petapixel has the best explanation of depth of field I’ve ever seen.

16 – This is a fun site to teach kids about ISO, shutter and aperture – Camera Sim.

17 – I’ve heard that the kerfluffle over staging shots of presidential speeches has changed the official policy at the White House, but it is sad that they ever did it this way to begin with.

18 – This is pretty geeky and contains math content, but it is interesting – the f/stop scale is logarithmic because humans are bad at telling the difference in brightness, unless it is really big.

19 –  The owners of Leica Camera were the Oskar Schindlers of the photo world.  The untold story of how they snuck Jews out of Germany before and during WWII.

 

I have more, but I’m saving some for later in the week.

 

Cool Links #106: The One Where We Can See It From Here

In education right now, it is not the end of the world.  But we can see it from here.  In Texas, they are talking about cuts to everything, even football if you can believe it.  That’s how you know it’s the end of the world.  If it is education, then they are looking to cut it back – cost wise, yet “provide the same high level of quality.”  As P.T. Barnum once said (or didn’t) “There’s a sucker born every minute.”  OK, enough soap boxing – let’s move on to the links.

Education Cuts

Education Cuts

1 – Thanks to PetaPixel for this video about an animal photography close encounter.

2 – PetaPixel was full of great stuff this last week or so, I love this shot.  Cameras that are well used.  Thank goodness our cameras are usually not in this bad of shape.

Dirty Cameras

Dirty Cameras

3 – And finally from PP again, an interesting mashup of computing power and photography – the “average” face of a woman in 40 countries.  Not sure how they did this, but it is interesting.

4 – Former Guardian editor Tim Radford has 25 commandments for journalist.  They are superb – my favortite:  10. So here is a rule. A story will only ever say one big thing. AND 20. English is better than Latin. You don’t exterminate, you kill. You don’t salivate, you drool. You don’t conflagrate, you burn.

5 – As a photojournalist, you can’t not know about the Afghan girl with the amazing green eyes.  This is a short (52 min.) video about the search to find her again after the liberation of her country.

6 – The 10,000 Words Blog has a collection of new Valentines cards for journalists.  Fun.

5 W's and H

5 W's and H

7 – Gizmodo is a tech blog, so it is interesting when they have an article about photography and sports photography at that – how to shoot football.  Good stuff.

8 – In  a related post, Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay quarterback owes photographer Scott Kelby a monopod.

9 – And again – football, Silber Studios; how to set your camera up for action.

10 –  I discovered a great blog called Everything is Remix.  There are two great videos on the site, Part 1 and Part 2 about the Remix Culture and why it is a good thing.

11 – I have to agree in principle with The Innovative Educator, except that it is a Race To the Bottom.

12 – All media professionals need a web site and that means buying a domain name and getting web hosting.

Well, that’s all for today.  Have a great week.

Cool Links #105: The One About A Long List

I haven’t done a links post in so long I think people have aged since then.  Sorry, but all you yearbook teachers out there understand – this is the crazy season.  Lots of deadlines from now until we finish.  The walking dead are yearbook teachers without enough coffee – real zombies.   So here are some links…

1 – This one is super cool, data – journalism – education – interactive all rolled into one.  The interactive map of ROI on education.  Just check it out, my school district was actually lime green.

2 – The terrific Bob Kaplitz blog has a graphic with the four levels of story-telling.  Very useful, I’m going to share it with my broadcast journalism kids.  Maybe we can move past level 2.

3 – Here’s a sad graphic.  Educators one of the five worst paid jobs with a degree.

4  - The Daily Grind has a response from the trenches to President Obama’s remarks in the SOTU about education.  Worth reading.

5  - This is funny, and yet true in its own way.  Follows the baffle ‘em with BS theory.

6 – Some of us are old enough to remember black screens with green letters and punch cards.  Our smart phones and iPads are nearly proof that we live in the future.  Ars Technica has a lengthy, but good article about the evolution of computer screens.

7 – Thanks to PetaPixel – this is really cool.  They found someone who still shoots old fashioned Ambrosetypes (similar to Daguerrotypes).

8 – This could be my student’s motto:  From Overheard in the Newsroom.

9 – OK, I’ve never heard of useit.com before, but I’ve heard of nearly all the ideas in this article before.  They just packaged it all together in one spot.  They restate what I’ve heard of people who read on the web and what is known about scanning.  This is why journalists must get back to basics on the inverted pyramid and headline writing.

10 – This is great!

Photoshop CS4 Cream

Photoshop CS4 Cream

11 – Thanks to Bellringers for a series of professional development sessions we’d all really love to see.

12 – We have to stop forcing boys (and some girls) into the box of the “good student.”  I learned so much from my own son and two former students from my broadcast journalism class.  All of these students are the get up and go kind of people.  They can’t stand to be sitting down – unless they are playing a video game, musical instrument, etc.  They have to be active.  We can’t keep forcing passive learning on them.

13 – I still think this kind of photo-retouching is wrong.  People used to smoke – everyone knows that.  I don’t think Churchill will make a kid want to take up the cigar.

14 – My students do this all the time…

Stop Printing

Stop Printing

15 – These kids from Quebec have no idea what a record player is for, or an 8-track.  How long until iPods are obsolete?

16 – Maybe if more journalists acted like this, there’d be more readers/viewers/visitors – see Overheard in the Newsroom.

I think I may post again tomorrow.  Getting sleepy – still got lots of links in the hopper.

 

Cool Links #103: The One About the Storm Before The Calm

The days until break are getting short and the work is getting long.  I can only hope we can get 40 pages in before next Monday.  We’ll see.  Maybe chilling out today with some cool links will help…

1 – I do believe that we learn more from failure than from success, but it doesn’t mean that I want to see only failure in my classroom or in my own life.  But these tips can help you appreciate letting others fail on their own terms sometimes.

Pull Quote Fail

Pull Quote Fail

2 – Hand-in-hand with letting students fail to learn (different from flat out failure) is listening to them when they don’t understand or feel overworked.

3 – I am not a fan of the former Vice President Al Gore, but I do think that there might be some value in this project he has started with the likes of the Mythbusters and the founder of FIRST Robotics.  A discussion of how to make school relevant to students.  I think it is one of the two foundational R’s of school – Relationships and Relevancy.  Those must come before Rigor or you are setting students up for failure.

There are three more parts to this video, but part 1 is fairly boring – parts 2, 3 & 4 are good.

4 – This graphic is an interesting look into the evolution of the basic typefaces.  If you are a type geek like me, then you will like it.

Evolution of Typography
Via: VPS

5 – The Newsosaur has a useful post for teaching journalists about the past and about objectivity.  He says it never existed and we shouldn’t try anymore, but instead publicize out bias.  I like it.  I once saw a video of Walter Cronkite sitting in the back seat of a fighter-bomber in Vietnam.  He was trilled by the speed, aerobatics and even the bombing run.  He was supposed to be an objective observer, not a jingoistic voyeur.  Even he admitted it years later.

6 – Students often feel bored in school – some of this goes back to Relevance.  Some of it goes to the rote methodology of memorizing facts, working problems and writing pages of text only to be read by the teacher. Real projects that have real world application bring both rigor and relevance.  But our current Race To The Bottom has so much mandated boredom, I’m surprised any kid survives.

7 – A Russian software firm claims to have broken Canon’s software to verify photos.  I like their photo fakes.

USSR Man on the Moon

USSR Man on the Moon

8 – The dPs had a most in-depth post on the Rule of Phi, this is a modification of the old rule of thirds.  The rule of thirds works well on a more squarish rectangle, but when you are shooting video for widescreen, the Rule of Phi is better.

9 – True in high school or college.

In High School Too...

In High School Too...

10 – Tamron Lenses has another in their series of videos for better shooting – sports.

11 – Photofocus has also been running a series – Photography for Newbies – great post on White Balance.

12 – The edublogs are up for voting and I would like to recommend a few for your consideration – please stop by and vote for:

Best Individual Blog – The Principal’s Page

Best Student Blog – Moo

Best Resource Sharing Blog – Free Technology for Teachers

Best Teacher Blog – The Scholastic Scribe

Best Administrators Blog – The Principal’s Page – The Blog

Best Use of Video – Khan Academy

13 – Need a printable monthly or weekly calendar. ReprintMe has it.

14 – Want your students to see what words they use too much?  Just copy their text and paste it into wordcounter.com and it will tell them.

15 – Right here in my own city of Houston, one local high school ditched all their books from the library.  I don’t know if what they did was cost effective or even effective.  It might be brave or foolhardy – only time will tell.

Have a great week, let’s all get to the break in good health and good spirits!

Cool Links #102: The One About…Wow Has It Been A Month

I have not been able or had enough energy to post a links post in more than a month.  My bad, as the kids say.  I think, with football season over, they will come out with more regularity.  Here’s the backlog of links.

1 – This photo must have hit with the emotional punch of the 9/11 Towers.  Sure England was a nation already at war when the Blitz hit, but the bombing of their capitol had to come as a surprise to most Londoners.

 

The Blitz

The Blitz

 

2 – The Newsosaur says that Deadlines Don’t Matter, and for a print product I would agree.  But you must own local and you must be online first and more importantly you better get it right.

3 – Here’s a tool that you can use for a lesson, LIFE Magazine’s Timeline creator.  I think you could come up with topics for students to create timelines of famous photos from the archives.   (Thanks to FreeTech4Teachers)

4 – This is a great graphic of movies about high school.  It is however, missing Never Been Kissed – best high school movie about journalism.

 

High School Movies List

High School Movies List

 

5 – The Digital Photography School dPs has a super useful post about how to use your zoom lens for composition rather than just to get closer.

6 – I’m pretty sure I first saw this on the Principal’s Page blog, but it is a great comic about this movie that makes it look so easy to turn around schools by just turning them over to the “supermen” at charter schools.

7 – Photojojo has a few tools for telling if a photo has been faked.  Worth checking out.

8 – Petapixel blog has a copy of the first ever digital photo – not from a digital camera, but from a scanner in 1975.

9 – The Web Design Ledger has a couple of useful digital photography “cheat sheets”.  This one has a good f/stop, shutter, ISO diagram (pdf).

10 – I know a lot of video shooters don’t know a monopod from a broken tripod leg, but I think as many shooters become one-man-bands, they are going to get to know the value of a good monopod.

11 – I am a big Mac fanboy, but I do know how to use a Windows PC.  But I still wouldn’t trade the ease of use and tight integration of my Mac for desktop publishing, video editing or web design.  Windows 7 is pretty good, but you are still at the mercy of the hardware makers.  I still think Mac hardware is still the best, Natania Barron does not agree.

12 – OMG, I have already shared this video with my photojournalism class.  Next year, it will be day one.  They were very quiet.  Thanks to the Reynolds Institute.

13 – Posted without comment.

 

Privacy - Not Found on the Net

Privacy - Not Found on the Net

 

14 – If you didn’t know, or had forgotten like I had, Ansel Adams also took some important photos that documented the tragedy of Japanese internment at the Manzanar center.  Just check it out.

15 – The yearbook blog has 15 Terms every yearbook student should know.  I agree.

16 – Most of the famous photos I’ve shared are US centric, but this is also an important moment for journalism – L’Affaire Dreyfus and journalist Emile Zola.  He stood up for a Jewish army officer in the French army accused of treason.  Anti-Semitism was just as bad in France as in Germany.  There is a great movie with Richard Dreyfus in it called Prisoner of Honor.

 

L'Affaire Dreyfuss

L'Affaire Dreyfuss

Have a good week.

 

 

Cool Links #101: The One About Rest For The Weary

I really enjoyed taking a nap both yesterday and again today.  Neither were scheduled, I just felt very tired and then took a nap.  I was really tired after a week of homecoming activities.  So, now I’m fairly refreshed and here are the links.

1 – I found this short video about making printer’s ink from Speaking Yearbook.  It’s a little bit dull for my yearbook kids, but it added to my knowledge base.

2 – The Library of Congress has a great timeline of copyright law on their website with other teaching materials too.  They should know, since copyright law falls under their jurisdiction.

3 – Five Tips From A Newsman on Getting Better Event Photographs.  This one hits on all five.

4 – What’s The Best Internet Browser?  - Google Chrome of course!  Here’s Why.

5 – The Introduction to Web Usability is a super easy to use, easy to read resource on both How and Why you should create navigation and other elements in specific ways on the web.  It is a free PDF book.  Download it today.

I know it is a short list this week, but some weeks you just don’t catch many fish.

 

 

YLYB #30: No Football

During football season, every Friday night means going to the game and monitoring my shooters – photography and video.  I sometimes shoot with them, but if I have a full crew – let them do the shooting.  But today, I have a day off.  It is so great, it has been four weeks since school started and I need the break.  A calm Friday night at home and maybe even a weekend of chill.

Today our principal spoke to my yearbook/TV news staffs.  I had asked him to do so and I was really happy afterwards.  I think he really hammered home some points I’ve been trying to get them to understand.  This group of kids is very new and has such potential, but so far they are not catching fire about getting sales going.

He also hit all the key points on including kids in the book and being professional when they are in teacher’s classrooms or taking photos in public.  It was time well spent getting them out of class for about 20 minutes to hear him talk to them.

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