Cool Links #58: Focus on Zoom

This week my Video Technology class was struggling to shoot some basic shots when I discovered that several of our cameras could not focus or zoom properly.  We went from 12 cameras to 6 working cameras in one day – not a great day.  I told my principal about it and he has promised to help me order more equipment.  I am anxiously hopeful. Now, on tht the links.

1 –  I just saw this yesterday and had to share it.  Tech people can get so hung up on our religious war over operating systems, but I totally agree with this venn diagram, there is no perfect OS.  (And I learned that venn has two n’s).

The Perfect OS - A Winduxintosh

The Perfect OS - A Winduxintosh

2 – This is a great mashup of photography and science – send your own camera into near-space for less than $200, it is called the Icarus Project.  Thanks to Silber Studios for the link.

Near Space Shot

Near Space Shot

3 – LIFE magazine has a super slideshow titled, When Newspapers Mattered – photos of a lost age. Lots of shots of newspapers in their heyday.

4 – The International Journalists Network has a really useful resource tab on their web site.  Lots of materials.

5 – Another photo gallery, this on from TIME is a bunch of doctored photos, mostly pre-photoshop.  Most I’ve seen before, but a few are new. (to me)

6 – I’ve always wanted to know the difference between sRGB and AdobeRGB.  PetaPixel tells all and I finally feel I know why we use AdobeRGB when we print.

7 – The net has been churning up photos like the ocean kicks up driftwood, and LIFE magazine has another fine photo show focused on Ernest Hemingway and the Old Man and The Sea.

8 – This is a post that is so full of photo goodness, I can barely contain it.  100 Great Portraits of iconic people – it includes Afghan Girl, Bogart, Einstein, Che, Lincoln, both Lenin’s, Migrant Mother and more.

9 – John Stewart is still out there providing an insightful look into journalism today.  And even he feels scooped by the amateurs who showed ACORN as a shady organization slurping up at the government trough.

10 – And while we’re on the subject of journalism, who knew Jay Leno was a such a tough interviewer.  He really hit Kanye West hard with the “momma” question.   Thanks Daily Beast.

11 – The world keeps turning and we in education keep getting farther behind.  The more we try to block technology, the dumber we look to our students.  Did You Know 4.0 shows us how dumb we are.

12 – I love this idea:  Totem pole writing for the web. Get them hooked at the top, but then dole out info all the way down to keep them reading.

13 – Most of us high school journalism teachers DO run a news organization, here’s 11 Things Mediaactive would do if they ran one.  I’m hoping to do 8-9-10 right away.

14 – As a teacher and a media journalist, these 55 Random Thoughts from a 20 something really helped me to understand how kids today think.  And yes, they think differently than we did.    Best takeaways – #8, 9, 17, 19, 20, 25, 27, 31, 37, 39 and 52.

Have a great Web Week!


  1. So? Your principal would have time to listen to your problem about equipment? What kind of school do you teach in?

    • A regular public kind.

      I’ve been pretty lucky with principals, but I also try to make my own luck too. Every principal I’ve ever had has been supportive of my program in his/her own way. This is my fourth one.

      I do three things to try to improve my luck with principals. 1) Act like a professional at all times, both a professional journalist and a professional educator. This means going to workshops, conferences, learning new software, keeping up with the industry, etc. 2) Find out what makes them tick and then make that your top priority. Every principal I’ve ever had has wanted to accomplish something on our campus. My job is to figure out what and then help them in any way I can. Principal wants to increase test scores, then partner with the science dept. to make videos about science test questions. Principal wants to show off school accomplishments, make sure that we do an end of the year issue of the newspaper that highlights all the student accomplishments. And don’t tell me professional journalists don’t do it, because we all know they do. 3) Be open and honest with your principal. I never ask for stuff I just want. I only ask for need items. I also make sure they know about problems when they happen. My principal knew months ahead of time that we were having trouble selling yearbooks last year. We are $4,000 in the hole, but he’s not yelling at me, because I kept him educated on the subject. He appreciates me handling the details, but keeping him in the loop.

      Will this work with every principal – no. But I think it works with most people. Most of them want qualified teachers, motivated to do well and excited about their goals. I’ve also not yet run across a principal who I could not see some value in what they wanted to accomplish either, so it’s not like selling your soul. My current principal was a hard nut to crack. It took two years. I didn’t understand him at first, and wasn’t sure he valued what I did either. But we have come to respect each other and value each other’s strengths. (at least I think so.)

      I know you guys in California are having extra hard times due to the budget crisis. I also don’t know your principal, but most can be taught to value your program.

  2. I just wanted to say that I’m scared to death for the day my principal retires. She’s been with me since day one, and she’s been nothing but supportive. I started out with 4 computers and Pagemaker (that crashed on us every other day) – but I’m working in a totally remodeled room with 24 computers, a studio for lighting, and over 20 digital cameras – all that work great, not to mention lighting, etc. I’m not bragging… I’m just realizing it isn’t like that for everyone and I’m very thankful of that.

    By the way – thanks again for the links. We’re in the process of doing more video, and I’m painfully trying to catch up. My background in still photography helps… but only in composition. I’m realizing how difficult pacing, audio, and much more really is in the world of video. I think we’ll get there – but I’m going to need to make sure and get to some conferences and some help. Your blog is one of the things that’s helping.


    • Thanks for the kind words Jerred. I’ve been through a lot with four principals, but it has made me less worried when I get a new one.

  3. Hey…what kind of cameras (brand/model) – I’ve had issues w/two Canon Elura 60s with a slow zoom we couldn’t get rid of.

    • Canon ZR line cameras. Not sure the exact model.

  4. Our major techno-problema is digital cameras that develop legs and “walk away.” I’m only down one camera now, which is fortunate. Most of them eventually come home to roost…

    • I guess we’ve gotten pretty good at trying to get every last drop of life out of every piece of equipment. But it sucks when they all try to die at the same time.

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