Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Heard on a Wire

Judging from the look on Kyle Petty's face, he can't figure out why the TV guy is taking his picture. Truth is, my snap decision (get it? 'snap' decision?) had little to do with the pony-tailed philanthropist. Rather, I was moved to do so by the recorder's disorder. And no, I'm not bagging on this newspaper photographer's baked potato cam, as it's the same kind my 12 year old uses to sneak up on her Dad when he's sleeping at his desk and that footage always turns out fine! No I got a problem with dude's audio technique. See, that's a lavaliere microphone in his left hand, the kind of device you usually see pinned to some speaker's shirt - not hung out to dry in the midday sun. Now I realize video is this shooter's last priority, but such inattention to detail is exactly what's going to make this new era of media consolidation so difficult to watch. And hear. Now, for those of you who think I'm picking on this multi-tasker, well, you got me there. But considering there were two (2!) private airplanes firing up their turbo props just a couple of yards away, this rather unsound technique left me speechless. As for Kyle, he carried on, telling his interviewer, "SKKKKRAGGGGBBBBBEEEEEEEEFFFFGGGILLLLLLLL..."

At least I think that's what he said.

UPDATE: Upon some reflection, I've decided I was a bit too harsh on the above news-gatherer. As one who straddles a couple of mediums myself, I should know better. A pox on me for taking what kind of comes off as a cheap shot. Besides, I watched the report that resulted from the above interview and Kyle's sound quality was no where near as egregious as I predicted. Who knew?


chris the photographer said...

It is not really fair to bag on the guy. Yea, his form stinks, but if he is like most of the newspaper photogs I know, he got half ass training in video and some over enthusiastic editors who just love talking head videos (because it is working so well for TV these days!) but also want a photo gallery and something usable for the front page.

So instead of concentrating on doing one thing well (getting a good shot for the paper) he gets to blast as many frames as he can to get a gallery, and then do a trifling video that will take too long to edit and then be thrown up on a crappy crappy crappy player on a design-by-committee newspaper website and will be neither viewed nor remembered.

And at some papers, the videographer gets to be the talking head, too.

Enjoy the blog very much, even though I guess we have to be mortal enemies.

Lenslinger said...

Those are all excellent points, Chris. Thanks for reading and know that I don't consider you print folk mortal enemies. I save that particular appellation for Rent-A-Cops and TV news assignment editors.

Weaver said...

That's Donnie Roberts.

He's been at The-Dispatch in Lexington for years.

He takes a mean photograph and he's been dabbling in baked-potato-camery for the past couple of years.

And Yes - he's the talking head in this piece.

Here's a link to the story -


Miami Fan said...

Your comments were fair 'Slinger.

If the guy can't take an honest critique then that's his problem. I watched the story. He's early on the learning curve. Snapping stills and producing something like he did? Piece of cake. Hope he hangs on to his newspaper job long enough to improve so he can continue his learning.