Friday, September 25, 2009

How many photos?

"How many photos do you take?" people ask me when I'm working.

"A lot," I usually say. "It's the secret of professional photography: Take a lot of pictures, and something is bound to turn out."

Well, maybe not. But I do shoot a lot of photos, perhaps a couple hundred at an assignment that only lasts an hour or two. And judging by the sounds of their cameras, some of my colleagues shoot even more.

Usually all the unused images languish in my archive, with me occasionally finding the need to go back and pull one. But, with the magic of laptop movie-making, they can also now be made into a movie. And it can be a darn good movie -- at least when the subject is our highly expressive Treasury secretary, Timothy Geithner (see "Yes, he can"), appearing before the House Financial Services Committee.

Geithner, the Movie from Jay Mallin on Vimeo.

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Friday, September 11, 2009

Bike v. Car

Let me say, first of all, that statistically it's possibly safer to commute by bicycle than by car, if you compare the statistical danger of an hour spent cycling versus an hour of driving. If, like me, you're running around a traffic-clogged downtown, you cover more ground in an hour of biking than an hour of driving as well!

That said, when a car and a bike connect, no matter whose fault it is, the cyclist is almost certainly on the losing end. I can attest to that from an experience a few years ago.

And so, when I came on the scene of one such accident yesterday while returning from an assignment at the Justice Department, I really felt for the cyclist. Talking to a worried coworker of his I learned he was someone who'd just left work on his bike from a restaurant only about a block away. No telling who was in the wrong, but I used my camera and sound to make a brief documentation of the scene. It's a reminder that the more that can be done to make cities and 'burbs safe for all forms of transport -- and we had a jogger killed by a bus not far from this intersection just a week or two ago -- the better for everyone.

Bike v Car from Jay Mallin on Vimeo.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2009


A photographer who's also an audiophile told me the other day that the teeny little built-in microphone on his camera body delivered decent sound. Well, maybe I should try the teeny little mike on the back of my camera. It's meant for annotating photographs -- recording the name of a person in a photo, for instance.

Turns out, though, it can be used for much more than that (though only in 60-second snips). And when you have a camera that can record sound, you have a machine for making multimedia, like this video, from a health care rally I was assigned to shoot yesterday.

Highway to Health Care from Jay Mallin on Vimeo.

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