A Vision Inspiring from Paradise

When news hit that visual storyteller Tim Hetherington died last month in Libya, it sent a huge emotional shockwave through the community of not just the news industry, but photographers and people dedicated to working with images. He was a hero, a skilled practitioner and one of the bravest to hold a camera in a war zone. I finally watched one of his last works, an almost 20min film that blends war footage with footage of his times in Europe. Powerful and deep. Check it out.

One of the things I’m finding most difficult in getting my photojournalism and visual storytelling on is telling a tight story. What I mean is, just showing images is the easy part. I can do that. But, putting things together in image and sound and making sense and always having a storyline, shit, man, that’s the challenge. You can shoot all you want and pop it into Final Cut and spit out a long showcase of the things you “see”. Making it all tell a story and having that good narrative is the stuff of experience, practice—-unless you’re just gifted like that, which I’m not.

I know Tim would probably be proud to know that his work will inspire–forever.  Solid storytelling and the bravery it takes to get the facts and images stimulates an understanding of time and history.

If you’re in the New York area this summer check out Tim’s work in an exhibition setting at the Aperture Foundation, through Thursday, June 23 (10:00 am–6:00 pm most days). More info is here.

(video via Frank151)

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Anti-War Message, In My Name

Like any other vain writer-type kinda guy, I Google myself. I know that sounds inappropriate, but we all do it. Just today, taking a break at my old pals crib in San Antonio (yes, I’m decompressing from SXSW ’08) I came across this sincere attempt at some kind of emo-esque anti-war rock jam by State Radio. It’s a finely shot video about a jailed conscientious objector who bears my first name. The video is an indictment against this bloody, dragged out war we’re fighting in oil land, and takes more than some cues from Fahrenheit 9/11. Well, check it out. It was eerie to hear my name sung in a chorus like that, but ever eerie-er that it’s referring to some young man locked down for not supporting some crooked politics.