Photographers must claim their place

Neil Burgess says in his article “For God’s sake, somebody call it!” that magazines and newspapers are no longer putting any money into photojournalism. They no longer fund photo-reportage. They only fund photo illustration. I’m sad to say that I agree. But does it really stop there?

Last Friday I held a presentation at the Swedish Picture Of The Year Award where I talked about what I believe is the biggest threat to staff photographers. I just put together this blog post that sums up what I was talking about. Happy reading!

Shootitlive workshop Eivind Vogel-Rödin

Are staff photographers really needed?

With an increased focus on the web the staff photographer’s role on a newspaper has dramatically changed. A web editor often need the content as quickly as possible. When the staff photographer can’t fill that need the web editor is forced to find other ways. A photo illustration can easily be obtained by using stock-photos, reader images or screenshots. If you visit any of the biggest news sites in the world you will see that they are bursting with stock images. Even worse is the publication of screen shots from televised broadcasts wich isn’t a new phenomenon. Even though the newspaper have a photographer on location taking great shoots, the photos are simply not used in the online edition. Total waste of time, resources and money.

The online edition of a newspaper have always fought in the backwater of the paper edition. As staff photographers generaly works for the paper edition the web editor has to settle with leftover pictures. When editors have become used to get photos in other ways, they’ll ask themselves whether they really need staff photographers at all.

I recently met an online manager at one of Europe’s biggest news sites. I asked him how many photographers they had. He looked at me and said:

“Photographers? We don’t need photographers”

Note. This newspaper has a photo department but they dont work for the online edition.

This is a big problem as we all know that the future is online. If this trend continues, it means that news photographers will no longer be a part of the editorial work inside the news room. The cold truth is that staff photographers must claim their place in order to prove their existence.

Make photographers profitable

The photo department is often seen as a unnecessary cost, which has resulted in cut backs and little or no investments in new employees. But hey, wait a second! How about creating new revenue streams for the newspapers?

Real-time reporting is becoming more common and something that readers expect. The next step for real-time reporting is to add real-time photos. A live photo feed in a minute by minute coverage is an attractive advertising opportunity. This transforms the photographer on location to an untapped resource.

With the ability to provide content filled updates faster, better and cheaper then ever you can create a live photo feed where on-the-field photographers publish photos and video clips of current events live as they unfold, from any location with 3G coverage. This is done without changing the photographers or the editors workflow and with existing resources.

This is a brilliant opportunity to monetize and show the strength of a powerful photo department. By using new technologies we are able to directly measure the revenues generated by the photo department. We have to embrace and accept that the craft for news photographers isn’t what it used to be. Those of us who don’t see these opportunities and are willing to change does not only dig his own grave but for all photojournalists.

The photojournalism “golden age” was between 1920 to 1950 and was based on technological breakthroughs such as the first compact camera, electronic flash units and light sensitive films. In the 21st century, photojournalism is on a down fall but the possibilities are so much greater. All these possibilities are open to all, but are they explored by the photo departments?

Who holds back, is it the executives or the photographers?

Picture of the week S01E03-04

I didn´t give you a “pic of the week” last week so I´m obliged to give you another double post.
Ok, here it goes!

Sandviken Swedish Champions

Making the most of existing resources is something we strongly encourage. Gefle Dagblad and Arbetarbladet did just that by using live publishing in an innovate way. By allowing the photographer Britt Mattsson to simultaneously publish a live photo feed using Shootitlive to both GD.se and Arbetarbladet.se they saved time, money and resources. Yay!

Photo: Britt Mattsson / Gefle Dagblad / Arbetarbladet

The fans were torn appart by excitement as the final whistle blew and it stood clear that Sandviken was the Swedish Champions of 2011. While the ice was filled with cheering fans the Sandviken forward Chris Edlund only had eyes for his girlfriend.

Mellodifestivalen grand finale

Last weekend the grand finale of Mellodifestivalen took place in Globen, Stockholm. Having followed this week after week we finally could see all the celebs let go of their inhibitions. The Aftonbladet photographer Magnus Sandberg gave us a detailed live photo feed throughout the night as the champagne flow at the after party.

Photo: Magnus Sandberg / Aftonbladet

Danny Saucedo didn´t reach the whole way to Eurovision Song Contest in Germany. This didn´t seem to affect his mood as he was seen cracking a bottle of champagne at the after party.

The Swedish Picture Of The Year Award 2011

Get your popcorn out and put on your glasses, the Swedish Picture Of The Year Award are just around the corner!

Tomorrow the Swedish Picture Of The Year Award will take place in Norrköping. I for one am very much looking forward to this year’s ceremony, not only because of the amazing photos and talent being recognized, but also to meet lots of friends.

I´m happy to say that Shootitlive is a proud sponsor and will offer a free live photo feed for press and public to publish and distribute to websites and social media. Get the live photo feed here.

We will also hold a workshop in which we will focus on trends in news reporting on the web and how photographers can transfer and publish photos straight from the camera. You are very welcome to attend! If you are interested to join email: hello@shootitlive.com

See you tomorrow!

Picture of the week S01E02

What a week this has been!
This week has really been serving us with a number of highlights and many amazing photos. To name a few we have Marit Bjørgen who made history by taking three WC gold medals in a row. Petter Northug completely humiliated Marcus Hellner by slowing down and crossing the finish line sideways. Petter really is an impressive athlete and a brilliant showman!

Our Finnish friends Iltalehti and Ilta-Sanomat, brought us the Miss Finland 2011 gala. Aftonbladet, Expressen and DN took us behind the scenes of Mellodifestivalen.

But this week’s picture is when Canada took their first ever men´s cross country gold medal.

Photo: Eirik Helland Urke / Dagbladet

Devon Kershaw and Alex Harvey took Canada's first World Championship gold in men's cross country. Alex Harvey sprinted down Ola Vigen Hattestad and silenced the home crowd at the finish line.

This photo was a part of Dagbladet’s Ski WC live coverage. DB.no integrated the Shootitlive json playlist to display photos (live as they were taken) in their custom-built live blog application. Using the Shootitlive API, customers can integrate the feed of photos and video clips into a custom application or a live blog application such as Coveritlive or Scribblelive.

But 99% of our customers are satisfied with using our embedded Media Player – copy & paste FTW:-)

Connecting Eye-Fi with Sil

Psst…
Unable to save service to card.

Are you greeted by this message when attempting to connect your Eye-Fi card with Shootitlive?
I understand the frustration that can arise from this message when there’s a major deadline breathing down your neck. But gee, I have the cure for you and it’s easier than you can imagine!

To connect your Eye-Fi card to Shootitlive you have to use the built-in FTP support. Sign in to your Eye-Fi Center, click on “Add New Online Sharing Site” and select FTP. Enter your Shootitlive project as username and enter your password. What many seems to forget is that you have to provide a FTP server URL in the form ftp://hostname:port/path i.e. for Shootitlive that´s ftp://ftp.shootitlive.com (as we use standard port and dont require any path).

Ladies and gentlemen, that’s all that needs to be done!


Take control over the transmission

The big down-side with proffesional use of Eye-Fi cards is the lack of control. You can´t see if you really have a connection or which photos actually been sent (If you don´t have a computer as an intermediary). But hold on, there is ways around this.

ShutterSnitch
One option is to use an app for Apple’s mobile devices called ShutterSnitch. This app receives and displays pictures wirelessly on an iPad, iPhone or iPod touch. From the app you can E-mail and FTP transfer images directly from the browser.

Read more about Eye-Fi and ShutterSnitch in this Fstoppers article.

Note. The video below tells us how you have to jailbreak your idevice but with the latest iOS update you dont need a jailbreak. iOS 4.3 gives you the ability to use your idevice as a WiFi Hotspot. Read more about this in my previous post

Pocket Phojo
Another option is Pocket Phojo (if you have a Windows Mobile phone).
This will send all pictures to your mobile phone via WiFi. From the application actions can be configured so that once on the phone, the photos automatically have IPTC captions and keywords added then transmitted via email, FTP, or Secure FTP over the phone’s 3G connection. You also have the possibility to edit each image if needed, with support for cropping, resizing, levels, and sharpening.

But the biggest down-side of all still remains!
In crowded areas (e.g. Sport arenas etc.) with many radio transmitting devices in use, the Wi-Fi signal may drop. The only way around this problem is to use a cable between 3G device and camera (Wired LAN), this is only supported by Canon WFTs, Nikon WT4 preferably used with the Cradlepoint 3G router CTR-500.

Picture of the week

This is my first post in a series in which I each week will choose my favorite photo among all the thousands photos that has been live published via Shootitlive in the previous week. But with to many awesome photos, this first post will feature two winners instead of one.

2011-02-24 World Championship gold to Marcus Hellner, Photo: Scanpix

Marcus Hellner outclassed the international elite in the first World Cup race in sprint at the Ski World Championships in Oslo. Emil Jonsson took bronze just behind Norwegian Petter Northug who came in second place.


This photo really made my heart go boom. Sweden’s pride Marcus Hellner took gold in sprint at the Ski World Championships in Oslo. Yay!

This photo was published by Verdens Gang and their photographers will continue to live publish photos throughout the entire World Cup. Tune in to their live photo feed here.

Alexander Rybak2011-02-25 Alexander Rybak flees the scene, Photo: Magnus Liam Karlsson, Aftonbladet

Alexander Rybak became sick and had to run for the toilet during the live broadcast of the Swedish version of Dancing With The Stars. His dance partner Malin Johansson was left alone to be interviewed by the host David Hellenius.


During a live broadcast you can never be sure what might happen and this photo really proofs that. The image shows how the Norwegian pop artist Alexander Rybak felt sick and fled the scene during the Swedish version of Dancing With The Stars. You can really see his desperation as he runs off the stage.

Check out the complete Aftonbladet photo feed here.

Even in the 1940s, it was important to transfer photos quickly

I found this 1940s industrial film that shows what it took to produce a modern newspaper at that time. The Minneapolis Star Journal describes production gadgets along with the explanation of how a press photographer transfered a photo from the field in only 8 minutes (1:03 into the movie). They proudly declared wirephotos as one of our modern miracles. Even in the 1940s, it was important for a press photographer to transfer photos quickly to speed up the publication.

Today it is more important than ever. With the ability to minimize deadlines and compress the process from the moment of exposure to the moment for publishing it is a huge competitive advantage to be able to send photos quicker and cheaper than the competition. We are proud to push the boundaries even further for the press photographers of the 21st century. We are confident that live publishing will become an important part of photojournalism around the globe and we are ready to serve the worlds publishers and professional photographers with the best live publishing platform possible!

Use your Iphone as a WiFi hotspot

When we started Shootitlive 2008, there were problems with the camera connections because of the lack of battery powered 3G routers available on the Nordic market. Since then a lot has happened and now Apple finally releasing the new iOS 4.3 for Iphone that is hopefully to launch in Febuary 2011. This update gives you the ability to use your iPhone as a WiFi Hotspot.

This is currently only available in the iOS 4.3 BETA. To activate any idevice (iPhone, iPad etc) on iOS 4.3 BETA via iTunes, you need to have UDID of your idevice registered on a developer account with Apple.

This update will certainly ease the work for many photographers as you dont need yet another gadget to carry around!

The last few weeks I also have received a lot of calls from photographers who need some assistance with connecting their WiFi transmittors. So I finally got my ass out of the wagon and made a step-by-step video for both Canon and Nikon.

Don´t even think about using my password because I will change it;-)

Best live published pictures of 2010

2010’s final days have passed and pictorially this has been a truly successful year.
We hope 2010 has been as good for you as for us and that we together can make 2011 even better!
During the year tens of thousands of photos have passed through the system including pictures from the Winter Olympics in Canada, the FIFA World Cup in South Africa and the Royal Wedding in Sweden. These photos, moments and emotions all tells a tale of it´s own, these tales have become our darlings. Now we tried to kill them off. This is a selection of our top ten favorites.

Enjoy!

Thousands of people in Greece's capital took to the streets to protest harsh spending cuts aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy. The demonstrations took a violent turn as the demonstrators outside the Greek parliament in Athens threw Molotov cocktails at riot police. Photo: Hans Arne Vedlog / Dagbladet2010-05-05 Athens Demonstrations, Photo: Hans Arne Vedlog / Dagbladet

Thousands of people in Greece's capital took to the streets to protest harsh spending cuts aimed at saving the country from bankruptcy. The demonstrations took a violent turn as the demonstrators outside the Greek parliament in Athens threw Molotov cocktails at riot police.

The warehouse worker Jay Smith from Helsingborg, roars out his joy before the press call-up when it is absolutely clear that he won the Swedish Idol 2010.2010-12-10 Swedish Idol Finale, Photo: Jonas Bilberg / Aftonbladet

The warehouse worker Jay Smith from Helsingborg, roars out his joy before the press call-up when it is absolutely clear that he is the Swedish Idol of 2010.

2010 Olympics in Vancouver. Anna Olsson totally exhausted after the finish in the sprint finals. Although she fought bravely she missed the podium and crossed the finish line in fourth place. Photo: Andreas Bardell / Aftonbladet2010-02-18 Winter Olympics Vancouver, Photo: Andreas Bardell / Aftonbladet

Anna Olsson totally exhausted after the finish in the sprint finals. Although she fought bravely she missed the podium and crossed the finish line in fourth place.

A historic image of a historic moment. The 19th of Jun The Swedish Crown Prinsess Victoria merries Daniel Westling a man of the people. This year's lovebirds went straight into our hearts when they made their entrance on the sunny balcony at Lejonbacken and was greeted by a crowd which cried out for a kiss. Photo: Anders Wiklund / Scanpix2010-06-19 The Royal Wedding, Photo: Anders Wiklund / Scanpix

A historic image of a historic moment. The 19th of Jun The Swedish Crown Prinsess Victoria merried Daniel Westling a man of the people. This year's lovebirds went straight into our hearts when they made their entrance on the sunny balcony at Lejonbacken in Stockholm and was greeted by a crowd which cried out for a kiss.

Sverigedemokraterna made the emotions run high when it stood clear that they were the big winners of the Swedish election. For the first time Sweden has a xenophobic party in the parlament. The party leader Jimmie Åkesson declared that they had written political history. Photo: Lars Perhson / SvD2010-09-19 The Swedish Election, Photo: Lars Perhson / SvD

Sverigedemokraterna made the emotions run high when it stood clear that they were the big winners of the Swedish election. For the first time Sweden has a xenophobic party in the parlament and the party leader Jimmie Åkesson declared that they had written political history.

With all the nerves on edge Emma Green prepares herself mentally for the final jumo against Blanca Vlasic in high jump at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. Emma finished in second place. Photo: Gustav Mårtensson / Aftonbladet2010-08-01 European Athletics Championships, Photo: Gustav Mårtensson / Aftonbladet

With all nerves on edge Emma Green prepares herself mentally for the final jump against Blanca Vlasic in high jump at the European Athletics Championships in Barcelona. Emma received a silver medal for her efforts.

Denmark's pride Mikkel Kessler defeated Carl Froch after twelve regular rounds in a sparkling event in Herning, Denmark. Mikael Kessler became the new WBC champion. Photo: Claus Bonnerup / Ekstrabladet2010-04-24 WBC Title Match, Photo: Claus Bonnerup / Ekstrabladet

Denmark's pride Mikkel Kessler defeated Carl Froch after twelve regular rounds in a sparkling event in Herning, Denmark. Mikael Kessler became the new WBC champion.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals in the European Championship qualifying match against San Marino who where crushed with 6-0. Photo: Andreas Bardell / Aftonbladet2010-09-07 Sweden-San Marino, Photo: Andreas Bardell / Aftonbladet

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored two goals in the European Championship qualifying match against San Marino who where totally crushed by the Swedes who spat up 6-0.

We did not know that the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt, was a funny guy, but apparently he is a very good entertainer. At the Nobel Prize Dinner in Stockholm he was seen pulling a joke to the left party chair man Lars Ohly who seemed very amused. Photo: Claudio Berscani / Scanpix2010-12-10 The Nobel Prize, Photo: Claudio Berscani / Scanpix

We did not know that the Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was a funny guy, but apparently he is a very good entertainer. At the Nobel Prize Dinner in Stockholm he was seen pulling jokes to the left party chair man Lars Ohly who seemed very amused.

The year ended with a defeat for the Swedish floor ball team when they lost to Finland with 6-2 in the prestigious final in Helsinki. Photo: Tuomas Selanne / Iltasanomat2010-12-11 World Floorball Championship Final, Photo: Tuomas Selanne / Iltasanomat

The year ended in defeat for the Swedish floor ball team as they lost to Finland with 6-2 in the prestigious World Cup final in Helsinki, Finland.

The International Festival of Photojournalism

Hang out with Shoot it live in Southern France!
Tomorrow I’ll be taking off to the International Festival of Photojournalism to experience photojournalism in it’s finest form and to enjoy exhibitions with some of the greatest work in photography from around the world. Together with thousands of like minded people who share a love and passion for photography I´m about to wander the streets of Perpignan. Personally, I’m really looking forward to listen to Brian Storm and his presentation about Multimedia Storytelling and new ways for photographers to report and distribute stories to reach a global audience. It seems like a really promising week and If you are there and would like to socialize or talk about live publishing and the new era of digital photojournalism feel free to contact me!

+46(0)702-210460
eivind@shootitlive.com
@eivindvr

Besides that it´s realy nice to extend the summer with the heat from the French sun!