September 7th, 2007

photography

What I Do.

The school year has started, and things here are in full-gear. I don't often write about the day-to-day work I do at Columbia, but I thought yesterday provided a good case-in-point to the biggest challenge and learning experience that comes with this job -- getting good photographs of events that are important in meaning, but visually very boring. Yesterday we had a giant launch of a new national curriculum to go hand-in-hand with Spike Lee's HBO documentary of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, When the Levees Broke. There was an incredibly interesting panel discussion moderated by the New York Times Bob Herbert. Incredibly interesting if you were there, that is -- from a photographer's point-of-view, it's just people at a microphone talking in incredibly poor lighting. Here's a series of photographs of all the key players, to give you a sense of how I handle these situations: