Example of capturing breaking news with stills and video

Here’s another example of the advantage of journalists always being armed with video-capable cameras.

There was a dramatic fire in Gloucester, Mass. Saturday morning. GateHouse Media photojournalist Kirk Williamson shot both stills and video (for the video, he used one of the Casio’s we issue).

Story with photos.


Editor Chris Biondi posted this interview with Kirk.

How did you juggle between still and video? What was your thought process? As with all spot news it’s important to shoot the overall as you are going into the scene. This I did with my still cameras, shooting wide with one camera and long with the other. Once the paper and Web site are covered with stills (about 10 minutes in) I pulled out the Casio and started doing video overalls following the same routine. Wide overall, then tight action. In this situation it’s important to follow a pattern and not get all flustered with what is going on. After I had some video I went back to shooting stills and alternated back and forth until I went, looking for different angles, etc.

I would contend that Kirk would have had a lot harder time doing both stills and video if, after taking his stills, he had a complete video camera kit to set up (bigger camera, tripod, lights, mics, etc.). And having all that, there would be a real temptation to turn this into a “visual journalism story,” instead of simply showing what’s going on. And the whole process, including editing, would have taken exponentially longer. For this event, just being able to whip out the Casio and get a few frames to show the fire live-action is all that is needed.