great lakes

Photography, Upper East

NORTHEAST: Lake Ontario

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Spent some time on both the eastern shore and southern shore of Lake Ontario. I hiked the 6 mile Lakeview Natural Beach Hike at Southwick Beach State Park and then took some photos around Oswego, NY at Wright’s Landing.

Multimedia, Visual Journalism, Worth Watching

Worth Watching: Eric Seals

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This weekend I was at the NPPA‘s Northern Short Course Conference in Warwick, RI. My favorite sessions were led by Detriot Free Press visual journalist Eric Seals, who is pioneering new ways to create really creative, thoughtful video stories.

This is a short spot from a documentary he’s working on following a group of divers in Michigan who are exploring shipwrecks on the Great Lakes. Not only is it a really beautiful story, but the underwater GoPro shots are amazing.
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This is a feature story from the Detroit Free Press about the long-term emotional harms faced by Michigan cattle farmers due to PBB contamination over 40 years ago.

Interactive, Web Video

Show Me The Ways

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I stumbled onto this amazing project from Wisconsin Media Lab via a tweet from MediaStorm. The Ways is an educational video series about Native American cultures from the Central Great Lakes region, specifically designed to be used in the classroom.

The four videos released already are awesome. They are colorful and bold, beautifully shot and tell really interesting stories. My favorite is “Powwow Trail,” told by a college student from the Lake Superior Chippewa tribe who plays in a traditional drum band and is a powwow singer/dancer. Arriving in his UW-Madison gear like any other guy, he then transforms into costume blending contemporary style with customs. Young people carry on their culture by participating in traditional ceremonies, teaching even younger generations to appreciate their heritage, but also finding new ways to make it their own.

A similar project was developed previously by the same producer/photographer team of Finn Ryan and David Nevala called Climate Wisconsin. It also has beautifully done videos and a sleek interactive website designed to bring climate change education into schools. These pieces are more heavily done with still and stop motion photography with a great mix of sound that makes you feel like you’re right there. I really like the story about the need of the logging industry in Wisconsin for economic purposes as well as – what you wouldn’t think of – environmental.

The Ways still has many more stories to come and it looks like they’ll be rolling out as they are completed. I love the idea of bringing these really thoughtfully created videos and resources into the classroom – its a wonderful change of pace from the static content kids are used to and (hopefully) they won’t be able to look away.