Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 4:

We went to Holy Cross this morning. When I say, we, I mean Becky, Tony, Jorah, and Mataya...the rigors of our long days do take a toll...But generally the group has been an excellent early-rising sunrise force! Once the bugs starting biting up on the levee, I told the troops where the best spot up there was for looking back over the canal at the main part of the city, and high-tailed it for the van. Becky too.

After a quick breakfast, we all headed out once again for the Times-Picayune. Established in 1837, the Times-Picayune has maintained a strong and vital force in New Orleans in print and in an ever-expanding web version. For it's Katrina coverage the paper shared the Pulitzer in 2005 with a paper in Gulfport Mississippi.

The paper has at times had writers the likes of O. Henry and William Faulkner, but I am just as content to see current reporter, John Pope, always in a bow tie, a proper southern gentleman on my way in and out of today's newsroom.

But nothing can match getting to hang out with our friends in the Photography Department. They are all wonderful, and each time Becky and I have been down, they have been very generous with their time, and have allowed students (and us) to shadow them on shoots.

We split up in two cars this time, and Becky stayed behind and participated in the morning budget meeting. Mataya, Megan, and I went with photo-journalist John McCusker. Who was on assignment to cover the ground breaking of the new WYES tv studio.

We learned that sometimes the best pictures to be made are those that don't conform to the camera-ready moments created to be photographed. John made a great picture of the station's general manager in the doorway of the soon-to-be demolished original studio (built in 1957).
We also had the privilege of meeting Dave Walker (see photo of hands), who was writing the accompanying article.

After the assignment, John drove us to Gentilly, and walked us up on to the bridge over the London Avenue Canal (very near where one of my tree pictures was made on Warrington), explained the levee breeches to the students, how the levees were built and why they failed, and shared his own story from the massive failure of the levees in 2005.

We then rejoined the others at the newspaper and headed to lunch together. We switched up groups a little so a photographer was at each table.

Because John is also an accomplished music writer, I got Tony to join him for lunch, and he had some great advice. Not to be overly gushy, but Becky and I cannot thank the photographers of the Times-Picayune enough for once again showing our students what they do, and sharing so deeply in both their experiences on and off the job. It is an invaluable gift to not only hear about integrity in journalism but to see it demonstrated. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

We dropped Mataya and Jorah off, so Jorah could get some photographs of the alligators being fed. Then we headed back to the hotel for a needed rest....not to mention catching up on the blogging and downloading of cards!

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