August 19, 2010

Patch Point and Shoot


At Patch, I found journalists of all ages determined to produce quality and relevant stories. Those same journalists also knew time wasn't on their side. The Patch game was about the number of stories, not about writing the definitive piece with seven sources. One had to adjust one's expectation for success.
Two quick stories, or three, over a week's time on a topic was just as good as a single definitive piece.

My news writing was rusty after six years off from working as a daily newspaper reporter. News writing is so different than story telling. Story telling proceeds in chronological order, largely. News writing is structured in what's called the inverted pyramid, with the most important bit of news pushed up to the top and all corresponding relevant information following.
I found my joy working for Patch in the fact that I could hog all the photo assignments, as I was the local editor. 

I always dreamed of working as a staff photographer. In the newsrooms I worked, I was as likely to be found hanging out with the photographers in the photo departments as I was at a vending machine in the cafeteria trying to shake loose a Snickers without paying.
I enjoyed taking photos for Patch. Then my kick ass camera broke down after my first week of work. When that happened, the universe patiently waited for me to stop swearing in order to inform me that I could still take as many photos as I liked. I simply had to use the crappy Patch point-and-shoot camera.
After more swearing and waiting, the universe informed me that a real photographer would accept this turn of events as a challenge.
Sometimes I hate the universe.

20 comments:

Su-sieee! Mac said...

Are these your photos, Ed? These are great shots. I like the composition of the rowing photo and the red wheels in the other photo. Shining moments for both the taker and the takens.

Being Me said...

That darn universe!

Claudia said...

looks like the universe would challenge you...smiles...
i take and work on most of my pics right with my iPhone 3 GS and they are not bad
But i think about buying a real good camera and take real good pictures and work on them with photoshop...but the universe just tells me "you have no time for doing this..." and i guess, this time it's right..

Brian Miller said...

smiles. so did you show the universe in the end? smiles.

Piedmont Writer said...

You're so funny. You know the universe has to show you what's what and obviously the universe didn't want you working for that company.

You didn't want to be editor you only wanted to be a reporter. And then when you did become editor, she broke your camera. I'd day that was sign.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

Love that rowing picture. I used to have cameras and enjoy taking photos to accompany articles I wrote for a daily newspaper. It was a highlight when AP would pick them up. But now, I'm quite happy to point-and-shoot with my camera phone for my blog. Quick, decent and fun.

James said...

I'm a huge fan of the Prey series by John Sandford (Camp), a Pulitzer winner in journalism. His newswriting skills transfer directly into his novels.

Thanks for the universe reminder, as if I don't get enough taps on the shoulder.

Gabriela Abalo said...

listen to the Universe and enjoy the process.
A camera doesn't make a good photographer, you can still take great pics ;)

Kay said...

Amen! just go get a snickers... :)

Wine and Words said...

"the universe patiently waited for me to stop swearing". The universe is not so patient with me. Tends to send thunder and lightning along with a kick in the ass. Sometimes I hate the universe too. You can borrow my camera if you leave some cool pictures on the memory card :)

The Empress said...

That right there, is how people are divided into life happening to them, vs they're making life happen.

When life gives you lemons, add strawberries.

This was wonderful, and an image of a broken camera in my head will help me remember to just point and shoot, with whatever I have handy.

Deidra said...

I got a new camera a few weeks ago and I haven't looked back. Then, this morning, I saw my old point and shoot sitting by its lonesome on a shelf. It looked so forlorn...but still, I left it on the shelf.

Sorry, universe. ; )

Phoenix said...

I love it when the universe gently reminds us that what we think the order of existence is - that we march along as we please and the universe occasionally gets input - is actually the opposite. I think we're just going along for the ride most days.

Fun fact: I read an article that said that, as a female, if you wanted to get a guy to actually listen to your story about your day, tell it like the news: punchline first, details afterward.

You'd be amazed at how well it works.

Bernie said...

Make friends with the universe and you will find moving forward so much easier.....:-)Hugs

Tori said...

I am patient. :)

Aishah said...

Thank you Ed, it was very nice to see your kind, familiar face.

I find everything that you do is so exciting because you have the freedom to do what you like and the guts to follow your heart.

earthianne said...

I think I have a slightly better camera than Patch's point-and-shoot camera but I take crappy photos. So I'll take that type of camera anytime if I can have your skill! Lol

She Writes said...

:(!!! Sad about the camera!

The Words Crafter said...

I'm so sorry about your camera. I swear I am. But I can't help but laugh because you wrote it with such angry humor, surely an admirable talent. I was going to write something witty about the universe getting you for trying to get free Snickers, but then I thought of the universe waiting patiently for you to stop swearing, played a montage of my own tirades, and cracked up again. Sorry :(

L. J. Williamson said...

I can't tell you how valuable I've found reading your firsthand experience of working for Patch has been for me as a hyperlocal blogger. Thanks.