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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Who's going to Haiti?
Jane Tyska, Photographer
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 2:50 AM on 01.15.10
->> I see Carolyn Cole, Rick Loomis, Julie Jacobsen, Gregory Bull and others are already there and producing powerful images. I may be leaving in the next few days and will post helpful info here if I get the chance...

Having been to Haiti before, and knowing how painfully desperate even daily living is, I'm guessing it's going to turn into chaos pretty quickly as people fend to survive.

What a horrible tragedy. Couldn't have happened in a worse place.
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Todd Spoth, Photographer, Student/Intern
Houston | TX | USA | Posted: 2:55 AM on 01.15.10
->> dont forget Damon Winter and Spencer Platt who are creating arguably some of the best coverage yet!
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 8:58 AM on 01.15.10
->> Jane, you are so right. This is the poorest country in the hemisphere. It's just so unfair.

To all that are going, be careful. Do great work.
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Chris Salata, Student/Intern, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 12:01 PM on 01.15.10
->> Does anyone know how photographers are getting images out? BGAN/sat phone?
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 12:10 PM on 01.15.10
->> I'd love to go....dont have a passport though.
I do wonder however, once you get on scene...then what? Where r u gonna stay, eat, provisions....all those things seem to have pretty much vanished on location.
bb
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Matthew Bush, Photographer
Hattiesburg | MS | USA | Posted: 12:31 PM on 01.15.10
->> I am worried about it getting violent in country. In some ways it already has but it has the potential to turn combat zone very quickly .

That said I am working on some possibilities involving relief teams going from my area. Two shooters for the PJ school at Southern Miss. are ether in country are about to arrive in country today with a freelancer/professor .

Brad logistics would be my main concern also.
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Chris Salata, Student/Intern, Photographer
West Palm Beach | FL | USA | Posted: 12:59 PM on 01.15.10
->> Logistics are also a major concern for me. How do you get in and out of country? How do you eat, transmit, move around, communicate with people? Where do you sleep? Do you have the proper shots? What happens if you get sick or injured? Who do you work for?

Assuming you can answer all of this, perhaps the most important question is who is going to foot the substantial bill?
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David Eulitt, Photographer
Kansas City | MO | USA | Posted: 1:07 PM on 01.15.10
->> I second Todd's post about Damon and Spencer.
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Ethan Magoc, Student/Intern
Erie | PA | United States | Posted: 1:28 PM on 01.15.10
->> Just saw this: http://su.pr/1X5zfG

Safe travels/shooting to anyone thinking about going.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 1:42 PM on 01.15.10
->> I said this on a thread about photographers flocking to new orleans in the aftermath of katrina and I'll say it again. this is not a place you want to go just because you'd "love to" or to think it's going to jack up your portfolio. unless you have a) done something like this before and are equipped to deal with horrific conditions or b) embedded with a support group or the military you shouldn't even think about heading to haiti. the situation in haiti is going to deteriorate by the hour. no food, water or necessary supplies are available right now. The military aren't in place yet. I would think security wise, things are going to rapidly degenerate. haiti is a nation of over nine million people. As jane mentioned, even in the best of times it was a disaster area. now add the estimated maybe 100,000 dead with no infrastructure left. katrina and new orleans would be considered disneyland compared to this.
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Joshua Duplechian, Photographer
Denver | CO | USA | Posted: 4:03 PM on 01.15.10
->> http://www.pdnonline.com/pdn/content_display/features/pdn-online/e3ieea0d35...
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Phoenix | AZ | United States | Posted: 4:15 PM on 01.15.10
->> What Chuck said. Read it. Live it. You will be a strain on recovery efforts unless you are completely self contained. You need your own food, water, lodging and power.

And if you're still thinking about it, read the pdn piece Joshua linked to.
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 4:29 PM on 01.15.10
->> Chuck hit it on the head, this is not the time or place to rubberneck. As most photojournalists, the second I heard of the quake I was ready to pack my bags and find an NGO or wire to shoot for, but all I would be there is another person who is, essentially, in the way. I speak fluent French which would be a huge advantage, but when it comes down to it, I have never covered anything like this in my career. If you feel you need to do something, donate money to the people who can make a real difference on the ground, or find a way to cover your local Haitian communities fund raising activities and efforts.
Best of luck to the photographers on the scene, and please be safe.
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Jane Tyska, Photographer
Oakland | CA | USA | Posted: 5:17 PM on 01.15.10
->> Thanks for the info. Hoping to embed with military as they transport our local USAR team, safest route to go...unfortunately the Sacramento USAR team can't even get in at the moment, never mind our guys in Oakland. They've sat on the runway at Travis for two days.

I'm going to cover tons of local angles, but agreed, not a place to build your portfolio, etc.

Head of CNA can't even get nurses in...what a mess.

If anyone has any info on how people are sending, please let me know...thanks!
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 5:49 PM on 01.15.10
->> sat xmitters are the only thing working right now. cell phone
service is intermittent at best with texting not even working consistently. please, if you are thinking of going read the pdnonline article FIRST. DO NOT become part of the problem!
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Patrick Fallon, Student/Intern, Photographer
Columbia | MO | USA | Posted: 6:20 PM on 01.15.10
->> Chuck Liddy is spot on. Sat Phones are it - make sure you have your data figured out too, some journalists have not been able to transmit data though their voice works...

Do not become part of the problem. If you go, go with the resources to survive on your own and not expect help or handouts from anyone - even those embedded with military or search and rescue teams

Rick Loomis is doing some excellent work, as is Carolyn and the rest of the LA Times team.

ZUMA's Nathan Weber got there early and has been filing some telling images as well - they're on
http://thepicturesoftheday.com/

Please be careful everyone.
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 6:37 PM on 01.15.10
->> 4 friends of mine are now in Haiti including SS member David Boily and 2 of his colleagues Ivanoh Demers and Patrick Sanfacon from La Presse, and Phil Carpenter from the Montreal Gazette (the paper I string for).
This disaster hits particularly close to home to most Montrealers as Montreal has one of the largest Haitian community outside of Haiti, with over 100,000 who have settled here.
It is touching to see the concerts being set up, the church vigils, all Montrealers are helping their neighbors as, really, most of us work very closely with Haitians. Montreal is sending over 100 policemen, firefighters, doctors and EMT's, as most of them are French speaking and will be able to communicate with the victims of the quake.
See the La Presse gallery here:
http://photos.cyberpresse.ca/34-7568/#enVedette/0/recherche/Rechercher%20un.../
The Gazette have setup a special page which can be found here:
http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/haiti-quake/index.html
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 7:16 PM on 01.15.10
->> I have an email message from someone wanting me to post "spencer platt IS NOT in haiti".
.
www.gettyimages.com/Search/Search.aspx?contractUrl=2&language=en-US&family=editorial&p=spencer platt&assetType=image&ep=1

of course I guess he could have flown from the 'stan to haiti overnight.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 7:33 PM on 01.15.10
->> Situations like this always make me think of the old song by The Police, "Driven to Tears."

Too many cameras and not enough food, this is what we've seen.
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David Manning, Photographer
Athens | GA | | Posted: 12:54 AM on 01.16.10
->> Elysa Eubanks of AJC is on the way, last i heard at the DR border and Melissa Lyttle tweeted that she's enroute.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 1:04 AM on 01.16.10
->> I think it would be helpful to hear some advice on how young and/or inexperienced photographers can accumulate the kind of experience needed to be ready to do this type of coverage.

The advice being given in this thread is perfectly logical and hopefully gets followed. But if this type of tragedy is too risky to use as a learning experience, how do you go about learning the skills needed?

Anyone want to share some of their history so others who are interested can start learning for the next time?
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Matthew Bush, Photographer
Hattiesburg | MS | USA | Posted: 2:00 AM on 01.16.10
->> David by no means am I an expert on the subject but I have covered Katrina and several other hurricanes and numerous disasters and national news events but in the grand scope of things I have been a staffer for less than 3 years. I understand your desire to go and prove you can cover this stuff.

My advice would be to start small. cover the small town stuff before you jump into something huge I was an intern during Katrina at a paper that was directly impacted by the storm and I learned that experience is everything in these situations. I shot in NOLA, Waveland, Gulfport and Biloxi and was totally in over my head . That said I would not trade the skills I learned during Katrina because every time I go into a disaster area to cover tornadoes, floods, or fires I rely on those skills


The things to understand about covering any large scale disaster is Know if you can or can not hack it when the going gets tough. Understand that it is not a game and people are dead. Know that your not bulletproof Know how your going to react to witnessing things that will be with you for the rest of your life. Understand that it is going to be very brutal and rough on the ground. If you get in a situation where you need help there is a very real possibility that it will not come. Most importantly know that you will not be the same person you were when you went in.

Times-Pic's Pulitzer winner Ted Jackson spoke to students at USM about the reasons for going into disasters He made a very good point that . If you going just to win awards or build a portfolio then you not going for the right reason. The only reason we are there is to tell peoples stories. No matter if wins an award or not it still tells the story of that person and that should be all you care about.

Am I qualified or ready to be on the ground in Haiti ? No not with the way the situation is going right now.

If I go which is still up in the air it will be in several weeks when things cool off a little as an embed with an aid group from our area that are planning to go.


As always these are just my opinions and could be very wrong.

Chuck has been in the biz a long time he can share some insight on his opinons


Stay Safe guys
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer
Durham | NC | USA | Posted: 2:46 AM on 01.16.10
->> david, matthew...et al... I am not an expert on this stuff. hell, I have never purported to be any such thing. I have been involved in some "big" events over the years. how do you gain experience? that's tricky. I think you gain experience by shooting your day to day stuff. I always thought I gained experience from watching the greats who I was fortunate to work around. bob jordan, the ap staffer in nc was THE MAN when I was trying to make my way. no matter what some thought of bob he was someone to watch and learn from. also, in our business you have to be able to disengage your emotions sometimes. I learned that very early on and it has served me well...that said, I have to be bluntly honest. I have found it harder and harder over the years to disengage. I've been to a bunch of exotic places ...and it gets harder instead of easier to see human suffering. I understand that is supposed to be the opposite....or is it? I will openly admit here that I am pretty damned scared about going to haiti (I'm supposed to be in the barrel in the next few days). I'm not scared physically....hell, I can exist on very little food and water, I'm weird that way....I am very afraid of the mental damage that could happen. this is something most of us don't consider....I look at the photos my esteemed colleagues are shooting and I question what am I thinking. this is a disaster of epic proportions. nothing most of us will ever see in our lifetimes...thank God. but what I hope...is IF I make a photo that moves someone to donate $10 to a disater fund...well then...it was worth it.
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Omar Vega, Photographer, Photo Editor
Miami Beach/NY/Vegas | FL | USA | Posted: 5:58 AM on 01.16.10
->> No disrespect to the other publications...but The Miami Herald is producing the best coverage! Pulitzer Prize photographer Patrick Farrell & Carl Juste (who is Haitian) have a double truck photo package each day. Despite extreme budget cuts, they make space for content instead of settling for mediocrity. My prayers go out to the families affected & my colleagues in the field.

OV
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Brian Blanco, Photographer
Tampa / Sarasota | FL | USA | Posted: 8:45 AM on 01.16.10
->> Water, above anything else, is the most valuable resource in the aftermath of one of these disasters. On average you'll need to consume a minimum of 2 gallons of water per day covering a story like this. A gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. Let's say you plan on spending a week there covering the story.

If your photos aren't likely to be published anywhere other than your portfolio, Facebook and Sportsshooter, then your contribution, while noble, isn't going to offset the fact that you'll be consuming aid resources that could be helping victims or aid workers.

So, unless you're willing to pack 117 pounds of water in your carry on bag (and lug it around for a week) then you might want to avoid going.
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David Harpe, Photographer
Louisville | KY | USA | Posted: 10:53 AM on 01.16.10
->> For me it isn't about portfolio at all. It's about using skills that you have to help. Because I'm very technical, I would probably spend more time helping set up comm for emergency workers than I would taking pictures. I'm going to be transitioning to a job soon where being involved in a situation like this might become a far more likely event.

I would never consider doing this kind of thing as an unattached freelancer...you just don't have the resources to do any good.

I've been doing spot news for about a decade, so I've seen a lot of death and sorrow. But it hasn't been immersive...after a few hours I could go home, and in most cases the things I've covered impacted a relatively small group of people. If my job takes me into a situation where it's days/weeks of being around this, I would really like to be prepared so I can keep doing my job.
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 11:08 AM on 01.16.10
->> .you just don't have the resources to do any good.

I think that sentence pretty well sums it up for us freelancers. Sure as heck I'd love to get in there and tell the story, and create some moving images that compelled someone to actually do something...

But....I guess I'm old enough to see the reality of the situation and its being logistically impossible to do. As stated...going on your own...you have no safety net..no press tent with food, drinks, or even a roof to get under....I dont mind roughing it....but how/where the heck you gonna go to the bathroom even??? Its not a campground....its a huge metropolitan area (or was).

If I could go as an embed in a larger organization or military that had those provisions worked out....I'd be on the next plane....but I dont.
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Debra L Rothenberg, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 11:29 AM on 01.16.10
->> before you think you can handle it, look at Damon Winters images and read his interview
http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/01/15/assignment-19/

sad isn't even a powerful enough word for what is going on in Haiti
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Indiana | IN | USA | Posted: 11:43 AM on 01.16.10
->> how could you not get powerful images in a place like that?
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Brad Barr, Photographer
Port St. Lucie | FL | USA | Posted: 11:54 AM on 01.16.10
->> IMO,
images like these..while horrific, are exactly why many of us want to go. Not run. If that article and its pictures leaves you second guessing yourself, then yes, you probably have no business going into such a situation. But I think the true journalist in many of us view that same article simply makes us want to go more...
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Tim Snow, Photographer
Montreal | Qc | Canada | Posted: 12:46 PM on 01.16.10
->> A lot of powerful images are coming out of Haiti, but why are they powerful? I have seen lots of great photographs from Haiti, but also lots of OOF shots, distracting backgrounds, poorly exposed images...just because you are in a disaster zone with your camera doesn't mean that you will make a photograph that will stand the test of time. You have to treat the subject in front of you, be it a wedding, sporting event or natural disaster the same, with sensitivity, respect and integrity.
I have been on the fence since the disaster struck about going, and I have decided that I will not. It's a personal choice, but I think the really telling images of the disaster's immediate aftermath have been made. Damon Winter is creating beautiful photographs, his shots will be discussed for years to come.
Wait until the country starts rebuilding, once the hoards of journalists have left...then go to Haiti.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 1:04 PM on 01.16.10
->> Hey all:

Not quite on topic -- well, depends on how you look at it -- but an interesting read for those who haven't seen it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/16/arts/television/16watch.html?partner=rss&...

Just something to consider in all the discussions about the media's role in all this.

And now for something completely different.

It's funny, Jeff Stanton -- I think I start almost every sentence I write in reference to one of your posts with the phrase, "With all do respect," or "No offense" ... it's implied at this point, no? Formalities are rare around this message board, so why waste the time. Anywho ...

"->> how could you not get powerful images in a place like that?"

Dude, whether you intended it or not (and I personally think you did), please don't belittle the hard work that journalists are doing down there? And given my first reason for posting, by good work, I mean that which is being done by print and radio media. Sorry, but just about everything I've seen TV do down there is a joke. Same goes for Katrina and Ike (I was actually around for the latter).

I'm sure it seems like it's easy to "parachute" into these situations and make stellar frames, but it's not. The journalists documenting this event -- just like the doctors, relief agencies and helpful bystanders on scene -- are putting themselves in harms way to do their jobs. Yes, some may have motives there beyond just genuinely wanting to help. But that doesn't outweigh the risk they're in; and I think we all agree it will get A LOT worse down there before it gets better.

So do us a favor and save the Monday-morning quarterbacking on this one, eh? You used to be a journalist (maybe you still are, but I can't tell from your member page), so why not have just a little respect for your former colleagues.

Thanks to Chuck et al for the good points. Jane and anyone else heading that way, please be careful. We have our own folks in route and I'll keep you all in my thoughts.

Same goes for the poor people of Haiti. They needed this like I need another cup of coffee.

Oh, and Pat Robertson and Rush Limbaugh can go to hell.

Cheers,

- gerry -
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Matthew Bush, Photographer
Hattiesburg | MS | USA | Posted: 2:28 PM on 01.16.10
->> Omar- I think Carls stuff is amazing also. He has spoken several times in Hattiesburg at the class of fellow IRIS photo collective member Clarence Williams.

I figured you would be in country Omar I know your pretty experienced in this kind of thing. .
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Indiana | IN | USA | Posted: 6:16 PM on 01.16.10
->> G.J., we all know what opinions are like.
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Max Gersh, Photographer
St. Louis | MO | USA | Posted: 7:44 PM on 01.16.10
->> J.B. Forbes of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is heading there as we speak. I know he has been to Haiti on multiple occasions. I expect to see him filing some strong images soon.
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G.J. McCarthy, Photographer
Dallas | TX | US | Posted: 9:22 PM on 01.16.10
->> Jeff - true that. Oh, and glass houses, amigo.
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Jeff Stanton, Photographer
Indiana | IN | USA | Posted: 10:42 PM on 01.16.10
->> Indeed
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Michael Fischer, Photographer
Spencer | Ia | USA | Posted: 11:25 AM on 01.17.10
->> If only we could our politicians to agree to disagree as well as G.J. and Jeff do, this would be a lot different country.

Nice job, gentlemen.

Michael
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Thread Title: Who's going to Haiti?
Thread Started By: Jane Tyska
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