Announcing The Platypus Short Courses

In response to demand, The Platypus Workshop now offers special Short Courses designed to allow individual newspapers to get their photographic staffs up to speed on video.

In the past year, more and more publications have been tasked to provide video reports for their web sites. As many have learned the hard way, shooting video is different than shooting still photographs. There are new rules that must be learned.

With more than a dozen Platypus Workshops under our belt, which have transformed the skill sets and lives of the photographers that have attended them, we have devised a special curriculum that covers the principles that newspaper staffs need to learn.

These workshops cover the differences between still and video, the rules and routines of video, sequencing, time compression, an overview of Final Cut Pro, compression for the web and how to convert frame grabs into high quality JPEGs that can allow the images to run as a 6 column cut in the newspaper.


There is not enough time in a weekend to go into exercises and edits. For this training, photographers should be sent to one of our regular workshops. However, the training provided in a seminar setting, illustrated with many videos, will familiarize your staffs with the basics.

"Dirck recently came to the National Post and gave his first Platypus short course. We realized we had fallen behind in the transformation to video and needed to jump start our intiative. Dirck managed to cram an amazing amount of information and insight into the weekend. Most importantly, he motivated our staff to embrace what is quite obviously the future of photojournalism. While it is not a replacement for the full Platypus course, it was great way to educate and inspire our staff and create a buzz about video in the newsroom and company."

- Jeff Wasserman
Photo Editor
The National Post
Toronto, Ontario

"Earlier this year we decided to start shooting video without much of a plan. We bought computers set up for video editing and one 3-CCD camera to get started, but the learning curve was high and our progress painfully slow. We didn't have a clear concept of how or what to shoot for our associated website. Luckily, we discovered Dirck Halstead and the Platypus Short Course. During the two days we spent with Dirck, the "light bulbs" began to glow one by one. We learned the basics of video content, technique and production as a complement to the printed page. It was hard to be motivated when we weren't sure about our goals, but Dirck certainly put us on the right track."

- Dale Ruff
Photo editor
The Republican
Springfield, Mass.

"The Platypus Workshop was an eye-opener for us. Dirck Halstead showed us a new world of possibilities with newspaper video on the Web. Then he set up his cameras and showed us the fundamentals of doing high-quality video ourselves. We left the sessions energized and focused. As an editor in charge of making our newspaper's multimedia efforts a success, a found the program particularly valuable. In a span of two eight-hour sessions, Dirck took us from 'how did they do that?' to 'we can do this!'"

- Daniel Day
Managing Editor
Modesto Bee


Dirck Halstead,
202 288 4838

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