Welcome by Dirck Halstead - The Digital Journalist (January 2007)
The Digital Journalist

The Digital Journalist

Letter from
the Publisher

Welcome to the first issue of The Digital Journalist for 2007.

In 1955, photography legend Edward Steichen created what was without doubt the most important photographic collection in history. Created for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, it contained 503 photographs taken by 273 photographers from around the world. Last fall a massive exhibition that filled and even surrounded the National Geographic building in Washington, D.C., continued to tell the epic story of common humanity around the world, following the lives of humans from birth to death. However, all the pictures in this exhibition were taken by one man – Reza, one of the most honored photojournalists alive today. His commitment to life and social justice springs from his formative experience growing up as the tides of revolution battered his native land, Iran. We are proud to be able to present selections from this work, together with a streaming video interview with Reza. We especially urge journalism schools to study this important work.

In the months ahead, we hope to be able to present more "how to do it" features in The Digital Journalist. To kick off this series, photographer Michael Grecco discusses in detail how he achieves great portraiture lighting, his subjects, the top stars and personalities of his native Hollywood. Consider this a short course that can help you understand his "Laws of Light."

In January our four Dispatches look at an enduring struggle, an on-going war and a catastrophe waiting to happen. Rafael Ben-Ari returns to report on continuing Kassam rocket attacks on Israel. Chris Hondros goes to Iraq again and assesses the deteriorating situation, while Morten Hvaal contemplates his mortality while traveling with private security forces there. Jeremy Sutton-Hibbert investigates Papua New Guinea and what may be the first instance of a population being uprooted and relocated due to global environmental changes.

Last summer, Hewlett-Packard flew 100 of the world's most famous photographers, including many Magnum photojournalists, and trade press to Barcelona, Spain, where they unveiled their new top-of-the-line pigment ink printer, the Z3100. These are big printers, capable of delivering 44-inch prints, with an archival life of over 200 years. Jon Canfield reviews these printers for us in our Camera Corner.

E-Bits Editor Beverly Spicer searched through cyberspace to find movement of commercial planes and FedEx routes, and fascinating animations of air traffic control. She also points to a favorite site, NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day, for inspiration and perspective.

Our regular columnists Ron Steinman, Jim Gabour, Bill Pierce, Terry Heaton, Chuck Westfall, Jim Colburn and PF Bentley all have meaty columns this month, as always, worth your attention.

Y'know, we marvel at the advances being made with our cameras and stuff. But, look at the technological miracles that are taking place with our communication devices. "Communicating is a good thing," says Dick Kraus in this month's Assignment Sheet. He talks about how we went from practically beating on jungle drums in order to communicate with our editors, to the wonders of cell phones and satellite technology.

My book MOMENTS IN TIME has been in stores and on Amazon for a month now. In that time, I have crossed the country appearing at bookstores to sign books and do presentations. In the months ahead, that process escalates, and I may be coming to a store or university near you. We present a review of the book by Popular Photography, along with a schedule of appearances in the next six months. I would love to be able to sign a book for you at one of these presentations.

We wish you all a happy New Year.

Dirck Halstead

Editor and Publisher

Dirck Halstead
Editor and Publisher

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