Archive for June, 2012

Eugene is one of my favorite towns. It is easily the best place to watch Track and Field in the United States. Large, enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowds for every event. Wonderful. On years when the Olympics are held, there's a special excitement and tension at the track.

For our SI coverage this year, we wanted to give audiences a behind the scenes experience as well. Everyone wants to see the finish line photos of course, and we have those, but the stories behind the races and at the stadium are part of what make this event so special. Our coverage of this year’s events is featured in stories online, in the magazine and on the iPad edition, with galleries and in the leading offs. When Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh tied in the 100 meter race, we created a video of Roger Jennings, head photo finish evaluator, describing what he looks for in the photos and how he makes the call. Outside the track, the legacy and career of Steve Prefontaine continues to impact new generations of runners and track enthusiasts. With the beautiful words of our friend and SI writer Tim Layden, Laura and I created a short video "An Hour at Pre's Rock." The video was shot as stills using the iPhone and put together with the new Aperture 3.3 to show the emotional pilgrimage people make to his memorial.

Best thing about the Olympic Trials, is undoubtedly the people. We always celebrate Laura’s birthday in Eugene, and I relish the time catching up with friends like Mark Kettenhoffen, Brien Aho, Chris Pietch, Brian Davies, Thomas Boyd, and so many others.
Before leaving Portland for seven hours of flying diagonally across the USA, the last person I spoke to before taking off was SI senior writer Tim Layden.  When Laura and I landed we headed up the jet bridge, I heard Tim's voice and there on the television monitor right above the gate was Tim talking on CNN's air about the story we worked with him on the past few days. Then not 30 seconds later, we ran into a couple in the airport concourse we photographed for another story that we worked on with Tim last week. Surreal.

Last week, we spent 48 intense hours in Boston making a short film about the thinkers of the New Media Consortium.  Every interview turned into a wonderful conversation, with such a great group of minds to listen to and learn from. Authors. Auteurs. Filmmakers.  Musicians. Educators. Photographers. Historians. Librarians. Scientists. We asked each person who sat for us to expound on one central topic - Ideas that Matter. We worked in a hotel suite in Cambridge. The room was approximately 20 x 18, with 8 foot ceilings. The entire length of the room featured large, uncovered windows, which we promptly covered with blackout curtains. Our main light was an Arri 2K that we put through a triple baffled and grided Chimera Quartz box.  Gorgeous light. We used Chimera triolets with various boxes for the accent lights. We turned the air conditioning off to keep the sound clean, and the lights, are, well… they are called hot lights for a reason. Not to put too fine of a point on it the room was very quickly scorching. So hot in fact, that when my friend Don Henderson came into the room he announced in his unmistakably Texas style that it was so warm that he saw the Devil running out the door looking for air conditioning. We shot the entire piece on Nikon DSLR's.  D4's and D800's.  Taking advantage of the clean HDMI out we saved hours by letting the machines do the transcoding for us. We recorded the entire audio session on four recorders.  Backup, and more backup.  Four cameras running constantly.  All in all, a lot of data. As always, our friend Bob Trikasis came through with a networking solution that allowed us to make maximum use of our computer power and ultimately got us through just in time. Ideas that Matter is now available on iTunes U.

Bill's latest course, Career & Lifestyle Portraiture, is now live on In the course, Bill goes on location with subjects to show how to create unique images that instantly tell a deeper story about the subject. Learn tips and techniques for creating simple, yet elegant portraits of people in a variety of lifestyles and careers, both indoors and out.

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