Moved over to Tumblr

My have mainly moved over to Tumblr – easier platform and, perhaps, more appropriate to my work. My tumblr – – simply notes the pictures (and other things) I have found that interest me.

So drop over and have a look, Hugh

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Originally posted on Mastering Multimedia:

Having just finished teaching a community college Intro to Documentary DV Production class, I’d thought I would share with you my formula for instructing students on how to shoot a video story in a way that makes the editing process go smoothly.

I always tell my students that even Michael Jordan needed to learn the fundamentals of basketball and the same goes for video storytelling. Much of what I teach is based on what I learned at video storytelling workshops like the Platypus (class of 2005) where the language of TV was drilled into me with the rigors of a U.S. Marine boot camp.

I continue to practice what I preach by shooting and editing video stories for my newspaper’s website. I’ve taught these video fundamentals at a half-dozen video storytelling workshops I’ve coached at. It is battle-tested and works with students who have never shot video before. The textbook…

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Originally posted on Journeys of a Hybrid:

1.  They forget about the story – it’s not your camera that tells the story – it’s the person using the camera. Pretty visuals, slapped into a motion timeline with music, doesn’t necessarily tell a story.  Video is a story telling medium – don’t forget that.

2.  They think they already know how to shoot – if you think because you are a professional photographer and all you need to do is get a camera with a “video mode” on it, you are mistaken. Shooting in motion is far different than shooting still images. An experienced motion shooter can spot a video shot by a still photographer with little know how, right away.

3.  Thinking audio isn’t important – audio is more important than the visual when producing video.  Hire a sound person to do it right, but don’t discount it.

4.  Thinking the DSLR camera is all you need…

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(Dis)United Kingdom Blog 002

A series of videos examining what Scotland means, on personal level, to one expat Scot, going beyond the hype and the history books…

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Send us your video response on the (Dis)United Kingdom

(Dis)United Kingdom invites video comments on what Scotland, and/or the United Kingdom, means on personal level, going beyond the hype and the history books…Authored pieces of no more than 2 minutes please. Email link and comments to

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(Dis)United Kingdom Blog 001

A short blog posting marking the start of a project to examine, to seek out what Scotland means, on personal level, to one expat Scot. It will try to go beyond the hype and the history books…

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Taiwan – NTU Unitour March 2012

A film giving a flavours of NTU recruitment trip to Taiwan in March 2012. Public domain music “In Siam” (Billy Murray) 1915 from iTunes.

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Where now NTU

I have been asked to write this introduction for this years NTU photography degree show. I wrote this …

This is an interesting time to be a photographer, the old sureties no longer exist and therefore new image-makers find themselves in an enviable position in that they, perhaps, have no old photographic guard to push aside. Coupled with this, the world they have inherited is one defined by images, as we will witness in this years US presidential election.

Exploring this world is something that photography, and our graduates, do very well. So it is a privilege to stand back and examine this year’s festival, to enjoy the pictures without the burden of being a tutor or examiner, to look without prejudice.

I am drawn first to landscape photography; here the camera echoes worlds past. Crumpling empty edifices whose damp concrete hints at swept away political dreams or perhaps lost Arcadias in which the very curtains seem to twitch back at us. This is photography stripped down to its very base, ‘this was here’, but these pictures work at another level. The photographer shows us what she sees within herself when she creates the artwork, therefore communicating and engaging with the myth that is embedded in the landscape.

Whilst topographical photographers share people’s dreams with us, portraits show us the dreamers. The best portraits retain the dignity of their subjects and then challenge us; as the subjects themselves seem to watch ‘us’ as ‘we’, photographer and viewer, dissect their lives. Some portraits beg us to share an unknowable dream. We wonder, like Roland Barthes, if we are looking into the eyes of someone who is already dead and shudder as we contemplate our own uncertain futures.

Playful image-makers then quietly take us by the hand to show us the beauty that surrounds us all, challenging us to give all artifacts the same aesthetic value. Some artists then use juxtaposition in their pictures, bringing in other narratives to remind us of all the unremembered desires that we hide away. There is also an ongoing lament for an old process, as we are reminded in a number of photographs of how beautiful and mysterious the negative positive process actually was.

Lastly, the documentary photograph shows us the power of the still image; stopping us on the brink of the action, what will happen next? These pictures can be uncomfortable, either for the viewer as they remind us of things we would rather forget or, perhaps better, to challenge and confront those in political power. But these images can also be a portrait of the photographer, the voyeur, as she watches the action intently, thus holding the mirror up to photographers themselves.

There are, of course, many more pictures that I could have considered, given more space, but it is useful to pause for a moment to reflect on the skills that all these young artists have demonstrated.

Three important items remain unseen; the first is the intellectual journey that these young photographers have undertaken, which culminates in an essay were they meditated on the purpose of photography. It is by understanding their own position within the practice that they have become better photographers, become reflective practitioners. This journey provides the intellectual keystone of the course. The other unseen is the multi-media artifacts; this catalogue cannot show the installations, nor play the photo-films or see and listen to the moving images. The last unseen is the work of setting up the shows themselves; this has been intense, but really rewarding.

Our graduates are well equipped to deal with the future, because it is their present. They have the intellectual skills to interrogate, to discriminate, and to navigate the contemporary image world. Unencumbered by old technologies they also understand the complexities of hyperlinked pictures, and benefited from digital democratisation. New technologies both in production and distribution have given young (and old) image-makers access to markets previously barred to them. The only barrier now is talent and passion, something our graduates have in spades.

So we celebrate our students, our graduates, but we are also a bit jealous of them. The image world is now theirs and we really look forward to seeing, and hearing, how they interrogate their fascinating futures.

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Taipei Treasure Hill Artist Village

A short film to give you an idea what this Artist Village is like. This is a rough cut of the video
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Lindsey and Hugh in Spain

Lindsey commenting on our ‘holiday’ in Spain. Just to note she is totally sober (she does not drink), but just totally relieved that our ordeal is over!!

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