Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Washington D.C. PJ Trip: Day 2

Today we visited National Geographic and The White House Photo Office.  In the morning, we went to the National Geographic.  We met Ken Geiger, Photo Editor at the National Geographic Magazine and he took us around the office and talked about what National Geographic does day to day.  It was interesting to learn about the tedious process photographers, editors, and designers go through for each issue.  In a nutshell, photographer submits story, spends time shooting it, editor reviews the work, talks to designer, then back to photographer for input, then back to designing and then final print.  The process to get a story printed by National Geographic seems really tough, but rewarding once printed for the amount of input you receive.  The amount of work each photo editor puts into their stories is immense, long reviews and countless changes to the story seem endless to perfect the story for each issue.  After going over the process and seeing all the offices, we went downstairs to the photo tech lab.  One of the photo engineers was building a remote control car to mount a camera on the car to photograph tigers in the wild in their natural habit.  It sounds really cool to go to work each day and build cool photo tools to enable photographers to take better images and better access.  I should do that on the side! :)

After National Geographic, we walked over to the White House.  Had a review of recent work by the photographers at the White House, talked about the job, and the grand story of Barack Obama and what they want to accomplish in his administration.  I found it interesting how difficult photographers jobs must be to photograph the same man for a whole presidential term, things would start to repeat themselves pretty quickly.  It would become a long-term story of finite details of the struggles and happiness the president would go through serving his term, those moments would separate themselves out to show his character.  After the meeting, we got to see the West Wing of the White House.  Nothing exciting but still cool nonetheless.


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