May 7, 2009

6 tips on how to shoot digital photos like a pro

Future Fitness Technology

Photo by JD Lasica

 

Improve the quality of the images you shoot for your organization

Target audience: Cause organizations, nonprofits, NGOs, journalists, general public. This is part of our ongoing series designed to help nonprofits and other organizations learn how to use and create media.

JD LasicaWith millions of amateur shutterbugs sporting digital cameras that can produce professional results, more and more people are looking to take their shooting skills to the next level.

Here are some tips to get you started.

1. Move closer

The most common mistake beginners make is that they stand too far away. Get up close and personal with your subjects. Group your subjects close to each other. (See above.) Pay attention to the expressions on their faces.

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May 7, 2009

How Twitter can benefit nonprofits

amysamplewardJD LasicaOne of the things we want to do here at Socialbrite.org is to highlight top-flight presentations, tutorials and videos that we spot on the Web. Here’s one we just came across, from nonprofit expert Amy Sample Ward: Twitter.org: Twitter for Nonprofit Organizations. Amy wrote about her presentation, and recent appearance at the 140-Character Mission: Social Media & Entrepreneurship event, here.

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May 2, 2009

7 tips for communicating with people with disabilities

Glenda Watson Hyatt at the Venetian Hotel

Glenda Watson Hyatt, who blogs at Doitmyselfblog.com (“Your Accessibility Conscience”), gave an extraordinary presentation here at the SOBCon, Business School for Bloggers, talking about how to make websites and blogs more accessible to the disabled. It took her three months to perfect her presentation. I conducted a video interview with her that I’ll post here soon.

You can download her free How POUR is Your Blog? Tips for Increasing Your Blog’s Accessibility and discover how accessible your blog truly is. (You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the ebook.)

Here are her 7 Tips for Communicating With People With Disabilities:

1. Speak directly to the person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.

2. Offer to shake hands with people who have limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb is appropriate.

3. Identify yourself and others who may be with you when meeting a person who is sight impaired.

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April 30, 2009

Tim Ferriss’ method of supporting causes

tim-ferriss

JD LasicaTim Ferriss, author of the best-seller The Four-Hour Work Week, appeared today via uStream at the Inbound Marketing Summit during the session “How to Create a Worldwide Social Media Phenomenon.”

He took questions from the audience, and I asked how he decides which causes to support.

It wasn’t an idle question. Ferriss has become a remarkably adept advocate for philanthropic causes in a startlingly short time. He has successfully made use of social media tools to raise thousands of dollars to build schools in Vietnam, libraries in Nepal and India, and most recently, to help thousands of classrooms in the U.S. obtain basic classroom supplies. (Source: WalletPop)

Tim singled out three organizations and initiatives as exemplars of philanthropy in the age of Web 2.0:

Donorschoose.org, the remarkable organization founded by Charles Best (I did a video interview with him Monday and hope to post it soon). Ferriss, who sits on the organization’s board, said the ability for users to select the specific educational causes they support and to receive tangible feedback are key drivers of its success.

roomtoread1Roomtoread is a global organization that has established more than 7,000 libraries in the developing world since 2000.

Charity: water, the nonprofit that was the beneficiary of the Twestival event in 205 cities, is representative of a new breed of charitable organizations, he said. Some of these groups have smartly begun to set up an administrative structure in which 100 percent of donated funds go directly to the cause, with a separate fund, generated through other means (such as a small add-on to support the group’s operations), paying for administration.

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April 29, 2009

Secrets and sex education


Secrets and sex education from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaHannah Cordero, program coordinator for the Education Theatre Program of Kaiser Permanente in Northern California, tells about the Secrets program geared toward teens through theatrical performances. Educational Theatre Programs served over 360,000 people in Northern California in 2008. Hannah spoke at the recent sex::tech conference in San Francisco.

To see upcoming performances, go to: kp.org/etp/ncal/.

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April 27, 2009

What is off-limits to a documentary filmmaker?

Fair use and ‘free use’: As a documentary filmmaker, when must I turn off my camera?

Guest post by Peter Jaszi
Professor of Law, Washington College of Law, American University

The answers to some of filmmakers’ most common clearance questions don’t really lie in the realm of “fair use” at all, but fall under the heading of “free use.” Some examples:

  • Buildings that can be seen from public areas can be filmed for any purpose. Although there has been copyright in architectural works in the United States since 1990, the U.S. Copyright Act includes an exemption for filming. It doesn’t matter whether the building is the subject of the film or an incidental background.
  • Federal government works enjoy no copyright protection whatsoever, whether they are the words of federal government employees or footage taken by camerapeople in civilian or military service. The purpose for which you use the material – as well as the source from which you obtain it – are irrelevant from a copyright perspective.
  • Public domain works (such as 19th century paintings or medieval manuscripts) in museums or private collections are free for use as well, if you have access to a reproduction. Many institutions claim copyright in their own photographs of old objects in their collections. But if you have a different source, you’re free to proceed, without a license from the collection.
  • For most documentary projects, filmmakers don’t have to be concerned about the so-called “right of publicity” that exists under some state laws. The cases (and sometimes the statutes themselves) make it clear that the right bars only the commercial exploitation of celebrities’ “persona,” and First Amendment-protected expressive uses are specifically exempted.
  • In answer to a common (but not intellectual property-related) question, documentarians don’t need photo releases from individuals who are filmed in parks, streets or other public places where they have no expectation of privacy. If you single out an individual for special attention, you may a need a release.
Peter Jaszi is professor of law and faculty director of the Glushko-Samuelson Intellectual Property Clinic at Washington College of Law, American University. This article originally appeared at American University’s Center for Social Media and is published under a Creative Commons license.. It is available in PDF form.
Related

Filmmakers’ best practices in fair use

The rules around capturing public performances

Guide to shooting photos in public

Your rights as a photographer