Time Magazine’s Call of Duty Cover Advertisement

When journalism jumps into advertising, there can be trouble. This is what Time Magazine is learning quickly as it’s receiving flack for using its iconic cover to promote a product.  

Time has helped create a mock cover to promote Activision’s upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.  This advertisement for the game appears like a normal Time cover, with red border and all.  According to the NY Times, Time lent support in the art direction, but Activision created the image.

The magazine believes this will allow their readership to expand to younger male audiences interested in the gaming world, a market they believe has not been reached by their publication.

Will a faux magazine cover as an advertisement really cause gamers to buy a subscription? I think doubtful, and so do many others.  Does Time lose credibility as a news source for selling out to advertising?


Travel Photography Tips

I leave for my UConn Senior Trip to Europe tomorrow and decided to search the internet for photography tips (after all, I want to shoot as much as possible).  I found 10 quick, simple tips on how, and what, to take pictures of when you’re traveling.

1) Framing is important: This can mean the rule of thirds, or just knowing how to frame a subject the right way. You want to create an appealing photograph, and the basics are important.

2)  The rule of thirds that I just mentioned.  Most people automatically want to place the key subject in the dead-center of the frame.  The rule of thirds discourages that, placing the subject 1/3 from the top/bottom/left/right of the frame.

3)  Seek the “golden hour“: This refers to the first or last hour of daylight.  It casts a golden glow on subjects, adding interesting light and shadows to your photos.

4)  How not to crop people: When taking photos of people, it’s important to know how to frame them.  You don’t want to cut someone off at the elbows or ankles, it makes them look odd.  It’s better to crop them mid-calf, mid-thigh, etc.

5)  Turn off the flash: I always prefer natural lighting.  Learn the aperture and shutter settings on your camera and you can come up with fantastic photos without a harsh flash.

6)  Don’t be afraid to shoot mundane things: These little things can remind you of the spirit of your trip.  Obviously everyone wants photos of the big monuments and landmarks, but sometimes  a photo of a lonely flower or old building can be just as special to your trip.

7)   Become your own tripod: Simply leaning against a wall or placing your camera on a ledge can help you take clear photos without a tripod, especially in low lighting with a long exposure.  Face it, we’re not as stable as a brick wall.

8) Look for reflections in still water: This adds interest, perspective and frankly, beauty to photos.  Who doesn’t love reflections?

9) Consider your options when photographing strangers: Sometimes you see people engaging in activities that are interesting, fun, romantic or exciting.  You can do two things: sneakily zoom in on them and snap a picture, or go up to them and ask for a close up.  Sometimes having that extra confidence to ask can create a better picture.  Grow a pair!

10) Capture triangles: Angles are great in photos.  They add a sense of perspective for the viewers of the photo, putting them in the scene.  Angles and triangles are pleasing to the eye. Try to find some!

Happy traveling!

My Website

As a part of my Online Journalism course, from which this blog stemmed from, we had to create a website.

It was finally launched today. So for your viewing pleasure…

Jordan Acker Photography

10 Things You Should Keep in Your Camera Bag

I found an article online listening 10 most important things to keep in your camera bag for your SLR camera, and I definitely agree with their suggestions.

1. Batteries – It’s always good to have a spare when shooting

2. Battery Charger – That’s obvious

3. Extra Memory – You don’t want to run out of memory space and have to delete photos or miss out on great shots

4.  Rain Sleeve – Just incase

5. Lenses – Bring along a wide angle and telephoto lenses, or get an “all-in-one” 18-200mm lens for the most flexibility.

6. Compact Tripod/Monopod – You never know when you’ll want a self-timed photo, or need stability in low lighting

7.  Cleaning Cloths – Keep everything clean

8.  Flash – A built in flash is only good for about 10 feet; get more range

9.  Card Reader/Video Cable – To back up your pictures on a laptop

10.  A Good Camera Bag to Carry it all in – Water resistant is a plus

Photojournalism 4th Most Stressful Job for 2011

CareerCast.com looked at 11 different factors that can cause stress on the job, and ranked 200 professions by how significantly these demands factor into the average workday. Factors that weighed into stress include work environment, job competitiveness, physical demands, deadlines, on-the-job dangers and even the job’s growth potential.

Yahoo!Finance posted the results today for the five most stressful jobs in America.  Number four went to Photojournalists. Being on call 24/7 and relocating to danger zones where the news breaks gives this profession a high stress score.  The news is unpredictable, and so is the job (which is also why Newscasters came in at number five on the list).

Luckily, I work well under pressure.

To see the other four most stressful jobs, click here.

Spring Weekends Past

UConn’s Spring Weekend is approaching and the news stations are swarming.

The Hartford Courant online posted photos from years past:

UConn’s Spring Weekend, Through the Years.

Photo by Jay L. Clendenin - April 27, 2002

Photo by Jay L. Clendenin – April 22, 2002

Photo by Patrick Raycraft - April 22, 2005

While some photos show students drinking and having a good time, the majority seem to be of the consequences of doing so.  Could the Courant be sending us a message?…

Cleaning Camera Lenses

It doesn’t matter how careful I am with my camera lenses (replacing caps, handing with care, etc.), they seem to attract more dust than a lint brush.  God forbid I get a finger print on it too. Lenses are expensive; no one wants to replace theirs over a cleaning mishap.  There are certain techniques, products and supplies needed to properly clean a camera lens.

1. An air blowerremoves the dust and other particles form the lens.  Blowing air with your mouth is in not the same – spraying it with your saliva isn’t helping.

2. The stuck-on dust not removed by the blower can be wiped off with a microfiber cloth (like those that come with eyeglasses).  Like your eye doctor tells you, don’t use any other type of paper product to clean the lens because they could scratch.

3. For those pesky fingerprints and grease smudges, specific lens cleaning fluid is used.  It is a special liquid that does not leave any residue behind.  Put some lens cleaning fluid on a microfiber cloth and wipe in a circular motion. Do not put the fluid directly on the lens.  You can usually get the cloth and cleaner in one lens cleaning kit.

A quick fix: A lens pen.  It’s an all in one lens cleaning item.  It has a carbon based tip, with a brush on the opposite end.  It’s perfect for any camera bag.

Get rid of unwanted blurs and specs on photos by making sure your camera lenses are always clean.  Your lenses will thank you, by lasting longer and saving you money.

Photoshop Remote for iPad

App creator Shawn Welch has created “Photoshop Remote” for the iPad. With new Photoshop Touch SDK technology, this app allows users to edit their photos with the touch screen of a tablet.


Editing at the tip of your fingers.

Photo of the Week: 4.4-4.11

My pick for photo of the week, April 4 – April 11, 2011 from the NYTimes Lens Blog.

Residents in Paranaque City, south of Manila in the Philippines, tried to control a blaze that destroyed at least 500 shanties and left 1,200 families homeless.

Photo by Francis R. Malasig for the European Pressphoto Agency.

Pet Photography

We’ve all heard of people taking pictures of their pets, or pet photography, but what about the pets taking the pictures?  Now pet owners can get collar-cameras for their pets.  You can get a “pet’s eye view” from this little camera that shoots at timed intervals throughout the day, allowing you to see what your pet is really doing while you’re out of the house.

This is pet photography on a whole new level.