Working Without Power On Deadline or Generating Pictures

Wednesday night I photographed a wrestling tournament in Robbinsville, New Jersey for the Burlington County Times. It wasn’t too far from home, so, I decided to leave my laptop at home because there was plenty of time to get there, come back and transmit to the newspaper’s office for layout.

After I finished shooting, I gathered my gear and headed towards the exit and saw people huddled around the door waiting out a torrential downpour. Not good. I shoved my gear under my coat and ran to the car. Made it. not too wet.

Drive home, slowly through the heavy rain. About three miles from home I get away from the rain. My thinking at this point was, “Yeah!!! No more rain.”
Then my wife calls and I thought we may have been flooded. She said no, that wasn’t the case, but there was no power. Great!!

So, I arrive home. Not sure when the power was coming back on I was about to pack up my laptop, in the dark, and head to Starbucks to transmit. Then I remembered, we have a generator. It was still on the back patio because we had set it up in case the ice and snow from a few weeks ago caused a power outage.
I went outside, used my iPhone 6+ as a light source, found the switches and started up that baby. Ok. so, now it’s running. Need to get power cord from there into the house. I did that, but not before getting the cable hooked on a tree and yanking it, thus smacking myself in the face with the end of the cord. Ouch!! Blood. No time to worry. Keep moving.

Once the cord was in the house, I found alight, unplugged from the wall, and plugged into the generator. Now we have light!!!
Next. Get power to the laptop. Found a power strip. Added that to the chain. No laptop is good. Oh no, how can I transmit? No wifi. But yes. I do have wifi. My iPhone 6+ serves as a hotspot. Sweeeeeettt!! Plug that in for power. I am then all set.

Dropped the SD cards into the Macbook Pro. Downloaded. Edited in Photoshop, Photo Mechanic. Pix moved to the office. I had to make sure that I saved the images high enough resolution, but compressed enough to not lose clarity. Save at quality 8 at 300 dpi 8×10. Pix sailed through the phone.

Now for the video. I thought that might be trickier, but I made sure that my video report was 44 seconds so i could save it small. Worked like a charm.
Moved the video, checked in, all was good. Now, I was done.

After I finished. I unplugged everything and then hooked up the fridge, bose and our SiriusXM radio. Had to have food, drink and music while waiting for the power to return. 🙂

I feel asleep, and eventually, at 12:40 AM, I was awoken by all the lights in the house going on. When the power goes out, people generally open every switch in the house like that is going to turn the power back on. All that does is freak you out in the middle of the night an the power comes on. Boy how brightly awake I was.

Looking back today, I realized that generator is wonderfully fabulous!!!!

Why Do Students Not Take Deadlines Seriously?



When I was teaching at a university, one of the biggest problems I found was that students never seemed to take a deadline seriously. It is one of the simplest rules. Get your assignments in on time! Not sure why that is so hard. Maybe they need to manage time better. Some of the excuses are plain stupid. One student said she had to work, another had a death in the family, another had her gear stolen. In that case, I asked for a copy of the police report. Never did receive it. I don’t think the student realized that faculty members speak with each other and that I was told the student had used the same excuse a semester before.

Last year I had a student challenge her grade. She believed she deserved a better grade then I had given her. I told her I didn’t give her a grade. She earned it.

She asked that I review the reasoning behind the grade she had earned.
So, I did. I made note that 8 out of 10 assignments were not turned in on time and they were almost a week late in most cases. One was never even completed. Another notation I made upon review was “student did not follow directions.” In that case the assignment called for one program, which was readily available on campus, but the student chose to use another program. Thus, not doing the assignment the way it was intended.

When I explained that her lower grade was due to the fact that she didn’t follow directions and couldn’t meet a deadline. She still didn’t understand.

This was my written response to her.

“I teach part time. I make pictures full time and have been doing so for 30 years.
I have never missed a deadline.
My father died.
I didn’t miss a deadline.
My dog died.
I didn’t miss a deadline.
My house flooded.
I didn’t miss a deadline.
The list goes on.
No excuses. Just meet the deadline.
Sometimes my deadlines are weeks or days. Sometimes they are hours.
I still haven’t missed a deadline. And that dates back to when I was a student attending University of the Arts.
I have also worked as an assignment editor. I call a photographer with an assignment. They get it in before the deadline. If they do not, I never call them again. End of story.
A photographer gets one shot to make a good impression. Meeting deadlines is key.
If I’m an art director and assign you to make a slideshow using this new software called Lightroom. We want to show what it does. You decide, since you don’t have it, you’ll use another program. I know Lightroom can be easily downloaded as a trial. You submit your slideshow, 6 days after it was due. Missed the deadline and totally screwed up my production schedule. The worst part is that as I look at the slideshow, I realize that it was not done with the software I, as the art director, hired you to use thus negating the whole project. Wasting my time, your time, and screwing up your clients production schedule. Do you think that the art director would ever call you again. The answer is no. Your one shot at making a good impression is gone.
The reality is that an art director or photo editor does not care if your father, dog, your house was flooded, you had studio problems for another class, etc… They care that you get the job done correctly and on deadline.
I appreciate the fact that you said you worked hard on the assignments. I’m sorry, but I just don’t see it. 

You obviously have some talent, but I’ve seen is flashes of brilliance with long periods of mediocrity.”

Unfortunately, I sometimes believe that students think we are insane and that we ask these tasks of them to make it harder on them. In actuality, we ask these students to do these tasks so they will have the knowledge and fortitude to succeed in the career they’ve chosen.

Hopefully, she gets it….soon.