Dean O'Brien's Blog

Coventry Conversations: Jeremy Vine talks at Coventry University

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If there one person who I most admire in the media at the moment it has to be Jeremy Vine.  If images are aesthetically pleasing to the eyes then his voice does the equivalent to my ears.  Yes, every day I tune in to Radio 2 and listen to the Jeremy Vine Show.  Good music combined with real sensible debates on current issues of the day.  Members of the public can phone in and spout their opinions live on air.  It all makes for a great days radio whilst I am normally sitting editing images or writing my blog.

When I heard that John Mair had arranged for Jeremy to come and talk at Coventry University as part of the Coventry Conversations for this year I was more than pleased.  Jeremy started off in Coventry as a young reporter for the Coventry Evening Telegraph before going to work for the BBC.  Although he was only at the Telegraph for a short period he spoke very fondly of his time there and revealed some great stories for those in attendance.  Journalism and media students had the chance to ask questions and receive some great advice about how to pursue their career.  As with photography, media and journalism is also going through a massive change due to the different mediums used to get news out to the masses.  He told the students that in order for them to succeed they need to be flexible, persistent and to never say ‘no’ to anything.  I got the impression that journalism is very much like photography at the moment.  A very competitive market where only the very good will survive and earn a proper living from it.  Its an industry which is going through massive changes and those who want to enter will need to adapt and adjust.

After the talk Jeremy crossed over to the Ellen Terry building where he named a studio and unveiled a plaque.  This was a great moment and Jeremy commented on how well equipped the studios were.

As with the previous talk which I also covered (with Jon Snow) I learnt to stay in the background. In order to get a correctly exposed shot I had to go to the plaque ten minutes before the unveiling. This was due to the fact that I was told that I would only have a few minutes to take the shot.

I knew that the lighting in the hallway was fluorescent so my camera would need some adjustments. I also wanted to experiment with where best to bounce the flash from. Once I was happy with a few test shots I was then ready to take the shots when the talk finished. I believe that this showed a great deal of professionalism on my part. Something that may get me more work of a similar nature in the future.

Professional experiences such as this are a great opportunity to learn.  The Coventry Evening Telegraph had their own photographer there so It was a great opportunity to watch and learn how others demonstrate their practice.  From a personal point of view this was also a chance to grab some images for the University and its publications.  My images are starting to improve but this is only happening as I am shooting virtually every day now.  I spend a hell of a lot of time reading and learning from other peoples experiences.  I believe that this will play a major part in getting me where I need to be in my chosen profession.

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Written by Dean O'Brien

September 30, 2010 at 11:09 am

One Response

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  1. The theme of being flexible and persistent must something you talk about at lectures. I think there are markets for great images, you just need to know where to look.

    Chris Alford

    January 23, 2011 at 4:10 pm


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