Our old friend, storm chaser Jim Reed (I published a portfolio of Jim's work in Photo Techniques a decade ago, give or take) will be appearing tonight on ABC's "20/20." The network had a crew follow him around while he and Katherine Bay photographed blizzard conditions on December 22nd in south-central Kansas, then brought him back to New York to talk one-on-one with ABC chief meteorologist Sam Champion.
Jim's new book Storm Chaser: A Photographer's Journey has proven very popular and a heavy seller. Over the Christmas season, many bookstores sold out. The publisher (Abrams) has told Jim that more books are on the way to bookstore shelves. In the meantime, Storm Chaser can be ordered online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and several other e-commerce sites. The book is lovely. And don't forget to check out Jim on "20/20" if you're near the television tonight!
Featured Comment by Erlik: "And how did it go, for those of us who don't receive ABC?"
Mike Replies: That's a decent taste of it, but the video at the website isn't the whole feature. It's an abbreviated version—two minutes, whereas the televised version was, I dunno, maybe six or eight. Still, it gives you an idea of what the feature was like.
I thought the ABC News production was a bit cursory, but still interesting, and great exposure for Jim (although Jim is very good at publicity—he has appeared on "Good Morning America" and other shows, and been featured in many publications). One of the typical problems, as Michael Tapes pointed out to me privately, is that the producers concentrated on video. I suspect that news producers in general are so avid for usable video all of the time that it gets in their bloodstreams and they can't "turn it off" even for a piece about still photography. Other productions lean heavily on the "Ken Burns trick"—they zoom in and out or pan across still images as if they have to add some motion at any cost. It's unnecessary, but perhaps unavoidable.
Interesting, too, that an earlier feature on the same show was concerned with a Paparazzo and his strange "relationship" with she-who-shall-not-be-named, one of his prey.