The Delta Wing-Nissan, an unclassified prototype, speeds past fans at the 15th Annual Petit Le Mans race at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, on Saturday, October 20, 2012.
UGA Photojournalism Shoots Petit Le Mans
Date: October 29, 2012
Author: William Wickey, Yarbrough-Grady intern
Contact: Mark Johnson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amidst the tire smoke, crowd noise and chilly North Georgia air, a group of 14 students, seven professionals and one professor hunkered down in an unused garage-turned-computer-lab just outside of Road Atlanta's turn 12. This is the seventh year in a row UGA Photojournalism has made the 30-mile pilgrimage to Braselton, Ga., for the running of Petit Le Mans.
"Visual journalism is something you must learn by doing," said Mark E. Johnson (@markejohnson), senior lecturer of photojournalism at the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.
This is the 15th major workshop in seven years where UGA photojournalism students are afforded the opportunity to work alongside industry professionals such as Mike Haskey, chief photographer at the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Inquirer, Macon (Ga.) Telegraph Photo Editor Woody Marshall and freelance photo journalist Billy Weeks.
In this workshop supported by both the American Le Mans Series and Road Atlanta, students worked as credentialed photographers, blue vests and all. Each photographer was given a "shoot sheet" before the event detailing specific drivers, areas and ideas they needed to illustrate during the 10-hour-long race. A mobile newsroom was set up on site so students could shoot for an hour or two, then receive critiques from professional editors. Multiple editing sessions and immediate application of feedback resulted in a staggering learning curve.
Workshops such as these are designed to be intense. "Time and time again, I have graduates from our program come back and tell me these high pressure situations are their most rewarding experience from college," said Johnson.
Over the seven years the program has been running, thousands of images have been added to the Road Atlanta and Petit Le Mans' archives. More than 100 new racing fans have been minted as well.
Visit Mark E. Johnson's Photojournalism website for more examples of student work.
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