Pulitzer Center Update

Sean Gallagher Shoots Multimedia for the Pulitzer Center with a Canon 7D

Sean Gallagher shooting with a Slik tripod. China, 2010.

Sean Gallagher shooting with a Slik tripod. China, 2010.

In April of 2010, I was awarded a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, to cover the issue of China's disappearing wetlands. This provided me with the first opportunity to seriously shoot video on assignment with a Canon 7D. As I am primarily a stills photographer, I was keen to embrace video and start to use it to tell stories better.

Having interned at Magnum Photos during 2004-2005, I took workshops under photographers such as David Alan Harvey and Alex Webb, serious proponents of the "one body, one lens" mantra. I adhered to this fairly strictly in my still photography and always kept my gear to a minimum. I knew that by embracing video, it would force me to use a lot more equipment.

I spent six weeks this summer on the road for the Pulitzer Center, travelling mostly on my own across China through urban and rural areas. I had to keep my equipment to the bare minimum as it would be only me and I needed to be able to pack everything into one backpack, including clothes and other essential items. I took on the concept of 'Backpack Journalism', coined by Bill Gentile of American University, whom I met in Washington DC last year when giving talks about my environmental work. His philosophy was key in aiding my transition to becoming a video-shooter...

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