Here's how I went about covering the Festival when I was in Crested Butte:
I sat on an aisle seat at the Festival. I made sure that I could zoom out with my camera to get an overview of the stage yet also zoom in enough to get an OK closeup of each speaker. Early on I realized that I needed to take written notes. I really wished that I also had a tape recorder that could capture everything to refer to.

I took a few shots of each speaker, often checking with the camera's LCD to see if I got an expression I liked. I also tried to take pictures of key visuals that would remind me what they said and that would be helpful for my reporting. This often meant taking every bullet-point slide they showed. I also periodically took "ambiance" shots to show members of the audience, the locale, etc., in case it fit my story when I told it.

After each section of the Festival, I transfered the pictures from the camera to my laptop using the SmartMedia and the adaptor. This proved more difficult than it should be. I was using a new 16MB card, instead of the 8MB I had been used to. My laptop has problems with Plug-and-Play with SmartMedia. Sometimes it works when I plug it in and sometimes not (either ignoring it or freezing the laptop, requiring a hard reboot). I eventually found a way that was reliable for the configuration I was using by trial and error (it varied during the Festival). That wasted time the first night, and parts of the next day. After that it was no problem.

Once I got the pictures into the laptop, I'd look at them in the picture viewing software that came with the digital camera. Here's a screenshot of it running:

Picture gallery
Picture gallery
You can see pictures of what was on the big screen on stage (each slide in Lee Marrs' presentation), some audience shots, pictures of Lee, and more big screen shots. Typically, I took 20 or more per speaker.

In the evening when I working on updating the web site (or on the plane), I'd look over them, the Festival schedule, and my notes to remember what I was writing about.

Once I saw the pictures, I'd go into Trellix Web. I'd do a "Save As..." to keep the last version as a backup, and create "journal8.tlx" or "journal9.tlx" or whatever was the next number. I'd then insert some of the pictures, usually the shot I liked best of the speaker and one of their slides. Once I had a few speakers or event in, I'd go back and add text. Sometimes I'd do it in the reverse: Text first, images later. Sometimes I'd cut/paste the pictures to fit the text. I'd go back and forth Alt-Tabbing between Trellix Web and the picture gallery to examine pictures in detail, especially ones I wasn't inserting, such as those with slides that told me what the speaker said, like we see here on the top images.

In Trellix Web I'd crop and size the pictures, trying to keep them as small as possible yet still showing what was going on. (See what I wrote about cropping in Web Photo Journals for more on my feelings about cropping.) It's pretty easy, just click and drag, so that didn't take long. I also set a description in the Properties of most images so they would have an Alt text showing before they loaded or for people with images turned off. Finally, I set a caption for each picture just to look nice and aid in skimming. (I used a text style I created in Trellix to do the indent and smaller type -- this is not a CSS-type style, it goes out as normal HTML.)

Most of my time went into looking over the pictures (I took over 1300 of them in total), learning about the speakers in the Festival information (some of which was on-line and I was connected at less than 28.8) and through other on-line material, and trying to write clear English. Very little time was spent with mechanics of linking, layout, etc. -- Trellix Web took care of that, much as PowerPoint takes care of making one slide come after another and giving you background images.

Finally, I'd use Trellix Web's One-Step-Publish feature to update the web site.

Other than the first slideshow, I didn't produce any at the Festival. Shelley McIntyre of RealNetworks was attending the Festival and she offered to make some (she did three there and one more back home -- all are posted on the home page of this web site).  To back up my pictures and to give her copies I used a little PCMCIA hard disk that I always carry (not listed in the special equipment I brought):

PCMCIA hard disk for transferring pictures
I just plugged it in to my machine, "Ka-blump" (a sound), my system recognized it. I dragged the file directories with my pictures into a directory on the little drive, popped the drive out and handed it to Shelley. She plugged it into her machine (a Win95 one, not Win98 like mine) and it immediately recognized the drive and said it was installing a driver. A few seconds later the drive showed up in Windows Explorer and she copied the folders with the pictures to her hard drive. We went through this ritual a couple of times as I got new pictures.

I learned the trick of using a disk like this from Michael Miller of PC Magazine a couple of years ago. By keeping backups on the card you can switch to another laptop real quickly in an emergency. (Shelley didn't have her floppy drive with her.)

Shelley tells me that she didn't have an image gallery program, so she used a feature I didn't know about in the RealPlayer. She'd drag 5 or 10 pictures at a time from the directory on he machine and drop them on the RealPlayer. It would then go into a slide show mode where it would show an image for 5 seconds and then go to the next. She could use PageUp/PageDown to go back and forth, too. When she found a picture she liked, she'd drag it from the directory and drop it on the RealSlideshow creating program. After she had the pictures she wanted, she hooked up her cheap microphone (but better than the built-in one that picks up disk drive noise in her laptop) and recorded voiceovers over and over again until each was to her liking (you do one voiceover for each slide). Luckily, she had some copyright-problem-free music to use for background. Finally, she'd FTP it up to the server RealNetworks provided us for this event.

Next: After returning to Massachusetts >