The latest and greatest on CNN iReport, brought to you by Team iReport.
If you've got questions about CNN iReport or want to meet other members of the community, then join us here in the blog at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion.
We've got some cool new assignments we want to share with you -- including our next weekend assignment: Past and present.
This is going to be an interesting challenge because it will take some research and planning to find the right spot. We'll have some tips on good ways to find old photographs of your community.
These weekend assignments have been really fun and we've been amazed by the wonderful job everyone's done. Please help us spread the word by inviting any history buffs you know to join us for tomorrow's roundtable.
We'll look forward to talking to you on Thursday at 3 p.m.
P.S. This isn't an April Fools' Day prank. You'll have to go here for those.
This trend was part of the inspiration for a recent CNN iReport assignment called “A Walk in Our Shoes,” in which CNN.com asked its readers to film one-minute videos of their favorite places to walk.
We received more than 470 submissions, from six continents. And that doesn't include one late submission from Antarctica, which is definitely worth a look.
CNN stitched many of those videos into a collective walk around the world.
Check out that video here:
And it’s not finished just yet.
All of the videos submitted as part of “A Walk in Our Shoes” are available for download, and CNN is asking people to edit their own mashups. Never been to Africa? You could click on the “walk_africa” tag and find all of the submissions from that continent, including a stroll through central Madagascar and a bus stop in Swaziland.
Download the ones you like, edit your own walk, and then submit it to this iReport page.
Here are some of our favorite tags you could play with:
Walk with a friend (walk_4_feet)
Walk with a narrator (walk_walkie_talkie)
Walk with a purpose (walk_advocate)
Walk a bridge (walk_bridges)
Walk in Converse shoes (walk_chucks)
Walk without shoes (walk_barefoot)
Walk a mountain (walk_mountains)
Walk on a beach (walk_beaches)
Walk with a shadow (walk_shadow)
Walk past a famous landmark (walk_landmarks)
Ride a bike or ski down a hill (walk_alt_mode)
Take a religious walk (walk_churches)
Take a stroll through the burbs (walk_suburb)
Hike a trail (walk_trails)
Check out some cool plants (walk_flora)
Or beware of animals (walk_fauna)
Walk in the snow (walk_snow)
Walk through Asia (walk_asia)
Walk through Africa (walk_africa)
Walk through North America (walk_north_america)
Walk through South America (walk_south_america)
Walk through Australia (walk_australia)
Walk through Europe (walk_europe)
Also, we're sharing all of the data we collected about these walks on this public Google Doc. Some useful tidbits from the spreadsheet that could help you with editing: We asked people to use one word to describe their walks; what the temperature was; what time the video was filmed; and exactly where they were shot.
Let us know if you have questions about the project. Thanks so much for participating, and happy editing!
Tyson, John, Curt, Lila, Karyn and Kelly
AKA - The Walk in Our Shoes team
Please join us here in the blog at 3 p.m. for our weekly roundtable discussion. We're looking forward to talking with you.
We want to thank all of you for making the "Walk in Our Shoes" weekend assignment a huge success. We got more than 450 submissions from all over the world. Tyson has been working with a team of people to turn those videos into something really cool and we appreciate everyone sharing their walks and spreading the word.
This weekend's mission is a scavenger hunt of sorts that we're calling "Operation pay phone."
We'll talk about that and any other questions or concerns you may have.
Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET.
Austin, Texas, has experienced more than its fair share of news in the past several months: a dramatic plane crash, unseasonable snow, and just recently the annual South By Southwest festival. All of which means that Austin also has more than its fair share of top-notch iReporters.
And, since I was one of a few lucky CNNers who got the plum assignment of heading to Austin for SXSW, I also got a chance to meet several of the local iReporters. We met up over beers and sunshine on the patio of a spot called The Gingerman Pub, and swapped tales about finding stories and where to get the best view from above. It was the weekend of the “View from up high” weekend assignment, after all. Thanks to Patricio, Mikayla, Robert, Sherri, Rod and friends for coming out! Sure was great to meet you in person.
If you're thinking of hosting an iReport meetup in your town, let us know! We'd love to see photos and help you spread the word.
Around the table, clockwise from bottom left are Dermot Waters from CNN, Daniel Ha and Ro Gupta from Disqus, Valerie Streit from CNN, Lila King of CNN iReport, iReporters Robert Bluestein and Mikayla Forrest and Bonnie Sashin.
Women with full lips, jutting hips, multi-colored hair, and long fingernails adorn a 92 feet by 12 feet mural near Times Square in New York City.
The work of art, by muralist Sofia Maldonado, has been met by mixed reviews since its installation on March 2.
iReporters captured a small group gathered to protest and demand the removal of the mural on March 17. Mykwain, a New York University film student, captured reactions of New Yorkers both for and against the mural.
Many of the complaints stem from the fact that the women depicted in the mural are black and Hispanic. Others feel that the position of the mural in Times Square, a place heavily visited by tourists, is inappropriate.
One protester said that the work was “disgusting and degrading to women.” But another observer, who supported the mural, noted that the work depicts the sign of the times and he found the piece to be “astonishingly beautiful.”
Maldonado, who is Puerto-Rican and Cuban, was commissioned by the Times Square Alliance to create the work for Women’s History Month. It is set to be on display until April 30, 2010.
The debate over the artwork is taking place on CNN iReport, too. Several iReporters have weighed in posting over 300 comments under sjunat55’s submission with their take on the piece as art or highly decorated discrimination.
Is the problem with this piece the content, the location, or a mixture of both? Is there a problem with it? Talk about it here.
Please join us here in the blog for our weekly roundtable discussion. We'll be talking about our upcoming weekend assignment – Walk in our shoes.
This is the long-awaited collaborative art project that we've been talking about for months and we're really looking forward to seeing everyone's videos.
We're hoping to hear from people all over the world, so please share this link with your friends. It will be a great way to celebrate the first days of spring.
We'll also be happy to talk about any other questions, comments or concerns you may have.
We'll open comments at 3 p.m. ET.
Yep, literally. Today, the color green isn't a symbol of the environment, it's a celebration of St. Patrick's Day!
iReporters from all over are partying it up and showing off how their cities are commemorating the day. MrIsaacs documented Chicago's annual tradition: Dying the Chicago River a shocking shade of kelly green. sjunat55 sent photos and video from the Irish Arts Center in New York, where Irish music and dance took center stage. And JaneyBracken, our trusty Second Life iReporter, got shots of the colorful in-world celebrations, including a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
Are you heading out in an outrageous green hat and "kiss me, I'm Irish" button today? Will you attend cultural or religious events? We'd love to see how you're celebrating.
While conservatives have Joe the Plumber, an alternative group has chosen a cup of joe as their representative. The Coffee Party, another grassroots organization named after a popular morning beverage, has gained our attention.
This past Saturday, March 13th, was the National Coffee Party Kick-off Day. According to the official website for the fledgling party, their National Coffee Party Day launched in more than 350 coffee shops in 44 states.
The Coffee Party was formed in response to what Annabel Park, the movement’s founder perceived as media overexposure of the conservative Tea Party movement.
Park volunteered for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and Democratic Senator Jim Webb’s 2006 campaign in Virginia. However, she says the group is not “aligned” with any party and calls the two-party system out of date.
The Coffee Party describes itself as a made up of people acting independently of political parties, corporations, and political lobbying networks.
Here at iReport, Coffee Partiers documented the kick-off with photos and videos from across the nation—including one submission from U.S. citizens who celebrated the kick off from Italy. The groups gathered and had discussions ranging from health care to political infighting. Only time will tell if this movement gains enough momentum to compete with the Tea Party.
Check out the assignment here to see more submissions. If you see any groups gathering at your local java hut, be sure to send them to us here at iReport.
The story of a “runaway” Toyota Prius on a Southern California interstate Monday has since raised a lot of controversy. The driver in question, Jim Sikes, told his story to CNN's Ted Rowlands. He said he was unable to stop the car as it went over 90 mph and called 911 for help.
iReport car reviewer romanmica has been especially interested in this story. He often shares videos of the many test drives he takes, and his honest opinions on each car and how it handles on CNN iReport, but this time it was a little different. Using an “unscientific test,” romanmica wanted to see how easy it was to stop a runaway Prius (needless to say, don’t try this at home). Check out the video above.
“I tested the car on a very seldom-used road and of course made sure that the car would stop in a safe distance,” romanmica told me. “I wanted to show in a very straightforward manner that while the technology may be somewhat new and different, the way you stop the car is very much the same” as a traditional car.
As for Toyota, they told CNN earlier this week that they were investigating the incident. There is also a brake feature that U.S. safety regulators are considering for all cars.
If you would like to weigh in on this issue, especially if you own a Toyota Prius yourself, feel free to chime in here.
Please join us here in the blog at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion.
We're looking forward to talking with you.
The weekend assignment project is going great, and nsaidi will be telling us about our next challenge: "View from up high."
We were really impressed by the response to last week's challenge. Cooking a dish on camera and then editing it into an entertaining story is a really tough, but iReporters really rose to the challenge (the food looked great too!).
We can't wait to see what everyone comes up with this weekend.
Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET. We'll talk with you then.
Hi iReporters, just a quick note to let you know our developers have detected high error rates among those of you using the 3.0 series of Mozilla Firefox. You may not be able to attach images or videos on the upload page if you are on the older FireFox version.
Mozilla will end support for the 3.0 series later this month. If you're a Firefox user, we suggest you download the latest version of Firefox to ensure your amazing iReports make it to our site.
To report upload problems or any other issues, hit us up at contact@iReport.com.
We’ve certainly seen our share of documentaries on CNN iReport, but we were really impressed with two recently posted on the site.
vijays often makes short videos about schoolchildren and their views on the world. This time, he took a look at some older students who gave up on school altogether. In the two-part documentary “Dropout Nation,” vijays explores the problem of high school dropouts, and some possible solutions. He and his co-producer, Whitney Keyes, say they were concerned about the U.S. “becoming a nation of haves and have-nots.”
vijays explains that their view was that, “Facts don’t tell this story. The kids do. Our interviews include kids that dropped out for various reasons, kids that chose to live on the streets and at-risk youth.” Check out the first part of the documentary above, and part two here.
While vijays looked at problems in the U.S., iUnderground crossed the border to one of the most dangerous areas of Mexico – Juarez. He says the situation wasn’t always that dire in Juarez; he had visited there several times in the past, at one point for cheap dentistry.
He decided to pay a return visit to some of his old haunts and bring along his camera. The footage he captured really gives viewers the flavor of a specific location, and a look at Juarez beyond the headlines of violence between drug cartels. Watch both parts of this iReport here.
Norris' tough guy persona inspired the Internet phenomena "Chuck Norris facts" in 2005. Users describe incredible feats of strength that the martial arts star is capable of. The hilarious facts are still popular today – just check out #chucknorrisfacts on Twitter to see some of the latest.
Are you a Chuck Norris fan? We'd love to hear your best facts about the action hero in the comments below. And if you ever had the pleasure of meeting him, you can share your photos, videos and memories here.
"iReport" was the last thing we expected to hear when we watched the Oscars last night, but surely enough, it happened. One of the nominees for Sunday night’s Academy Awards was “Burma VJ,” which told the story of citizen journalists documenting pro-democracy protests in Myanmar in 2007. In the short clip shown during the telecast, CNN’s Dan Rivers could be heard talking about the importance of iReports to CNN’s coverage of the protest there. The clip was super quick, but as soon as it was over, several members of team iReport excitedly jumped on Twitter to talk about it.
These iReports were an early indicator of the power of citizen journalism in places where access was limited. Iran has been another example in recent months.
Tuition is getting expensive. States are cutting university budgets. Professors are being furloughed. Enough is enough, say young, first-time iReporters who are speaking out against the death of education.
Vivid protest photographs and chanting videos flooded iReport yesterday as students and teachers nationwide participated in a “national day of action.” We were thrilled to see so many students and new faces joined the iReport community to help tell a story that’s affecting their generation.
iReporter bluestatus is an aspiring photojournalist and junior at Newark Memorial High School in California. He captured images of parents and children taking their message to the streets of Fremont, California.
Another aspiring journalist and film student, CColton, gathered with his classmates at Colorado State University last week to protest potential tuition raises. The freshman edited together a video that really made us feel like we were there.
Over in the land of Lincoln, new iReporter kpimblo2 helped organize a march and rally of about 300 people at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She’s a graduate employee and doctoral student for history.
“We’re trying to form a coalition of all workers and students on campus,” she said. “We want to put pressure on the state to increase state funding on the university. …The university is threatening to increase tuition 18 percent.”
Student protesters at San Francisco State University got creative with their message, donning giant paper mache ghoul and skeleton masks. Student LandraLune says it was the most dramatic protest she’s ever seen.
“Students are really getting frustrated with the fee hikes and the shortage of classes,” she said. “Many of us are not able to get the units we need to qualify for financial aid.”
If you are taking part in protests on your campus, please share your story. Check out the CNN gallery of iReporters protesting all over the country. The youth of America are speaking, so don’t let your voice go unheard.
Last week we challenged the community to try out time-lapse videos to tell a local story, with stunning, global results. You can see the highlights in a new piece on CNN.com today. (It's all part of our new weekend assignment project -- the next challenge starts tomorrow, jump in!)
Along with videos and local stories, several of the contributors shared tips on trying timelapse. If you’re thinking of taking the plunge yourself, take heed from others who’ve done it before:
Richard Misek, London
I'd just say if you want to shoot a time-lapse, experiment and put some ideas into it. Don't just shoot a time-lapse of something because it will look beautiful. Beautiful is boring. A sequence usually only becomes really interesting when the film-maker puts something of him/herself into it.
Elliot Darren, St. Etienne, France
Egberto Willies, Kingwood, Texas
I am not qualified to give advice on this issue. However, just do it. It is a rewarding project.
Wil Massenburg, Yorktown, Virginia
Have lots of time and be patient with the process and always use a tripod!
Keith Schomig, Annapolis,Maryland
The subject matter should be something that evolves over time at a rate too slow to perceive normally but obvious when sped up (e.g., weather patterns, rising tide, growing plants).
Lulis Leal, Cedar Grove, New Jersey
Patience. I realize there are many cameras today with a time-lapse feature conveniently built in, however, I wanted to show that even the simplest point and shoot camera can create a time-lapse effect. I will enjoy practicing and perfecting this new technique.
James Dourney, Fort Pierce, Florida
Don't be afraid of trying it – it’s not only fun, but surprisingly easy to do.
Hannah Slagle Palmer, Atlanta, Georgia
No need to get overwhelmed with intervalometers and extra software. You can do this low-budget and low-tech. Be patient. Commit to one scene and watch it unfold. The smallest changes are the most surprising!
Sabri Akin, Istanbul, Turkey
I'd suggest them to keep their tripods stable and being careful on 'f' value according to weather/light in the composition and I'd ask them to go with minimal compositions besides crowded flows.
Shawn Kendrick, Cambridgeshire, England
Use manual focus when capturing your frames, and make sure your tripod is steady; this will alleviate the jitter you sometimes see in time-lapse videos. A good friend tipped me off to this after a few lackluster attempts. Oh, and have fun!
Jose Maria Cuellar, Madrid, Spain
Try the camera settings I did: aperture priority and let the camera choose the exposure time. Auto white balance is also very important if the lights conditions are going to change. For example in my time-lapse, the first photo needs day-cloudy white balance and the last one tungsten white balance. If the exposure is going to last several hours, plug in your camera. The battery will not be enough.
Mark Leslie Cruz, Toronto, Canada
Always, always and always use a tripod. Use manual focus mode and white balance and have a lot of patience.
Charles Quinn, Sleepy Hollow, New York
Experiment. You don't need to buy lots of fancy equipment or software. A quick search of the internet or even the software that comes with your digital still camera, and you'll find ways to do some interesting time lapse.
Jamen Percy, London
Trial and error. Have a play and check google for tips and methods. Make the effort, you will surprise yourself at what is actually happening around you.
Raphael Rodolfi, Peoria, Illinois
Protect your camera from wind gusts. Be behind or next to a bigger object or use your body as a shield. And take a folding chair.
Kaard Bombe, Laguna Niguel, California
Find a good location and make sure it’s something that you won't mind filming; there's nothing worse then filming something boring for 30 minutes.
Jeffrey Martin, Coffs Harbour, Australia
Just experiment and enjoy this fascinating application ... making mistakes or not.
Miriam Cintron, New York
My advice would be to make sure to pick something that shows dramatic change over a period of time. I don't think it's necessary to shoot every few seconds as I did if the subject is one that takes a long time to change. The effect would be as dramatic if shot over a 24 hour period for example.
George Kuzni, Pocono Summit, Pennsylvania
As far as advice for time-lapse video makers, I would say, don't invest the money into the equipment, instead invest the time and discipline, and catch all those rare moments.
Owen Buckley, Pacifica, California
It's easy to do. Never touch the camera once you start taping. Use a wall outlet for power (never a battery).
James Brierton, Athens, Georgia
As outlined in the instructions: don't move the camera, don't change the interval and just let the video speak for itself. Trying to get too fancy with it will just make it that much more difficult to understand.
Joshua Shearer, Plainfield, Massachusetts
Find a good way to keep your camera powered! A batteries are good but they die quick.
Ash Davies, Melbourne, Australia
Photograph everything and keep everything.
Brian Pace, Marina del Rey, California
One thing I've found very helpful to do is just to experiment. I've been surprised at what actually moves over a long period of time. The first time I photographed a star I got a streak. I thought it was because the tripod was shaking, but it was because I was actually seeing the earth's rotation! I've photographed clouds before and seen them do strange things. In one video, the clouds were just traveling across the sky and then suddenly went downward. I have no idea why that happens! That was pretty cool. It all happened just because I took my camera out to just to see what happens, I had no idea it was coming.
The only other thing I would add is that it is a really good idea to understand exposure. One of the first things I wanted to do was shoot a sunrise from the balcony of my apartment. It took me three tries to get it right. The second one was almost there, but I was using longer exposures, which looked great ... until the sun came up. So the footage was several nice frames of the courtyard at night, then the sun started to rise and ... WHIIIIIIIITE. I have 300 frames that are all white. Woops. Once I worked out how the exposures worked in daytime photography, I was able to get my sunrise.
Kevin Palivec, Hawley, Texas
Be patient! When you're shooting a time-lapse, you tend to feel you could get a better shot or angle after it's started and you're tempted to stop or move the camera. DON'T! Trust your initial instincts when setting the camera up. Look at a scene or event and in your mind. Envision it moving at fast forward! Typically what happens is, when you play it back after moving your camera you find that the original placement was good and the new placement doesn't work as well.
John W. Oliver, Santa Barbara, California
If they want to shoot a time-lapse with the sun in frame they may have trouble getting a proper exposure throughout their shot. There are neutral density graduated filters out to purchase that will tone down the sun to allow you to properly expose for both the sky and the foreground.
We'll be back next Thursday at 3 p.m. ET
Please join us here in a few minutes the blog for our weekly roundtable conversation.
We'll be talking about our latest weekend assignment -- "Your signature dish."
Comments will open at 3 p.m. ET and we'll look forward to talking to you.
Taking your clothes off in the name of art isn't for everyone. But newsoz put aside any hesitations about being nude in public and participated in a massive Spencer Tunick photo shoot at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia. She even iReported about her experience after the fact. Tunick is a photographer known for taking pictures of massive amounts of naked people in public places. "Rather than have a sexual component, the pieces can take on an eerie, sometimes somber note," newsoz explains. "Fans of the artist marvel at the logistics of getting thousands of people to strip off their clothes and pose still, all in the name of art."
The project was part of the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in Sydney, but newsoz says people were there for a variety of reasons. One woman was there to allay her midlife crisis, while newsoz and her husband were ringing in their 25th wedding anniversary. The process of going through the photo shoot with more than 5,000 adults "of all shapes and sizes" was less daunting than liberating, she said.
"The whole time my husband and I were laughing our heads off, saying we could not believe we were doing this, especially smack in the middle of one of the world's most iconic landmarks. It felt safely rebellious and at the same time had that feeling of safety in numbers; there were a few 'perfect' bodies but for the most part, we were all normal no matter how big, small or whatever. This was collective courage. We were all in it together."
Please join us tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET for our weekly roundtable discussion.
We'll be talking about our next weekend assignment: "Your signature dish." So if you got a tip for making food look good on camera, or getting good shots of your stove, we'd love for you to share them with us.
We'll also be happy to answer any questions you may have.
These one-hour meetings are a great chance to talk to Team iReport and to meet other members of the community, so we hope you'll join us – and please invite your friends.
We'll see you tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET
It’s hard to imagine what an 8.8. magnitude earthquake feels like. But iReporters who experienced the massive quake shot photos and video of the aftermath that helped capture the situation. They shared stories of panic, confusion and chaos.
They, along with other iReporters, shared powerful and easily relatable stories. We showcased their dramatic photographs and quotes in this photo gallery on CNN.com.
The 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, have come to a close and we're really impressed with the great photos and videos that have come in. ChrisMorrow brought us great interviews with celebrity athletes like skier Lindsey Vonn as well as footage of the city scene, and AlbertArt showed us a stylistic view of Vancouver.
In accordance with the wondrous closing ceremonies, which featured a giant beaver and dancing Mounties, the iReports at the end of the Olympics have been particularly colorful. We got a glimpse of celebrations in the streets following Canada's men's hockey overtime win against the U.S. team. iReporter seeitnow described them particularly well to us early this morning, so we thought we'd share his words on the "biggest party on Earth":
"As I write this, bullhorns and trumpets are blaring away with no let up. The streets were overflowing with rowdy but peaceful people all ready to party until dawn, which should prove interesting since it's Sunday night and the city is supposed to return to normal by tomorrow morning.
Red and white were definitely the color of choice as the crowds gathered throughout downtown. The main art gallery with the prominent fountain was turned into a giant bubble bath as dozens of people decided tonight was the night to take a nice refreshing bath in the somewhat warm February evening weather.
Although numerous police were on the ready I saw nothing to suggest any trouble anywhere as I combed the streets looking for interesting characters to interview. Vancouverites have more the most part suffered through years of construction and traffic restrictions so now that it's all over there's a lot of pent up demand to finally realize, 'Hey we did it: we finished and we won.' Let's savour the moment for as long as we can."
Thanks for sharing the great iReports! Tell us what you thought about the Olympics in the comments area below.