Here’s an idea you might try: Find a local photographer who shoots the night sky

I just love astronomy. I tried to work astronomy into my Focus pages every once in a while in California.

Remembering that, perhaps, Philip Maramba – managing editor of the Charleston (W.Va.) Daily Mail – shares something really cool his paper ran on Friday.

He tells us:

Our photographer, Tom Hindman, spends a lot of time outdoors and churns out wonderful nature images on Facebook and his blog. In particular, his starscapes from various points around West Virginia draw plenty of oohs and ahhs on social media and drew the attention of our features editor, Billy Wolfe, himself a photographer as well.

With the weather finally warming up, Billy thought it would be a neat idea to interview Tom to share some tips on how to get good starry sky photos.

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One of the photos inspired Billy to see if we could incorporate it into the nameplate to promote the feature. We set our graphic artist, Kevin Cade, to thinking on it and, well, you can see the results. Everyone seemed pretty happy with it.

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The story is full of really good tips for readers who have access to nice equipment and would like to try their hand at some amateur astronomy. Read the story here and see if there’s anything you might take away to do your own version with a star shooter in your own neck of  the woods.

Average daily circulation for the Charleston Daily Mail is 17,879.

Robert Newman named creative director of This Old House magazine

Magazine visuals guru Robert Newman announced on social media this weekend:

I’m very happy to announce that I’ve been hired as the creative director of This Old House magazine.

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I start work there on May 4, and am excited to be joining the talented team led by editor Scott Omelianuk and including director of photography Denise Sfraga and art director Jamie Dannecker, as well as many other good folks. This Old House is a forward-looking, multi-platform brand, with energetic projects of all kinds. And just as exciting, it has a vibrant print magazine and a passionate audience. It’s going to be a lot of fun (and very challenging!).

A 1974 graduate of the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, Robert spent more than 26 years in visual leadership positions of a number of publications: Guitar World, the Village Voice, Entertainment Weekly, New York, Details, Vibe, Inside, Real Simple and Fortune.

A few samples of his art direction over the years…

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Find more at his web site.

Robert spent four years as a consultant, working with clients such as AARP magazine, JCK magazine and TV Guide. He got into iPad design, helped set up an iPad app for Reader’s Digest and then was hired as that magazine’s creative director. He worked there for a year before going back into consulting in 2012.

In addition, Robert is a member of the board of the Society of Publication Designers.

In March 2013, Robert was visiting family in Florida when he suffered a seizure and then severe head trauma in a fall during that seizure. He was rushed to a hospital but then suffered a brain hemorrhage. He was in a coma for weeks, in a respirator.

He spent the past couple of years recovering from that incident — aided, in part, with his friends in the visual journalism world (see here and here).

Find Robert’s Twitter feed here.

Birthdays for Monday, April 27

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to Charlie Weaver, the publisher and CEO of Emerald Media Group, the independent student publications at the University of Oregon in Eugene.

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A 2005 graduate of Iowa State in Ames, Charlie stayed on at that institution to help out with the independently operated student publication, the Iowa State Daily. For the next several years, he served as design director and online/social media director. Previously, he had been the art director of Dimensional Graphics and the Printing Office, doing everything from design to editing to running a press. Charlie moved to Oregon last spring.

Charlie shares a birthday with actors Jenna-Louise Coleman, Jacob Joachim “Jack” Klugman, Sandra Dale “Sandy” Dennis, François Sorya Dreyfus (better known as Anouk Aimée) and William Peter Moseley; musicians Sheena Shirley Orr (better known as Sheena Easton) and Paul Daniel “Ace” Frehley; radio host Kemal Amin “Casey” Kasem; TV producer Stephen Russell Davies (better known as Russell T Davies); sports greats Rogers Hornsby, Christopher John “Chris” Carpenter (both baseball), Lee Roy Jordan and Charles David Whitehurst (football), Charles Robert “Chuck” Knox (football coach) and Earl Roderick Anthony (bowling); civil rights icon Coretta Scott King; general-turned U.S. president Hiram Ulysses “Ulysses S.” Grant; con man Frank William Abagnale Jr., inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse and Washington Post columnist Dana Timothy Milbank.

In addition, today is Babe Ruth Day and Morse Code Day. Seriously.

Have a great birthday, Charlie! Best wishes!

Birthdays for Sunday, April 26

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to four wonderful visual journalists…

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John Hornberg is a sports copy editor and designer for the Bakersfield Californian. A 2009 graduate of San Jose State University, John served as managing editor and then executive editor of the school’s student paper, the Spartan Daily. After a copy-editing internship at the Los Angeles Times, John spent a year as a copy editor of Comstock’s magazine before moving to the Advocate of Victoria, Texas, as a sports reporter in 2010. He was named sports editor in 2011 and moved back to California in 2013. Find his Twitter feed here.

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Augustinho Rocha is an e-commerce manager for Visonde Logistica in Ponta Grossa, Brazil. Previously, he was a news artist for Jornal Hora de Santa Catarina, Jornal Bom Dia and Diario Catarinense. Find his Twitter feed here. Augustinho turns 38 today.

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Shraddha Swaroop is a product designer for the LRN Corp. of Los Angeles. A 1994 graduate of Cal State Fullerton, Shraddha spent two years as a designer and editor for the North County Times in Escondido, Calif. and two years with a suburban Los Angeles newspaper group before joining the San Jose Mercury News in 2000. Shraddha leaped to the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., in 2007. She free-lanced for a while and joined the Los Angeles Times in 2008, prototyping, launching and then designing the Envelope features tab as well as the Image, Home, Arts & Books sections and the daily and Sunday Calendar pages. She’s also worked for Variety, SuperMedia of Los Amamitos, Gateway of Phoenix, Ariz., the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and Premier Woodworks of Bend, Ore. Shraddha also spent three years as the director of Region 2 of the Society for News Design. Find her portfolio site here and her Twitter feed here.

In addition, your not-quite-so-humble blogger — Charles Apple – turns 53 today.

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I’m a graduate of Winthrop University in Rock Hill, S.C. — although it wasn’t Winthrop University when I was there. It was just plain ol’ Winthrop College. I graduated in 1984 after several years of working in the school’s sports information operation and stringing for the Charlotte Observer.

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Two pictures of me at the Athens Banner-Herald,
around 1987 or so. On the left is my first Mac.
On the right, I’m drawing an editorial cartoon.

I spent several years working at small papers: the Athens, Ga., Banner-Herald and Daily News and the Rock Hill Herald. I joined the staff of the Raleigh, N.C. News & Observer in 1993, won a handful of SND awards for graphics and graphics reporting…

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…and, very shortly, found myself working at the Chicago Tribune.

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My award-winning staff at
 the Virginian-Pilot in 2007.


I entered the world of management in 1999 at the Des Moines Register and then moved to the Virginian-Pilot in 2003. After the Pilot eliminated my department and my position, I spent a brief time with the Sporting News in Charlotte, N.C.

For the next four-and-a-half years, I worked as as a free-lance instructor, consultant, writer and designer, teaching news design and graphics seminars around the country. I spent a total of eight months consulting for newspapers in South Africa. I also taught in the Philippines, in Nigeria and in Kenya.

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Teaching in Nigeria in 2012.


Mostly, though, I blogged. Blogging has never paid anything. But during my long years out of work, it keep me productive and positive — at times — and it allowed me to help make your life and your job a little easier. And, perhaps, a little more fun.

Or, at least, that was my hope.

All that changed in 2013, however, when I was hired by the Orange County Register of Santa Ana, Calif., in the southern suburbs of Los Angeles, not far from Anaheim and Disneyland. I designed a five-days-a-week feature the paper called Focus: A full-page, single-topic look at an issue in the news.

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Last winter, I made the move to Victoria, Texas, to become managing editor for visuals of the Victoria Advocate.

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Find my portfolio here.

I live in Victoria with my 22-year-old daughter, Elizabeth. My wife, Sharon — a special ed teacher — is helping take care of her folks in Atlanta.

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I’m on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you’ve not friended me, please feel free.

John, Augustinho, Shraddha and I share a birthday with actors Channing Matthew Tatum, Thomas John Patrick “Tom” Welling, Li Lian Jie (better known as Jet Li), Kevin George Knipfing (better known as Kevin James), Carol Creighton Burnett, Jason Daniel Earles, Marceline Ann Williams (better known as Spice Williams-Crosby), Joan Chong Chen and Kathleen Dee-Ann “Koo” Stark; musicians Robert Louis Ridarelli (better known as Bobby Rydell), Duane Eddy, Jonathan “Jon” Lee (of S Club 7), Stanley Wayne “Jay” DeMarcus Jr. (of Rascal Flatts) and Gary Malcolm Wright; sports greats John Robert Isner (tennis) and Amos Joseph Otis (baseball); architect Ieoh Ming “I.M.” Pei; landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead; naturalist and painter John James Audubon, Nazi war criminal Rudolf Walter Richard Hess and former prisoner of war Jessica Dawn Lynch.

In addition, today is Audubon Day, Mother, Father Deaf Day, National Kids and Arts Day, National Pretzel Day, Pinhole Photography Day, Richter Scale Day, Hug an Australian Day, National Help a Horse Day and Do Dah Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have an excellent birthday today!

Birthdays for Saturday, April 25

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to six top-notch visual journalists…

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Laura Garcia is a reporter for the Victoria (Texas) Advocate. A 2011 graduate of San Antonio College, Laura served as editor of the student paper there, the Ranger. She worked internships at the Longview News-Journal, the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and the Roanoke Times before starting work in Victoria last August. Find Laura’s Twitter feed here.

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Joe Ligon is a video producer via his own company, Ligon Productions, in Richburg, S.C., not far south of Charlotte, N.C. A 1984 graduate of Winthrop College in Rock Hill — where he was a classmate of yours truly — Joe went to work as a videographer and editor for PM Magazine, a nationally-syndicated TV show. He moved to Columbia, S.C., in 1987 as a producer. In 1992, he joined Creative Sports — which later folded into ESPN Regional — specializing in NASCAR broadcasts. Joe went into business for himself in 1996, producing segments for TNN, HGTV, the Food Network, and the Speed Channel, among others. Find his Twitter feed here. Joe turns 53 today.

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Edward Miller is a management and writing coach based in Marietta, Ga., near Atlanta. A 1963 graduate of Williams College of Williamstown, Mass., Edward worked on the Paris-based International Edition of the New York Herald Tribune before becoming editor of the Morning Call of Allentown, Pa., in 1969. He co-founded the Society for News Design and was named publisher of the Morning Call in 1979. He joined the Poynter Institute in 1989 to teach management and graphics. He and his wife, Cindy — a former editor for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution — coach and teach via their leadership consultancy. Find his Twitter feed here. Edward turns 73 today.

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Brett Roseman is a media specialist and photographer for the University of Wisconsin-Stout. A 2001 graduate of the University of Iowa, Brett served as a shooter and a photo editor for the student paper there, the Daily Iowan. He worked internships for the Moline Dispatch and Rock Island Argus, the Dubuque Telegraph Herald and the Peoria Journal Star before starting work for the Times of Munster, Ind., in 2002. Five months later, Brett moved to the Chicago Sun-Times, where he worked for nine-and-a-half years. He shot freelance for a while and caught on at Wisconsin-Stout a year ago. Find Brett’s web site here and his Twitter feed here.

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Becky Allison Sentelle is a supply chain analyst for 3M in Greenville, S.C. But once — a zillion years ago — she was an editor for the Johnsonian, the student newspaper at Winthrop College in Rock Hill, S.C. Among her headaches there: A smartass editorial cartoonist and a columnist who always wrote too long. Unfortunately for Becky, both of those people were me. Somehow, though, we all managed to graduate.

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Sally House White is office coordinator for consumer sales at Windstream Communications of Charlotte, N.C. A 1982 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Sally started in 1983 as a reporter for the Lancaster (S.C.) News and worked her way up the ladder to managing editor. She spent a year as assistant vice president of the Rock Hill (S.C.) Chamber of Commerce before becoming business editor of the Rock Hill Herald in 1989. She earned a masters degree from Winthrop University, taught at Winthrop and at Queens University of Charlotte and sold real estate before starting Pinnacle Solutions — a marketing, communications and business growth firm in Lake Wylie, S.C. — in 1992 with her husband, Russell. Sally joined Windstream in 2013. Find her Twitter feed here.

Laura, Brett, Becky, Joe, Sally and Edward share a birthday with actors Alfredo James “Al” Pacino, Reneé Kathleen Zellweger, Jason Michael Lee, Sara Paxton, Henry Albert “Hank” Azaria, Gina Torres and Talia Rose Coppola (better known as Talia Shire); musicians Björn Kristian Ulvaeus (of Abba), Stuart Alden “Stu” Cook (of Creedence Clearwater Revival), Andrew Ivan “Andy” Bell (of Erasure), Albert Nelson (better known as Albert King) and Ella Jane Fitzgerald; sports greats DeAngelo Williams, Antonio Cromartie (both football), Timothy Theodore “Tim” Duncan, Meadow “Meadowlark” Lemon (both basketball) and Joseph Francis “Joe” Buck (announcer); director “Paul” Irwin Mazursky; inventor Guglielmo Marconi, Sylvia cartoonist Nicole Hollander and journalist Egbert Roscoe Murrow (better known as Edward R. Murrow).

In addition to Eeyore’s Birthday, today is DNA Day, Hairstylists Appreciation Day, Hug a Plumber Day, Red Hat Society Day, World Penguin Day, License Plate Day, Malaria Awareness Day and International Marconi Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a terrific birthday today!