HomeNewsArticle Display

Smoky short course meets maintainers, Knoxville firefighters

Master Sgt. Bill Conner, instructor, talks about camera shots during the Smoky Short Course in broadcasting with Tech. Sgt. Mary Thach, photojournalist assigned to the Nebraska Air National Guard, August 17, 2016, on the flight line at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Master Sgt. Bill Conner, instructor, talks about camera shots during the Smoky Short Course in broadcasting with Tech. Sgt. Mary Thach, photojournalist assigned to the Nebraska Air National Guard, August 17, 2016, on the flight line at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Tech. Sgt. Mary Thach, a photojournalist assigned to the Nebraska Air National Guard, 155th Air Refueling Wing, records video from a low position during the Smoky Short Course in broadcasting August 17, 2016, on the flight line at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

Tech. Sgt. Mary Thach, a photojournalist assigned to the Nebraska Air National Guard, 155th Air Refueling Wing, records video from a low position during the Smoky Short Course in broadcasting August 17, 2016, on the flight line at McGhee Tyson Air National Guard Base in Louisville, Tenn. (U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Mike R. Smith)

MCGHEE TYSON AIR NATIONAL GUARD BASE, Tenn. -- A handful of students and instructors wrapped up the five-day Smoky Short Course in broadcasting August 19 at the I.G. Brown Training and Education Center, but not before some hands-on video work, and some lighter moments, with aircraft maintainers and city firefighters.

"This was our second course for the year," said Master Sgt. Bill Conner, instructor. "The first one concentrated on broadcast journalists that want to tell a better story, but this one is designed for the Air National Guard's still photographers and print journalists who want to learn how to shoot videos."

The five-day course provided basic instruction on video camera equipment and broadcasting techniques for recording news events.

Students shot interviews and supporting footage on the McGhee Tyson flight line with the 134th Air Refueling Wing's maintenance Airmen. They took footage in and around a KC-135 aerial refueling aircraft.

After some afternoon critiques, they covered a second round of video work the following morning with the City of Knoxville Fire Department's fire fighters at the Downtown Station. The students toured the station, recorded interviews and tried different lighting and shot selections, inside and outside the station, with the fire engines and rescue equipment.

"We keep the class size very small because we want it to feel like a workshop, where students can relax, ask lots of questions and practice without worrying about making mistakes," said Conner. "We're not crunched for time or worried about anything other than having some fun while picking up some new skills."

Staff Sgt. Ryan Campbell, a photojournalist assigned to the New York Air National Guard in Niagara Falls, took the course immediately after the two-week Public Affairs Managers Course, also held on campus.

"It's been a full three weeks of solid public affairs training," said Campbell.

At the smoky short he said that he wanted to take professional videos in addition to his still photography and print journalism so that he can pass footage on to broadcasters for their documentation.

"Our shop is pretty small, so it will certainly help when I'm the only one sent out to cover a mission or a training exercise," said Campbell. "I'll be able to gather whatever the products we want to put together."