Happy New Year to all of you. As we begin 2012 it’s exciting and exhilarating to look forward to another year of photographic possibilities. I’ll begin the year by launching my new video journal called: “Come Along For The Ride”.

After spending an inordinate amount of time over the holidays, editing images, audio, and countless video clips; I am happy to share with you, the first episode of “Come Along For The Ride”.

In this short video journal, shot on location in Cambodia, you’ll be looking over my shoulder as I work. Throughout the video, I will provide insights into what I do, and why I do it.  So, if you’ve ever wanted to shoot for an NGO; you’re thinking of coming to my annual Angkor Photo Workshop, July 2012, or if you just want to become a better “visual story teller”, then don’t miss this episode of: Come Along For The Ride.

I look forward to your thoughts, insights and suggestions, so please take a moment to add your comment after viewing the video.


For those of you who didn’t see the 40 second, lighthearted trailer for Come Along for the Ride, you might enjoy seeing it before viewing the full length feature. Here’s a link to the trailer . Enjoy both.

Come Along For The Ride from Karl Grobl on Vimeo.

ComeAlongFullVersion from Karl Grobl on Vimeo.

45 Responses to ““Come Along For The Ride” Video Is Ready For Viewing!” Subscribe

  1. aphotoaday January 3, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    cool video, Karl. I follow your blog here on a regular basis and your video here really provides a lot of good insight into what and how you do the beautiful shots and work on this website. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Susan Woog Wagner January 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm #

    Hey Karl.. I liked the video a lot. Great camera work and very informative.
    I do think, however, it sounded like you were reading from a script, sometime haltingly, and the narrative seemed a bit formal. I guess I think if it was more spontaneous, it would go a bit better, but that can be worked out I’m sure!
    I’d love to get into this kind of work and it definely helped to follow along!
    Happy New Year!

  3. Karl Grobl January 3, 2012 at 6:30 pm #

    Hi Susan, Thank you for the constructive criticism. You are correct, I wrote the script and then read it aloud. Since the video is almost 15 minutes long, it would have been pretty tough to just “ad-lib” it and be totally “spontaneous”, especially since I wanted to be sure to include some important points along the way. I must say that I have learned quite a bit during the process of producing this video, including the fact, that I am much more at ease behind the camera, doing my job, as opposed to being on the other side, trying to articulate what it is that I do, almost instinctively. For the next episode of Come Along For The Ride, I’ll try to integrate your suggestions. Thanks again for your comment, Karl

  4. Carl Johan January 3, 2012 at 8:18 pm #

    Excellent video. I agree with Susan’s comment, but at the same time, I was really impressed by the video, and I hope you are able to keep up the good work with future installments.

    I can imagine it being quite hard work to produce a video like this at the side of your regular assignment.

  5. Ed Fitzgerald January 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

    Great first job. I really appreciate you letting us in on how to shoot an NGO. The thought process you gave was great for coverage on any subject. Reading from the script didn’t bother me and I know that in future videos that you will polish up the audio. Still enjoying the Philippines trip we were on and will practice what you taught on our upcoming trip to Ghana. Looking forward to your next video. Good luck in the up coming year. Ed

  6. Celso Mollo January 4, 2012 at 12:13 am #

    Fist of all, it was very good, and we have to remember it is the first episode, it can only get better. I have to agree with Susan and a good idea to get some spontaneous moments is to get you explaning some of the stuff as you are doing it, of course in cases where you can do such thing without disturbing the environment. Maybe as you just finish shooting the your friend can ask what you did, what was problems you encounter and how you solved them.
    It’s just a suggestion and i can wait to see the next episode.
    Cheers my friend

  7. Rodney January 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

    Hey Karl, I thought you did a fantastic job. I appreciate you talking not only about lenses and DOF ect, but also how you organize your shots (i.e. keeping in mind the context of the photo, not just good looking portraits, thinking of the kids playing in the filtered water with NGO logo). I am entering this same line of work and have had to produce some of my own videos (for family and friends, not a paying customer) and I know how hard it is to be on that side of the camera. You did absolutely great, really liked it. I look forward to more! Did you produce this entirely on your own; which video editing program did you use (I like the transition effects)? Great job!!!

  8. Karl Grobl January 4, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Thanks to all who have commented. You guys really lit a fire under my butt about the audio quality, so yesterday evening, I spent an additional 6 hours re-recording the audio segments and re-inserting them; and then re-rendering and re-uploading the video to Vimeo. I believe that now the audio track has improved over the original, but it’s still not perfect.

    There are three things I learned in the process of doing this….number one: I don’t think I will ever aspire to work as a “professional voice over talent person”. Number two: I do think that I’ve pretty much maxed out voice recording capabilities of my trusty iPhone 3Gs, and number three: it was frustrating and infuriating at times, but I really did enjoy the challenge of putting it all together, and the satisfaction of standing back and watching the completed product.

    Anyway, when I produce the next episode of Come Along For The Ride, I’ll try to make it even better.

    Cheers, Karl

  9. Erin Wilson January 5, 2012 at 12:48 am #

    Fantastic piece, Karl. I can’t even imagine how many hours it must have taken to put together. It’s a very generous look into NGO work, for those wanting to get into it.

    I imagine these will also be a fantastic resource for potential clients. The video shows you at work, comfortable, professional, working long days… there would be no guess-work on their part about what they can expect if they hire you.

    Thank you for putting this out there. Really appreciate it.

  10. Pierre Pery January 5, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    A very interesting video indeed, it is nice to learn about aspects of that work that we would not consider at first due to the special situations that you are in
    on the technical side, that’s my own opinion, but could you put the music a little lower, sometimes it is a bit hard to get what you say (English is not my mother tongue )

    But thanks a lot for sharing some of you knowledge !

  11. Andy January 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    This is really a great video. Not just for the subject matter it covers, but as a quick intro into the mind of a photographer at work. Being a budding photographer myself, videos such as these are really helpful in getting my thoughts sorted out before capturing an image.

    I think it is really great that you can do something that you love and still help so many people at the same time. Thank you.

  12. Gibb Phenegar January 5, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Wow! Thanks so much for taking the time to shoot and edit this.

    Watching you shoot for 15 minutes is so much better than reading about it……and thanks for not droning on about equipment. It’s the image that matters, and your work certainly shows that.

  13. Darwin Nercesian January 5, 2012 at 10:07 pm #

    Karl, this is they type of photography that I dream of doing, and I so appreciate getting to take a closer look at what you do. Thank you so much for taking the time to put this together. I work in production and entertainment, and I know something like this can be time consuming. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I will be spending more time on your site from here on out. I would love to know how you got into NGO photography.

  14. George Sutton January 6, 2012 at 2:08 am #

    Oy Karl!

    This is great stuff. You are my hero. Your photos really capture the good karma at the hospital (yes I am way into good karma since Myanmar).

    One thought — how would it work without music?

  15. Karl Grobl January 6, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    Thanks for the comment George…yep, as you know, there is plenty of good karma in Southeast Asia, that’s why I love that area of the world. Regarding the video without music behind the voice over….well, I tried it, but it sounded kind of “flat”….maybe next time I will just adjust the music to a slightly lower level. Again, thanks for your comment. Cheers, Karl

  16. Karl Grobl January 6, 2012 at 7:07 am #

    Darwin, thanks for the comment I really appreciate your kind words! As far as how I got into the business of NGO shooting…there’s an audio interview on LensFlare 35 http://www.lensflare35.com/episode-0034-interview-with-karl-grobl-humanitarian-photojournalist/ and another one on Heber Vega’s site http://www.hebervega.com/2010/04/30/10q-interview-karl-grobl/ which might answer most of your questions about how I got started.

  17. Ayn Brown January 6, 2012 at 2:47 pm #

    Hi Karl
    I love this new video blog. I felt like I was right there with you, so you have accomplished that wonderfully well. Looking forward to your future editions. Ay

  18. Joe January 6, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    Carl, GREAT GREAT work! THANK YOU !!! Please provide us MORE!
    6 Jan. 2012

  19. Lisa January 7, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    Really nice Karl – great info, great insight. I look forward to the next installment. LB

  20. Pamela January 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Excellent video, Karl. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Barbara Colbert January 8, 2012 at 5:53 am #

    Fantastic video, Karl – really enjoyed this first video. The blend of music and ambient sound was excellent, loved the graphics that transitioned the segments and found it to be a highly engaging and well paced story. I look forward to riding along with you on future episodes!

  22. Karl Grobl January 8, 2012 at 6:25 pm #

    Thank you Barbara!

  23. Karl Grobl January 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    Thanks to Lisa and Ayn and Joe and Pamela for the nice comments! I’m already thinking of the subject matter for the second episode!

  24. Ursula January 10, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    And what a ride it is! Thanks for the “invitation” to join you. 😀

  25. Rushdi January 11, 2012 at 9:35 am #

    Thanks Karl! Inspiring stuff and super-useful to see how you went about the assignment.

  26. fereshteh January 13, 2012 at 9:55 am #

    Excellent video…,I love this new video ,Like it view……..,so beautiful and Sad

    Happy New Year!
    Thank you.

  27. fereshteh January 13, 2012 at 10:00 am #

    Excellent video…,I love this new video ,Like it view……..,so beautiful and Sad
    Thank you…

  28. Vince Isner January 14, 2012 at 4:40 am #

    Karl, this is more helpful than you know! Next month I go to Burkina Faso to photograph & film some of the important work my son is doing with the poorest of the poor. While I do a fair amount of documentary work, most of what I shoot is either in-studio or at least in a setting where I am not forced to make a lot of adjustments on-the-fly. I would be interested to talk with you to learn more about how you make rapid adjustments to your tools to avoid missing that magic shot (how you make rapid white balances, shooting sequences at various DOF settings, etc.). While I know that the eye (and the heart) are most important, knowing how to make the gear work most efficiently for you would be something well worth discussing with you if your schedule allows.

    Wishing you well!


  29. Daryl Davis January 16, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    I’ve probably watched this at least four times in the past week. The inspiration, information and insights come like peeling layers of an onion. I’ve gone back to my store of digital images, particularly the ones I shot in Vietnam in 2007, with a fresh understanding of how I could have done better.

    I just had my wife watch it with me tonight. I wanted her to see and hear the “visual storyteller” aspect of photography and, since she’s originally from Vietnam, I knew she’d find Cambodia particularly interesting.

    I’m exploring new avenues of work for myself and I hope my photography can be a part of that. Thanks for letting me “Come Along for the Ride.”


  30. Karl Grobl January 17, 2012 at 2:30 am #

    Dear Daryl,
    Thanks for the enthusiastic response to “Come Along For The Ride”, I’m glad that it was of help to you…comments like yours make the effort of doing it, so rewarding for me. I wish you the best in all of your photographic pursuits. Please stay in touch. Karl

  31. Danielle Perreault January 22, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    Dear Karl

    You got a great idea with this video. Being able to see your \work in progress\ is both captivating and generous. With all the work involved to prepare it, I was wondering if you plan to give some technical clues ? Your pictures have always this beautiful light and I would love to see some hints like the use of flash for your inside pictures versus increase the ISO.

    Take care ! Danielle from Montreal

  32. Wallace January 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    Hi Karl,

    I’m a photojournalism student from Singapore currently doing an internship in Nepal.

    Firstly i have to thank you for sharing with everyone how it is you work. All fields of photography are becoming increasingly competitive and I think the last thing many professionals want is their selling point losing their unique value.

    While the knowledge on how to shoot for NGOs is useful, especially about having to shoot in a compelling and informative way, it would be nice to know how to find clients to shoot for. I hope to hear about it in later episodes.

    The other thing I would like to ask is this. You might be familiar with the issue of NGO photography regarding how objective you are with your work. Seeing as how the organisation has a certain agenda to fulfill, what counts as crossing the line in terms of exaggerating the circumstances. (I get that they are paying so technically the job is just to photograph and not ask questions)


  33. Mike Robson January 30, 2012 at 8:48 am #


    The Come Along For The Ride video is just brilliant – compelling viewing for everyone.

    Keep up the good work wherever you are.

    With Very Best Wishes

    Mike (UK)

  34. Danielle Putnam January 30, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    Hey Karl, I really enjoyed the video and also noticed the audio comments others have made. However, I thought the calm manner in which you speak was a positive point and the continuity is very helpful in an instructional context. I have found in reading a written script, that if I first read it aloud a few times, then my delivery becomes less “reading” because I am familiar with what comes next and can more easily add the natural voice modulation. I realize your time is limited; thank you very much for sharing your work experiences and photo knowledge with us, it is much appreciated.

  35. Patricia Pomerleau February 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm #

    Hi Karl, So enjoyed your video and I must completely disagree with those who say it sounded too scripted. The fact that you carefully scripted the text means that you didn’t forget to include elements of exactly how you caught a glint in an eye or why you took so many of one shot or how to capture a child’s heart. This is an instructional video, not a travelog. As such it is just perfect. Do not lose the careful instruction by trying to sound more “breezy”. You are a photographer, not an actor : ) I learned a lot on my first viewing and am going to watch it a couple more times. I’m off to Havana in a couple weeks for a photography trip and I know I will take better pictures because of your video.

    I’ve posted your video to Pinterest and Facebook. There are lots of photographers who can learn from you. Thanks so much for the effort it took and I look forward to future episodes,


  36. Karl Grobl March 1, 2012 at 3:56 am #

    Dear Patricia, Thanks so much for your positive, insightful comments, I really appreciate it! I’m delighted that you learned a few things from the video, and I wish you all the best on your Cuba adventure. Be sure to drop me a line if you post some images or stories after the trip. Cheers, Karl


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