A Professor’s Thoughts — The Joy of Field Reporting, 1

BILL ALLEN/ Jessica Barnett, top, and Benjamin Zack, bottom, photograph a baby howler monkey on Jan. 7 as it hides behind the neck of a Costa Rican woman in Monteverde, Costa Rica. Barnett and Zack are photojournalism majors at the Missouri School of Journalism.

By Bill Allen

MONTEVERDE, Costa Rica — One of the great aspects of field reporting is that you’re out of the newsroom, away from the phone and directly exposed to landscapes where anything can happen.

A case in point:

Yesterday, as we sat on the grass outside the Monteverde Institute eating lunch in the sun, a young woman walked up with a baby howler monkey on her head.

The shooters knew what to do. Instantly they grabbed their cameras, popped up and clicked away.

I’ll let the students present their excellent pictures of the baby monkey some other time. (After the monkey event, they had to make public presentations of their work so far. And today they’re out exploring a farmers market, hiking a cloud forest and zip lining around mountains.)

For now, perhaps you’ll enjoy seeing what interests me most — these students in action.

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