Thursday, June 4, 2009

There's a photographer in our midst

By Anica Wong

With his camera, Bill Serne has documented the historical elections in South Africa. FollowedPope John Paul II. Even Desmond Tutu.

Serne, the associate photo editor of the St. Petersburg Times, visited the 2009 SJI class on Wednesday morning, taking portraits of the class for The Bulletin, the newspaper produced for the APSE convention.

Serne has worked at the Times for 27 years, started as a photographer who shot pretty much anything they needed him to.  He then switched to sports where he often worked Tampa Bay Buccaneers games.  Serne has also worked as the photo editor at the newspaper’s Clearwater bureau. 

Serne, though, didn’t always want to be a photographer.  He wanted to do what we are doing.
“I wanted to be a sportswriter but my writing was dreadful,” Serne said, chuckling.  

During his last couple of semesters in college, he loaded his schedule with photography classes.

As a writer, photography is an interesting topic to me.  I took a photojournalism class in college and realized it is VERY hard to get good shots that people want to look at.  Serne said that although “photography is photography,” his young photographers bring an extra edge with their digital skills.

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