The Weather Channel’s director of photography to speak at RIT
Feb 04, 2014
by Rich Kiley
Rochester Institute of Technology alumnus Robert Johnson, director of photography at The Weather Channel, will share his career story and picture-making success during a visit to campus this week.
Johnson’s “Careers in Motion Lecture” will take place at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the Carlson Auditorium. Johnson also will be available to review student portfolios from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, in room 2241 of Gannett Hall. For students interested in signing up for the portfolio reviews, go to the CIAS Events Page or visit the SPAS main office in Gannett Hall.
In addition, Johnson will speak as part of the “Finding My Path” series from 4 to 5 p.m. Feb. 7 in the Reading Room in the Campus Center. Presented in partnership with the Center for Campus Life, College of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Multicultural Center for Academic Success, Office for Diversity & Inclusion, and McNair Scholars Program, the series emphasizes the informal reflections on the lessons learned and the journey to finding a career path. Refreshments will be served. Call 585-475-6918 for information.
Johnson earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in photographic illustration from RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. At the Weather Channel, he is responsible for viewer engagement using photography across all of the network’s TV and digital platforms.
Prior to his arrival at the cable network, he worked as a photo editor at CNN.com, specializing in photographing ordinary people’s lives for stories not typically found in the mainstream media. He helped create the award-winning CNN photo blog and also traveled the country with CNN writer Wayne Drash, photographing the events and struggles of everyday people.
Johnson and Drash served as the keynote speakers at a State Department-sponsored event in Prague, Czech Republic on racial reconciliation. He was named 2011 Kiplinger Fellow at The Ohio State University, where he further developed his skills in social media. Johnson is a member of the Kalish photography workshop in editing excellence. He also served as a photography and multimedia instructor at the Arts Institute of Atlanta. His work is included in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum of Harlem.
Last winter, Johnson came across the snowflake images of Michael Peres on Facebook and worked with the RIT professor to post them for enjoyment worldwide.
“I was really intrigued by the process he uses to make them and I thought our website visitors would be, too,” Johnson said. “I am always searching the Web looking for photographic ways for our visitors—and what we call ‘weather enthusiasts’—to engage in our content. These scientific and beautifully intricate photos were both stunning and unique.”
In addition to his degree from RIT, Johnson holds a master’s degree in new media from the Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University.