Photojournalism

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When deciding to run an open-casket photo, picture editors matter

As news organizations debated their lead image options yesterday during the first of a two-day public viewing for slain Senator and pastor Clementa C. Pinckney, a key voice was silent in many newsrooms: The picture editor.

Given the magnitude of this story and the historical significance, many publications and news sites presented the open casket public viewing prominently.

This is one of the powerful images of the funeral that several newspapers chose to feature prominently. (Getty Images)

This is one of the powerful images of the funeral that several newspapers chose to feature prominently. (Getty Images)

Sadly, many news organizations have eliminated or consolidated the role of picture editors and worse yet, lots of online companies never think to integrate the role of visual advocates.

In this era of fierce competition for web traffic and single copy sales — visuals are key.

The sensitive and impactful decisions involving visual presentation have never been more demanding for media companies. Read more

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Photojournalism ethics needs a reexamination

The latest in the world of photojournalism contest ethics and photo sleuthing took another turn yesterday with World Press Photos’ rescinding a first-place award after disqualifying 22 percent of the entries that had made the penultimate round.

Amid controversy, World Press Photo announced yesterday that based on its investigation, it is withdrawing the controversial “Dark Heart of Europe” award presented to Giovanni Troilo. Troilo, an Italian independent photographer, had received the award for his 10-photograph series depicting the gritty Charleroi city of Belgium in this year’s WPP Contemporary Issues Story category.

The 58th Annual World Press Photo competition’s organizers previously disclosed that 22 percent of the finalists were disqualified due to excessive post processing, or digital manipulation.

“It seems some photographers can’t resist the temptation to aesthetically enhance their images during post-processing either by removing small details to ‘clean up’ an image, or sometimes by excessive toning that constitutes a material change to the image. Read more

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NPPA study: The most memorable pictures were taken by pros

NPPA

On Tuesday, the National Press Photographers Association released the results of an eyetracking study of 200 images, half by professional photojournalists and half by amateurs. Sara Quinn, Poynter affiliate faculty, wrote that the study was conducted last May at the University of Minnesota with 52 people who fell into two demographics — 18 to 30 and 45 to 60.

Can people differentiate between professional and amateur photographs? Yes, quite definitely. Study participants were able to tell whether a photograph was made by a professional or an amateur 90 percent of the time.

Some other details from the study:

– People were twice as likely to share a pro’s photo as they were user-generated content.

– People spent more time with photos that had longer captions. Read more

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A Colorado journalist was hospitalized with frostbite. Here’s how you can stay safe in the cold.

With another cold blast coming through, here is a story and some tips for reporting those cold-weather stories.

Colorado Springs journalist Eric Fink is hospitalized, suffering from frostbite on both hands.

His friend, KRDO-TV weekend anchor Jonathan Petramala, captured this photograph of Fink in the emergency room.

“Eric was working alone as an MMJ Saturday evening in a community called Falcon. It is a suburb of Colorado Springs, in the plains. The wind was whipping, maybe 25 miles per hour. Read more

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How to crop photos for Facebook and adapt to the News Feed’s latest algorithm change

Lost in the noise over Facebook’s crackdown on clickbait last week was another change to the social network that could impact all news organizations: the News Feed algorithm will now favor link posts over photo posts and status updates.

When you paste a link to an article on your news organization’s page and Facebook automatically generates a preview box containing the story’s headline, a photo and other information, that’s a link post (here’s documentation on making sure the Facebook Crawler identifies the right information for the link preview). Alternatively, Facebook says, “Some publishers share links in status updates or in the text caption above photos.”

Here’s an example of a link post:

(function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk'));

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25 years of digital photography in newsrooms: Early adopters look back

Twenty five years ago, Cindi Christie walked into a computer-filled hotel ballroom on Martha’s Vineyard. Then, she didn’t know much about digital photography.

“Nobody did,” she told Poynter. “I work for a company that has many daily and weekly editions and is spread out throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Photographers for my edition, the San Ramon Valley Times, had to have a slide ready by 1 p.m. for a courier to deliver to another office for scanning. We had to hit a specific window of time. Factor in processing time for the film and that meant that our color photos were stale by the time the paper came out. My goal was to look for a way to buy photographers some shooting time while still meeting production demands.”

From right, Mark Wigginton of the San Jose Mercury News, Larry Nighswander of National Geographic World and Cindi Christie of the San Ramon Valley Times work on the front page of the first edition of The Electronic Times at EPW1 in Martha’s Vineyard, Mass., in October 1989.
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Vietnam Napalm 1972

Nick Ut’s ‘napalm girl’ photo was published 42 years ago

People | PetaPixel

Associated Press photographer Nick Ut took a photo of children running from a botched napalm attack on June 8, 1972. “I thought she was going to die,” he tells Nate Jones about Kim Phuc, the naked girl in the center of the photo.

Ut’s famous photo shows children, including Kim Phuc, center, running down a highway after a South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped napalm on civilians. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Ut got Kim Phuc and other children admitted to a hospital using his media pass, Jones writes. Phuc “was very upset about the picture,” the photographer said. Eventually her fame “paid off,” Jones writes: “The government allowed her to go to school in Cuba, where she fell in love with another Vietnamese student. Read more

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Rob Hart

One year after 28 Sun-Times photojournalists were laid off, where are they now?

One year ago today, the Chicago Sun-Times eliminated its photo staff, laying off 28 full-time employees.

Most of them have landed on their feet, according to email and phone interviews with many of the photographers. While they were sometimes hesitant to dwell on the layoffs, the former Sun-Times staffers filled me in on how their lives — and those of the photographers I couldn’t reach — have changed since May 30, 2013. Read more

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New service will rate the authenticity of digital images

By the time an image makes its way online, it could have been opened and processed in any number of applications, passed through various hands, and been remixed and manipulated.

Today a new image hosting service, Izitru, is launching to give people new ways to certify the authenticity of a digital image. It’s also a tool that journalists can use to help verify images.

The Izitru website and iOS app can “distinguish an original JPEG file captured with a digital camera from subsequent derivations of that file that may have been changed in some way,” according to the company.

It mixes forensic image analysis with elements of crowdsourcing and human oversight. Izitru also has an API that will enable other services to integrate its technology. Read more

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Eagle huntress photos by 24-year-old documentary photographer go viral

 

You know those stunning photos bouncing around the Internet of the Mongolian children hunting with eagles? The 24-year-old photographer who took them self-financed his expedition and at first had a hard time selling the images at all.

Asher Svidensky told me in a Skype interview Thursday that he got three offers from magazines in his home country of Israel. One offered him $80 and a byline. The other offered to run the photos for free along with a credit. A third suggested that he pay them $200 to publish the photo essay, because it would help his tour guide business. Read more

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