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Thread: Photos in the media that shouldn't have made the "cut".

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Photos in the media that shouldn't have made the "cut".

    Just saw an image on The Australian website that made me cringe, total focus failure and possibly an inappropriate aperture used on what should have been a "sitting duck" capture.
    Have you seen images that should never have been used by the mainstream media?
    I suspect that there are quite a few out there.

    Link them here but don't post the image.

    Here is the one that made me think about this subject.
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    Ausphotography Regular danny's Avatar
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    Is her "Chest" in focus?

    Danny

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    might have been snapped with an iphone or a covert camera ??

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Just front focused? Kelly Barnes is the staff 'tog
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    Newspapers don't worry about sticking cameras in the face of people in the street that have been in court so I doubt that there was anything covert about that photo and as a staff photographer and therefore a "professional" they should not have stuffed up a shot like that.

    A massive fail, pure and simple.
    Crap photography from the media which is struggling to pay its way these days.

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    She's an award winning photographer, could be a selection or printn error IMHO.
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    That shot is nothing to even raise eyebrows about, I have seen a lot, lot worse

    we dont know the whole story here, she the photographer was possibly moving backwards either half jogging or walking and snapped the shots off as she went. You can tell the subject is walking as there are at least another person beside her as well.

    its not a big page spread so no need to have everything technically perfect, as long as the shot can show who the subject is - its done its purpose. Not to mention the editor(s) select the photos not the photographer.
    Last edited by JM Tran; 31-08-2011 at 6:58pm.

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    Rubbish

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Rubbish

    sorry I dont know which part is rubbish? Your rather bad example of a 'bad shot' or your lack of how newspapers and photojournalism works in the overall scheme of things?

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    Lol,

    I agree whatever the reason it's not a good look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JM Tran View Post
    sorry I dont know which part is rubbish? Your rather bad example of a 'bad shot' or your lack of how newspapers and photojournalism works in the overall scheme of things?
    As far as I am concerned, the photo is rubbish and the possible "defences" as to how the shot (failed) to come about are rubbish as well.
    I don't give a hoot and holler in hell about any excuses etc, anyone that can't see that that shot is a miserable fail needs their eyes examined. Maybe it was the only shot that they had to print but as far as I am concerned it should have been left unprinted so as to stop the publishing journal appear to be printing more rubbish.

    As for your speculation that I may not know how newspapers and photojournalism work, perhaps we had better leave that one untouched seeing as I have had working knowledge of photographing mixed with a small amount of journalism for a newspaper.

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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    As far as I am concerned, the photo is rubbish and the possible "defences" as to how the shot (failed) to come about are rubbish as well.
    I don't give a hoot and holler in hell about any excuses etc, anyone that can't see that that shot is a miserable fail needs their eyes examined. Maybe it was the only shot that they had to print but as far as I am concerned it should have been left unprinted so as to stop the publishing journal appear to be printing more rubbish.

    As for your speculation that I may not know how newspapers and photojournalism work, perhaps we had better leave that one untouched seeing as I have had working knowledge of photographing mixed with a small amount of journalism for a newspaper.

    well then, since you seem to give a big hoot over it, why dont you write a formal complaint letter to the much lauded Australian newspaper so very well regarded by journalists such as myself? Ask why this little hard news story was so bad photographed compared to a soft news story? I hope you know the difference between those 2.

    In the formal complaint letter maybe you can mention

    1. Lack of use of softbox for better lighting
    2. Poor composition of subject - omg look at that odd shoulder in there!
    3. Why was it not shot in RAW and with better white balance
    4. Why is the female subject facing straight towards the camera and not turned to the side a bit more, as its less flattering for women
    5. Why is the hair and make up not that great

    In the formal letter, also take into account the external factors such as

    1. Editor's reason for picking this photo
    2. Editorial time constraint for print submission and deadlines for segments
    3. Significance of the story (not much in the daily hard news and grand scheme of the day)
    4. Environment at the time of the photograph taken - you and I were not there, hard to judge unless you were there, for all you know there could have been a scrum of reporters and photographers in front of Nicole Cornes jostling for a shot

    Those are my suggestions from my experiences, hope it helps!

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    At the end of the day it's photojournalism, that picture probably isn't the best example but the most important thing about the picture is the story it is telling, the mood the subject was in, or the drama that is unfolding...who cares if it's front focussed, back focussed or completely compositionally incorrect? If the president was assassinated, but the only image of the event was taken on an iPhone, would you ridicule the blown highlights in the sky, the complete softness of the image, or would you commend the tog for capturing an image at exactly the right time?

    Maybe Kelly was focussing on the chest to grab the attention of male readers, who knows?!

    My 2c from a noob's perspective.
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    I would have to say, for me, the media is the bastion of cheap photography. How many times do you see on the News websites "were you here? did you take photos? send them to us" and a link, on the bottom of some news article. They don't care if its blurry or crooked, they just want a shot of it. It's all about ratings, if they can get a photo of something that the other media outlets don't have, they see it as a win. No matter whether the photo of video is far from great, its a win.

    And the fact they don't have to pay a single cent for these photos, makes it more of a win for them.
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    It's not the image that counts, it's the story. Hey, it's a newspaper! If it had been available, a better quality image would've been nice, but sometimes it just isn't there.

    Another "fine" example of this is this shot of a Dutch politician that was shot in 2002 (warning: disturbing imagery!). This image won Robin van Utrecht the silver camera, a highly regarded prize in photojournalism.

    Or what about this (2007 world press photo winner).

    This is news, not photography. Registration, contents by far outweighs phototechnical issues.
    Last edited by jev; 31-08-2011 at 10:44pm.
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    It seems to me that they had to use what they had. Bad photo though, and my bet is the photographer is annoyed at whatever silly mistake cost them focus on the face.

    Jev - I have no idea why the second picture there won anything - except in a category of "most arty shot in a photojournalism category". What is it showing? What is it's significance? (I can see some reasons for the first photo - was that the politican who was shot? - I can't remember his name.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmer_rob View Post
    It seems to me that they had to use what they had. Bad photo though, and my bet is the photographer is annoyed at whatever silly mistake cost them focus on the face.

    Jev - I have no idea why the second picture there won anything - except in a category of "most arty shot in a photojournalism category". What is it showing? What is it's significance? (I can see some reasons for the first photo - was that the politican who was shot? - I can't remember his name.)

    cant you tell its an explosion Rob to be able to click at the moment a bomb or suicide attack goes off is quite lucky - or unlucky for everyone in that case.

    the moment Bhutto died in the car bomb attack was a significant moment in Pakistan's modern history, and a step backwards for democracy there.

    its a crap shot technically if you look at it, but a great shot in capturing and freezing that moment in time when someone died/something significant occurred /unfolding drama which Ryan said above.
    Last edited by JM Tran; 01-09-2011 at 6:23am.

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    Member BecdS's Avatar
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    Just my un-knowledgeable (I know that's not a word) two cents...

    I was always taught that if you're not going to do a job properly, don't do it at all. While I realise that newspapers aren't all about having award winning images with every story, surely their training would (or should) garner better work than this? And if it wasn't possible, why print it at all? The story would have been fine with no image at all.

    I was having a conversation with a friend about this kind of thing, only the other day. It wasn't so long ago that only first, second and third places got a ribbon and the others were told "Good effort though. Try again next time." Now everyone gets a ribbon and we're all being steered further and further toward accepting medocrity instead of anticipating something exceptional. I'm not suggesting that the journalist (and I'm assuming it was a journalist who took this image, since one would expect professionalism in a professional paper) be hauled over the coals for the picture, but I just don't see the need for it to be printed when it isn't "on the money". Otherwise, why buy cameras at all? Why not just carry mobile phones for your images?

    Like a lot of tags (eg Hero, Photographer, Professional), "Journalist" seems to be meaning less and less these days.

    /soap box


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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BecdS View Post
    ...I just don't see the need for it to be printed when it isn't "on the money"...

    /soap box
    They'll print it if they think it'll help sell the paper. Only photographers care about photographic excellence as such.
    All constructive criticism accepted with gratitude.


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    Hi
    Interesting discussion
    From somebody that works occassionally for newspapers News Ltd (and loves it) taking a photo of somebody just walking out of a court is not that easy.
    My last job:
    Orange Court House - stood around for 2 hours with 2 other photographers, 5 cameraman and about 6 journalists.
    Light was harsh with occassional shadows (from clouds)
    Had 4 seconds to take "a shot"
    No control of positioning - no control over light - no control over timing
    Took 10 shots - Submitted 2 images which were published
    many times : see samples
    http://nationalcybersecurity.com/201...r-nbn-hacking/
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226102456987
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/nati...-1226103011875

    They have been cropped and changed by different picture editors.

    Will they win any awards NO
    Will they win POTW NO
    Was I paid YES
    Did they add to the story MAYBE

    I know a few newsphotographers - and i would wager day to day that they are VERY good photographers - working sometimes under alot of pressure.

    The turnaround deadlines are very tight - 2 hours after i took my shots they were on an online news story.

    Should the Image the OP have been printed i don't know - but to critisize the photographer is IMO a little harsh... without knowing the circumstances of the shoot.
    Taking a photo in these circumstances is VERY different to doing street photography or taking a portrait.
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