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Photographers as Artists,

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by dkphxf, Mar 12, 2011.

  1. dkphxf

    dkphxf Member

    Do you consider photographers as artists? It just takes me aback when someone says "make sure to get art of so-and-so." A picture isn't art. It's a picture. A painting is art. A well crafted photograph is art, like the soldiers putting up the flag at Iwo Jima. A shot of so-and-so hitting a home run is a picture, not art.
  2. MartinonMTV2

    MartinonMTV2 New Member

    Newspaper offices aren't shops, either.
  3. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's just lingo.
  4. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    As Stitch said, it's just an old newspaper expression.

    But that leads into one of the banes of my existence in this business, photographers who consider themselves artists first and journalists second. I've seen too many photogs come and go who were so wrapped up in getting the "perfect" shot that they missed the one that told the story.

    And nothing – nothing – grinds my gears more than a photographer who thinks that because I'm a writer and not a trained photog that I don't have any worthy ideas on what might make a good shot.
  5. Some Guy

    Some Guy Active Member

    Also, lede is spelled "lead." And don't even get me started on the word "graf."
  6. dkphxf

    dkphxf Member

    I just feel as if (most, all, some) photographers are stuck up. Just a rant, but it's not art. That like calling a 40-inch feature an epic or novel. And it's been my experience that they're difficult to work with. Oh, well.
  7. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    You may thing you have good ideas, but your photographer is right. Your good photo idea is the same thing as a photog telling you "hey, there's this really good basketball player on Local High." And this is coming from someone who is not a trained photog, but I take plenty of my own photos. When I started I thought I knew what made a good picture; I was wrong.
    But nothing makes me more angry than when a photographer comes up to me at a game and asks me who I need photos of. I don't care. Your job is to take spectacular photos that help tell the story. I am not going to run a photo of a specific player; I will run the best photo you have taken.
    Talking to some photogs, the biggest complain they have of us is people who crop their photos to fit a picture box. If you're doing that, you're an idiot. The photog takes the picture and crops it the way it is intended to run. If it doesn't fit your box, then you need to adjust the box.
  8. Cape_Fear

    Cape_Fear Active Member

    I was doing a feature on a centerfielder and had a photographer come up and tell me I needed to write about somebody else because he was too far away to get a good picture.
  9. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    If pictures are shot Saturday for a Wednesday feature, and I get the photos late in the afternoon Tuesday, guess what? The photos just might have to be cropped my way, to fit the box -- especially if I have a lot going on and have to build my section early before staffing games that night.

    Get the photos to me the same day, or one or two days after they're shot, instead of three days later if you want me to adhere to a perfect crop. Hell, I'll build the section around the art (I don't have a problem with the word art).

    I don't think any of this makes me an idiot.
  10. MartinonMTV2

    MartinonMTV2 New Member

    This one already has been fielded, but people who crop photos properly are not idiots. You must have listened to the photographer saying the photo is intended to run that way. Not that person's call.

    That comes up during political campaigns, too. Some places have policies on what runs and how it runs before the election. The photographer might not like it, but some photos are destined to become mug shots.
  11. albert77

    albert77 Well-Known Member

    I've been in this business for more than 25 years, so yeah, I think I've earned the right to at least make some suggestions on things having to do with photos, especially if it's a feature shot that accompanies a major project I'm working on, like an All-Area package. Damn right I want some input.

    By the same token, you'd better believe I'm going to listen if a photographer tells me I ought to keep an eye on some kid, especially if it's someone I haven't seen yet. I've got 22 high schools that I keep up with, so I'm taking any information from anywhere I can. It may turn out that the photog is full of shit, but I'm going to at least check him or her out.

    And, it does make a difference which players a photographer focuses on, and if they've shown they can't tell a star from a scrub, then they'd better be asking me who we need shots of. Nothing is worse than getting a bunch of shots of kids who score 2 points in a basketball game and none of the kid who went for 22.

    Fortunately, we're in the satisfying position of having a couple of guys on our photo staff who are great sports photographers, so we don't have as many worries as we once had.
  12. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I think listening to the photographer depends on how big your area is; I have nine schools, so if I get a tip about keeping an eye on some kid, I'm not doing my job right.
    Why does it matter if it's a star or a scrub? Shouldn't the best photo be on the page, regardless of who it is?
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