Friday, January 23, 2009

When to Spike a Photo: Rule 1

When the picture shows a young woman aiming a big, long, red thing at her mid-section, you don't publish it.





And when the newspaper wants to win a photo contest, this is what the Venice Gondolier does: The editors download a couple of stock photos from the Web and print the cutline: The Venice Gondolier is printing this photo for submission to the Kodak-Inland Print Quality competition.

Update: Old Word Wolf has been informed by a veteran photojournalist that Kodak asks all its Inland Contest entrants to print the same two photos. I'll go with that. But why, oh, why didn't Gondolier editors take just one teensy minute to write a little story: "We're entering a Kodak photo printing contest with these photos. Last year, we won first place. For those of you who are into the technical stuff, we're printing these on a BigMomma Web Press at a gazillion dots per inch ... and so on. It actually would have made a nice little feature -- serving the reader even while being self serving.

10 comments:

  1. Wow, the Venice paper really wants to win awards, doesn't it?

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  2. re: Miss Lake Placid photo

    So what's wrong with the beauty queen and the telescope photo. I'm starting to suspect Old Word Wolf of having a dirty mind...I like that in a person.

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  3. Not bad....for a tabloid. That Lake Placid paper is not what it could be (or was). The owners lost a lot when they forced out the man who was running their news before. Want to save some money in the newspaper business? Close that rag down.

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  4. it's not a photo contest, it's a print quality contest. Every competing paper will publish contest-provided B&W and color photographs. Now, if they had actually created quality photos like the ones pictured, the Gondo just might be worth picking up again.

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  5. the black & white photograph also appears to be scrunched out of proportion to fit the layout.

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  6. I've worked at several newspapers and none of them ever ran a stock photo in order to win a Kodak contest for printing quality. Unfortunately, some papers are award hungry and will do anything to win a plaque. What good does it do the readers to print some stock photo of flowers? Who cares?

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  7. OWW,in the "Update" of the photo contest story you say, "It actually would have made a nice little feature -- serving the reader even while being self serving."

    Understand that serving the reader and at this point even being self serving is not going to happen. Only the lazy,the lonely and misfits who wouldn't be hired to work at other newspapers are left at SCMG papers.

    The only real effort they can or care to muster each week is cashing their paychecks.

    I wonder if the DDR's have written their editorial yet, which begins, "It saddens us deeply today to announce that SCMG will cease..."

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  8. I am amazed reading the witty, well written comments from, what appear to be, former reporters and employees of SCMG. Seems like all the good employees have been laid off and the bad stay. HAHA Anyone care to comment?

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  9. Susanna Roseanna DannaWed Jan 28, 01:19:00 PM

    That's exactly what happens there. You know the saying "All the sane people left here years ago"? Good writers, editors, copyeditors, photographers and designers know they have to get out before the apathy and bad quality tarnish their own reputations. There are a few "lifers" who have been with SCMG for 20+ years and they are "untouchable" (read: "unhireable") any place else.

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  10. I agree with Susanna. I worked there briefly. It remains the only place where volunteering to do extra work, suggesting that a story lede be reworked to make it better or asking if there were any way to make copy flow better for deskers (so they could actually take a dinner break) were totally sneered at. I was basically called "uppity," daring to come there with all my "ideas."

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