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RoadWolf

Chicago Sun-Times fires it's photographers

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RoadWolf

As an Art Director/graphic designer, I lament these kind of stories

 

http://www.startribune.com/nation/209536281.html

 

And on another forum I saw this, which pretty much sums it up:

 

"The person who made the decision to fire the entire department of staff photographers is completely lacking in their knowledge of photography.

Complete and utter ignorance.

 

Cameras don't take pictures. People take pictures. And the quality of those pictures is dependent on the talent, skill and experience of the photographer.

 

Henri-Cartier Bresson could out shoot 99% of the world population with an iPhone, but even when equipped with the best DSLR on the planet, 99% of photographers could not accomplish what he could with the worst of equipment.

 

It's not about the gear. It's about who's taking the pictures.

 

But then again we now live is a world where unfortunately 'good enough' is the accepted norm.

 

This is disgusting and a perfect example of corporate bottom line thinking at it's worst. It's thinking like this that is ruining the country."

Edited by RoadWolf

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beemerman2k

As a photo-enthusiast, I was very disappointed to see this as well.

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Huzband
As an Art Director/graphic designer, I lament these kind of stories

 

http://www.startribune.com/nation/209536281.html

 

And on another forum I saw this, which pretty much sums it up:

 

"The person who made the decision to fire the entire department of staff photographers is completely lacking in their knowledge of photography.

Complete and utter ignorance.

 

Cameras don't take pictures. People take pictures. And the quality of those pictures is dependent on the talent, skill and experience of the photographer.

 

Henri-Cartier Bresson could out shoot 99% of the world population with an iPhone, but even when equipped with the best DSLR on the planet, 99% of photographers could not accomplish what he could with the worst of equipment.

 

It's not about the gear. It's about who's taking the pictures.

 

But then again we now live is a world where unfortunately 'good enough' is the accepted norm.

 

This is disgusting and a perfect example of corporate bottom line thinking at it's worst. It's thinking like this that is ruining the country."

 

Commentary, not fact.

 

While I'm in James camp of a photo enthusiast, CST had a business decision to make. It's true that video is replacing stills. Unfortunate for the photographers, but that's the pace of technology. Either keep up or get out.

 

I have to deal with it it in my profession as well. I just don't have a union to bitch about it. And I'm glad I don't.

Edited by Huzband

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Dave McReynolds

The most succinct advice given to a staff photographer back in the b&w film days was "f8 and be there," meaning that most errors in exposure could be fixed in the lab if you shot at a medium aperture of f8, but the most important thing was to be where the action was happening, particularly back in the Speed Graphic days of 4X5 film when you would probably only get one shot, and really had to make it count.

 

It was a good life for a photographer back in those days. Sad to see it go.

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TyTass

Yes, Danny. They had a business decision to make. All companies have business decisions to make. The issue is that so many make the wrong business decisions thinking its the right one because the way it appears on paper (to some person's or persons' mind(s)) in thoese businesses.

 

IMO video most often merely captures actions alone. It very rarely results in capturing for all time significant moments in history with artistry, emotion, and power the way a well-shot photograph can.

 

Again IMO, video is to news what reality TV is video entertainment.

Edited by TyTass

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Matts_12GS

Instagram

Much of the problem

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chrisolson

I don't believe its a technology decision at all ... its all about the money - and that's not a judgement, only an observation.

 

Hard to force viewers to endure a 15 second advertisement to view a photo, but easy for video.

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RoadWolf
While I'm in James camp of a photo enthusiast, CST had a business decision to make. It's true that video is replacing stills. Unfortunate for the photographers, but that's the pace of technology. Either keep up or get out.

 

I have to deal with it it in my profession as well. I just don't have a union to bitch about it. And I'm glad I don't.

 

Well, first off, yes it was a business decision... there is no argument on that. The question is this... was it a good business decision... if the thought that you depend more on user supplied photos and videos for image creation, well, then that is the problem.

 

I work in this world and the professional eye is more than just a line item on a balance sheet. Plus, they cut the photographer and video staff. They are going freelance/permalance to save on costs. But there are inherent problems there as well, as many staff photographers can attest to (costs per hour and flexibility/availability).

 

And the statement about keeping up with technology is laughable. In my field, either you do or you die. My company has state of the art cameras and video equipment and the software and skills to back it up. I can say, without knowing the staff of the Sun-Times nor it's organization that they were probably using state of the art tech and methods. They just want to cut costs and push them onto the freelancers and use subscriber generated video. Sad that it has come to this.

 

It is indicative of the mindset of P/L folks when it comes to creative solutions. Unless they see hard and tangible benefits, they cut what they perceive as fluff. Definitely dealing with left brain folks here.

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RoadWolf
Hard to force viewers to endure a 15 second advertisement to view a photo, but easy for video.

 

Not very easy for video... often I don't wait around for that... I just skip it. Often I'd rather see the picture.

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chrisolson
... often I don't wait around for that... I just skip it. Often I'd rather see the picture.

Well ... that choice doesn't exist if there are no pictures because you've fired all the photographers.

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RoadWolf

As of now at the Sun-Times, that is pretty much the case it seems. Save for the photos they get from the AP or freelance photojournalists.

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Dave McReynolds

It seems like a death-spiral, in any event. They had to fire their photographers because their business wasn't doing well, and now with worse quality, they expect it to do better?

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John Ranalletta

When's the last time you bought a newspaper for the pictures?

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RoadWolf

I buy publications on compelling stories and photos/graphics. As do most people.

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SuperG
When's the last time you bought a newspaper for the pictures?

 

C.S.T. is simply following a trend, and that is: a printed news publication is a dieing form of news delivery.

 

I have subscribed to new paper delivery for ever.

 

They kept raising the price of the subscription and their news was a day late.

Wasted paper, often ends up in the trash, I recycle it but way to many people never even use the recycling bins for anything.

I loved paging through the paper, but now it is all advertizements and freken' stickers covering up printed material. You have to pull off the sticker to be able to read what is under it. When I canceled they wanted me to purchase the online version of the newspaper, NO thanks.

Now I read Google for world and domestic news,

and tune my TV to a 24 hour local news channel to see what is going around in town/state.

This provides more than enough news.

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John Ranalletta

The WSJ sure wasn't improved when it adopted the USA Today kinder garden reader format. Seems most of the photos in weeklies like Economist, et al are from stock.

 

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Joe Frickin' Friday
When's the last time you bought a newspaper for the pictures?

 

Fair enough. But I think the impact of the photographs isn't realized until some time has gone by.

 

My sister has a book, "100 years of AP Press Photos" (or something like that). Per the title, the book is filled with amazing and iconic photographs that are remembered long after the exact wording of the original news article has been forgotten.

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RoadWolf
The WSJ sure wasn't improved when it adopted the USA Today kinder garden reader format. Seems most of the photos in weeklies like Economist, et al are from stock.

 

Point one... we are talking the WSJ here... nuff said.

 

Point two... both newspapers and those magazines use AP and other news sources (Reuters, etc.) PLUS their own stringers and staff photographers. They may use Getty and higher price point stock photos, but sparingly.

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Quinn

Are newspapers publishing fewer photos? Or do they just use stringers and the news services instead of keeping photographers on staff? Now that everyone with a smart phone automatically has a camera with them, I would think that pictures are floating out there for every news-worthy event out there and the takers would be flattered to see them in print in a newspaper. Hard to demand a salary for what others are donating for fee.

 

-----

 

 

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