newspaper reproduction


Ron Kelly <ron@...>
 

Dan:

Upon attending one of your classes a few years ago, a comment was made that there were two people present out of about
ten of us total, from the newspaper business. They were there, if I recall correctly, of their own initiative, and possibly expense.

It's been my observation that certainly locally, and nationally also, the reproduction quality of newspapers has declined.

The local paper, who shall go nameless, is a pile of mud. I'm guessing that there *is* no prepress department any more,
and that the files run almost straight out the camera; "separations" are determined by the platemaker RIP. What else
could account for the terrible quality I see?

Could anyone with insider experience care to comment? Is there in fact some one out there who is responsible for
preparing files to print? What expertise do they have?

The irony to me is that, with papers struggling for profits and they're very existence, they generally undervalue the thing
that could benefit them a great deal: quality reproduction of images.

If I'm wrong, then I would expect the costcutting to continue, and newspapers to revert to black-plate-only
publications; there's no doubt that would save even more money than just laying-off people.

I'm thinking of getting an iPad and just going that route for all publications, but I'm reluctant to personally put another nail
in the coffin of the web offset. The environmental cost to newsprint is *only* worth it if the images look good, IMHO.

Ron Kelly

On 2012-01-05, at 5:27 AM, Dan Margulis wrote:
Also, newspaper production, since color became common about 15 years ago, has been subject to turf wars. Should the photographers be responsible for correcting their own work before handing it in, or is this a prepress function?


berdov
 

I have a feeling that most people don't care about quality and
craftsmanship. A culture (I am blushing using this word) of whatever.
Everything is made in China, etc.

There was a picture of the Maryland State Senate Chambers in yesterday's
paper. First page, above the fold. Converging verticals, 5-10 degrees
roll, part of the 2nd floor gallery is pitch dark because of a burnt out
bulb. It would take even me under 5 minutes to straighten the lines and
copy-paste the bright part of the gallery over the dark one. Would this be
cheating?

I guess if I were a photographer and could not afford to wait half-a day
for five union guys to screw in a light bulb, I would find a different
angle. But would anybody care?

Sorry for sounding like an old geezer, but I really am not sure what is the
solution, if any.

Boris Feldblyum
www.bfcollection.net

On Thu, Jan 5, 2012 at 12:13 PM, Ron Kelly <ron@...> wrote:

**


Dan:

Upon attending one of your classes a few years ago, a comment was made
that there were two people present out of about
ten of us total, from the newspaper business. They were there, if I recall
correctly, of their own initiative, and possibly expense.

It's been my observation that certainly locally, and nationally also, the
reproduction quality of newspapers has declined.

The local paper, who shall go nameless, is a pile of mud. I'm guessing
that there *is* no prepress department any more,
and that the files run almost straight out the camera; "separations" are
determined by the platemaker RIP. What else
could account for the terrible quality I see?

Could anyone with insider experience care to comment? Is there in fact
some one out there who is responsible for
preparing files to print? What expertise do they have?

The irony to me is that, with papers struggling for profits and they're
very existence, they generally undervalue the thing
that could benefit them a great deal: quality reproduction of images.

If I'm wrong, then I would expect the costcutting to continue, and
newspapers to revert to black-plate-only
publications; there's no doubt that would save even more money than just
laying-off people.

I'm thinking of getting an iPad and just going that route for all
publications, but I'm reluctant to personally put another nail
in the coffin of the web offset. The environmental cost to newsprint is
*only* worth it if the images look good, IMHO.

Ron Kelly

On 2012-01-05, at 5:27 AM, Dan Margulis wrote:
Also, newspaper production, since color became common about 15 years
ago, has been subject to turf wars. Should the photographers be responsible
for correcting their own work before handing it in, or is this a prepress
function?





Henry Davis
 

My opinion is: the real conditions of the scene at the time of the
shot are that shot. I'm not against improving the scene post-exposure
but going beyond minimal improvements needed due to lighting
conditions becomes more debatable.

Quality and craftsmanship apply to the skills of the photographer -
some conditions require better skills. Some conditions just can't be
conquered by skills. That's not an excuse for poor craftsmanship for
all conditions.

Henry

On Jan 5, 2012, at 6:58 PM, Boris Feldblyum wrote:

I have a feeling that most people don't care about quality and
craftsmanship. A culture (I am blushing using this word) of whatever.
Everything is made in China, etc.

There was a picture of the Maryland State Senate Chambers in
yesterday's
paper. First page, above the fold. Converging verticals, 5-10 degrees
roll, part of the 2nd floor gallery is pitch dark because of a burnt
out
bulb. It would take even me under 5 minutes to straighten the lines
and
copy-paste the bright part of the gallery over the dark one. Would
this be
cheating?

I guess if I were a photographer and could not afford to wait half-a
day
for five union guys to screw in a light bulb, I would find a different
angle. But would anybody care?

Sorry for sounding like an old geezer, but I really am not sure what
is the
solution, if any.

Boris Feldblyum


Pylant, Brian <brianp@...>
 

I have a feeling that most people don't care about quality and
craftsmanship. A culture (I am blushing using this word) of whatever.
Everything is made in China, etc.
I've been saying for quite some time now that American culture has
(de-)evolved into one that values "more" to the almost complete exclusion of
"better." There are exceptions, of course, but this mentality is rampant
throughout our society and has an incredibly negative impact on almost every
aspect of our daily lives -- not to mention the work that we do, and the
price point at which we're expected to do it.

Brian


Dan Margulis
 

Ron Kelly writes,

Dan:

Upon attending one of your classes a few years ago, a comment was made that there were two people present out of about
ten of us total, from the newspaper business. They were there, if I recall correctly, of their own initiative, and possibly expense.
Your class initially was of eight, which is the maximum, not ten. I looked at the roster and don't recall where everyone came from, except for yourself, one police forensic specialist, and Vladimir Yelisseev, who is from Russia. So there may have been newspaper people present.

The basic observation, however, is correct. Newspapers started to print color in a big way in the 1990s and as you might expect they were not good at it. Many advertisers at that time were not good at it either, and relied on the newspapers to get the color right. Many did not understand that the same quality one expects from a magazine is not attainable on newsprint.

Also, at this time most newspapers had severe limitations as to the number of pages in which color could appear. This was before serious advertising was feasible on the web, so there was a lot of pent-up demand for color advertising in newspapers. Many newspapers were in a position they don't like to be in, of having to turn down advertising because they didn't have the press capacity to print as many color ads as the advertisers wanted to buy. Then on top of that they were having to use that precious space to run make-goods for ads that did not come out well color-wise.

Consequently, the newspapers had a desperate need to improve their color knowledge and probably a quarter of the people attending ACT in the last century. But then the web came along and devastated the newspaper economy. So from that point on, I rarely saw newspaper people attending U.S. classes and when they did they were paying their own fare. Things were a little better in Canada.

It's been my observation that certainly locally, and nationally also, the reproduction quality of newspapers has declined.

The local paper, who shall go nameless, is a pile of mud. I'm guessing that there *is* no prepress department any more,
and that the files run almost straight out the camera; "separations" are determined by the platemaker RIP. What else
could account for the terrible quality I see?
That's likely part of it. We had a thread a couple of years back in which it was pointed out that many newspapers, in a desperate attempt to save money, are reseparating incoming files so that they will print with Maximum GCR, which cuts their inking costs dramatically at the price of lack of controllability and quality. Also, some have laid off all but essential production personnel--after all, automated correction is just as good, right? And press maintenance is put off.

I don't think that it's a lack of interest in quality; rather, these newspapers are failing and when their financial position is this precarious they do things that would be silly in normal circumstances.

I'll bet you, though, that the advertising looks better than the editorial color.

Could anyone with insider experience care to comment? Is there in fact some one out there who is responsible for
preparing files to print? What expertise do they have?

The irony to me is that, with papers struggling for profits and they're very existence, they generally undervalue the thing
that could benefit them a great deal: quality reproduction of images.

If I'm wrong, then I would expect the costcutting to continue, and newspapers to revert to black-plate-only
publications; there's no doubt that would save even more money than just laying-off people.
Well, that sums it up, except for going back to B/W which is hyperbole. But basically if you are right they will make more money from better print quality. Unfortunately, the newspapers think that you are wrong.

Dan Margulis


Ron Kelly <ron@...>
 

Dan

You are spot on with that remark.

This is what I am observing in my local paper: excellent print quality on supplied ads,
for example, high end automobile stuff. National campaigns for cell phones, ditto, fashion
ads also.

This tells me that the printing press is not to blame. I have no idea whether the local photographers
are shooting RAW or jpeg, or processing their images in any way before submitting them.

The local hockey team is tepid, and I'm not just referring to their on-ice performance. They have
very pale complexions, often cyan or green.

The very worst stuff is probably the black-and-white stuff. It's too dark, with no contrast.

I guess I should screw up my courage and offer them a course, not that they'd likely buy it, but
what's there to lose? Is there anything I should know about teaching?

Cheers,
Ron Kelly

On 01-06-2012, at 4:17 PM, Dan Margulis wrote:

I'll bet you, though, that the advertising looks better than the editorial color.


John Denniston <john_denniston@...>
 

On 1/5/2012 9:13 AM, Ron Kelly wrote:
It's been my observation that certainly locally, and nationally also,
the reproduction quality of newspapers has declined.

The local paper, who shall go nameless, is a pile of mud. I'm guessing
that there *is* no prepress department any more,
Hi Ron,

A little history might be needed here.

When the newspaper I worked for went completely digital in 1995 there were 3 goals.

First was to eliminate chemistry because we were moving to offsite editorial offices where no chemicals under any circumstances were allowed.

Second was to eliminate the strangle hold the engravers union had on prepress picture preparation.

Third was to make the process of rgb to cmyk so simple a person with no experience could do the job after 4 or 5 hours of training.

The first two we accomplished within 6 months. The third took some time because for some reason ;-) the engravers were not exactly free about telling us the mysteries of creating separations so I spent my evenings and weekends asking questions on listervs like this one.

It took almost 5 years but with photoshop actions, quick keys, and some apple scripts we were, with 2 relatively unskilled people, able to exceed the quality and quantity (by about 3 times) of 40 skilled engravers.

It all hinged on our photographers being able to produce quickly, high quality rgb's. A lot of time was spent training them in colour correction skills. As their skills improved the reproduction improved. We found it relatively easy to semi-automate rgb to cmyk if the rgb's were of good quality.

I've been retired 10 years now but from what I hear the prepress work at The Province and its sister paper the Vancouver Sun is still being done by anyone they can find, in one case a secretary made redundant by tech change but with a grandfathered union job guarantee.

So is the colour as good as it used to be before I retired? Sometimes yes and sometimes no but this is not because of the automation of prepress rather it's outsourcing the entire layout of the paper from the editorial offices in Vancouver to the chain's layout division 2000 miles away in Ontario, or when they're too busy, to a company in Pakistan. Who knows how many times they forget to change preferences from say the Montreal Gazette to the Vancouver Sun before sending pages to press?

Which all leads back to the original question that started this thread, the question of ethical retouching. If a newspaper photographer can't prep his pictures so they can be separated automatically into quality cmyk's the reproduction will usually be crap and at best a crap shoot. The photographer must not only have very good colour correction skills but understand the ethics of journalism, the philosophy of image making and take responsibility for using them.

Regards, John

www.Johndenniston.ca


Jacob Rus
 

Boris Feldblyum wrote:
I have a feeling that most people don't care about quality and
craftsmanship. A culture (I am blushing using this word) of whatever.
Everything is made in China, etc.
For more discussion of this “culture of whatever”, I recommend Lewis
Mumford’s 1934 book Technics and Civilization.... it’s hardly a new
phenomenon.

Cheers,
Jacob Rus


Elboyblues <elboyblues@...>
 

This has been a very interesting thread, although it has nessesarily been a bit "newspaper-centric".

However, in my career, spanning some 44 years in repro, starting as a process camera operator, then scanner operator, then EPC system operator, then a Photoshop operator for want of a better term, and now workflow colour management consultant...a euphemism for semi retired...the vast majority of the originals I worked with were transparencies. So there was little opportunity for the photographer to make any amendment outside of the camera.

So our aim generally was to achieve "faksim", facsimile reproduction to the transparency, the assumption being that the transparency had been chosen for positive reasons. The target in general was good quality print, sheetfed, web offset as it evolved and gravure.

In reality that meant making aesthetic changes, removal or easing of castes, adjustment of gradation and contrast and correction and enhancement of colour to achieve the "faksim" that the client perceived in the original...adjusting for the "rose coloured glasses" of the client was very much part of the skill of a good operator.

Despite the varying targets we were actually judged on the proof. In the early days flatbed proofing presses were used, fine for single colour press matches but as wet on wet four colour machines became the norm and especially the rise to prominence of web offset printing, this proofing method had major failings. So eventually it came down to photomechanical proofs, Cromalin and Matchprint in the main.

When you look back on it now it is laughable really, making a "contract proof" from powder applied to sticky coatings...but that was the best we had. So the client would be given this "one size fits all" proof, which in reality only applied to a tiny proportion of the target conditions it was used for, to make a judgement as fit for press.

But the point was, we did make lots of amendments to the original, both aesthetic and technical to get the client tick. And good companies tried to build in the parameters that were required for good printability, chiefly under colour removal to ensure correct TAC and good adaption to gradation to give the image "room to breath" in print. And these two requirements are still fundamental today.

Due to the need to "expose to the right" in digital photography, most images suffer from blocked or heavy threequarter tones. Especially in newsprint. So information and detail is there in the file but not necessarily in the right place tonally. (I hardly need to mention this in this forum!)

So opening up the tone range to ensure good midtone to shadow rendition in RGB is the pre-requisite followed by conversion to the correct CMYK profile to ensure the accurate translation of the RGB look to press ready colour numbers should result in much better consistency on the run. This applies to both colour and B/W images of course.

When I look back and realise that for most of my time in repro, our traditional working methods were actually wrong, going directly to some notional standard CMYK and working in that space, producing a proof that had little to do with the actual likely print condition and compare it to what is achievable today, I do smile. Oh, to have had back then the techniques we have today...

We have more power at hand today than ever before, but we have a less structured industry than ever before and every year we have new kids on the block who have less knowledge about colour than ever before.

There really is no excuse for poor or declining end quality, by applying the techniques often discussed on this forum, teamed with the power of colour management, any printed product should be able to sing from the page, loud and clear!

It is a sad fact that the people who need the knowledge the most are often most blind to the fact.

Cheers

Eric Nunn

BOTH


Henry Davis
 

Inserts are not always printed on the same press. They can be supplied from different sources.

Henry

On Jan 6, 2012, at 9:00 PM, Ron Kelly wrote:

Dan

You are spot on with that remark.

This is what I am observing in my local paper: excellent print quality on supplied ads,
for example, high end automobile stuff. National campaigns for cell phones, ditto, fashion
ads also.

This tells me that the printing press is not to blame. I have no idea whether the local photographers
are shooting RAW or jpeg, or processing their images in any way before submitting them.

The local hockey team is tepid, and I'm not just referring to their on-ice performance. They have
very pale complexions, often cyan or green.

The very worst stuff is probably the black-and-white stuff. It's too dark, with no contrast.

I guess I should screw up my courage and offer them a course, not that they'd likely buy it, but
what's there to lose? Is there anything I should know about teaching?


Ron Kelly <ron@...>
 

Henry

Yes, I realize that inserts can be much better, particularly if they are printed on better stock.

I'm referring to the inside the paper stuff; there's still a lot of advertising there.

Ron Kelly

On 01-07-2012, at 9:46 AM, Henry Davis wrote:

Inserts are not always printed on the same press. They can be
supplied from different sources.


Dan Margulis
 

For those still interested in the photojournalism ethics thread, some pointers sent to me offline by Roberto Tartaglione should be interesting.

We were discussing the case of the North Carolina photographer who was fired in 2005 for "falsifying" a picture of a firefighter against a sunset by underexposing the original to avoid losing the sun, and then correcting the image in Photoshop to change the sky to orange rather than brownish-gray as in the "original".

It was brought up and confirmed in the discussion that this photographer was noted for his pictures of fires, had won awards for same, and that he had had previous difficulties along the same line.

It turns out that he had been stripped of three of his awards in 2003 for similar "falsification" of fire images. The before-and-after shots are shown in an article defending the photographer, entitled

In Defense of Photographer Patrick Schneider
And the fictions of a "code of ethics"
at
http://zonezero.com/editorial/octubre03/october.html

The first of the three would be the most controversial. The subject is two sad-looking firefighters consoling one another. In the original, the background was out of focus but there was a lot of action going on in it that the photographer decided distracted from the subject. So he selected the entire background and basically blacked it out.

The other two appear to me to be straight color corrections that give a more realistic color to the flames. Apparently there was some use of the dodge and burn tool but at first glance I didn't see where.

The author of the article accepts all three of these. I accept the last two but am of two minds about the first. I definitely oppose all instances of adding objects to pictures, but not necessarily deletions of irrelevant stuff. Then again, this is a rather large deletion. I would have had no problem had he just tried to reduce contrast in the background to try to eliminate the distraction.

Shortly after this episode where the awards were withdrawn, the North Carolina Press Photographer Association passed a new code of ethics, which states in part:

Photojournalists may not alter the editorial content of a photograph. No people or objects may be added, re-arranged, reversed, distorted or removed from a selected scene. Common practices in our profession that affect the scene to a much lesser degree are permitted. Dodging or burning to de-emphasize or emphasize areas, never adding or erasing information, is acceptable. Toning and color correcting that remains true to the tones and colors of the original scene are acceptable, as are cropping, contrast adjustment, sharpening and spotting. Cloning (i.e., the rubber stamp tool in Photoshop) may only be used to remove dust and scratches. Conversion from color to grayscale is permitted.
The good part of this is that it reduces some judgment. If this is the rule, then the first photo (background obliterated) is not acceptable. As I read it, though, the other two are acceptable--yet the photographer didn't get his awards back.

But the bad part is that the rest is subject to interpretation--and the photographer eventually lost his job for doing something that this code of ethics says is perfectly acceptable. He changed the sunset away from "brownish gray", which it could not possibly have been in the original scene, and substituted something more realistic. Unfortunately, his bosses decided that "original scene" means "the original as captured by the camera, no matter how stupid the settings."

And this is the problem with all this well-meaning philosophizing. I sympathize with what Henry Davis says but it is just not enforceable unless there are bright-line tests available. "Don't add any new objects" is a bright-line test. "Only do color corrections that are faithful to the original scene, and whether you have done this will be judged by strangers who may know nothing about photography or color correction, and if they decide against you, you will be fired," is not. In fact, it is a recipe for timorousness.

Dan Margulis


Ron Kelly <ron@...>
 

John

Thanks for the detailed answer.

It's too bad that, having paired down 40 engravers to just a few people, it was not
realized that paying for training of the remaining people would be a good thing;
someone has to know how to do things!

How many times have we heard "We're reducing and outsourcing, but quality and
service will not be affected"?

In today's paper again, a national campaign that looks excellent; elsewhere in the paper
is terrible. The difference is that the people in one workflow are good, know what they are
doing; the other has got some bizarre process where the quality is abysmal, and the people
managing it and paying for it don't notice or don't care, or both!

It's costing them just as much money to print crap as quality.


Respectfully,

Ron Kelly

On 01-06-2012, at 10:35 PM, John Denniston wrote:
able to
exceed the quality and quantity (by about 3 times) of 40 skilled engravers.


Henry Davis
 

If it were cut-and-dried it wouldn't be a philosophical issue. But
that's not to say that philosophical debate can't lead to progress.
It may never be ironed out completely but together photojournalists,
editors and publishers can arrive at a code that better serves
themselves and the public. Well-meaning approaches are of value at
times.

As I said in an earlier post, the ego of the photographer should not
take priority in journalism, neither should his opinions regarding a
story. Of course this is easier said than done but hey, easy isn't
the goal. News isn't about "easy". My insistence that the "original"
photo be submitted along with the altered is a good SOP I think. The
person answering to the publisher needs to know everything he can
about a scene before it's printed. Adding this to the code of ethics
seems to me to be a no-brainer. What need is there to hide or remove
or de-emphasized content in a news photo? Doing so only adds another
layer of interpretation to an event.

Journalists need credibility with the public and a "take my word for
it" attitude doesn't do much for credibility. I realize that I've
been strict in my opinions about this and haven't made any friends. I
could make this perception worse by saying that even cropping needs to
be supervised - take that! There are times when cropping is just a
euphemism for "content removal".

As I see it, there's very little (probably no) justification for
firing a photojournalist due to his sense of aesthetics. Yet
photographers seem to concentrate a lot sensitivity toward their
aesthetic. News isn't about aesthetics. Sure, some shots are more
appealing. Some photographers are better at getting it all together
without the need for altering. But their goal ought to be the most
accurate and unbiased photo they can achieve, even if it's lacking in
aesthetics.

To me, it would be out of line to fire a photographer who provides
less aesthetic, though unaltered photos. I believe that practice
would result in an even greater amount of photo-fiddling shenanigans.
"Timorousness" itself might then gain new heights - though in another
direction. Perhaps we're witnessing a bit of this presently.

Henry

On Jan 10, 2012, at 9:32 AM, Dan Margulis wrote:
<Snip>

And this is the problem with all this well-meaning philosophizing. I
sympathize with what Henry Davis says but it is just not enforceable
unless there are bright-line tests available. "Don't add any new
objects" is a bright-line test. "Only do color corrections that are
faithful to the original scene, and whether you have done this will
be judged by strangers who may know nothing about photography or
color correction, and if they decide against you, you will be
fired," is not. In fact, it is a recipe for timorousness.

Dan Margulis


Henry Davis
 

Yes, but it's "push-button".

Henry

On Jan 10, 2012, at 4:27 PM, Ron Kelly wrote:
<Snip>
It's costing them just as much money to print crap as quality.


John Pavel
 

--- In colortheory@..., Dan Margulis <DMargulis@...> wrote:

And this is the problem with all this well-meaning philosophizing. I sympathize with what Henry Davis says but it is just not enforceable unless there are bright-line tests available. "Don't add any new objects" is a bright-line test. "Only do color corrections that are faithful to the original scene, and whether you have done this will be judged by strangers who may know nothing about photography or color correction, and if they decide against you, you will be fired," is not. In fact, it is a recipe for timorousness.

A few thoughts on this subject.

In the end, it's a matter of maintaining the trust of readers, who are not interested in bravery but in being able to rely on what they see/read. A purely rules-based approach will not be sufficient to deliver that objective (because even objective-sounding rules will always to be subject to interpretation in the interesting cases, or because they may not deliver the objective of maintaining trust, just as the failure of the financial sector in 2007/8 was not the result of a breach of particular rules).

To take a couple of parallels: the head of the Swiss central bank who just resigned did not break any existing rules, but he did lose the trust of his peers and could not continue to function effectively. (The rules were also inadequate.)

A young prizewinning journalist at the UK Independent interviewed people and then instead of quoting them directly, took quotes from the writings of his interviewees where they had expressed the same ideas more clearly. (He also did other things.) He has been given a second chance, but his credibility, and that of his newspaper, was damaged. I doubt that you could point to a specific rule that he broke: arguably he was doing his readers a service by producing more lucid articles.

When I submit pictures for publication I would often like to be able remove cigarette butts from the street, and the like. To do so would not undermine the editorial integrity of the picture, but it could lead people to start to wonder "if he is prepared to do that, what else would he do?". I don't want that question to arise.

To finish with some real-world examples, here are the editorial submission requirements from IStockPhoto, which will have been lawyered, and which start with the precept:

"Your photo must tell the truth about its subject. You may not edit or manipulate it in any way that changes the context or subject matter. This includes cloning, copying and pasting, or cropping.

Does this mean that you must submit all images as-is, straight out of the camera? No. A certain amount of limited processing is acceptable as long as they do not change the image itself."

http://www.istockphoto.com/article_view.php?ID=939


The BBC's guidelines are here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/page/guidance-stills-photographs-summary


Alamy requires submitters to declare whether a picture has been "digitally altered"

Application of all of these guidelines requires judgement; they are not objective tests. So "corrections that are faithful to the original scene, and whether you have done this will be judged by strangers who may know nothing about photography or color correction, and if they decide against you" there will be consequences, is where we seem to be,

Best, John Pavel


John Denniston <john_denniston@...>
 

On 1/10/2012 1:27 PM, Ron Kelly wrote:
having paired down 40 engravers to just a few people,
it was not
realized that paying for training of the remaining people would be a
good thing;
someone has to know how to do things!
Hi Ron,

I left out a layer behind the thinking that was going on at the time.

Management didn't want to have anyone on staff who knew how to do things. Acquired skills gave employees the ability to bargain for higher wages.

The original goal was to have the photographers send their raw files into the system to be prepped by one of the many semi-automatic software programs we tried. However, the NC2000 camera which we used at the time was diabolical in its interpretations of colour. Almost every picture required extensive photoshop corrections. See Rob Galbraith's web page for a full description of its horrors although I think even he left out the camera's trick of turning black polyester cloth into light blue.

I became photo editor after being a photographer so I fought and was successful in getting the photographers to do the photoshop work. They would know what the original colours were; darkroom techs or engravers wouldn't. If I'd come from tech side, or maybe the word side, I might have fought for the techies or the engravers but I didn't. I still think it was the right decision.

I should also point out that when I say I fought for the photographers it was meant in the strongest sense. Often it was all out war in meetings that turned into screaming matches between the back shop, me, the IT department and the parade of dubious colour consultants who arrived hoping to sell us their latest calibration equipment that never worked in the demo but would definitely work once we bought it and installed it with the latest upgrades. The digital revolution in photography at newspapers was not a group of like minded people trying to do a good thing. It was a battle of entrenched groups trying to protect their jobs for as long as they could by any method possible as all of us realized by the late 1990's that newspapers didn't have much of a future.

Regard, John

www.Johndenniston.ca


John Denniston <john_denniston@...>
 

On 1/10/2012 2:46 PM, Henry Davis wrote:

I
could make this perception worse by saying that even cropping needs to
be supervised - take that! There are times when cropping is just a
euphemism for "content removal".
Hi Henry,

So what focal length lens would you suggest the photographer use so he doesn't crop the scene when taking the picture?

Regards, John

--
www.Johndenniston.ca


Henry Davis
 

Hi John,

I enjoy your inside baseball posts - it has a familiar ring to it. I had to laugh at your mention of the endless parade of color consultants. You were probably the best asset they had for that job - but how many jobs can one do?

That's the feeling I have sometimes about photographers. They already have a full-time job. Adding image prep only stretches things further. Even though I understand the motivations, it does seem to be taking on too much. Now if things weren't as tight and personnel numbers were adequate then doing their own editing might be more reasonable to add to their task load.

I couldn't tell you any more about focal length than I could about Adam's house cat. A pro photographer picks a lens for the situation he encounters, sets the exposure and frames it and as best he can. He takes the shot. I don't need to know about lens stuff. I need to know that his photography is credible. The more I doubt this, the more I doubt the credibility of the publisher and everyone working there. The whole operation suffers, as well as the public.

Pertinent content that gets cropped after the fact doesn't need to happen - but it does for various reasons. That's my concern with cropping. Content removal needs supervision and supervision needs the original exposure for comparison. Is that asking too much?

If a competitor published an uncropped version it would damage the credibility of the source that cropped out the pertinent content - as well as be a disservice to the public. I'd hate to be the guy that approved that photo.

Henry

On Jan 10, 2012, at 11:38 PM, John Denniston wrote:

On 1/10/2012 2:46 PM, Henry Davis wrote:

I
could make this perception worse by saying that even cropping
needs to
be supervised - take that! There are times when cropping is just a
euphemism for "content removal".
Hi Henry,

So what focal length lens would you suggest the photographer use so he
doesn't crop the scene when taking the picture?

Regards, John


John Pavel
 

Here is a further set of examples,in an article by a firm that
post-processes for photographers
But is 10b engaging in digital manipulation of these photographers'
images? The laboratory's founders don't think so. "We believe that
talking of `manipulation' is correct only when pixels are
`moved', therefore when the minimum unit of a digital image is at
least either replaced or cloned," says 10b on its website. "In these
cases we can talk of a mystification of reality, whose results not only
represent something different from the original subject but have also
broken the main rule of the photojournalism ethics."

Read more:
http://www.bjp-online.com/british-journal-of-photography/feature/2133918\;
/post-processing-digital-age-photojournalists-10b-photography#ixzz1jATHI&#92;
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8/post-processing-digital-age-photojournalists-10b-photography#ixzz1jATH&#92;
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Best, John Pavel