Editing Photos Pictures, captions and the dangers that lie within Photo editing flow chart Photo editing begins with the photographer The press room makes final adjustments on ink, water, paper, etc. Photos then go to a photo editor, who culls the selections The designer/ editor puts the photos “on” the page or Web site Photos then go to a section editor or to a designer The selected photos then go to the production staff for enhancing, refining, etc. Happy readers … or not … Uses/types of photos 1. Stand-alone or wild photos -- no accompanying story or that story is elsewhere and the photo serves as a refer 2. Photo/photos accompanying a story 3. Thumbnail mugs 4. Photo illustrations Wild or stand-alone photo Garrison Keillor croons for an Alabama audience. Note the top placement of the caption head. Photo with a story Note use of a kicker head to give location. Note that the cutline is in a different font from the body type and provides information not in the headline/deck. Thumbnail mugs Thumbnail mugs usually use a nameline as a caption. But sometimes “file mugs” that may be outdated will require an explainer (Smith in 1999). Note the “wild” photo that refers to a story inside the paper. Photo illustrations Note the use of a cutout photo with a graphic to create a main module. More thumbnail mugs … a double mug treatment as opposed to imbedding the mug in the body of the story. Some not so good photos and captions Send in the clones More cloning around Oooops! Look ma … No ma That’s not Mattress Mac That’s not Condi either Real The Edge Real Bono You make this mistake, and U2 will be very embarrassed. That’s bad taste Bad taste is paid lip service That’s comedienne Sarah Silverman making reference to a certain part of Britney Spears’ anatomy. This photo ran 3 columns in the Chronicle. Oops … one, two, three … This photo was the victim of a production error. Can you put your finger on what the problem is? It’s not Ass Wednesday … or is it? It starts with the photographer The first person involved in the editing process of photos is the photographer. Where do they position themselves to get the best shot? Preparation is key. What type of lens is used? What type of lighting? (See Images & Ethics handout, The Rest of the Story handouts) Getting the “words” right with a photo is also fundamental, but often a weak spot for many photographers. There can be ethical – or personal safety concerns for photographers. Is it better to take that shot on another day – or not at all? Consider the photo in the next slide … Photo editing This is the Pulitzer-winning photo shot by former UH student Adrees Latif, right. The videographer on the ground was killed by a Myanmar soldier. Look at the handouts on “The Rest of the Story” and “Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography.” Photo editing: Bad photos There are many types of photos that are part and parcel of typical newspaper coverage that have become cliché over the years: the group photo, the groundbreaking, the business opening, the gala event, the check passing, the award ceremony, etc. Many of these “bad photos” (see bad photos handout) can be banned from newspaper pages or shuffled off to Web sites. Other types can be salvaged by using different angles (shooting downward or upward) or through creative cropping. Some “bad photos” aren’t of the cliché variety. Some don’t accurately complement a story – or can distract from it. Just like this … Photo editing: Bad photos This photo was provided to go with a story about killer bees in Mexico (the Houston Fire Department was checking the threat level). The photo editor didn’t understand why I started laughing and told him we can’t run that photo in a family newspaper. Cutlines Handout: “Editing / Design / Leadership: Tips for improving captions” Cutline facts 1. Placement: Cutlines generally run below a photo but sometimes run to the side. In any case, make it easy for the reader to find the words that accompany a photo. 2. Length: Pretty subjective. Sometimes a oneword nameline suffices. Generally, cutlines should be long enough to convey -- tightly -- the significant details in a photo. 3. Font / typeface: Cutlines are generally in a different typeface and often a different point size from the body text. Parts of a cutline A “wild” or stand-alone photo generally requires three bits of information: the photo credit (photographer’s name and agency), the caption headline that can go above or below the photo and the cutline itself. Photos with a story rarely have caption heads. Photo credit Caption head Cutline How to write a cutline 1. Determine the size / length of the cutline. Usually determined by the designer. 2. Check to see if the photo is wild or accompanies a story. If standalone, it may require a caption hed. If the photo goes with a story, you may need to form a word bridge between the two to indicate how the two are related. 3. Thumbnail mugs generally need only a name line, but make sure there is not more than one "Smith" or "McGrath" in the story. Look to see how current the mug shot is. Also, is it immediately discernible to the reader why a particular mug shot is being used? If not, again a brief explainer may be in order. 4. Check to see if there are other similar pictures running in order to avoid redundant information. 5. Note whether the photo is black and white or color 6. Photographers are notorious for messing up info. Check alternate sources -- any stories, electronic library, phonebook, Internet -- to fact-check a cutline. 7. Try not to state the obvious -- don't say two people are sitting in the park, tell me why they are there. Explain the human interaction going on. It may be plain to see that two politicians are shaking hands, but "why" they are shaking hands may not be obvious. 8. Avoid parroting the hedline and the lede. Cutlines should complement, not duplicate. 9. Include the necessary "directional" information to aid identification or move the reader's eye around: Photo at top; John Smith, left; from top to bottom; etc. Or, if directions are too unwieldy, use a bit of information to identify someone. "Jane Smith, holding flowers, approaches the altar .... “ 10. Verify the time element. 11. Use proper tone -- a humorous photo can have a humorous cutline and caption hed. Avoid judgmental terms -- is that protester really angry or playing to the camera? How NOT to do a cutline This photo was selected as the main photo for a Chronicle Page 1A. Although the names of the two soldiers were CQ’ed (checked), the soldier on the left is missing his first name and the soldier on the right is missing his rank. The relationship of the pair to the dead soldier was not given. The photographer was forced to call Fort Hood on a Friday night to get the information. Cutlines This is an example of a “sidesaddle” cutline. Note that the cutline is also “wild” and refers to a story inside the section. Cutlines Too long! The cutline is deeper than the photo. Maybe this should have been a photo with a short story. Cutlines OK, the names are correct, but the directional information is missing. Are the women placed left to right? Don’t make the reader have to guess. Cutlines Same story, but for two different editions. Note that not only did the story get shorter, the subject aged considerably in the mug shots. Cutlines One-line cutlines can sometimes suffice, especially on large horizontal photos. But not only does this cutline state the obvious, it gives no indication that this is supposed to show “holiday crush at the airport.” Cutline problems 1. Someone needs to account for this one. 2. And the sign said … I guess someone should have raised Cain on this. 3. Well, at least they got Shevardnadze’s name right. 1 1 11 2 3 Cutline problems It helps to check the name tag. Michael Peña, center left, plays Will Jimena, an American soldier inspired to be a good citizen by a college professor, who is caught in a desperate fight in Afghanistan. “Rodriguez” Cutline problems OK, you left out a name in your notes. Make a phone call – do not do this! Check out the third line of the cutline. Just because the kid’s number isn’t visible doesn’t mean he deserves this. Cutline problems Young Tyler Cannon of Burnet, Texas, can smile now, but, boy, that must have really hurt! Cropping Handout: “Cropping Photos” Photo editing: Cropping Cropping is merely editing the photo so that it conveys the best message/info -- much like cutting the superfluous or questionable material out of a story. Cropping is NOT changing the shape of a photo because you need a vertical instead or a horizontal image. Edit your space to fit the photo, don't edit the photos to fit the space. You crop a photo to add impact, and you surely don't want to change the meaning of a photo. Example: See how the “story” changes according to how the same photo is run – one cropped, one uncropped. Photo editing: Cropping This was the Baltimore Sun’s version of the photo. Obviously, the woman holding the child is not his mother. So what happened to his family? Casualties of war perhaps? No, they were the casualties of a bad crop. Mom was OK, she just had her hands full. This was how the photo ran in the Miami Herald. It tells a much different story, doesn’t it? Cropping In these comparison examples, see how cropping redirects the viewer’s focus and eliminates “background noise.” The running woman distracts from the rabbi’s distinctive face. Cropping Note how much warmer and friendlier this photo feels now. Cropping The “Perp Walk” If this is a story about media coverage of a trial, perhaps the full crop works. If the focuses on the defendant, then the crop at right is better. Cropping Note the two news microphones in the original photo. Cropping David Souter is sworn into the Supreme Court. Do you need the historical photo or just a tight shot of his face? Cropping The focus changes from the rifle to the woman’s face. Photo manipulation In general, a three-word policy works: DON’T DO IT (unless it’s obvious) Handout: “Manipulating Reality” Photo manipulation: definitions Cloning or rubber stamping: Duplicating part of an image in another area of the image. Computer image: Pure digital illustration, created on a computer to achieve a particular effect, which either uses photographs as its base material, or is so photorealistic that it may be perceived as being real. Dropout/silhouette: Eliminating the background of an image. Face off: Using two separate photos, not in their original forms, in the same package (e.g. having Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding skating alongside one another in a “face off"). Photo illustration: A set-up photograph that is illustrative in nature and is clearly out of the realm of reality. Traditionally, it is an approach used for fashion, food, and product photographs. Photo manipulation: Altering a photograph beyond normal enhancements (color correction, adjusting contrast, dodging, burning). Examples include removing facial blemishes, adding features such as a full moon, or changing the color of an object in the image. (the “moving pyramid”) Photo manipulation Here’s a case where it’s easy to see the photo was manipulated. The reader is not fooled by the photo illustration -- or shouldn’t be anyway Photo manipulation The New York Post front page after the Iraq Study Group’s report was released (that’s James Baker and Lee Hamilton). Photo manipulation You shouldn’t play tricks on the reader. There are ethical rules to follow. Just like driving, you need to stay between the white lines, so to speak. Taken from MAD magazine Photo manipulation Where did the woman on the balcony go? Atlanta JournalConstitution Photo Manipulation Policy In order to maintain our journalistic integrity, and so that we do not misrepresent information or mislead our readership, we will not manipulate any photographs, for any reason. We will use darkroom techniques for reproduction purposes and we will produce dropouts and illustrations that involve photographs under the following conditions: An image that is dropped out will be used as is -- no cloning or rubber stamping to change its shape or character. If there is more than one person or image involved in the dropout (from different photos), we will make sure one image is more prominent than the other, to emphasize that the resulting photo package is not real or a "face off." We will make sure the caption information states that the images are taken from separate photos. We do not try to fool the reader. We label the image as illustration. Additionally, all illustrations involving photographs will require the approval of either photo director or graphics director. Cutline exercise Now you do it: Worth 10 points each to a story grade Exercise: Two cutlines Write cutlines for the following photos. The photos are stand-alone; they do not need to refer to any stories. The pumpkin photo will run in color; the other will run black and white. The cutline should include the photographer’s name and affiliation, a caption headline (above or below the photo) and a 2- to 4-sentence cutline. Photo 1 (speed bump) credit is: Gregory Urquiaga, Knight-Ridder Tribune Photo 2 (pumpkins) credit is: Jim Kahnweiler, Associated Press Exercise: Cutline info Photo 1: Work crews were adding speed bumps along Mariposa Street on Thursday in Richmond, Calif. The large lettering is a warning to motorists as they approach the speed bumps. Photo 2: Danny Georgette, age 5, of Reading, Mass., was at Arena Farms in Concord, Mass., on Monday. He wanted a pumpkin for Halloween.