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Chicago Sun-Times axes all staff photographers, offers reporters 'iPhoneography training' - Page 2

post #41 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Carter View Post

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.

 

Heck, even "not good enough" is good enough, and has been for years. 20 years ago news crews were reporter, camera and audio. Audio was replaced with auto-level control on the camera. It screws up and sounds awful as often as not. Nobody cares. Now we use IP-based systems for transferring material which introduce all kinds of compression artifacts - pixelly images and gurgly sound. No one cares.

 

Lower-budget stations have now even eliminated the camera operator so the reporter has to both interview and shoot. That often looks and sound horrid. No one cares.

 

So the move made by this newspaper is terrible and will result in crappier product and no one will care.


Edited by v5v - 6/1/13 at 5:52pm
post #42 of 184

These firings have nothing to do with cameras or photographers at all really, IMO. It's economics.

 

Are the people who are criticizing the firing of the photographers aware that old media is on the decline, and has been for many years now? You go start a newspaper and hire a bunch of photographers, and see how successful you will be, and see if your business will even last it's first year.

 

Times change, businesses come and go. Those that don't adapt, die out. I don't even remember the last time that I actually bought a physical newspaper.

post #43 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Print companies have to cut corners to stay in business. I just wonder if many will run out of corners to cut and go bankrupt as people get used to free online content. As a child everyone subscribed to the local newspaper and also several magazines as well. We are now the only house I see on our block with a newspaper box by our mailbox. I still think newspapers are important especially local ones where they offer news you just can't get anywhere else. We had a big corruption scandal involving the school superintendent that required months of in depth investigation and research before a full story could be done and this is something TV stations do not have the will or resources to do. Were it not for the local paper it is very likely this corruption would have continued unabated. 

 

In a few years smart phone cameras will continue to progress to the point that they are nearly as good as dedicated cameras. Already there are some phones using CMOS sensors with optical zoom available by Sharp and Toshiba in Japan. 

Good points...I check my iPhone USA today app first thing in the AM. Just to see if there is anything earth shaking going on. Then I read my local newspaper. i've noticed lately, more and more news items are reported the next day (or two) in the newspaper from what I've read online. I get Time for a sort of more in depth news roundup, weekly. Listen to NPR and read the Sat. edition of the WSJ, (like their book reviews section, not their editorial bent so much- a bit too negative!)

 

And then read current books on subjects I'm interested in. Can't stand TV....except for Fareed Zakaria! Who is first class!

post #44 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by chazpat View Post

Stupid bean-counters with no respect for other's profession and experience. They just assume they can put it on the reporters with a little training and save the salary of the photographers. Who cares about quality, more money in their pockets.

 

Agreed. I would use the F word here if I could. Really. Fxxk the bean counters. If you want to cut a budget, cut half and see how you do. Don't implode your company like circuit city did when they fired all of the higher paid experienced sales people and wondered why sales droped far more then the saved money.
post #45 of 184
Photography for the Lowest common denominator.
post #46 of 184
So I guess Tim has to announce that the # of jobs Apple created has fallen to 599,972. To hell with any company that makes money by firing good citizens, instead of figuring out how to be good enough to grow with what they have. 28 families tonight are under stress because of a leader's failure.
...
Also, the argument of "news companies don't need super-high quality photos for print media" is BS as the news industry is evolving online where image quality is the trend (Retina, 1080p, 4K, etc). Phone pictures are decent but still semi-professional, and that's what readers will begin to associate the Sun-Times with at some point and their failures will be evident in the numbers.
post #47 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Everett Ruess View Post

The best camera is the one you have on you.

That is so very true!

My wife has a standard 'point and shoot' camera and she takes it places when she expects to take pictures or videos of our young daughter at some event. My iPhone is always with me and, though it is slightly inferior to her camera, it is far more valuable because I can instantly (well almost) take videos or pictures of something my daughter just does on the spot. The videos we have of her in these types of situations are priceless.

So, I would like to add that "The best video recorder is the one that you have with you"! 1smile.gif
post #48 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by dysamoria View Post

Wow, that was stupid. iphone doesn't produce printable photos even at newspaper resolution.

 

What is newspaper resolution and more importantly what is newspaper quality?   The quality is significantly less than that of a magazine, and 6 megapixels would likely be more than enough for most newspaper photo resolutions - right?  So with 8 megapixels on the iphone you have room for downsizing which tightens up the image.  And the nominal quality of newspaper photos can easily be attained by the iphone given adequate lighting and minimized motion.

post #49 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoffdino View Post

Sad, so sad for those photographers. I take photography as a side hobby, and despite the massive improvements in phone cameras recently, those photos still cannot measure up to the dedicated high end cameras. Heck, it's easy enough to tell an image taken by an iPhone 5 and that taken by $600 Nikon/Canon prosumer DSLR. You paid $600 for a dedicated camera, versus $600 for a phone that just happens to also has a camera.


Becoming a photog isn't easy. There are lots of training, interning, learning on the jobs, and yes, heavy investment in photo equipments. It's so sad to see a large newspaper ditching all the arts of photography and tell the photogs "just take pictures with your phone".


That's true.  However, when most news is online and pictures are usually no more than 800x600, and printed magazines are slowly going out of style and read on tablets, SLR quality is not a necessity methink.  It's sad.

Neither the newspaper nor the people commenting here get it.
It's not the camera that takes the picture but the eye of the photographer.
No matter of the "quality" of the iPhone camera, it has no control over depth of field, focal length, etc.
The iPhone may be the best point and shoot camera, but except for a few lucky occasions that happen to call for the phone's setup, it just won't be the proper tool.
There is a difference between taking a picture like an insurance adjuster or telling a story in an image like a good photographer will do.

The premise here is that photographers are just button pushers and that their "technical" know-how has been superceded by better hardware.

Nothing could be further from the truth, if anything, technology allows photographers to focus on the story telling without getting caught up in the technicalities.

What's next? Replacing journalists with fifth-graders because they already know how to spell the majority of the words?

Journalism isn't spelling, and photography isn't button pushing.

The management of that newspaper is who should get laid off.
post #50 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

These firings have nothing to do with cameras or photographers at all really, IMO. It's economics.

 

Are the people who are criticizing the firing of the photographers aware that old media is on the decline, and has been for many years now? You go start a newspaper and hire a bunch of photographers, and see how successful you will be, and see if your business will even last it's first year.

 

Times change, businesses come and go. Those that don't adapt, die out. I don't even remember the last time that I actually bought a physical newspaper.

 

I agree that 'old media' is struggling and the photo department is almost always the first one to get the axe when money gets tight. I've had my own brush with the news business and have friends and family still working in it, so I am very familiar with this.

 

But reading the article is sounds more like the reasoning behind the decision was that any monkey who can hold an iPhone, can bring in coverage. You no longer need one of those overpaid and obsolete photographers, let alone a whole department, because technology has evolved to the point that anyone who can aim a cellphone in the general direction of the action is going to turn in to Eddie Adams.

post #51 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Carter View Post

But reading the article is sounds more like the reasoning behind the decision was that any monkey who can hold an iPhone, can bring in coverage. You no longer need one of those overpaid and obsolete photographers, let alone a whole department, because technology has evolved to the point that anyone who can aim a cellphone in the general direction of the action is going to turn in to Eddie Adams.

 

I agree that if that is the reasoning behind the decision, then it is totally ridiculous.

post #52 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by blowbot View Post

More jobs down the drain, never to be seen again...

I sense Senate hearings and floor speeches in both houses in the near future blaming apple for more job vanishing.
post #53 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I agree that if that is the reasoning behind the decision, then it is totally ridiculous.

They must have been and will continue using freelance for stuff that needs close ups and quality like sports.
post #54 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

NYTimes title?: Popularity of iPhone Camera Results In Mass Layoff of Professional Photographers

Nope, that headline has a positive tone for Apple. More likely: "Apple Causes Photographers to be Fired" Or "iFired: How Apple is Causing Layoffs in the Media"
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post




I tried to find one with an iPhone, but surprisingly there doesn't seem to be anyone stupid enough to let their cat near their iPhone. Or, rather, there probably are people like that out there, but the iPhone would be their only camera so they couldn't take the picture of the cat… 

I love it!
post #55 of 184
jobsisgod 2013/05/31 08:29pm
Nothing sad here.

Oh, I agree. I couldn't stop laughing at the "firing 28 people" part.
post #56 of 184
Not
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

I agree that if that is the reasoning behind the decision, then it is totally ridiculous.

They must have been and will continue using freelance for stuff that needs close ups and quality like sports.

Not only do sports NEED no quality, sports NEED no coverage.
Sports are a useless waste of time, a distraction from what matters.
What matters in a democracy is to cover the subject matters that are relevant to policy decisions: war, environment, social issues, health care, conduct of government itself.

The press has degenerated to a reproduction of pre-spun news releases and insurance-adjuster "quality" images.

This is neither journalism not photography.
post #57 of 184

I wonder what Andy Ihnatko thinks of this... 

post #58 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

NYTimes title?: Popularity of iPhone Camera Results In Mass Layoff of Professional Photographers

 

You're being too generous. You need to make them sound more responsible:

 

post #59 of 184
Not to be childish, but you might want to edit the following:

With smartphones, or camera-toting feature phones, being nearly ubiquitous, an increasing number of news outlets are turning to the pubic for immediate "on the scene" shots.
post #60 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

 

I tried to find one with an iPhone, but surprisingly there doesn't seem to be anyone stupid enough to let their cat near their iPhone. Or, rather, there probably are people like that out there, but the iPhone would be their only camera so they couldn't take the picture of the cat… 

 

Love it!

post #61 of 184
maybe for reporting they'll switch to a string of text messages and tweets. paper will really save some $$$. capitalism always wins.
post #62 of 184
It's newspapers being cheap. The Seattle Times has decided to initiate a pay wall and they also have very few in house "home grown" articles. Most everything else is AP stories. So, I'm not surprised that the Chicago paper fired all of its staff photogs. It's all about the dollars saved.
post #63 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

You're being too generous. You need to make them sound more responsible:



Too soon? Nah, but I think I'm going to hell for laughing at this.
post #64 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by StruckPaper View Post

This is a mistake for at least two reasons.

 

First, the ubiquity of smartphones is not the right reason to fire photographers because equipment is not what makes a professional photog. John White didn't win his Pulitzer because of his equipment (which is no better than that of other professional photogs). He also didn't win it because he knew the basics of how to use a camera. He won it because he is an artist and an artisan. He knew when to take a photograph, where to take it and how to take it. You cannot pass on such instincts in a basic training course.

 

Second, sports photography does require professional equipment. No smartphone can produce the spectacular shots typically shown on the front page of the sports section. The sensor, optics and speed are totally inadequate.

 

If this story accurately represents what Chicago Sun-Times is planning to do, it is not a decision about iPhonegraphy being good enough tools. It is a decision to forsake photography as an important tool.

 

Not just sports photography. Any subject moving faster than a walking pace or in less than daylight is going to be a poor photo when it's a camera phone in the hands of someone also trying to be a reporter at the same time. They'd get better photos giving them $200 point-and-shoot cameras. I'm not saying an iPhone can't take good photos. It's possible to get great photos with an iPhone. But you'd get much more consistent results with a dedicated camera, even a mid-range point and shoot one (larger stabilized lens, better in low light, far less shutter lag, stronger flash, etc).

post #65 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

 

Not just sports photography. Any subject moving faster than a walking pace or in less than daylight is going to be a poor photo when it's a camera phone in the hands of someone also trying to be a reporter at the same time. They'd get better photos giving them $200 point-and-shoot cameras. I'm not saying an iPhone can't take good photos. It's possible to get great photos with an iPhone. But you'd get much more consistent results with a dedicated camera, even a mid-range point and shoot one (larger stabilized lens, better in low light, far less shutter lag, stronger flash, etc).


I agree with your comments and I think the article is not complete, since there is no way you can shoot sports photos with iPhone 5, I have tried! Chicago will probably use some freelancers to obtain the action packed moving pictures and you can use iPhone 5 for the others. Richness of colour may also be problem for iPhone 5 versus  dSLR.

Really sad news.

post #66 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Not
Not only do sports NEED no quality, sports NEED no coverage.
Sports are a useless waste of time, a distraction from what matters.
What matters in a democracy is to cover the subject matters that are relevant to policy decisions: war, environment, social issues, health care, conduct of government itself.

The press has degenerated to a reproduction of pre-spun news releases and insurance-adjuster "quality" images.

This is neither journalism not photography.

 

Not to say the topics you mention aren't important, but like it or not is' the sports that probably drive a pretty good chuck of their circulation volume. Lose the sports and you'll likely lose all those other things you want because the newspaper would go out of business

post #67 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by gwmac View Post

Print companies have to cut corners to stay in business. I just wonder if many will run out of corners to cut and go bankrupt as people get used to free online content. As a child everyone subscribed to the local newspaper and also several magazines as well. We are now the only house I see on our block with a newspaper box by our mailbox. I still think newspapers are important especially local ones where they offer news you just can't get anywhere else. We had a big corruption scandal involving the school superintendent that required months of in depth investigation and research before a full story could be done and this is something TV stations do not have the will or resources to do. Were it not for the local paper it is very likely this corruption would have continued unabated. 

In a few years smart phone cameras will continue to progress to the point that they are nearly as good as dedicated cameras. Already there are some phones using CMOS sensors with optical zoom available by Sharp and Toshiba in Japan. 


Re: Subscriptions.

My parents never had a newspaper subscription when I was growing up. Now that our local paper, the Wilmington News Journal, offers an online only subscription though my parents pay for an online subscription and read the news on their iPads all the time. I subscribe to the Economist, because I wanted access to their website. The magazine comes with the online subscription but I almost never look at them and they just pile up in my office until I put them in a box in the attic. If they offered an online only subscription for even a little less though I would definitely switch.

Anyways, my point is just because you don't see the paper on people's front step anymore doesn't mean everyone stopped paying for the local news. My parents are a great example of people who never paid for news before and now they do.

I also think (well, hope) that more local papers will switch to a model like the Tampa Bay Times. It's run as a non-profit. This leads to 1, excellent unbiased coverage and 2, less focus on the bottom line.
Edited by payeco - 5/31/13 at 10:11pm
post #68 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunabku View Post

 

What is newspaper resolution and more importantly what is newspaper quality?   The quality is significantly less than that of a magazine, and 6 megapixels would likely be more than enough for most newspaper photo resolutions - right?  So with 8 megapixels on the iphone you have room for downsizing which tightens up the image.  And the nominal quality of newspaper photos can easily be attained by the iphone given adequate lighting and minimized motion.

 

One megapixel is probably sufficient for newspaper resolution. By your reasoning, that as long as you have enough pixels you are fine (yes, I noted your caveats about light and motion), then they should have fired the photographers about 8 years ago. But they didn't, which suggests that there is far more to it than that. And what is a reporter to do? "Councilman, before they cart you off to jail could you step over here into the light and stand still so I can get your photo to put on the front page of my newspaper?"

 

I'm not even saying that firing the photographers was necessarily a bad decision. The economics may have required such a drastic measure. Thinking that a camera phone in the hands of a reporter is a suitable replacement is where they fail. Technology can make an average person a better photographer (despite the photography purist's arguments posted here), but a camera phone, including the iPhone, doesn't really yet have enough of that technology to make up for a professional publication not having dedicated photographers.

post #69 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post


That's not how it works. Many freelancers are out and about and go to where there's breaking news. They take pictures and turn them in, if any get used then they get paid.

 

Yes, the Paparrazi syndrome.

post #70 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post

Not
Not only do sports NEED no quality, sports NEED no coverage.
Sports are a useless waste of time, a distraction from what matters.
What matters in a democracy is to cover the subject matters that are relevant to policy decisions: war, environment, social issues, health care, conduct of government itself.

The press has degenerated to a reproduction of pre-spun news releases and insurance-adjuster "quality" images.

This is neither journalism not photography.

Sports is near real time on their websites. Sports sells and people want to SEE plays and greatness. Print is 10 hours late at best. Compare to seeing a high quality image of the overweight, pockmarked, slobbering, red faced, rambling, nut case of a politician vs. the focused intensity of the ugliest of athlete draining the three at the buzzer. Which matters in pictures? How's C-SPAN doing with viewers?

Perhaps a challenge for democracy is seeing pretty and not listening then thinking? High quality images solve that?

It's a business and the freelance market will fill the void.
post #71 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by souliisoul View Post


I agree with your comments and I think the article is not complete, since there is no way you can shoot sports photos with iPhone 5, I have tried! Chicago will probably use some freelancers to obtain the action packed moving pictures and you can use iPhone 5 for the others. Richness of colour may also be problem for iPhone 5 versus  dSLR.

Really sad news.

There are lots of situations where an iPhone won't do. Sports is the main one, of course. But anything that requires a long lens or a narrow depth of field must be post processed and the results are very mixed.It is great that journalists are taught to use their iPhones - they are very capable cameras, but it is sad to see Photography as a valued profession so diminished. I am also troubled at how news gathering is becoming a one person job. And even journalists are losing their jobs. Increasingly all news comes from one very narrow limited source.

post #72 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by rcfa View Post


Neither the newspaper nor the people commenting here get it.
It's not the camera that takes the picture but the eye of the photographer.
No matter of the "quality" of the iPhone camera, it has no control over depth of field, focal length, etc.
The iPhone may be the best point and shoot camera, but except for a few lucky occasions that happen to call for the phone's setup, it just won't be the proper tool.
There is a difference between taking a picture like an insurance adjuster or telling a story in an image like a good photographer will do.

The premise here is that photographers are just button pushers and that their "technical" know-how has been superceded by better hardware.

Nothing could be further from the truth, if anything, technology allows photographers to focus on the story telling without getting caught up in the technicalities.

What's next? Replacing journalists with fifth-graders because they already know how to spell the majority of the words?

Journalism isn't spelling, and photography isn't button pushing.

The management of that newspaper is who should get laid off.

 

Most of these idiots think they can be an action sports photographer, shoot pics for Playboy and become multi-millionaires.

post #73 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


They must have been and will continue using freelance for stuff that needs close ups and quality like sports.

They might go for syndicated content rather than maintain their own staff.

post #74 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by hmm View Post

They might go for syndicated content rather than maintain their own staff.

90% of my local rag is AP and syndicated. If I feel the need to see images of new, I don't wait for the 5 a.m. delivery of the Dallas Morning News that was inked 5 hours prior.
post #75 of 184
Sad.

But then, professional photography is not a money-making business except for those lucky few. The average professional photographer earns $30,000 a year for the rest of their life - from which they have to spend much on equipment to keep up to date with technology. Even a school teacher can make much more. Those photographers that augment their income by teaching others photography are the ones who are most likely to earn a more livable income.

In the hands of a pro, the iPhone can do a very credible job as a camera. Some pros even publish books of photos taken with their iPhone.

In the News business, amateurs have the upper hand on the pros since they are on the scene immediately. Pros have to travel and are thus often there late.
post #76 of 184
Reporters beware, you're next. Who needs professional writers when the blogosphere is available? Professionals Not Needed. No wonder newspapers are failing, they are run by bean counters, not edittors. Bye bye Sun Times. You will soon follow the Daily News and Herald into obscurity.
post #77 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

Most of these idiots think they can be an action sports photographer, shoot pics for Playboy and become multi-millionaires.

Who you callin, "these idiots"? 1wink.gif
post #78 of 184

News reporters as one man bands with their own self-contained camera and data uplink. Reminds me of Max Headroom or the reporter from Mass Effect 3.

post #79 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by StruckPaper View Post

This is a mistake for at least two reasons.

[...]

Second, sports photography does require professional equipment. No smartphone can produce the spectacular shots typically shown on the front page of the sports section. The sensor, optics and speed are totally inadequate.

[...]

 

There're plenty of freelance sports photographer and independent photo agency out there to fulfill that kind of details. This way, they only pay for the picture and not their own staffs pay, benefits etc.
post #80 of 184

The late Roger Ebert, of the Sun-Times, who appreciated quality photography like no other, would be highly critical of this move, methinks.  

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