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Chicago Sun-Times axes all staff photographers, offers reporters 'iPhoneography training' - Page 3

post #81 of 184

The point here is not the iPhone camera quality.

This is about (underestimating) us, the readers - who are, unfortunately, not ready to pay for the quality of truth but for entertainment. This leads (has led) to communication that relies on rumours and speculation, and fills our mundane with speculations of “how flat will the next iOS design be” -kind of empty news.

The news become surreal, a hallucination, like a photograph - a two dimensional image of our life, making headlines of iPhone using iPhone screenshots for illustration, read with our iPhones and re-communicated to others via facebook sharing or tweets.

A photograph can not tell the truth of an event, but only make us aware of an event (Susan Sontag On Photography). What if the amateurish photograph cannot fulfil even this requirement, and the journalistic narrative is lacking depth (because the person responsible for getting the facts right, was too busy clicking the iPhone) - what kind of a truth can we expect from a newspaper? RUMOURS, nothing more.

Chicago Sun-Times is unfortunately not the only paper heading this way…

post #82 of 184
"an increasing number of news outlets are turning to the pubic"...

exactly what I was thinking.
post #83 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

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.


Very true.

post #84 of 184
Things are bad enough already with publications like Wired sourcing sub standard imagery from Flickr instead of paying for already low priced stock photography. Yes, there are good images on Flickr, I'm not talking about that, rather the actual bad shots Wired will use for their 'no budget' online articles.

The iPhone is a poor alternative to the cheapest DSLR for photography, the biggest hole in its armour is its low light performance. An iPhone 4s is better than an iPhone 5 in this respect, but it comes down to basic physics, the sensors on phones are very small physically so the individual pixel wells (detectors) are very small compared to those on a DSLR. This results in poor quality in low light conditions.

The other massive problem is the fixed focal length on the iPhone, its too wide for most news gathering, and for a few notable cases not wide enough.

No doubt this paper is dying anyway so firing the photographers is just a death rattle, some of the photos will be fine, others not.
post #85 of 184
This is rediculous on so many levels.
Perhaps the level that makes it most sad is that the industry is looking at the web traffic and says "Hey, look at all these user forums, Facebook, Instagram... Look at all the traffic! This is the kind of images people are used to nowadays. They don't care about fine quality. They care about urgency. We need to post images right there and then!"
post #86 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChristophB View Post


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.

Well they may continue to go that direction and fill in with the iphoneography for local stuff. I suspect there is much more to their business plan than that, as it is unlikely to buy them much time. It's difficult to say much about newspapers. Many of them depended on local advertising content to pay the bills. I'm unsure how they would go after new subscribers today.

post #87 of 184
I understand the paper wants to move forward toward the future of photography, what I dont understand is why didnt they just train the staff who got fired on the iPhone instead? Everyone would have been happy. The paper got what they wanted and the photographers kept their jobs.
post #88 of 184
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 doesn't matter when photo's of events in real time are hitting social sites before a dedicated photographer even has time to pack up their gear and head out.

As a matter of fact before the paper even gets a chance to tell them where something is happening, it's already too late.
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post #89 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by realpaulfreeman View Post


The iPhone is a poor alternative to the cheapest DSLR for photography, the biggest hole in its armour is its low light performance. An iPhone 4s is better than an iPhone 5 in this respect, but it comes down to basic physics, the sensors on phones are very small physically so the individual pixel wells (detectors) are very small compared to those on a DSLR. This results in poor quality in low light conditions.
 

 

Really? I thought the 5 was meant to be superior to the 4s in low light conditions?

..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
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..... the greatest fame comes from adding to human knowledge, not winning battles.
Paraphrased from Napolean Bonaparte, 1798
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post #90 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

The main thing that annoys me when people use their phone cameras is when morons shoot video holding their phones vertical

Portrait video is indeed stupid, and I always point it out to someone who is holding it wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hank Carter View Post

Cameras don't take pictures. People take pictures.

You, like many many other posters here understand this. Managers in the wrong places, cutting costs - not so much.
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post #91 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTR View Post

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:



Wowie! And lol on the Snow White!
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post #92 of 184
I agree that this is a bad move by The Chicago Sun-Times.
Has stated already it's not just photography it's the art, experience & creativity
capturing that 1 moment or many!
Also in how it tells the story & said photographers words expressed within
the moment in reporting.

Just basic reporting these days has lost a lot to quick & clumsy reporting
or more commonly know as Blogging.
Wether it's on tech, environment, social-developments some have gone
down a quick easy path & forget to source, substantiate.

Another thing with digital media "desktop or mobile" you can access
the image given & enlarge it to full capacity & if allowed save it use
it has a desktop etc.

Now with going mobile only will reduce the quality of images seen around the
world, although Sonys latest mobile-cam is quite good at capturing images in
difficult light. The CST should have at least started with only 2 or 3 first to
test the results.
post #93 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

This is stupid. Being a good photographer isn't just training. It's experience and creativity that's makes them shine. Just because you can take a pic of your cat doesn't make you a prof photog.

No but taking a video of a plane crashing, because you just happen to be in the right spot at the right time might just outweigh that slightly.
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post #94 of 184

Hopefully you understand that those two towers came down on purpose and not from any typer of terroist type of threat.

 

Some words misspelled on purpose.

post #95 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.

Those photos will be handled by freelancers, especially the sports photography.

Go back ten to fifteen years and it was done using film, twenty or thirty years, manually retouched and typeset.

The world changes and moves on.

That's life.
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post #96 of 184
Due to my subscription to The Times digital edition where I get the paper everyday, the company now gets twice what I used to pay them on a monthly basis where previously I purchased only the Sunday paper.

Now in addition to reading my digital Sunday paper I buy a rival hard copy paper on Sunday as a replacement to 'hold and shuffle' during Sunday morning coffee.

My digital subscription gives me access to the paper via a web browser where I can copy articles to my Evernote account. It's a wonderful convenience.

Lastly my digital subscription also provides discounted offers and occasionally movie previews. Those were important sweeteners in my consideration to purchase.
————

Any claims that the iPhone camera is not up to the job will be dispelled by reading the links below. Whether the person using the iPhone is up to the job is another matter.


If it's good enough for NatGeo?
http://photography.nationalgeographic.co.uk/photography/photo-tips/iphone-photography-tips/

http://www.iphoneography.com/

http://www.ippawards.com/?project=2012-winners

The course that almost was:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardian-masterclasses/iphone-photography-course

http://iphonephotographyschool.com/
post #97 of 184
"The Sun Times is willing to take a chance, however, and believes that with the proper training, reporters can gather images at 'a quality high enough' to publish." A quality high enough ...... yep, that says it all about newspapers nowadays. Why make it better, this is "good enough". And they wonder why they're losing their customer base daily. Pathetic.
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post #98 of 184

So you need to be an experienced professional photographer in order to use a DSLR, but you just need a few training weeks to use an iPhone? I thought the camera isn't what makes a photographer. Welcome to the "post-Mac" era. People who don't understand why I hate the "post-Mac" Apple so much, will realize in the coming years. Microsoft, in their most arrogant years, was like Bambi compared to the "post-Mac" Apple.

post #99 of 184

Well said. I work with lay-outs and graphics in a local newspaper. Some of my work is preparing photos for print, mostly from our journalists, with great SLR Nikon/Canons. For years they've had training sessions, courses and so on, and honestly only two of around twenty has stepped up to delivering decent shots.Luckily though, the paper has kept a couple of professional photographers, making our issues look a little less crap. 

post #100 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

So you need to be an experienced professional photographer in order to use a DSLR, but you just need a few training weeks to use an iPhone? I thought the camera isn't what makes a photographer. Welcome to the "post-Mac" era. People who don't understand why I hate the "post-Mac" Apple so much, will realize in the coming years. Microsoft, in their most arrogant years, was like Bambi compared to the "post-Mac" Apple.

 

 

But then the question remains : who killed Bambi ? Well, I don't know, but I have the answer to the question : who killed Ronald Mc Donald ?

 

 

 

AppleMark

 

 

Credit : Giuseppe Venezianno sculpture, Venezia (not an iPhone shot ....)

post #101 of 184
It will all end in tears.
post #102 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

It will all end in tears.

 

 

Not necessarily ...

 

 

 

 

(same artist)

post #103 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

Wowie! And lol on the Snow White!

Just a little Easter egg I threw in.

Well spotted!
post #104 of 184
It's local news coverage that will suffer here. Most newspapers use syndicated images and copy, particularly for national and international news. Im sure there were several great photographers who've been let go, and that's a mistake. But likely the staff was mostly semi-pro level (I'm guessing this based on my experience as a freelance photog with the Chicago Tribune). Still, I think they'll run into many cases where local news covered with an iphone will result in subpar photos that will not be run, where the dslr version would have made the cut.
post #105 of 184
This is interesting. If it's successful, the staff photographer and reporter job classifications could be morphing significantly. Or it could simply be another swan song of a large newspaper.

Has Andy Ihnatko weighed in on this, yet? Doesn't he work for the Sun-Times?

Daniel Swanson

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Daniel Swanson

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post #106 of 184
I suspect the report is a little dramatic for click bait. I'm sure the paper will be using professionals, just freelancers from now on ... and 'the training on iPhones' is an additional piece of news that placed along with the 'move to end the staff photographers' (i.e. use freelancers) makes the story read differently.

The way this article is written guaranteed a series of arguments over the merits of an iPhone camera versus a Canon D6 with a 300 mm IS, 2.8 lens (etc.). This succeeded in the way all news succeeds these days ... folks rise to the bait like trained carp 1oyvey.gif


Edited by digitalclips - 6/1/13 at 6:44am
Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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Been using Apple since Apple ][ - Long on AAPL so biased
nMac Pro 6 Core, MacBookPro i7, MacBookPro i5, iPhones 5 and 5s, iPad Air, 2013 Mac mini, SE30, IIFx, Towers; G4 & G3.
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post #107 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Splash-reverse View Post

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.

That would be the more important consideration IMO. I don't think it has anything to do with DSLR vs iPhone but hiring freelancers or even licensing photos when they are needed. The iPhone 5 can take pretty good pictures as the samples here show:

http://www.slashgear.com/iphone-5-camera-samples-take-on-pureview-and-more-13247430/

Here's a test by a photographer using an iPhone 5 and a Canon 5D:

http://www.redmondpie.com/camera-test-iphone-5-vs-canon-5d-mark-iii-professional-dslr-images/

When a reporter is on the scene, they can snap a photo, email it, have it corrected to see if it's good enough for print or more likely online publishing and email in the story too. Then they get the first views. If they need better photos, they can license them from a freelance photographer or hire one.

The iPhone is still quite bad at low light but this can improve in future models:

http://www.extremetech.com/extreme/157082-graphene-sensor-is-1000-times-more-sensitive-to-light-could-enable-ultra-low-light-photography

They can improve stabilisation, resolution and apps can take care of some other things:

http://mattebox.com/iphone/camera/index.html
post #108 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecs View Post

So you need to be an experienced professional photographer in order to use a DSLR, but you just need a few training weeks to use an iPhone? I thought the camera isn't what makes a photographer. Welcome to the "post-Mac" era. People who don't understand why I hate the "post-Mac" Apple so much, will realize in the coming years. Microsoft, in their most arrogant years, was like Bambi compared to the "post-Mac" Apple.

Apple still sells Macs. And they still want you to buy them.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #109 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Surprising a paper still had staff photographers. Freelancers would probably be less expensive and more widely available.

They're probably not all based in Chicago.
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #110 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

And in other news, all Holywood directors and cinematographers have been fired. in their place, LA taxi cab drivers have been given iPhones, and 15 minutes of training, to shoot all future feature films. A Holywood studio executive stated, " who needs to spend all this money on artistic talent when any three year old with an iPhone can do this job".

Given what Steven Soderbergh just said about studio execs; that they don't watch movies, you're probably not too far off.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #111 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vadania View Post

Hopefully you understand that those two towers came down on purpose and not from any typer of terroist type of threat.

Some words misspelled on purpose.

In that case, hairs ure tine file hate Sir.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of the rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #112 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


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.


I'll just leave this here

 

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/

post #113 of 184
It would have made more sense to keep the photographers and to have fired the reporters. One thing the web has shown is that visual content is more important than prose.
post #114 of 184
Unfortunately, this is one of the most common trends in corporate America: combine two jobs into one in order to make the balance sheet look better in the short-term. Never mind that it's unlikely to have a positive impact on the products/services that the company is selling. Never mind that eliminating jobs on a regular basis is the ultimate boneheaded strategy when the largest segment of the American economy is the consumer economy, and the largest part of that consumer economy is the general workforce. But, yeah, most executives aren't paid to be smart these days. They're just paid to eliminate someone else's pay, not come up with ideas on how to grow the business.
post #115 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

It would have made more sense to keep the photographers and to have fired the reporters. One thing the web has shown is that visual content is more important than prose.

I agree, and therefore go to this site:

http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/
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post #116 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.

 

 

It's probably a decision of cost management. 28 photographers at $60+ year plus benefits is probably just over $2M per year savings. So maybe it's not about a Pulitzer for the photographer, but rather cost saving for a industry struggling in the post-printed news age. 

post #117 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Surprising a paper still had staff photographers. Freelancers would probably be less expensive and more widely available.

 

Yes, and you would pay them by the print, not by the hour. 

post #118 of 184
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdriftmeyer View Post

 

Why? It's Chicago. You have millions of citizens and hundreds of news locations on a daily basis. Having a staff is far simpler to delegate stories to than to have an on-call group of independent people who may or may not be ready.

 

on-call? Freelancers would take the pictures and then sell them to the news outlet. So as a freelancer, it would be my job to be on the scene as news was happening. No one to manage that process, no one being paid when news was not happening, and you drastically increase your pool of photographers. 

post #119 of 184
Some of the points about the image quality required for use online at low resolutions are valid, but only if you have a good enough image in the first place.

The iPhone is a hugely useful tool for journalists but if you try to use one to zoom several hundred metres past a cordon of riot police, or to capture a usable image of a moving subject in low light then you're going to run into difficulties. There are some situations in which what you need, if you actually want a good image, is a pro-level camera in the hands of someone who knows how to use it.

Struckpaper is right. This is about downgrading photography.
post #120 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. 

 

I think one of the concerns is that news moves too fast for print. By the time you print it, it is old. Same with the imagery. You take all that expense grabbing an excellent image, and 20 seconds later, a new news headline hits and your image is 4 pages deep online. 

 

Back in the day, as you recall, people actually cared about the news and took the time to stay involved : )

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