Newspaper replaces professional photographers with iPhone-wielding reporters

By Shawn Knight ยท 38 replies
Feb 28, 2014
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  1. A reputable newspaper in central Florida is eliminating its entire photography department. In what it calls a restructuring effort designed to increase the quality of video on its site, the Orlando Sentinel will instead send reporters out in the field...

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  2. We'll see how far that gets them. Newspapers are dying out anyways.
  3. Haha, giving an interview to some chick with an iphone.
  4. To say you can't shoot high quality with an iphone... well, ironcially, you are doing it wrong...
    dennis777 and cliffordcooley like this.
  5. Newspapers dying out? Really?! That's news to me...

    I'm not even sure what the other two comments really mean...

    Guesting it up in here...

    trillionsin reporting in
  6. If they're as serious about their writing department as they are about their photography department, they're probably not worth reading anyway.
  7. Professional photographers means high pay grade VS iSheep Herd with iPhones mean low/negligible pay?
    are photojournalists are a dying breed? I think real photographers with "DSLR cameras" can shoot and produce greater picture qualities than phone cameras.
  8. Hasbean

    Hasbean TS Booster Posts: 112   +29

    The infotainment-isation of the main stream media propaganda machine is simply the next elevation of Edward Bernays' tool for iSheeple management.
    So, what if the presstitues are taking the photos of the next fat/thin celeb, quality is of no matter, when iSheeple are too engrossed in gorging on rubbish.
  9. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    Seriously in this day and age, anyone can take a newspaper quality snapshot. I don't understand why you would say that. What are you expecting 4K quality with perfect lighting in a black and white 2 inch square? There is no sense in a newspaper maintaining a professional quality camera as a requirement for hiring photographers. The last time I checked the quality of paper used in newspapers have not improve over the last few decades. Has your newspaper started using paper that supports photo quality prints? I'm curious because around here, they damn sure haven't.
    Jad Chaar and Skidmarksdeluxe like this.
  10. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    It makes sense to me to use a cheap snapper like a smartphones, just bung it into the journo's hand and it saves money. Who really cares about the quality of a photograph in a newspaper anyway, just as long as the reader can get the gist. The story counts for more.
    Jad Chaar, cliffordcooley and misor like this.
  11. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,283   +242

    as newspapers are transforming into online editions, there is a need to maintain high quality photos for subscribers to see.
    as for photo use in paper editions, I prefer high quality photos too!
    I'm a Filipino with access to Philippine dailies (Philippine daily inquirer, manila bulletin, Philippine star) and the headline photos are usually high quality ones. I have not seen any foreign newspaper so no comment in this regard.
    (before my grandpa died many years ago, I used to read his old newsweek magazines and I also like the photos there.)
    Mike Steele likes this.
  12. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    A reasonably decent smartphone will only give you decent photos in a small range of circumstances. There is a reason the Pap use cameras with telephoto lenses. Take for example a marathon run. You may not be able to get close enough with a smartphone. Especially if you want to get a picture of a local Olympic hero.
  13. Wow, someone found a use for an iPhone that wasn't Angry Birds.
  14. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    You're unbelievably, unequivocally, and ostensibly unrepentantly wrong. A massive amount of quality is lost in the reproduction process. I'm guessing if you start with a high quality capture, the reproduction process will turn it into crap. If you start with crap, there's no telling what you'll get.

    In many cases, that, "2 x 2 square", is a small crop made from a much larger frame. For example, a photo taken from behind a fire or crime scene line

    A cell phone camera can't in any way shape or form, deal with high speed, long distance, low light action or sports photography. There are $10,000.oo lenses for that.

    And the digital zoom used in many cheap digital cameras is patently worthless.

    Newspapers simply don't want to maintain the armada of equipment and talent necessary to bring back decent photos. And true, they can no longer afford to.

    A crew on the street with cell phones, is a paradigm of imbeciles serving imbeciles.

    If I had to try and take decent pictures with a cell phone camera, I wouldn't even bother leaving the house.
  15. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    You have got to be joking. You can't tell me phones today will not take the same quality picture of high dollar cameras 30 years ago. Newspapers quality has not change hardly at all the last 50 years.

    Your not gonna get a glossy image painted on a brick wall. That is basically what you are doing if you print a high quality image on a newspaper quality paper. If you are going to use **** paper, it doesn't matter what quality camera is used.

    I'll admit zoom quality with an optical lens, would be a bonus. However lighting with a phone camera today is not so much an issue, especially if you're going to print on crappy paper.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Look what you made me do. I broke my silence toward your postings. I bet that was your goal all along.
  16. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    Sorry but Captain Cranky is right. Do you have any experience with photography? I use an old 4 MP camera with 10x optical zoom which outperforms my 8 MP smartphone. To get decent pictures you need large lenses. Even the top range smart phones do not perform as well as a mid range consumer camera.
  17. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    What is wrong with you people?

    If you are going to use **** paper, there is no need in using a quality camera period. If newspapers were made out of photo paper, I could understand your argument. This is one of those things, where you can't make a brick house out of hay.

    As for the optical zoom (and cropping), I was agreeing!
  18. Railman

    Railman TS Booster Posts: 708   +101

    But newspapers do sell photos to 3rd parties and quality is important then. Whilst I agree that newspapers do not print on high quality paper the fact remains that many shots would not appear half decent if shot with smartphones. The composition of the shots would be different or impossible. Take for instance if a historic aeroplane flew over with a smartphone it would resemble a small item in the distance. With a proper camera you can zoom in and see the details of the plane. With a smartphone you would end up with a pixelated mess.

    Not only that I doubt that many journalists would be capable of taking decent photos even with professional equipment.
  19. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    I actually will tell you that an iphone wont take as good a quality picture as a high end camera from 30 years ago. For one you have limitless resolution on the old cameras, you had OPTICAL zoom, and better performance in a variety of lighting situations. We live in some sort of day in age where people convince themselves that their iphones take great pictures - but thats because people hardly ever see pictures from DSLR cameras from people who know what they are doing.
    As cranky said, if a newspaper makes great pictures look bad, it will make bad pictures even worse. The vast majority of the pictures taken with my 5th gen ipod are already fuzzy-it scares me to think what they would appear like on newspapers....

    Look, this is going to turn out fine for the consumers as they dont give a crap, they are used to seeing iphone pictures. But it makes professionals and even hobbyists cringe and honestly, in this situation, I would stop supporting this paper because of this decision. Theres a reason there were/are professional photographers.
  20. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,997   +1,317

  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,715   +3,696

    Let me share the first picture of a newspaper I came across.
    Those images are worse quality than the majority of phones are capable of. And that is not even nitpicking the lack in quality because of paper used. Newspapers do not need professional quality images. And the comment about newspapers going digital. Do I need to mention the concept of not calling it a newspaper, if it is not printed on paper.
  22. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 2,997   +1,317

    You are just proving the point. The lack of quality in those pictures is apparent, especially from a DSLR camera. using IPHONE pictures there? that would be laughable, im-taking-selfies-for-facebook quality...
  23. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,975   +2,527

    The crux of this issue is money, not photographic quality. If what your, "sports photos", are going to be, consists of sending some hottie to the locker room, to grab a couple of snaps of the local, "franchise player", modeling his jock strap, then you're good to go with a cell phone.

    Using an all digital image path will negate some of the losses in the reproduction process. So, add a small bit on the plus side for the phone.

    But basically, newspapers are too broke to afford photographers, and would like you to buy into this spin on photojournalism.

    I say this because my two "home town rags", (The Philadelphia Inquirer, and it sister publication, The Philadelphia Daily News), have sailed through some really rough waters, in the "Red Sea". The " Sea of Red Ink", that is.

    Anyway, a picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say.

    Here's one of my personal favorites: [​IMG]

    And the attending article:

    BTW, to whom to may concern, I have an AAS in photography which included a semester of photojournalism, to back up what I've said.

    Now, I've showed you mine, please feel free to show me yours...

    I'm sure you've noticed that the first photo, is an, "apples to oranges" comparison. It asks you to draws a comparison between a warm, incandescent light portrait of an "fascinating character", and "winter's wrath". (?s he an "engineer for the railroad)?, Who knows right? But he is an appealing character, for sure. The photo you're supposed to judge it against, is a winter landscape, cold, bleak, & depressing, taken with a wide angle lens. There's virtually no "center of interest" and even less "human interest".

    So, which photo do to LIKE better?

    My point being, the "test", started out as psychological survey, and if my life comes down to needing my head shrunk with an iPhone version of, "Siri Freud ", I would be better to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge.

    And "brave sir guest poster", I actually never tire of being right, and I surely never get tired of arguing with you! Until we meet again....(n), (or not).
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
    Enthusiast likes this.
  24. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974


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