Category Archives: newspaper

BBC Interview On Iconic Photography

Live Interview On BBC World News

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Thrilled to have permission from the BBC to share this clip of myself and journalism student Wilton Jackson from the University of Baton Rouge being interviewed on a segment about iconic photography.

The segment was based around the superb photograph from the Baton Rouge protest (July 10th, 2016) by Reuters photographer Jonathan Bachman.

This clip is being used with full permission of the BBC (Global Planning Editor, BBC News, London). This was a live broadcast on July 21st, 2016.

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Staging and Manipulation

How Far Can Photojournalists Go?

Professional Photographer Magazine May 2016

During the Photography Show earlier this year, I was part of a discussion panel for Professional Photography magazine along with my talented friend and colleague Paul Sanders and the talented Elisabeth Blanchet and Martin Middlebrook. It was a fascinating hour long discussion on staging, manipulation, ethics, the press and photojournalism. I’m happy to share that the text from the discussion is featured in the May issue of Professional Photography magazine, over six pages, which is now on sale.

You can get a copy of the May issue, or a subscription to the magazine HERE. Hope you enjoy the read and feel free to carry the discussion on here in the comments section if you wish.

A Note To Editors, Publishers And Newspaper Owners

How To Succeed In The Newspaper Industry

It’s alarming to see in recent years the closure of photographic departments (e.g. the Chicago Sun Times and countless weekly local papers) and the way great photography is cut from once brilliant newspapers. If someone with no understanding of newspapers, or business generally, wants to cut costs and increase profitability, the simple and easy thing to do is get rid of what costs the most; often this is the photographic department. The reasons are simple; camera gear and computer gear, including software, is expensive and sending photographers all over the country and the world accumulates in cost. After all, unlike journalists who can work many thousands of miles from a story, rewriting press releases or doing interviews over the phone, the photographer has to be there, in person. This is one of the aspects which makes photography the truest form of journalism; you can’t photograph what you can’t witnessA photograph is the only unaltered truth from a story.

State visit to Britain by US President Barack Obama.  Karl Court & Andrew Parsons in the press area. Downing Street, London. May 25, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

State visit to Britain by US President Barack Obama. Carl Court & Andrew Parsons in the press area. Downing Street, London. May 25, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

So, easy, let’s cut out or cut down the photography department and use user generated content; a big mistake; putting aside that often these are aesthetically weak and do not communicate the story, the source of the imagery is also unknown and therefore cannot be trusted. A good and unfortunate example is the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing where the Police were chasing the wrong suspects as they were led astray by “citizen journalists”. The other option is of course to use the wire services; excellent agencies like AP are journalistically, ethically and morally sound, often producing great content. Only problem is, this content’s available to all your competitors, blogs (both proper or run by individuals as a glorified hobby) and available for free on search engines.

There is also the option of giving iPhones to the reporters; after all, anybody can take a picture, right? Wrong! Many more people write than take photographs, so by this frankly idiotic reasoning, newspapers should certainly get rid of all writers as well.

Anyone can take a picture; just as anyone can write a word, sing a song, write a poem, paint a painting, run, jump, kick a ball, make a paper aeroplane; it doesn’t mean that they can do these things well, let alone properly and at a high level. It certainly doesn’t make these people photographers, journalists, singers, poets, artists, athletes, professional footballers or aeronautical designers and engineers. When it comes to things journalistic, a level of trust is needed as it’s important to get the facts right, be they in words or in pictures. Relying on pictures from bystanders (even if the term Citizen Journalist has come about, it doesn’t mean bystanders have the first idea about journalistic practice, value or ethics) and publishing these is a tragic mistake for all the various reasons outlined.

State visit to Britain by US President Barack Obama.  Photographers setting up remote cameras in order to get a second angle to their shooting positions. Downing Street, London. May 25, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

State visit to Britain by US President Barack Obama. Photographers setting up remote cameras in order to get a second angle to their shooting positions. Downing Street, London. May 25, 2011. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

At this point, you’ve ruined the quality of your newspaper and at best made it generic and at worst made it awful. Content is king. At this point, any businessman will tell you that you never mess with the essence of your product; you product is what keeps the company afloat. Give the consumer a reason not buy your product and they will stop buying. Loads of options there on the free market. Result? Your sales go down, advertisers at first barter for cheaper rates and then stop advertising. Your newspaper fails and closes. Whoops.

Look at the Daily Mail website and how astonishingly popular it is; ask yourselves why? Is it because many millions like to read the paper’s occasional almost racist stance on things or is it because the paper’s web presence has embraced photography and publishes the best photography available, daily, and thus pushes up it’s visitor numbers and has elevated the website to being one of the most popular in the world, often overtaking the NY Times? Clearly, it’s not the writing, it’s the power of photography.

So, “How To Succeed”. Dear editor, publisher or newspaper owner, people are moved by great photography. It catches their eye on the news stand and online and attracts them to your paper and the story. People never remember a great article they read months ago or a great piece of video footage from years ago. They will however remember pictures they saw decades ago. This is how a human being’s mind works and as this is your target audience, you should pay attention to the power of great photography and the effect it has. Just because you see great iPhone pictures produced by professional photographers, it doesn’t mean giving your reporters an iPhone is going to bring similar results. Just as a keyboard doesn’t make people award winning writers and a pot doesn’t make everyone a Michelin Star chef, a camera (be it a Leica, Canon, Olympus or an iPhone) doesn’t make everyone a photographer.

BRITAIN MANDELA 90TH BIRTHDAY CONCERT

In it’s day, The Independent was a great paper. It ran powerful, intelligent photography. They saved costs, got rid of the country’s best photographers. Now look at what the paper’s turned into; such a shame, such a waste. Realise that great photography and writing go hand in hand; marry this with great design and you have a winning formula.

This philosophy applies to local weekly, regional, evening, and national papers. Respect your readership and give them good material and they will stay true to you.

Now, go and hire some great photographers, produce a great newspaper, win awards, be proud, sell loads of copies, get many hits on your website, sell adverts and make your many, many millions.

Addendum:

As if proof were needed: The Chicago Sun-Times has now hired back four of the photographers it fired. Good to see that eventually they came to their senses (probably spurred on by a loss in advertising revenue) and realised what a vital role quality and journalistically accurate photography plays in a newspaper. More HERE

Commended; Nikon Videographer Of The Year

UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards 2013

The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | http://www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | http://www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

Kate Silverton at the Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

Kate Silverton at the Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | http://www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

Huge congratulations to all the winners at the UK Picture Editors’ Guild Awards evening at the Honourable Artillery Company in London. Some truly amazing photography was shown, recognised and appreciated.

Edmond Terakopian with his commended award for the Nikon Videographer of the Year category. The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

Edmond Terakopian with his commended award for the Nikon Videographer of the Year category. The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | http://www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

The Picture Editors Guild Awards 2013. The Honourable Artillery Company, London. November 04, 2013. Photo: Nick Ray | http://www.nickrayphotography.co.uk

I’m pleased to say I made the shortlist and was commended in the Nikon Videographer of the Year category for my short documentary film on the Electric Coffee Company in Ealing, west London.

There will be an exhibition of the photographs (sadly not including the short films) at the Museum of London, from today (November 6th) to the 16th of March 2014. For more details please visit their website.

Many thanks to the fabulous Nick Ray for providing some photographs from the evening.

On a technical note, the video was shot using a Leica M (Type 240) and Leica lenses. For more details on the tools used, please see my earlier post on this.

Fleet Street Photo Exhibition

50 Press Photographs at “The Fleet Street Press” Coffee and Tea House

Authentic Fleets Street Photograph

Fleet Street is synonymous with British Newspapers – the “press”. Even though the last newspaper left the street over 20 years ago, the industry is still referred to as “Fleet Street” and as such, the street has a special symbolism for press photographers and journalists alike.

Setting up the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition at "The Fleet Street Press" Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. April 21, 2013. Photo: ©Jonathan Buckmaster

Setting up the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition at “The Fleet Street Press” Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. April 21, 2013. Photo: ©Jonathan Buckmaster

The exhibition is a collection of work from press photographers working for the national papers, international wire agencies and local papers around the country. It’s an insight into the world of press photography, covering wars, politics, features, portraits, disasters, press conferences and sports.

Setting up the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition at "The Fleet Street Press" Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. April 21, 2013. Photo: ©Jonathan Buckmaster

Setting up the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition at “The Fleet Street Press” Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. April 21, 2013. Photo: ©Jonathan Buckmaster

Images that are hard hitting, thought provoking or quirky; you’ll find the full gamut. We are not the paparazzi and as such, you won’t find any of that genre of image here. We are where the news is; we find the truth, we witness history and we are the eyes of the British public who rely on us to bring the news.

Setting up the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition at "The Fleet Street Press" Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. April 21, 2013. Photo: ©Jonathan Buckmaster

Setting up the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition at “The Fleet Street Press” Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. April 21, 2013. Photo: ©Jonathan Buckmaster

On a personal level, it’s with great pleasure that I share the news that two of my images have been selected to be exhibited in the Fleet Street Photo Exhibition:

Poo And The Band. Winnie The Poo lines up with the band in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace for the children's party. June 25, 2006. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Poo And The Band. Winnie The Poo lines up with the band in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace for the children’s party. June 25, 2006. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Love Your Job. A heavy downpour of rain soaks pedestrians and a businessman, as they pass an illuminated advertising sign saying "Love Your Job". Hammersmith, London. January 14, 2011. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

Love Your Job. A heavy downpour of rain soaks pedestrians and a businessman, as they pass an illuminated advertising sign saying “Love Your Job”. Hammersmith, London. January 14, 2011. Photo: ©Edmond Terakopian

The exhibition will be open to the public from Monday, April 22nd, 2013 and is going to be a long term, evolving exhibition of work by press photographers. The images on display will be for sale. Each of the 50 photos is 40cmx30cm (A3’ish, including border) and printed on fibre based Baryta paper. Each sale will be printed to order and posted to the buyer within 7-10 working days. Each image is £150 and will be embossed with the Fleet Street Photograph logo. It’s a great opportunity to buy some great images at a great price.

Venue Details

“The Fleet Street Press” Coffee and Tea House, 3 Fleet Street, EC4Y 1AU, London. Opening times are 6.30am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday. 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and 10am to 4pm on Sundays. You can follow The Fleet Street Press on Twitter and on their FaceBook page.

Nick Ut-Leica Hall of Fame Award


Nick Ut is an AP photographer. Using a Leica, he captured without doubt the most iconic photograph taken to date; the napalm girl, during the Vietnam war. Watch the story behind the famous photograph “The Napalm Girl”.

Nick Ut was honored with the Leica Hall of Fame Award on September 17 at “LEICA – DAS WESENTLICHE” at Photokina 2012.

What’s Wrong With The Newspaper Industry

Press Photography & The Papers

A press card and a selection of media accreditation from over the years. June 12, 2012. Photo: Edmond Terakopian

The problems with the industry (normally and not just during this recession) are multiple; some do lay with the accountants who run most things (being qualified with arithmetic and spread sheet skills, or the understanding of formulas, in my mind does not give someone aesthetic understanding or the ability to have a news sense), weak picture editors, bad editors, visually less capable mass audience and the pandering of the papers to the weakest common denominator as opposed to trying to visually educate the readership a little. Not too long ago we had newspapers that ran the most amazing photography; informative, accurate, ethical, creative and mind blowingly powerful – and no, I’m not just talking about the broadsheets (as they were then) but a few tabloid papers too.

Another huge issue is the switch to digital and the ‘everyone’s a photographer’ syndrome; backed by accountants who see a picture as something that has four sides to it but have no ability to comprehend it’s content, importance or power. This also lead to the birth of the mass paparazzi – the most money paid for photography is for this type of content and the publications who print this material, sell the most, so have the biggest budgets.

The ‘new’ technology, called the internet also has had a detrimental effect to the traditional model of newspapers. A day late, even with great analysis and checked, journalistically correct information, is sometimes too late for readers. I saw new in quotes as anyone looking at most newspaper websites would thing the internet came to being a couple of months ago. It’s been with us long enough, yet few papers have learnt to design good, usable websites that harness the power of the web and deliver amazing content. The business model has to change too; good content needs to be paid for properly. Content is king; no good content means lower visitor hits, equalling less advertising revenue. It’s not rocket science! It is however beyond doubt the future (including mobile devices using the internet for delivery of content).

Let’s not forget though, as photographers we have our share of the blame. Some of this ignorance comes from the educational sector who are happy to teach Susan Sontag and theory, but when it comes to actual skills needed by photographers to survive, like knowing one’s rights and the law of copyright, they teach nothing. The rest of the blame is purely with us for not finding out.

We are signing away our copyright and future rights to our work, even though the law states that it’s ours. This is shortsighted and every time such a contract is signed, another nail is hammered into our collective coffin. There is no going back from this. Sooner than you know, we will retire and have no picture library of our own to fall back on; so, no books, no print sales and no exhibitions. My thoughts are that the bigger picture needs to be looked at; after all, this is a career and so, is long term.

We are killing our own industry too.