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MacRumors
May 31, 2013, 08:14 PM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/31/chicago-sun-times-fires-photo-staff-will-train-reporters-to-use-iphones-for-photos/)


http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2012/11/iphone-camera-icon.jpgA day after the Chicago Sun-Times fired the entirety of its 28-person photo staff (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-sun-times-photo-20130530,0,4361142.story), Chicago media critic Robert Feder (via Cult of Mac (http://www.cultofmac.com/229512/chicago-sun-times-lays-off-entire-photo-staff-will-give-reporters-iphoneography-training/)) is reporting (https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=574828549206261&id=175146445841142) that the newspaper is training its reporters in iPhone photography to produce the photo content the paper requires.
Sun-Times reporters begin mandatory training today on "iPhone photography basics" following elimination of the paper's entire photography staff. "In the coming days and weeks, we'll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need," managing editor Craig Newman tells staffers in a memo.Chicago Tribune photojournalist Alex Garcia criticized (http://newsblogs.chicagotribune.com/assignment-chicago/2013/05/the-idiocy-of-eliminating-a-photo-staff.html#.UagQtA-X2MI.facebook) the move, calling it "idiotic" because reporters are not prepared to create both visual and written content. He also criticized using iPhones for photojournalism because the smartphone lacks options like different lenses and manual controls, which DSLR's have.
An iPhone is just an iPhone. It doesn't have a telephoto to see way past police lines or across a field, ballroom or four-lane highway. It doesn't have a lot of manual controls to deal with the countless situations that automatic exposure will fail to capture. How many situations are 18% gray, anyway?Apple's various iPhones have become some of the most popular cameras (http://www.flickr.com/cameras/) on Flickr, outranking more advanced DSLR cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Apple has made efforts to greatly improve (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/10/02/photography-pros-review-the-iphone-5s-camera/) the iPhone's camera over its past few iterations and in late April, the company even released an ad (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/04/25/apple-runs-new-ad-focusing-on-the-iphones-camera/) focusing on the popularity of the iPhone's camera.

Article Link: Chicago Sun-Times Fires Photo Staff, Will Train Reporters to Use iPhones For Photos (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/31/chicago-sun-times-fires-photo-staff-will-train-reporters-to-use-iphones-for-photos/)



hasanahmad
May 31, 2013, 08:20 PM
I agree. No way is phone photograph no more than casual photography. Serious photography will always be with SLR. Stupid decision

Stuipdboy1000
May 31, 2013, 08:21 PM
Sounds like a headline straight from The Onion.

GSPice
May 31, 2013, 08:22 PM
If this is so "idiotic," the Sun-Times will regret the decision, and lose tons of money. We'll see just how idiotic it ends up being. :)

ufwa
May 31, 2013, 08:23 PM
Sounds more like they are cutting costs.

I assume they pay for the iphones already, so double duty for those guys. Why pay for another group who's only job is to take photos.

Side comment: If this takes off and other papers adopt this policy what will Peter Parker do for a job? :p

Schtumple
May 31, 2013, 08:25 PM
Sounds like a headline straight from The Onion.

I honestly did a double take, this is an awful idea.

That and asking reporters to do the job of a photographer too, without the proper training that a photographer would learn (this is not the same as "iphone photography training").

This story is sad.

Tilpots
May 31, 2013, 08:25 PM
While I agree that it's not good for journalism, it's another part of the pay to play world we live in. How many of you opposed to this would buy a subscription/pay more to a news service to have an incrementally better picture? People aren't hardly willing to pay anything as it is so I'm not surprised when I see companies make moves like this. Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yup.

appleguy123
May 31, 2013, 08:27 PM
Shame. One of the main reasons I seeked out newspapers and their websites was the superior photo quality compared to Facebook reddit and Twitter.

TMar
May 31, 2013, 08:28 PM
You're never more than a few feet away from the story so no need to splurge on the iphone telephoto lens. Idiots.

samcraig
May 31, 2013, 08:41 PM
Idiotic move is idiotic.

Photojournalism can sometimes be handled by someone inexperienced. But it's also an artform. And great pictures can be taken with any camera. But sometimes you have to have the right equipment. And the iPhone is not the right equipment to capture everything and anything.

Maybe the CST should stop printing a NEWSPAPER and just become an online collection of blogs. Hey - they can partner with Yahoo/Tumblr :rolleyes:

GoCubsGo
May 31, 2013, 08:44 PM
If you've been following this story past the poorly reported bit here, there is also a move towards video. I don't have time to watch video or the desire to look at some half-assed and hard to see cell phone pic. It's a ****ed up move but it's life, I suppose.

Mums
May 31, 2013, 08:45 PM
Newspapers are going out of business so it doesn't really matter in the long run, except to those photographers who were and will be fired. I kind of hate "professional photographers" anyways because they tend to be arrogant tools, so I guess I'm taking a kind of schadenfreudist pleasure in their being fired.

Anyways, the demise of photography --and filmmaking-- is inevitable now that everyone has high-def video cameras in their pockets. At the risk of being fatalist, I'm not sure that there is anything anyone can do about it. Digital content is all functioning in a crowd source model now.

samcraig
May 31, 2013, 08:47 PM
I kind of hate "professional photographers" anyways because they tend to be arrogant tools, so I guess I'm taking a kind of schadenfreudist pleasure in their being fired.


There are big differences between photojournalists and paparazzi.

JayJayAbels
May 31, 2013, 08:52 PM
Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

SchneiderMan
May 31, 2013, 08:54 PM
Such a stupid move, unless they're in serious financial troubles which is still crazy.

samcraig
May 31, 2013, 08:55 PM
Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

Photographers have often stayed current with technology - they shoot with digital cameras of the latest variety. I'm not sure you have a valid argument here.

There's a difference between shooting with an iPhone and shooting with a DSLR. There's a difference between amateur reporting and photography and professional.

If one doesn't know the difference or thinks it doesn't matter "much" - perhaps those people shouldn't be discussing it.

JayCee842
May 31, 2013, 09:00 PM
Desperate moves to reduce costs? If they were in trouble prior to this idiotic move, then they have just gotten themselves into even more trouble.

I wonder if others will follow the same move.

----------

Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

Your ignorance amuses me.

SirChadwick
May 31, 2013, 09:05 PM
There used to be a day when one would pull up to a gas station and there would be a person to fill your tank, check your oil, clean the windshield and check the tires for air. Why don't we see this anymore, well, we just don't want to pay for it. The same may be for high quality professionally presented photos from a news organization.

MSUSpartan
May 31, 2013, 09:07 PM
I love photography. This is sad but just part of our ever evolving society. Great journalistic photography will still exist in photo essays and commissioned work. There are enough qualified free lancers in any major metro area to cover your dailies.

Award winning journalist or not, they got there at least in part because they had access and a great editing staff. That will still be there for the talented freelancers.

sexiewasd
May 31, 2013, 09:08 PM
This is a terrible idea for so many reasons. If they really are in such hard times that this caliber of penny pinching is required than I think that in the long run non of it will matter much anyways.

Prof.
May 31, 2013, 09:08 PM
I never buy their paper nor go to their website, but now I'm for sure never going to support their business.

samcraig
May 31, 2013, 09:09 PM
Can't wait for all the instagram/hipstamatic filtered crap :rolleyes:

MSUSpartan
May 31, 2013, 09:10 PM
I never buy their paper nor go to their website, but now I'm for sure never going to support their business.

You never did anyway along with many others. That's why they are here.

marksman
May 31, 2013, 09:16 PM
This is both sad and ridiculous.

As someone who used to read two to three papers a day for many, many years but who has not regularly read a newspaper for close to fifteen years it is not surprising. I might glance at a paper a handful of times in a year. I have to believe older people are the only people reading newsprint these days. I don't even read any magazines any longer and I used to read 25-30 magazines a month.

----------

If this is so "idiotic," the Sun-Times will regret the decision, and lose tons of money. We'll see just how idiotic it ends up being. :)

Not likely to make any real difference. Papers are doomed. This might allow them to operate a bit longer with reduced costs but it is not like printed news media is going to have a resurgence short of an apocolypse.

----------

While I agree that it's not good for journalism, it's another part of the pay to play world we live in. How many of you opposed to this would buy a subscription/pay more to a news service to have an incrementally better picture? People aren't hardly willing to pay anything as it is so I'm not surprised when I see companies make moves like this. Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yup.

Yeah and very few online sources have dedicated photographers. They buy photos or people with other jobs take them.

samcraig
May 31, 2013, 09:18 PM
Yeah and very few online sources have dedicated photographers. They buy photos or people with other jobs take them.

I'm not opposed to people using freelancers. What I find ridiculous is that they are "training" amateurs on iPhones. iPhones.

That's a lot different than using freelancers. Or even buying wire images.

Baklava
May 31, 2013, 09:21 PM
Sad news!

lzyprson
May 31, 2013, 09:30 PM
Photography has been turning more into hobby that anyone can pick up for years... It's a shame, and professional photographers will still be necessary, but as someone else mentioned that's life...

From a budget perspective this is a no brainier.... And it's a newspaper not a magazine... iPhone photos will do just fine.

Glideslope
May 31, 2013, 09:42 PM
Gargantuan Stupidity. :eek:

QCassidy352
May 31, 2013, 09:43 PM
While I agree that it's not good for journalism, it's another part of the pay to play world we live in. How many of you opposed to this would buy a subscription/pay more to a news service to have an incrementally better picture? People aren't hardly willing to pay anything as it is so I'm not surprised when I see companies make moves like this. Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yup.

This post nails it. It's the bottom line. If the consumer isn't willing to pay more for the better photo - or isn't more likely to buy the paper with the better photo over the one with the worse photo - then this makes economic sense even if it hurts journalistic quality.

So that's the question - how many us will either pay more for the paper with better photos or will buy the paper with better photos over the one with worse photos?

snebes
May 31, 2013, 09:44 PM
That's a lot different than using freelancers. Or even buying wire images.

Based on what other news sources around Chicago reported yesterday, this is the majority of what they will be using.


From a budget perspective this is a no brainier.... And it's a newspaper not a magazine... iPhone photos will do just fine.

True, but the Suntimes is supposedly looking to expand the online selection as well, so high quality photos and videos are a must. I'd love to have high quality photos and videos from a local news source. Chicago barely gets that on the TV news -- more cell phone videos than I'd like to admit.

firewood
May 31, 2013, 09:45 PM
Photography is an art, and not that many people are good at it. But the vast majority of what newspapers print, and what the typical news customers will pay to see, is not art.

...but Ad revenue is way up for snapshots of cats taken with iPhones.

nagromme
May 31, 2013, 09:51 PM
Ridiculous on at least 23 levels. This should be in the Onion, not real life.

I work with pro photographers, and my iPhone could never replace them.

akm3
May 31, 2013, 09:51 PM
They probably should have fired all the reporters and taught the photographers to write instead; it would be easier. (oh no he didn't!!)

Drunken Master
May 31, 2013, 09:54 PM
What the hell.


While I agree that it's not good for journalism, it's another part of the pay to play world we live in. How many of you opposed to this would buy a subscription/pay more to a news service to have an incrementally better picture? People aren't hardly willing to pay anything as it is so I'm not surprised when I see companies make moves like this. Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yup.

Studies have shown that people are more likely to read an article in the newspaper if there's a photo to go with that story. The better the photo, the more people read the story, and online that means more page views, which in turn means more ad revenue.

sjinsjca
May 31, 2013, 09:54 PM
I'd rather have seen them fire the writers and train the camera jocks to string words together.

Actually, that makes identical sense.

ytk
May 31, 2013, 09:56 PM
Anyways, the demise of photography --and filmmaking-- is inevitable now that everyone has high-def video cameras in their pockets. At the risk of being fatalist, I'm not sure that there is anything anyone can do about it. Digital content is all functioning in a crowd source model now.

Yeah, I just went to see Star Trek and thought “Pfft. My friends and I could make that on our iPhones over a weekend.”

Cartaphilus
May 31, 2013, 10:03 PM
That settles it. From now on I'm getting all my news from Life Magazines published during the 50's and 60's.

Rojo
May 31, 2013, 10:05 PM
I've been a staunch supporter of the iPhone as an amazing camera since the beginning, and it's only gotten better with every model.
I'm even a co-instructor of some popular online courses (http://www.mobilephotoworkshop.com) in how to take better images using a mobile device. The future will most definitely require journalists to be both reporters AND photographers, and I think upcoming models of the iPhone will definitely be the right tool for the job.

That said, I just don't think we're quite "there" yet, and I agree this is a dumb move (at least right now). Not only does the iPhone's camera capability need to be a little more advanced than it is currently, but you can't just expect non-trained journalists to have the necessary photographic eye to take the RIGHT kind of pics, and do it well. It's one thing to BE THERE where a story is unfolding with a camera in hand, and it's a completely different thing to know how to best CAPTURE that story in a clear, concise manner that gets the full meaning of the events across.

One of the mobile workshops I teach is actually a documentary/journalism class -- and even students who've had previous practice with regular cameras aren't always able to easily capture a "news" story well with an iPhone. It takes a lot of skill. And while it CAN be done, a trained photographer with a more professional camera is STILL going to take photos that are infinitely more appropriate, compelling and attention-grabbing.

I DO think training people to be both reporters AND photographers is inevitable, but it needs to happen more naturally and not be as forced as this.

thehustleman
May 31, 2013, 10:19 PM
I thought it was stupid, but after thinking about it, it's a newspaper!

How good does a photo have to be for a newspaper?


Am iphone is good enough.

ArtOfWarfare
May 31, 2013, 10:26 PM
Most of my non-Mac news comes from the CNN news app on my iPhone, which generally has a single picture at the top of each article that I don't even bother looking at. Pictures in newspaper, much like color or HD or 3D in video, really aren't necessary.

Menus are another story. I can't stand ordering food without having pictures of what it should look like. No idea why, it's something I realized about myself a few months ago... if a description sounds good but there's no accompanying picture, I won't buy it, and if the menu has no pictures in it, I tend to make poor choices for myself. Presentation is a surprisingly huge part of food.

nostresshere
May 31, 2013, 10:28 PM
I never buy their paper nor go to their website, but now I'm for sure never going to support their business.


This sums up the entire conversation.

Done.

Over.

Anyone else see the insanity in this post?

nostaws
May 31, 2013, 10:30 PM
I could see them firing their photo staff, and then giving reporters DSLRs but iPhones? Plus a lot of the entry DSLRs are as cheap if not cheaper than an iPhone. Weird.

My local newspaper (in a pretty large market) only has two staff photographers.

The real problem is if every paper does this, there won't be much of a pool of photographs to pull from even from the AP/wire services.

a.coward
May 31, 2013, 10:31 PM
This reminds me of a quote Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer made last week during a Flickr press event:

There’s no such thing as Flickr Pro today because [with so many people taking photographs] there’s really no such thing as professional photographers anymore.

Of course she later responded that the quote was taken out of context and corrected herself.

lunarworks
May 31, 2013, 10:31 PM
This is one of the dumbest ideas I've ever seen.

Sure, I get lazy and leave my DSLR at home most of the time, taking pictures on my iPhone instead. But, I'm not taking pictures for a prestigious publication.

SeaFox
May 31, 2013, 10:39 PM
I can't wait to see what kind of photos run in the Chicago Sun-Times after this considering the quality of the news the average "journalist" puts out nowadays.

Everything has become one giant race to the bottom.

charlituna
May 31, 2013, 10:44 PM
I agree. No way is phone photograph no more than casual photography. Serious photography will always be with SLR. Stupid decision

News photography is rarely high art. So in a way it makes sense.

I think a new market will shortly come up for photojournalist do create their own content. Same stories perhaps but better visuals. They might set up sites, emags who knows.

dlharris382
May 31, 2013, 10:53 PM
"...reporters are not prepared to create both visual and written content. He also criticized using iPhones for photojournalism because the smartphone lacks options like different lenses and manual controls, which DSLR's have."

This is antiquated thinking. I know from personal experience that journalist are being taught how to take photos to accompany their pieces. Multimedia journalism(photos, videos, infographics, audio,etc) is the future. TV reporters are required to edit their own pieces. There aren't too many TV news editors around these days.

Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.

Now, this is not to say that photojournalist have don't have a place in journalism. There are some aspects of photog that you can't teach in a one class session.

SeaFox
May 31, 2013, 10:54 PM
News photography is rarely high art. So in a way it makes sense.

It's that way now but it wasn't always that way. Also, even if the photos that ultimately end up in the newspaper aren't the most artistic, quite often the photographer takes many more on the scene and it's one of those that you see in a museum later.

With no staff of press photographers you have fewer pro photographers at these important events.

Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.
To even say this suggests you..

1) Don't know what really makes DSLR camera pictures so high quality (hint: it's not something you can "bolt-onto" a camera phone).

2) Are completely missing the point that part of what makes the pictures high quality is the talent of the people taking them. This is another something you can't buy for an iPhone.

diazj3
May 31, 2013, 10:56 PM
Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

You clearly haven't experienced high quality audio. It's one of life's greatest pleasures. Trust me: there's a HUGE difference; to your senses it's like the difference between eating crappy fast food and fine high cuisine. And just as high quality audio, high photography also makes a huge difference. Have you heard that a picture is worth a thousand words? Why wouldn't you want professionals taking them? Not only for aesthetics or artistic reasons, but also for informational ones. A fair amount of times, the picture becomes the story itself.

It seems the new world we want to live in, is willing to settle for crap when it comes to everything. It favors crappy audio, crappy food, crappy music, crappy news with crappy photography, just to save a few bucks and get better profits to hedge-fund stockholders and wall-street speculators.

I agree - it's an idiotic decision. I hope it doesn't become a standard.

Madmic23
May 31, 2013, 10:59 PM
When I took print journalism in college, we were all trained in photography and had to purchase an SLR (yes, SLR, no D in front of it).
The people in the photo journalism class were trained much more extensively in photography, and took much better pictures because of it. They didn't write much about city hall politics either, as that was more our specialty.
I think you can cross train people to perform both tasks, but you also need the right tools for the job.
I'd love to see the iPhone pics from the local sports games! :)

iMikeT
May 31, 2013, 11:00 PM
As a professional photographer, this causes a lot of concern not only from the business side of photography but photography as a craft.

The iPhone does take decent photographs on the fly but if compelling images are needed, a professional photographer with years of photographic experience and training is needed.

Frankly, I am not surprised about this considering how the craft of photography has been slowly swirling down the toilet the past few years. No one gives a rat's tail about quality these days and settles for the mediocrity of cell phone pictures.

One thing is certain about all of this, I'll definitely have to start looking into another profession sooner than later.

Sweetcheetah
May 31, 2013, 11:01 PM
I'm a web designer by profession as well as using my trusty iPhone 4S to do all of the HD videography using final cut pro X to do most of my pro editing and photography work. Not to mention all the audio and lighting attachments that enhances the quality. No one can tell the difference if it was made via DSLR camera or iPhone 4S. Made TONS of money on production with it just using my iPhone for everything. My clients gives me positive response to my workmanship and they can't believe that the quality result they get on final production simply with an iPhone. Thanks to the Phocus 3 Lense Bundle which allows macro photography and wide angle shots for real estate photography or car photos or nature photos. I have the converter attachment for the Phocus 3 accessories to allow 200-600 MM PRO telephoto lense if I want to go long range, or I can use the smaller 12X telephoto if I don't want to lug around the heavy pro lens on planned journeys. I get many interest and conversational starters asking what I was using during parades when I film recognizing that I'm just using my iPhone 4S. I just say iPhone4S and attachments. Works wonders. SO I can see why Chicago Times let go their DSLR photographers and went with reporters using the iPhones. They are always around certain news and they can take quick snap shots. They can get attachments and use telephoto lens to attach to it to pass the police line. I've done that. Good enough for newspaper since they are not photo paper. Good enough for online newspaper. I should apply. LOL

mrgraff
May 31, 2013, 11:03 PM
Apple's various iPhones have become some of the most popular cameras (http://www.flickr.com/cameras/) on Flickr, outranking more advanced DSLR cameras like the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.

That's because the iPhone outnumbers most DSLR models, not because the iPhone is the preferred camera amongst photographers.

Bubba Satori
May 31, 2013, 11:04 PM
The great dumbing down continues unabated.

dlharris382
May 31, 2013, 11:15 PM
To even say this suggests you..

1) Don't know what really makes DSL pictures so high quality (hint: it's not something you can "bolt-onto" a camera phone).

2) Are completely missing the point that part of what makes the pictures high quality is the talent of the people taking them. This is another something you can't buy for an iPhone.[/QUOTE]


Hence the part that says "Now, this is not to say that photojournalist don't have a place in journalism. There are some aspects of photog that you can't teach in a one class session."

No one is denying the great skill in photography as an art form. These jobs won't be totally obsolete. There is still a need for excellent pieces of work with breath taking, thought provoking photography. I totally get what makes great photojournalism.

However, we are witnessing the decline in print journalism. Many organizations are defaulting to the web which takes a chunk out of their profits. I have my MA in New Media Journalism and New Media Journalists are smart business decisions. These are the same factors that when into requiring TV reporters to have editing skills.

batchtaster
May 31, 2013, 11:36 PM
Not defending CS-T in the slightest - indeed I think it's moronic and demonstrates their management has no earthly idea what their people do, probably heralding its imminent demise. However, I am highly amused by the outrage over amateur phone-snappers masquerading as professional photographers, given the acceptance of amateur bloggers masquerading as professional journalists. See: Engadget, Gizmodo for example, among a host of other pseudo-news sources.

Yes, it's harebrained and mind-numbingly stupid. But it's already too late - the bridge has already been jumped off when people read, believe - and the market reacts to (http://www.ebizq.net/blogs/2007/05/why_did_apples.php) - rubbish produced by bloggers with no journalistic credentials (or at least, no training in journalistic ethics) over credentialed news organizations. If you hit a blog site for your news over a newspaper or other news organization (and no, I don't mean tabloid rags like UK's The Sun), then you're the reason this has happened; this is the simply the photo equivalent, and sadly, next natural step in the decline towards quantity over quality.

Michael73
May 31, 2013, 11:40 PM
I don't care how many lenses you can bolt on to your iPhone, it doesn't change the fact that it's got a tiny sensor compared to a fully frame DSLR. With tiny sensors will come the eventual realization that low light photos are next to impossible to create. And the flash...forgetaboutit. Not only is the flash small but no external flash means no bounce flash so every subject is getting hit head on frequently washing out subjects.

Don't get me wrong, I love iPhone photography and it certainly has it's place...just not as the primary source for reporters who are doubling as photojournalists.

Hberg
May 31, 2013, 11:41 PM
Without quality Photo Journalism the news will be lacking. I think the Chicago Sun-Times recent decision speaks loudly about their desire to provide quality news reporting.

iJawn108
May 31, 2013, 11:42 PM
Peter Parker's having some bad times

Westside guy
Jun 1, 2013, 12:01 AM
I'm always amazed at how many people think good photography is based on the quality of the equipment rather than the skill and eye of the photographer.

osofast240sx
Jun 1, 2013, 12:05 AM
I'm always amazed at how many people think good photography is based on the quality of the equipment rather than the skill and eye of the photographer.
One year the sports illustrated swim suit photographer was in the news for being able to take the same picture with deny camera. That year dome of the shots were taken with a point and shoot camera.

Prof.
Jun 1, 2013, 12:07 AM
This sums up the entire conversation.

Done.

Over.

Anyone else see the insanity in this post?
I buy newspapers when there's a major world event, not on a daily basis. Chicago Tribune, Sun Times, etc. Whichever paper is available at my local grocery store. Next time i'll skip CST.

Simplicated
Jun 1, 2013, 12:15 AM
This sums up the entire conversation.

Done.

Over.

Anyone else see the insanity in this post?

So people can't have an opinion now, even if they don't support a particular entity? :rolleyes:

macs4nw
Jun 1, 2013, 12:27 AM
Such a stupid move, unless they're in serious financial troubles which is still crazy.

I suspect, this is all about saving money. The newsprint press is in serious financial trouble, some of them, dire straits even. This isn't something they want to do obviously, but rather part of do-or-die cost saving measures.

lunarworks
Jun 1, 2013, 12:35 AM
Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.

Wow. Stunning misinformation.

That's like telling me that adding good spark plugs to a Honda Civic will give it better towing capability than a Ford F150.

----------

I'm always amazed at how many people think good photography is based on the quality of the equipment rather than the skill and eye of the photographer.

A good photographer with an iPhone can undoubtedly take a much better photo than some Joe with a thousand dollar DSLR.

But if the good photographer is being paid to take photos, that person would be wise to take a good camera along.

Huracan
Jun 1, 2013, 12:53 AM
Not even a hardcore Apple user can be happy to read this article. This is another sign of the decline of newspapers.

Anonymous Freak
Jun 1, 2013, 01:01 AM
While the later iPhones contain perfectly decent cameras for newspaper and online news site use - the lack of telephoto is a deal-breaker for many uses.

That said, I'm sure at least a few of the reporters are likely also amateur photo buffs, and will step up and use a DSLR and take great photos.

That said, there is something to be said for having separate photojournalists and print journalists. Sort of like having separate print and radio journalists, and separate radio and video journalists...

Stupid move.

esaleris
Jun 1, 2013, 01:01 AM
This whole thread highlights the ridiculousness of poor context.

The newspaper lets go of it's photography staff. In the article, it's pretty explicit that freelance photographers will be utilized to augment. The firm is simply managing their OPEX costs for retained staff. News organizations contract Getty, AP, and other image providers to provide high quality photographic content - because that's what those companies are good at.

The second article explains that they are training their journalists to take pictures. In no way was there any mention that iPhone photography would be the exclusive photographic content source for the newspaper.

In an age where a good cell phone picture (or security cam picture, in the case of the Boston Marathon tragedy) can be used to headline world events, this is a great idea.

zioxide
Jun 1, 2013, 01:28 AM
I'm a web designer by profession as well as using my trusty iPhone 4S to do all of the HD videography using final cut pro X to do most of my pro editing and photography work. Not to mention all the audio and lighting attachments that enhances the quality. No one can tell the difference if it was made via DSLR camera or iPhone 4S.

There's just no way. I just shot a live music video in my buddy's studio on my T2i this week and used my 1080p iPhone 5 as a secondary camera angle, and even in a very-well lit setting the quality difference of the video is night and day.

Not that the iPhone quality is bad by any means, but to suggest that a phone with an image sensor that's 4.54×3.42 mm is even remotely in the ballpark of a DSLR with either a 22.30×14.90 mm (APS-C) or 36.00×24.00 mm (full frame) sensor is ludicrous. Even the smaller DSLR has over 1000% more image data than the iPhone5.

http://j.mp/17HpQ22 See here for a visual representation of image sensor size.


On the topic of the Chicago Sun Times laying off their photo staff, that paper is a rag. Notice how the Chicago Tribune isn't doing anything stupid like that.

princigalli
Jun 1, 2013, 01:35 AM
Their photos will look like s*** compared to competition, but they might be broke, who knows

GoodWatch
Jun 1, 2013, 02:33 AM
Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

Audio editing from analogue to digital: there still are jobs.
Press photography from photographers to journalist with iPhones: the jobs are gone.

So you are laughing out loud because people are losing their jobs? I hope you will retain yours.

bgillander
Jun 1, 2013, 02:45 AM
I'm surprised that they didn't fire the reporters and have the photographers write the stories instead. I'm sure the photographers could carry paper and a pen or pencil for an even lower cost than an iPhone. Sure it isn't a word processor or a typewriter, but it puts words on a page and that's the same thing, right?:rolleyes:

That seems to be their logic and the reporters probably have the higher salaries, so I'm surprised they didn't go that way!

AppleMark
Jun 1, 2013, 02:52 AM
If this is so "idiotic," the Sun-Times will regret the decision, and lose tons of money. We'll see just how idiotic it ends up being. :)

Luddites, the lot of you!!! :)

----------

This whole thread highlights the ridiculousness of poor context.

The newspaper lets go of it's photography staff. In the article, it's pretty explicit that freelance photographers will be utilized to augment. The firm is simply managing their OPEX costs for retained staff. News organizations contract Getty, AP, and other image providers to provide high quality photographic content - because that's what those companies are good at.

The second article explains that they are training their journalists to take pictures. In no way was there any mention that iPhone photography would be the exclusive photographic content source for the newspaper.

In an age where a good cell phone picture (or security cam picture, in the case of the Boston Marathon tragedy) can be used to headline world events, this is a great idea.

Exactly.

Mal67
Jun 1, 2013, 02:59 AM
There used to be a day when one would pull up to a gas station and there would be a person to fill your tank, check your oil, clean the windshield and check the tires for air. Why don't we see this anymore, well, we just don't want to pay for it. The same may be for high quality professionally presented photos from a news organization.
Funny how costs just keep going up though.

eawmp1
Jun 1, 2013, 03:12 AM
This whole thread highlights the ridiculousness of poor context.

The newspaper lets go of it's photography staff. In the article, it's pretty explicit that freelance photographers will be utilized to augment. The firm is simply managing their OPEX costs for retained staff. News organizations contract Getty, AP, and other image providers to provide high quality photographic content - because that's what those companies are good at.

The second article explains that they are training their journalists to take pictures. In no way was there any mention that iPhone photography would be the exclusive photographic content source for the newspaper.

In an age where a good cell phone picture (or security cam picture, in the case of the Boston Marathon tragedy) can be used to headline world events, this is a great idea.

This


Not debatable:
Trained photojournalist's eye > non photographer's eye
DSLR > iPhone when it comes to capability
Photographer skill > equipment


That having been said, I am more worried about the loss of local journalism and investigative journalism to keep check on those in power. A healthy democracy needs a healthy Fourth Estate.

needfx
Jun 1, 2013, 03:21 AM
ever since camera smartphones and point&shoot cameras (lately with wifi connectivity) every person in the world is a potential photojournalist for any major event, at any given location, at any given time, at which newspaper staff are not present. Only after the fact and with delays.

For example CNN-iReport (http://ireport.cnn.com) & BBC-Have your say (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/have_your_say/) are already taking advantage of the fact that everybody has such a device on their person and are asked to share photos & comments of/on the event.

Even though this is drifting away from the original context of the article, it is evidence of the changing world in journalism & how depiction of major events comes in their "presses".

on another note, maybe the newspaper in case is going to rely on outsourced material instead of employing full time photographers.

Lancer
Jun 1, 2013, 04:06 AM
Not a good day for professional photographers, while I agree in some situations the iPhone will work just fine it will degrade the quality of their publication.

Not a good move!

mrxak
Jun 1, 2013, 04:07 AM
Pretty much the Chicago Sun-Times is going to have either really bad photographs or a lot of stock photographs. Newspaper photographs are rarely high res or even have a lot of technical quality. What they're good for is capturing a particular moment or emotion, or a creative composition that makes a statement. It takes decisiveness (a skill you're not going to learn in a 30 minute class on how to use your iPhone's camera), a good eye (either you have it or you don't, it's not easily learned), and a certain creativity to figure out what kind of shot you want before you even start shooting and then make that shot happen (something learned after a lot of experience shooting).

Speaking as a professional writer and as an amateur photographer, this is not going to be the sort of solution they probably think it will be. Somebody who has no clue about photography made this decision and it's a pretty dumb one. If they can't afford to pay photographers, they should just eliminate all photos from their newspaper instead.

They also probably should have considered training some of their photographers in journalism, and fired some of the journalists. Any journalist who sucks at taking pictures, a photographer who is good at writing can take their place. It's not so unusual for somebody to have skill in both writing and photography, but it's also not unusual for somebody to be terrible at one or the other. Eliminate the people who can't be trained in the other job.

This whole thing seems ridiculous. I hope they get some training with some changeable lens cameras, at least, since the iPhone is incapable of several kinds of photography.

smirking
Jun 1, 2013, 04:22 AM
That's a lot different than using freelancers. Or even buying wire images.

There's nothing saying that they won't do either on top of using the iPhone army.

I find this story to be sad, but neither surprising nor do I find it idiotic as many people here do. I say this as a friend of a couple of professional photographers and as a photography enthusiast who still scoffs at anything taken on a non DSLR (ok, I exaggerate). It costs a lot of money to support a fleet of photographers and the unfortunate thing is that most readers won't appreciate the difference between professional shots and amateur shots.

A lot of smaller dailies and weeklies have already made the move to rely mostly on freelance and citizen shot photos.

mixel
Jun 1, 2013, 05:00 AM
Err.. This is a hilariously bad idea.. All the situations where an iPhone wont cut it.. Fast movement, low light.. I hope they aren't expecting *good* photos.

martygras9
Jun 1, 2013, 05:48 AM
Don't agree with this at all.

Hopefully they'll have the sense to at least bring on freelance. People are visual. Yes, the headline has to draw them in and the story has to be compelling. But come on, a (good) picture is worth a thousand words.

An then, Getty and corbis saw a rise in purchases from the Sun Times.

RickyB
Jun 1, 2013, 06:00 AM
If this is so "idiotic," the Sun-Times will regret the decision, and lose tons of money. We'll see just how idiotic it ends up being. :)

If I was one of the fired photo staff I'd think it was idiotic, and would have a lot of stronger words to use too.

ScottishDuck
Jun 1, 2013, 06:09 AM
Good thing the world of printed media is collapsing because it's been a cancer on society for a long time.

jlc1978
Jun 1, 2013, 06:19 AM
Photography has been turning more into hobby that anyone can pick up for years... It's a shame, and professional photographers will still be necessary, but as someone else mentioned that's life...

While that is a common belief I think people confuse the widespread availability of tools with the ability to use them. The advent of digital removed many of the steps needed to produce a print and made it easy to machine gun photos since, unlike film, it cost as much to take 10 shoots as 1; so people set the camera to auto and rapid fire and gun away. That hasn't made them a good photographer, all it does is produce many more crappy photos. The basics of photography are still the same - framing, lighting, composition, etc.; all things that take time to learn and skill to master. Yes anyone can take pictures but that does not make one a photographer.


From a budget perspective this is a no brainier.... And it's a newspaper not a magazine... iPhone photos will do just fine.

The problem is the reporter is getting information so they can tell the story with words and the photo is merely an addition to the words; the photographer is telling a story with a picture. Sure it saves money but something is lost in the process; but since papers are struggling to survive the move is understandable.

pittpanthersfan
Jun 1, 2013, 06:36 AM
Deleted.

Kissaragi
Jun 1, 2013, 07:26 AM
I had to double check it wasn't april 1st after reading this!

sweetbrat
Jun 1, 2013, 07:29 AM
This whole thread highlights the ridiculousness of poor context.

The newspaper lets go of it's photography staff. In the article, it's pretty explicit that freelance photographers will be utilized to augment. The firm is simply managing their OPEX costs for retained staff. News organizations contract Getty, AP, and other image providers to provide high quality photographic content - because that's what those companies are good at.

The second article explains that they are training their journalists to take pictures. In no way was there any mention that iPhone photography would be the exclusive photographic content source for the newspaper.

Sure, that's what the AP does. What they don't do is cover anything local. If there's one thing people do still read in newspapers, it's local news. Take this from someone that, up until recently, worked for a newspaper. I left by my own decision, in case you're wondering. Local news stories are what's going to be hurt by this. We have two full-time photographers on staff. You can tell the difference in the photos they take compared to the ones the reporters take. Easily. It's a matter of skill and equipment both. Those photos of local festivals, accidents, crime scenes...those photos don't come from Getty or the AP. They come from well-trained local photographers. That's what you'll be losing.

Shrink
Jun 1, 2013, 07:38 AM
Sure, that's what the AP does. What they don't do is cover anything local. If there's one thing people do still read in newspapers, it's local news. Take this from someone that, up until recently, worked for a newspaper. I left by my own decision, in case you're wondering. Local news stories are what's going to be hurt by this. We have two full-time photographers on staff. You can tell the difference in the photos they take compared to the ones the reporters take. Easily. It's a matter of skill and equipment both. Those photos of local festivals, accidents, crime scenes...those photos don't come from Getty or the AP. They come from well-trained local photographers. That's what you'll be losing.

The sad truth is, newspapers seem to be going the way of the dinosaur...and that is a tragedy!

As a reader of the Boston Globe for about 40 years, the loss of advertising is shocking, and I fear for the papers continued existence. I recently switched from the print version of the paper to the online version...which is an exact copy of the print paper. As silly as it sounds, it was a decision I contemplated for about 3 months before I pulled the trigger...but it still requires the print paper to exist as it is an exact copy of the print version.

What's left is online junk, and TV news...which is beyond pathetic.

milo
Jun 1, 2013, 07:42 AM
With that mindset, why don't they just train janitors to write news stories? Obviously actual skill and experience means nothing to them.

A real shame, I've preferred the Sun Times to the trib for a long time but this is not a good sign.

rtdunham
Jun 1, 2013, 07:47 AM
You're never more than a few feet away from the story so no need to splurge on the iphone telephoto lens. Idiots.

That's a very uninformed comment. The arrogance makes it almost ironic.

<Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality>

How can people so wrong be so sure of themselves?

< And it's a newspaper not a magazine... iPhone photos will do just fine.>

I guess it depends on how discerning you are, or what papers you've been reading. The tampa bay times, for example, frequently runs photos that stop me in my tracks, and later in the day I run across people saying they were similarly affected. Great photography does exist--sometimes in newspapers.

(My brief: retired journalist. When freelancing I often doubled as photo-journalist. For personal use, I've replaced my SLR with compact digital cameras and now find myself using my iphone for most shots. But give me a camera with a bigger sensor and a 24-to-120 mm or more zoom, and I guarantee you my pics would be notably superior to those taken by any equally skilled, comparably trained iphone photographer.)

Roller
Jun 1, 2013, 07:53 AM
iPhones will be fine for many routine photographs. But in situations that call for better equipment (such as low light, rapid action, zoom), they'll be inferior. However, I'm more concerned by what this new task will do to reporters' ability to "get the story." It's going to be very difficult to balance taking decent shots against accurately recording the details of an event, whether it's with written notes or voice recordings.

MegamanX
Jun 1, 2013, 07:56 AM
I've been a staunch supporter of the iPhone as an amazing camera since the beginning, and it's only gotten better with every model.
I'm even a co-instructor of some popular online courses (http://www.mobilephotoworkshop.com) in how to take better images using a mobile device. The future will most definitely require journalists to be both reporters AND photographers, and I think upcoming models of the iPhone will definitely be the right tool for the job.

That said, I just don't think we're quite "there" yet, and I agree this is a dumb move (at least right now). Not only does the iPhone's camera capability need to be a little more advanced than it is currently, but you can't just expect non-trained journalists to have the necessary photographic eye to take the RIGHT kind of pics, and do it well. It's one thing to BE THERE where a story is unfolding with a camera in hand, and it's a completely different thing to know how to best CAPTURE that story in a clear, concise manner that gets the full meaning of the events across.

One of the mobile workshops I teach is actually a documentary/journalism class -- and even students who've had previous practice with regular cameras aren't always able to easily capture a "news" story well with an iPhone. It takes a lot of skill. And while it CAN be done, a trained photographer with a more professional camera is STILL going to take photos that are infinitely more appropriate, compelling and attention-grabbing.

I DO think training people to be both reporters AND photographers is inevitable, but it needs to happen more naturally and not be as forced as this.

Sorry but I can safely say the word that will never happen.

Smart phones in general will get better cameras but they will never be of the quality of DSR and what not. There is an issue of the lens and to be blunt you just are not going to get the quality of lens in something that small nor will you get the zoom factors. That is more of a matter of science.

It is not megapixels. It comes down to lenes. Smart phones have made it up to a level point and shoots but point and shoots had crappy lens in general.

To top all that off DSR are what not are going to keep getting better so smart phones will not be keeping up.

On top of all that there is a true art to taking pictures and lets face it most people do not have that eye. I sure as hell do not and to top it off I have no interested in trying to learn that craft. I can have the best camera on the market and true photographer would beat the crap out of me with a point and shot in terms of pictures and quality of them because they would under stand light, angles and what not. They would get better shots.
I never buy their paper nor go to their website, but now I'm for sure never going to support their business.

Pretty much the same here. A link from the chicago times now I will refuse to click on and sure as hell will never buy one of there papers. I used to read some of their stuff on the internet. No any more.

lolkthxbai
Jun 1, 2013, 08:08 AM
From a financially perspective it makes sense but the quality of the photos will suffer. I don't think journalist have the proper experience to take over the photographers job. Not only that but the controls, sensors and lens that a DSLR has makes taking near impossible photos easy to shoot. Sports photography, for example, requires an insanely fast shutter speed or a zoom lens.

Jimmy James
Jun 1, 2013, 08:44 AM
On zoom fits all. Very minimal manual control. No shallow DOF. And it's a secondary focus for reporters.

We'll see how this develops.

Binarymix
Jun 1, 2013, 08:49 AM
Hah ha?



Oh wait, it's real.

FAIL!

dysamoria
Jun 1, 2013, 08:50 AM
Alex Garcia is 100% correct. This was an idiotic move. Maybe they should fire the rest of the staff and just let the executives do all the photos, reporting, website, printing... That might give them some worthwhile work for their money.

Shrink
Jun 1, 2013, 08:51 AM
On zoom fits all. Very minimal manual control. No shallow DOF. And it's a secondary focus for reporters.

We'll see how this develops.

Oh, shame on you!

;)

ValSalva
Jun 1, 2013, 09:08 AM
With the state of writing these days maybe the Sun Times could have saved more money by firing the writers and just given the photographers a weekend crash course in writing. In this 'new age' aren't the pictures more important anyway? :rolleyes:

mslide
Jun 1, 2013, 09:12 AM
Geez, photographers are so full of themselves. People who read newspapers don't give a crap what the photos look like. Nobody cares about your "art". iPhone pictures are more than good enough for most things. If I want to experience art, I'll go to a museum, not look in a newspaper.

Face it. As these small cameras get better and better, the need for an expensive SLR, and a dedicated person to operate it, goes down and down.

Shrink
Jun 1, 2013, 09:17 AM
Geez, photographers are so full of themselves. People who read newspapers don't give a crap what the photos look like. Nobody cares about your "art". iPhone pictures are more than good enough for most things. If I want to experience art, I'll go to a museum, not look in a newspaper.

Face it. As these small cameras get better and better, the need for an expensive SLR, and a dedicated person to operate it, goes down and down.

It's so good of you to speak for all of us who read the newspaper.

I wasn't aware that I didn't care about "art" in the paper.

Thanks so much for clarifying this for me...I must have been badly confused before.:confused:

Please consider the possibility that not everyone feels as you do about art in the papers. Photos, IMO, can make a major contribution the the impact of a story.

:rolleyes:

SandboxGeneral
Jun 1, 2013, 09:25 AM
Geez, photographers are so full of themselves. People who read newspapers don't give a crap what the photos look like. Nobody cares about your "art".

How can you make a broad statement like that? Are you the spokesman for every human?

Professional photographers are serious people with a serious work. There are plenty of people who admire their work, even if for a newspaper.

Now if you want to speak for yourself, that's fine as it's your opinion. But to make a sweeping, all-encompassing statement such as you did, that's a disservice to everyone because it isn't, cannot, be true.

iGrip
Jun 1, 2013, 09:29 AM
You're never more than a few feet away from the story so no need to splurge on the iphone telephoto lens. Idiots.

Why do they need reporters? they should just have citizens write the stories and use iChat to submit them!

/s

jakebot
Jun 1, 2013, 09:35 AM
This seems impossible if you don't have a zoom lens. Guess digital zoom will have to do lol.

iGrip
Jun 1, 2013, 09:40 AM
Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.





That's quite a bold claim. It is very very hard to believe that.

Got any proof?

Like 1:1 comparison shots? Reviews by any trusted photography reviewers? Anything at all that might be credible?

iMacian
Jun 1, 2013, 09:45 AM
The first guy who should have gotten the axe is Mr. "Apple is boring and Samsung is innovative" Andy Ihnatko.

He has turned into an insufferable bloke over the last year or so.

needfx
Jun 1, 2013, 09:48 AM
That's quite a bold claim. It is very very hard to believe that.

Got any proof?

Like 1:1 comparison shots? Reviews by any trusted photography reviewers? Anything at all that might be credible?

dlharris382 is absolutely right

I don't need my dslr body anymore, nor my expensive lenses.
I'll just use the tiny lens with it's tiny sensor on a darn iphone

nStyle
Jun 1, 2013, 09:54 AM
An iPhone won't replace professional photography equipment... but reporting photography? Why not? The quality is definitely good enough for a newspaper. The pictures cover at most half a page, which may be about 10 x 6 inches... It's not like they are printing huge.

Kissaragi
Jun 1, 2013, 10:00 AM
So I presume this paper will no longer be covering sporting events or any news that happens indoors under bad lighting conditions?

As long as they stick to stories that move slowly out in bright daylight, less than 10 feet away from the camera it will be fine.

Terrin
Jun 1, 2013, 10:01 AM
Sounds more like they are cutting costs.

I assume they pay for the iphones already, so double duty for those guys. Why pay for another group who's only job is to take photos.

Side comment: If this takes off and other papers adopt this policy what will Peter Parker do for a job? :p

I would have instead fired the reporters and had the photographers do double duty.

otismotive77
Jun 1, 2013, 10:15 AM
If this is so "idiotic," the Sun-Times will regret the decision, and lose tons of money. We'll see just how idiotic it ends up being. :)

hahaha...agreed. smartphones dont have a true camera, they are only used for some casual photos, the true camera is a DSLR that's why every magazine and newspaper use them. chicago sun-times are gonna go down if they keep on doing this.

NomadicTy
Jun 1, 2013, 10:24 AM
Speed. That's probably the most important thing that any point and shoot, including the iPhone, does not have over DSLR. I'm not talking just about shots per second, but the ability to focus quickly, as well as take the shoot at a shutter speed that it takes to capture a fleeting moment. It's all about the amount of light that can be put on the sensor. Physics make dslr's win this one.

ChrisH3677
Jun 1, 2013, 10:24 AM
Wow. Stupidity has a new definition: (n) The Chicago Sun-Times.

HiRez
Jun 1, 2013, 10:32 AM
Hey, why not just have the guys who sweep the floors write the articles while you're at it? They can probably run the printing presses and do IT for the website too.

amack
Jun 1, 2013, 10:33 AM
I dont know why the Suntimes needs photographers anyway, have you seen their website? They have a whole page devoted to murder - "homocide watch":eek:. So most of their photographs come the police mugshots - which actually look like they were taken with an iPhone :)

That Chicago is a scary place.

Robb Montgomery
Jun 1, 2013, 10:40 AM
To see what was lost by this action:

http://j.mp/sun-times-photos

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-W9tJ4jlh9To/UajJrUzEq6I/AAAAAAAAAv8/uMLgNrv9PBs/s500/Old+Suntimes+Logo1+copy.png

beaniemyman
Jun 1, 2013, 10:46 AM
i can't believe they are doing this, this will definitely make their sales decline.

hleewell
Jun 1, 2013, 10:48 AM
You can fire a few to cut costs but to shut down the whole department is an over-reaction. The best, award-worthy & artistic images are taken by freelancers and amateurs who get paid for their work, you know like Peter Parker :)

maestrokev
Jun 1, 2013, 10:58 AM
Breaking news ... Chicago Firefighters are being let go as news reporters are being issued fire extinguishers

Will do good
Jun 1, 2013, 11:14 AM
Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

Embrace new technology, do you understand photography at all? How the hell they are going to shoot sports and capture the action, speed and from a distant? Is everything going to be a master shot? How about Maybe your job get replace as easy and you'll understand "Gotta embrace the tech fellas"

----------

Geez, photographers are so full of themselves. People who read newspapers don't give a crap what the photos look like. Nobody cares about your "art". iPhone pictures are more than good enough for most things. If I want to experience art, I'll go to a museum, not look in a newspaper.

Face it. As these small cameras get better and better, the need for an expensive SLR, and a dedicated person to operate it, goes down and down.

You have no taste do you? Why watch Hollywood films when there's youtube, why drive a BMW when there's a Yugo. It's people like you who think go enough is good enough that's killing quality. BTW, why are you in a MacRumor site? Should you use and buy cheap plastic toys for your phone, computers?

blitzer09x87
Jun 1, 2013, 11:16 AM
used to read their articles because of the high quality photos, looks like i'll have to switch to another website.

charlituna
Jun 1, 2013, 11:47 AM
It's that way now but it wasn't always that way. Also, even if the photos that ultimately end up in the newspaper aren't the most artistic, quite often the photographer takes many more on the scene and it's one of those that you see in a museum later.

With no staff of press photographers you have fewer pro photographers at these important events.


Can't really say that. They won't be there affiliated with a newspaper, certainty not this one. But there are other papers, etc. or they can start their own.

threesixty360
Jun 1, 2013, 11:48 AM
I can see that everyone has jumped on the iphone angle which admittidely sexes up the whole thing, but is this really whats happening?

You can buy a Sony Nex, Panasonic GX-1 or Olympus Pen micro four thirds camera, set it on auto and take amazing pictures without even trying nowadays. Surely it is more economical to send 1 reporter to a story who can take great high quality pictures with those type of camera's rather than 2 people?

The iphone cant do low light photography very well and cant zoom and cant be blown up a huge amount so I think its a red herring. You can only take quality pics on phones if you have great light. Thats something that you just dont have most of the time hence real SLR's.

But these compact camera's dont need a full time photographer to do the job. The way the newspaper is thinking is if bloggers can writes stories and use these cameras then why cant their writers?

Just like lots of artistry alot of the things that made it so special was how technical it was to achieve a basic thing. It was a big deal to shoot a decent picture in 1971, and then get it processed. Now I can shoot 100's of shots with perfect clarity, fix them in snap seed or pixelmator and print them on my own at home. No messy chemicals, no big deal. Thats how it is right now. Everyone just has to deal with reality.

PureEntropy
Jun 1, 2013, 11:49 AM
It's an interesting story for sure and it makes a good headline... but the simple justification might be that the Chicago Sun-Times decided that their photo staff weren't getting pictures worth their payroll. For every important, well taken photo which appears in the paper, there have to be dozens of mundane ones that an iPhone could capture just as well.

Maybe the paper realized that they were using freelancers for the vast majority of their sensational photos anyway and that their photography staff were little more than glorified point and shoot photographers.

Droid13
Jun 1, 2013, 12:12 PM
http://www.pulitzer.org/works/2011-Local-Reporting

Reading through the comments I felt I had to link to the Pulitzer Prize the CST won in 2011 for their combination of professional photography and story writing. It's worth looking around the site at other examples by other news firms. Having the right people to do the job makes a huge difference.

As to laying off the entire photography staff, I feel it's a bad idea but not a surprising one given recent trends in the quality of media (and consumer expectations) in general over the last two decades.

I'm a keen amateur photographer and I am more than a little familiar with the controls on my D300. I wouldn't attempt to cover a friend's wedding, never mind a sports event or breaking news - I couldn't guarantee a result. A professional could. And they'll be doing it with the best equipment for the scenario (which might be a camera phone, or might be a DSLR and 1400mm telephoto).

snberk103
Jun 1, 2013, 12:16 PM
I suspect a fair number of those 28 photographers are simply going to go freelance. The CS-T is still going to need photos that only pros can take. Basically, it seems that the CS-T has 'outsourced' the photo department to 3rd party contractors. While I may not agree with the decision, I can sorta see the logic - paying a bunch of senior staff whether or not news is happening can get expensive. You really only need the really good stuff for major stories.

I predict a couple of more things. A couple of reporters are going to get nailed for stealing photos to illustrate their story. They will be desperate to get a photo for their story, and won't have the time and/or skill to take a good photo if the conditions are challenging. I believe that 90% of the time they will get competent shots (not great - but most newspaper photos are merely competent in any case, regardless of who took them. Yes, I do know what I'm talking about). However, it is that 10% of the really compelling stories that we expect really compelling photos. A reporter with a compelling front page story, but without a photo to anchor it is going to be very tempted.

Some of those 28 staffers are going to go competing outlets, who are going to make sure that any award winning photos are splashed everywhere, noting that this photo was not in the CS-T - though it could have been.

Some of those 28 staffers are going to go freelance, and will be able to sell their photos to CS-T's competition as well as the CS-T. See point above.

Some of the 28 staffers are simply going to retire, and will make fun of their former colleagues stress levels... before buying them a beer.

I'm more interested in how many photo editors they laid off. That may have a much larger effect on the quality of the photos.

weing
Jun 1, 2013, 12:16 PM
Why do they need reporters? they should just have citizens write the stories and use iChat to submit them!

/s

Read any newspapers lately? The quality of the writing is pretty close to that bar already.

.Asa
Jun 1, 2013, 12:21 PM
I can see how this makes sense. An iPhone is a lot more versatile than a dslr. Why carry a huge camera and bunch of lenses in an enormous camera bag when you could just carry a teeny iPhone. And if anybody has ever looked at a newspaper they will know that the pictures look terrible anyway with cheap ink, cheap paper, and super low dpi. If I want to make serious art, I will use a dslr. But a pic in a newspaper, I don't care. And iPhone photos aren't really that bad anyways. Get over it.

krravi
Jun 1, 2013, 12:27 PM
No more portraits, every shot will be landscape. Way to kill photojournalism.

I should read their news on the iPhone rather than buy the paper.

Rocketman
Jun 1, 2013, 12:28 PM
Photo journalism is a capture once display many process. It makes sense to maintain photo journalism as a distinct asset. It also makes sense to have reporters and field producers use iPhones for snapshots, and that's what they are, as well as HD video content. Where are the apps for live retransmit of the audio and video feed? Where are the apps for a lapel mic to be transmitted with that feed?

Rocketman

hafr
Jun 1, 2013, 12:41 PM
Seriously, the comments here make me sad. How stupid are people?

They're not exchanging their photo staff for iPhones, they're cutting costs by purchasing quality photos from freelancers and having their journalists snap pictures with their phones when they can, as in for instance when interviewing a girl whose cat got lost or other pictures that can actually be taken with an iPhone without sacrificing anything that a full time photographer's salary wouldn't outweigh.

User content is ridiculously common these days, there's nothing saying it couldn't just as well come from the journalists themselves, and most of the time you've got freelance photographers at site that get the same pictures as the newspaper's photographer that they're trying to sell to the papers.

With the affordability of DSLRs and the quality of modern day camera phones, keeping on a full time photography staff seems pretty stupid for a local newspaper in a large city.

Or, to quote a friend of mine who used to be a full time employee for a newspaper but chose to freelance instead: "I'm making more money now, and shooting more interesting things than I got to before".

Negritude
Jun 1, 2013, 12:59 PM
Roger Ebert hasn't even had time to get a well-deserved rest, and he is already being forced to roll in his grave.

Arelunde
Jun 1, 2013, 01:27 PM
I'm a retired newspaper editor - 6-day daily in a small town. I know the pressures on newspapers to keep that profit margin - and it's worse now with ad revenues steadily sliding. It was an effort to keep a photographer on the staff, much less 2 of them and always, always there was the management desire to give reporters cameras and get rid of the photographers. It doesn't surprise me in the least that this is a trend that will grow with time. I agree the iPhone, while a quality point and shoot, will never have the capabilities of a pro. Sad turn of events.

aerok
Jun 1, 2013, 01:28 PM
I can see how this makes sense. An iPhone is a lot more versatile than a dslr. Why carry a huge camera and bunch of lenses in an enormous camera bag when you could just carry a teeny iPhone. And if anybody has ever looked at a newspaper they will know that the pictures look terrible anyway with cheap ink, cheap paper, and super low dpi. If I want to make serious art, I will use a dslr. But a pic in a newspaper, I don't care. And iPhone photos aren't really that bad anyways. Get over it.

So clueless...:rolleyes:

lizardofwoz
Jun 1, 2013, 01:28 PM
A couple of thoughts to add to this sorry story.

I have worked as a professional photographer for many years. As a 'general' photographer, I have worked in most areas of the craft. At various times I have worked alongside press photographers, but never AS a press photographer. That requires particular talents that are relatively rare.Theirs is a rough and tumble world that did not appeal to me. Make no mistake... press photography is not for the faint-hearted. Those people are tough cookies.

It is not just a question of of recording 'what is there'. The lucky shot that happens just in front of you. Certainly that is one aspect, but the really good press guys frequently set up their shots. They often arrange the components of their shot to tell the story with more punch.

They also combine some other hard-earned skills. Complete familiarity with their camera equipment, and its limitations; the single-minded determination to get their shot that is sometimes mistaken for arrogance; the rare ability to tell a compelling story without words.

As others have remarked, this newspaper is selling out its readers and advertisers. Replacing skilled operators with untrained wordsmiths who most likely have none of the above mentioned abilities is the path to bland slop.

One last fulmination in this little rant...

Good photography depends on the ability to SEE pictures before they are taken. A real photographer can produce pictures on almost any equipment, but his/her output is enhanced by quality cameras; his/her chances of success are greatly improved by using adaptable cameras that can handle difficult conditions.

Good wordsmiths create word-pictures that move beyond simple description of what happened. They are usually not visually aware... that is why they write, and are not photographers.

kaldezar
Jun 1, 2013, 01:29 PM
Photographers are pissed! lol

Gotta embrace the tech fellas. Reminds me of how audio engineers hated the move from analog to digital and then talked down about mp3's.

It's a new world we live in. Roll with it or get rolled over.

What a lot of rubbish, epecially the audio where we now have the situation after years of deluding ourselves that mp3 sounded great people who listen are actually buying vinyl and buying HD digital audio, mp3 is for people who would be satisfied with a photocopy of the mona lisa!
You can take great photos with an iphone but as others have said it doesn't have the capabilities of DSLR's. You can take your Chevy Volt round the Nurburgring but a Ferrari or Porsche or their ilk are the only way it should be done!http://cdn.macrumors.com/vb/images/smilies/smile.gif

Gemütlichkeit
Jun 1, 2013, 01:30 PM
Upper management strikes again lol.

This reminds me of a time in IT when it was all the rage to outsource on site IT over seas. It took years for them to realize the time and money lost in poor decisions like this. It's only been within the last few years that I've seen that bounce back to more companies hiring on an in house staff.

bedifferent
Jun 1, 2013, 01:37 PM
Ok, I admit I haven't read the full article or the comments, but

WHAT?! :confused:

----------

What a lot of rubbish, epecially the audio where we now have the situation after years of deluding ourselves that mp3 sounded great people who listen are actually buying vinyl and buying HD digital audio, mp3 is for people who would be satisfied with a photocopy of the mona lisa!
You can take great photos with an iphone but as others have said it doesn't have the capabilities of DSLR's. You can take your Chevy Volt round the Nurburgring but a Ferrari or Porsche or their ilk are the only way it should be done!http://cdn.macrumors.com/vb/images/smilies/smile.gif

Exactly!

Robert.Walter
Jun 1, 2013, 01:38 PM
I enjoy good photography, but I don't turn to the papers for it.

Yes, there were iconic pics produced by print media photos in the past, but this was because there was an infrastructure to distribute them.

Take the iconic Times Square kiss at the end of ww2, had there been iPhones then, we may have had that pic from 29 different angles, and probably in hi def video too; as it was, a lucky photog pressed his shutter a few times that day, and one if the shots was golden. Then the distribution infrastructure did the rest.

Because of the democratizing nature of high quality digital photography equipment, and no need for the expensive development, or restrictive distribution channels, we should get more icons (also more noise) rather than less.

In the old tech days, it made sense to send a team on site, one to snap a few pics and one to do the interviews and catch the text in notes. Afterward, the team also made sense while one wrote the story, the other developed the prints.

Nowadays, the journalist can capture the whole thing on video, and transcribe the text (eventually, this will be automated, and just require editing downward), and pic a still from the vid (or post an edited vid.)

The economy, simplicity, reliability, and decent quality of the equipment made the old ways, which offered no great advantage over the new ways, unsustainably expensive.

bedifferent
Jun 1, 2013, 01:59 PM
I enjoy good photography, but I don't turn to the papers for it.

Yes, there were iconic pics produced by print media photos in the past, but this was because there was an infrastructure to distribute them.

Take the iconic Times Square kiss at the end of ww2...

The economy, simplicity, reliability, and decent quality of the equipment made the old ways, which offered no great advantage over the new ways, unsustainably expensive.

Great points. I really miss the "magic" analogue media produced. The iconic WWII image is a great example. Timing, iconic world events, the art and skill required in capturing the moment, and developing the images are important factors. Certainly digital photography has its place; it's easier and quicker than analogue and many devices have capable camera's. However, it's produced an over abundance of images, most uninspired (no offense meant). Not everyone is an Annie Leibovitz or Eddie Adams. The more we strip away the process, the less profound and emotional the results. Society needs to understand that speed and availability doesn't equate to quality.

Droid13
Jun 1, 2013, 02:00 PM
The economy, simplicity, reliability, and decent quality of the equipment made the old ways, which offered no great advantage over the new ways, unsustainably expensive.

This is what it boils down to - and it is highly subjective as to whether there is an advantage to the "old ways" or not. I think that there is, partly because I like stills and am not keen on video, partly for equipment limitation reasons, partly for the differing skill sets required in writing and photography and partly that in the interests of maintaining quality (ha!) and speed you don't want your writer messing around with a camera or your photographer trying to write something and missing the key shot - you want it to happen all at once and magically appear on a web page, complete in all its glory. But that ultimately is just my thoughts and my opinions.

While CST seem to think differently, it should be noted that CST is going to continue to make use of actual photographs, taken by DSLR-toting freelancers or sourced wire images.

The new equipment isn't up to scratch just yet. And I'm not sure about this video malarkey.

MadDawg2020
Jun 1, 2013, 02:04 PM
Photographers have often stayed current with technology - they shoot with digital cameras of the latest variety. I'm not sure you have a valid argument here.

There's a difference between shooting with an iPhone and shooting with a DSLR. There's a difference between amateur reporting and photography and professional.

If one doesn't know the difference or thinks it doesn't matter "much" - perhaps those people shouldn't be discussing it.

Actually you are way off, this is not akin to the analogue vs digital debate. This is more like instead of recording in a professional studio with real microphones placed at each instrument, that you record your next record in your living room using just the single microphone on a cassette deck capturing everything.


A camera phone simple does not have the resolution, depth of field, light sensitivity are image quality that is possible with an DSLR or even mirrorless camera. Think about it, instead of recording your image on a sensor the size of a 35 mm frame, you are recording on a sensor smaller than your pinky fingernail. Not to mention they lack any zoom, telephoto or wide angle abilities ...

aerok
Jun 1, 2013, 02:09 PM
DSLRs and SLRs are just a necessity for reporting, there no other kind of camera that can be as versitale as those two. Use addons with the iPhone? Good luck taking low light pictures in a conference room when sitting several meters away from stage. Let's not forget about weather. Can you really take pictures with your iPhone during a snowstorm or a tropical storm? A DSLR can. And let us not forget about battery life, can you snap 600 pictures+ with an iPhone on a single charge?

Even the best compact cameras (From the Leica M9, Sony RX1, 100S) is not enough for reporting, a phone will never be enough for at least a couple of decades.

----------

Not to mention they lack any zoom, telephoto or wide angle abilities ...

They technically do with addons but forget about using it indoors.

dazed
Jun 1, 2013, 02:14 PM
It's amazing how the stupid people always seem to be in charge.

This will be the death of them. Who wants to see photos of events taken on a wide angle phone camera. Unless the "reporter" is basically standing next to the event, the photo will be pretty useless.

And this is not the same as comparing digital to analog, it's comparing common sense to stupidity.

Also seems a lot of people in this forum understands photography about as well as those who made this bone headed decision.

ArcaneDevice
Jun 1, 2013, 02:18 PM
Just like anyone who can use iMovie on a Mac is the same as professional editor, or anyone who can drive is qualified to be in F1, or anyone who can write a post on a forum is instantly an author on the level of Hunter S. Thompson ...

clearly the Chicago Sun-Times thinks that anyone who can point a phone is capable of creating images of emotive art and amazing composition.

I look forward to seeing what badly framed, over exposed and daring images from the front lines of journalism define the Times for generations to come. :rolleyes:

Dr McKay
Jun 1, 2013, 02:19 PM
Good luck getting a photo if something is remotely far away, I swear camera phones make everything look even smaller and further away.

ArcaneDevice
Jun 1, 2013, 02:21 PM
Also seems a lot of people in this forum understands photography about as well as those who made this bone headed decision.

Welcome to the iPhone generation, where just being able to open Photoshop makes you a professional.

A decade ago when the Mac was still the domain of the designer and image specialist you might have got a more intelligent response.

DirtySocks85
Jun 1, 2013, 02:47 PM
This post nails it. It's the bottom line. If the consumer isn't willing to pay more for the better photo - or isn't more likely to buy the paper with the better photo over the one with the worse photo - then this makes economic sense even if it hurts journalistic quality.

So that's the question - how many us will either pay more for the paper with better photos or will buy the paper with better photos over the one with worse photos?

You say that, but a lot of it isn't even part of our conscious thought process. For example, I'm sure that when I see a friend post a link to an article on Facebook I'm far more likely to click through and read the article if it has an interesting photo. For that reason alone, media outlets need skilled photographers that can generate interest with their images more than ever.

Macula
Jun 1, 2013, 02:54 PM
A photojournalist is a photojournalist is a photojournalist.

pubwvj
Jun 1, 2013, 04:14 PM
Our local paper did this. The photos went way, way downhill. Too bad. The Snewz has little else to offer beyond local reporting since the national news is just regurgitated. After about a year of that trash I stopped subscribing. I still occasionally pickup the paper at the local store but find I'm doing less and less of that because they have gotten thinner, less content and less local news which was their only strength. The predicted end of the print newspaper is coming up hard and fast. Moves like this are just accelerating the process.

diazj3
Jun 1, 2013, 04:23 PM
So people can't have an opinion now, even if they don't support a particular entity? :rolleyes:

As a professor of mine used to say:

"You have the right to say what you think. But you have the obligation to think what you say"

:D

kas23
Jun 1, 2013, 04:27 PM
Why do they need reporters? they should just have citizens write the stories and use iChat to submit them!

/s

I agree. If they can fire photographers and basically substitute them with the equivalent of a photography layperson, then they should be able to replace their reporters with people with a layperson's understanding of writing news stories.

And if anyone feels that the quality of photos will suffer if they are taken with iPhones, the Chicago Sun-Times also looks to equip their reporters with these:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/11/24/will-i-am-to-launch-14-megapixel-camera-add-on-for-iphone/

Shrink
Jun 1, 2013, 04:31 PM
I agree. If they can fire photographers and basically substitute them with the equivalent of a photography layperson, then they should be able to replace their reporters with people with a layperson's understanding of writing news stories.

And if anyone feels that the quality of photos will suffer if they are taken with iPhones, the Chicago Sun-Times also looks to equip their reporters with these:

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/11/24/will-i-am-to-launch-14-megapixel-camera-add-on-for-iphone/

...and call them internet blogs...:p

samcraig
Jun 1, 2013, 04:31 PM
Actually you are way off, this is not akin to the analogue vs digital debate. This is more like instead of recording in a professional studio with real microphones placed at each instrument, that you record your next record in your living room using just the single microphone on a cassette deck capturing everything.


A camera phone simple does not have the resolution, depth of field, light sensitivity are image quality that is possible with an DSLR or even mirrorless camera. Think about it, instead of recording your image on a sensor the size of a 35 mm frame, you are recording on a sensor smaller than your pinky fingernail. Not to mention they lack any zoom, telephoto or wide angle abilities ...
You're quoting the wrong person. I never made any analogy regarding home audio. And my reply to the person that did agrees with you.

ClemyNX
Jun 1, 2013, 04:36 PM
This is an insult to professional photographers.
This kind of decision means that the entire decision making staff should be fired for their idiocy instead.

PinoyAko
Jun 1, 2013, 04:43 PM
What an idiotic decision.

macking104
Jun 1, 2013, 05:05 PM
Firing every photographer is not good... but, there are many times when you don't need a $1500 camera and extra person-- like photos at mayor's news conference, the big pothole, etc...

rjlawrencejr
Jun 1, 2013, 05:13 PM
Perhaps the CST is on to something. Why? Because with the exception of a select few, almost no one here actually read the article (from the Tribune). Instead the great majority of the comments are critical of the decision, but only in reaction to the Macrumors story and not the actual article explaining what will be happening.

Although I have little professional journalism experience, my hunch is that when a story breaks and a reporter is dispatched, said reporter will likely call his or her professional photographer contacts who will then accompany said reporter on said story.

As another poster explained, the paper will buy photos from freelance professional photographers. Stories such as sports, accidents, disasters, all call for pros who know, from experience, how to get the right shot. However, not every situation calls for a professional photographer. Besides, they will still have photo editors who will be the gatekeepers and decide when the reporter's photo is adequate or when a professional shot will tell the story better.

Is it sad? Of course. That's 28 people who now no longer have a guaranteed source of steady income. While I'm sure they might get a nice sum per photo sold, they will now have to sell a lot of photos just to make up for the loss in income.

gkarris
Jun 1, 2013, 05:16 PM
I can see how this makes sense. An iPhone is a lot more versatile than a dslr. Why carry a huge camera and bunch of lenses in an enormous camera bag when you could just carry a teeny iPhone. And if anybody has ever looked at a newspaper they will know that the pictures look terrible anyway with cheap ink, cheap paper, and super low dpi. If I want to make serious art, I will use a dslr. But a pic in a newspaper, I don't care. And iPhone photos aren't really that bad anyways. Get over it.

This...

Talking with people around Chicago, their attitude is that their phones take as good if not better a picture than an expensive camera.

If this is how the public feels about pictures, they won't even notice the change in the newspapers...

I heard that they also want to tap in on Crowd-Sourcing a lot of the pics from Twitter, FaceBook, etc.

The Chicago Sun-Times will be the first of many, then trickling into the video news media....

Carlanga
Jun 1, 2013, 05:17 PM
I find it funny how many of you in the forum react. It makes sense that most of you that react this way do so because you either work with photography or are serious about the hobby. As for me, it goes either way. Most photos in newspapers are not amazingly taken and inner I can take better picture with my iPhone than most of the pics I saw in today's newspaper.

Hate seeing jobs lost due to this, but incredibles pics are not a necessity. Pictures in stories were never the main attraction. They are made to attract the reader to that particular story. iPhones can take very decent pictures for the quality needed in a newspaper.

Shrink
Jun 1, 2013, 05:19 PM
This...

Talking with people around Chicago, their attitude is that their phones take as good if not better a picture than an expensive camera.

If this is how the public feels about pictures, they won't even notice the change in the newspapers...

I heard that they also want to tap in on Crowd-Sourcing a lot of the pics from Twitter, FaceBook, etc.

The Chicago Sun-Times will be the first of many, then trickling into the video news media....

Sadly, you are probably right.

Further erosion of anything fine in favor of the crude and coarse. Further lowering to the to the lowest common denominator.

Minja
Jun 1, 2013, 05:23 PM
this has to be a joke
if it's not sunny or bright overcast the camera in all smartphones is useless. I would understand them using nokia 808

MacDav
Jun 1, 2013, 05:52 PM
I agree. No way is phone photograph no more than casual photography. Serious photography will always be with SLR. Stupid decision

While I agree that serious photographers mostly use good SLR's, newspapers are not exactly known for "quality, high res" photographs. The main drawback I see would be the lack of long zoom lenses. Obviously, this is an attempt to save money since most newspapers are losing money fast. Whether this will help to stem the tide of losses or not is debatable. Time will tell whether it was a good decision. You don't know if this is a good decision or not. It's a bad decision for quality, but quality is not why they made this decision. ;)

MacDav
Jun 1, 2013, 06:12 PM
hahaha...agreed. smartphones dont have a true camera, they are only used for some casual photos, the true camera is a DSLR that's why every magazine and newspaper use them. chicago sun-times are gonna go down if they keep on doing this.

They, like most newspapers are already "going down". Why do you think they did this? They need to save money and try to cut losses. Ultimately, the whole newspaper industry will need to change drastically to survive. This is one of the steps they feel is necessary. Less and less people buy newspapers and this kind of action is the result of having less revenue available for staffing. ;)

Kalebra47
Jun 1, 2013, 06:20 PM
that's a bold move cotton, lets see if it pays off

MacDav
Jun 1, 2013, 06:28 PM
To see what was lost by this action:

http://j.mp/sun-times-photos

Image (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-W9tJ4jlh9To/UajJrUzEq6I/AAAAAAAAAv8/uMLgNrv9PBs/s500/Old+Suntimes+Logo1+copy.png)

Yes, the constant digital expansion is quickly demolishing the old analog landscape. This is evolutionarily. Millions of people have to change and adapt and many fine artists and craftsmen will have to make hard choices and adapt or die. The story of life on planet earth. Whether this story is joyful or sad depends on where you are sitting at the table of transition, and what is joyful today may be sadness tomorrow. ;)

Rocketman
Jun 1, 2013, 06:57 PM
Good luck getting a photo if something is remotely far away, I swear camera phones make everything look even smaller and further away.But they make sure against your will you capture everything no matter how tiny your subject is. OR on indoor family photos you can't stand quite far enough away.

reel2reel
Jun 1, 2013, 07:09 PM
As others have mentioned, it's just a clear sign that they're struggling HARD to stay afloat. It's obviously a nail in their coffin. Such a stupid decision that can only be made out of desperation.

I personally can't stand the trend of news sites using tiny thumbnails as the only picture for their story. Even more, I hate watching video of a story that's told faster in words and pictures. Who wants to see some stupid anchor prattling in Serious-News-Voice for two minutes before getting to the story. I could be done reading by then.

There's nothing like powerful pictures to capture a moment. This is what pro photographers do and reporters with phones are laughable in comparison. Just look at the some of the amazing photos caught by the press at the Boston Marathon explosion. They weren't captured with cell phones.

Giganova
Jun 1, 2013, 07:36 PM
Firing 28 photographers will save them around $5M each year. Who can blame them if people expect to get their news for free and don't subscribe to print news media anymore?

flameproof
Jun 1, 2013, 07:37 PM
At least use one of the brilliant Nokia Lumia phones to get better pix.

cclloyd
Jun 1, 2013, 08:50 PM
Breaking news: 4 reporters killed in accidents while taking dangerous photos because they couldn't get close enough; 6 reporters arrested for breaking police lines to get better shots.

toaster64
Jun 1, 2013, 09:14 PM
Aren't the photographers on strike right now, or am I thinking of a different newspaper? I could see them replacing some of the photographers with reporters using smartphones, but you sometimes need a big camera. You don't need a DSLR to take about half the pictures you see in the newspaper, but firing all of them is a bad idea unless it's because of a labor dispute.

Also, instead of iPhones, why not inexpensive point-and-shoots, which can zoom, used by untrained reporters?! Training people to use iPhones... this must be some kind of joke.

----------

Firing 28 photographers will save them around $5M each year. Who can blame them if people expect to get their news for free and don't subscribe to print news media anymore?

I can blame them for using iPhones instead of something with a zoom and at least "program" settings. Smartphone cameras can't zoom. That's the biggest problem by far, and it's a big problem.

----------

How can you make a broad statement like that? Are you the spokesman for every human?

Professional photographers are serious people with a serious work. There are plenty of people who admire their work, even if for a newspaper.

Now if you want to speak for yourself, that's fine as it's your opinion. But to make a sweeping, all-encompassing statement such as you did, that's a disservice to everyone because it isn't, cannot, be true.

It could be true, but I doubt there isn't a single person who cares about the photos. I don't really care about the images. Also, on the newspaper, it's in black-and-white and printed really cheaply. I still see the need for professional photographers, just not as many as most newspapers seem to have.

----------

On zoom fits all. Very minimal manual control. No shallow DOF. And it's a secondary focus for reporters.

We'll see how this develops.

It actually has decent manual control in that it will adjust its settings to expose best whatever you tap on, and there's HDR. But the tiny lens has limitations, you can't do fancy tricks with full manual control, no zoom (!!!), and yes, no short DoF mode.

Joe-Diver
Jun 1, 2013, 09:21 PM
The CST gets rid of it's photography department and will train reporters to use iPhones. They also replaced all laptops with typewriters. All reporters will be replaced with Internet bloggers....

Oh, wait....I went and read the actual story at CST.....didn't say ANY of that....actually they're changing the way they manage multimedia with the changing times and technology.

No real story now.....sad that those folks lost their jobs....but that's it really. Dang MR....you got me!! Yes, you did you buggers...!

pubwvj
Jun 1, 2013, 09:28 PM
I agree. If they can fire photographers and basically substitute them with the equivalent of a photography layperson, then they should be able to replace their reporters with people with a layperson's understanding of writing news stories.

Funny you should mention that... Today while reading the above the fold front page newspaper story I kept thinking to myself, 'this sounds like press release'... One thing after another in it. And it was! Then I realized that the local newspaper had closed down it's offices, saw an article about that recently, and was now minimally staffed having consolidated after being bought by another local paper about 100 miles away. The paper still looks much the same but the news stories are mostly APWire, very little local and it turns out the local in this case is just a PR piece about a local business. The editors are having the businesses write about themselves and then publishing these as news stories with a byline from a 'reporter'.

The newspaper is dead. Long live the web.

jclardy
Jun 1, 2013, 09:29 PM
To those saying the iPhone is great - yes it is a nice camera, for being in your phone. The quality is pretty great during a nice sunny day. But take a night photo of a moving subject and you will have a bad time.

The other issue is zoom. iPhone 5's camera is quite wide at either 24mm or 28mm equivalent. That is fine if you can walk right up to the subject to get a shot (Say for a scheduled interview shot) but anything with a police line is going to be completely useless as you will be too far away.

Now it isn't all bad news - as they most likely will be using more images from other sources like AP or stock editorial image sites. So while they will have to pay to license these photos, they will ultimately end up ahead as they aren't paying full time salaries.

MegamanX
Jun 1, 2013, 09:35 PM
The CST gets rid of it's photography department and will train reporters to use iPhones. They also replaced all laptops with typewriters. All reporters will be replaced with Internet bloggers....

Oh, wait....I went and read the actual story at CST.....didn't say ANY of that....actually they're changing the way they manage multimedia with the changing times and technology.

No real story now.....sad that those folks lost their jobs....but that's it really. Dang MR....you got me!! Yes, you did you buggers...!

You know CST is not a good source right here. Facts say other wise. THey let go their entire photography staff and then claim "technology"

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/01/business/media/chicago-sun-times-lays-off-all-its-full-time-photographers.html?_r=0

Nytimes is a better source than the one who laid everyone off in covering it.

ijohn.8.80
Jun 1, 2013, 09:47 PM
Why pay for this
http://www.webbaviation.co.uk/helicopter-photographer.jpg

When you just need these? ;)
http://digitaldeconstruction.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Pogo-Stick.jpg
+
http://images.freshnessmag.com/wp-content/uploads//2011/07/photojojo-apple-iphone-slr-lens-mount-09.jpg

electric
Jun 1, 2013, 09:47 PM
They should have let the reporters go and taught the photographers how to write. Prolly would get the same result but better pics. After all, pictures tell a thousand words but limited words only paint a limited picture.

2020mike
Jun 1, 2013, 09:53 PM
The Sun-Times has been going down hill for years. All the paper it has going for it now is the racist columns of Mary Mitchell and blabbering of Michael Sneed. It seems like every year the daily paper gets thinner and thinner.

daveslc
Jun 1, 2013, 09:54 PM
They won't be able to print any photos looking into a light source because of the annoying purple haze from the iPhone 5.

Flash SWT
Jun 1, 2013, 10:56 PM
Certainly that is one aspect, but the really good press guys frequently set up their shots. They often arrange the components of their shot to tell the story with more punch.

I certainly hope not. Any true photojournalist at a real paper will get fired for "setting up" or manipulating shots.

https://nppa.org/code_of_ethics

PracticalMac
Jun 1, 2013, 11:11 PM
I guess everything I want to say can be summed in one word.

Dumb.

daleremote
Jun 1, 2013, 11:51 PM
iPhones will be fine for many routine photographs. But in situations that call for better equipment (such as low light, rapid action, zoom), they'll be inferior. However, I'm more concerned by what this new task will do to reporters' ability to "get the story." It's going to be very difficult to balance taking decent shots against accurately recording the details of an event, whether it's with written notes or voice recordings.

Yes, this is the real problem. Imagine your team (1 journalist and 1 photojournalist) has one hour to cover a local event. The journalist spends that hour talking to VIPs, attendees, employees, whomever and gathering material for the story while the photojournalist spends the hour doing one thing: looking for a great photo. Lose the photographer, you now have a journalist spending 59 minutes gathering material for the story and 1 minute looking for a photo. 1 man-hour cannot possibly produce the same results as 2, even if the writer can shoot. But of course, it's what the audience will pay for, etc. etc.

redshift1
Jun 2, 2013, 12:39 AM
Probably a decision made by someone who's never written an article or taken a picture.

jettredmont
Jun 2, 2013, 01:29 AM
Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.

Sorry, that's BS. There are a handful of external lens accessories, but the reasons they don't even come close to approaching DSLR quality is simple physics. There is just not enough surface area on the iPhone lens to gather enough light as there is on a DSLR lens, there are too many lenses losing light as you add additional after-market optics to a lens system like the iPhone, and there are simply not large enough "buckets" in the sensor to hold enough photons to avoid low-light noise effects. These effects only get worse as high-focal-length lenses equivalent to DSLR 300mm zoom lenses are added on.

These are not things that an after-market accessory can fix. They are not even things that Apple could really fix.

That having been said, the Sun-Times is clearly going for truly crap quality photography to go along with their stories, and apparently believe that it would cost too much to teach their reporters how to use more advanced photographic equipment (which is silly, by the way; low-end DSLRs generally take much better photos than iPhones even in fully-automatic modes), or that lugging around larger photographic equipment would slow their reporters down (which is more legitimate and inescapable, but I'm not sure how to square that with the assumption that said reporters will be sporting multiple add-on lens accessories for their iPhones ...) Of course, for less than the iPhone they could buy dedicated pocket cameras which would include many of the features of a DSLR although still with the inherent light-gathering physics limitations.

I like my iPhone for pictures, when it is all I have. The camera you have is the best camera, after all. But I wouldn't want to rely on it to document anything important, or especially anything dangerous. It's a good close-up, low-profile tool, but there are only so many situations which call for that.

Lancer
Jun 2, 2013, 01:47 AM
I agree the iPhone (or any new smart phone) is great for taking pictures and video when you don't have a dedicated camera, let alone a DSLR. I use it all the time because I have it on me all the time but if I'm going some place I know I want to take good photos or video I bring the right camera for the job.

I'm amazed this story hasn't made the wider press or media as it could affects 1000s of people who make their living as photographers.

the8thark
Jun 2, 2013, 02:27 AM
Sounds like a headline straight from The Onion.
I'd be careful saying things like that around here if I was you.

lizardofwoz
Jun 2, 2013, 02:38 AM
I certainly hope not. Any true photojournalist at a real paper will get fired for "setting up" or manipulating shots.

https://nppa.org/code_of_ethics

Nonsense. Here is a local news story hypothetical:

Go and photograph the biggest dog in the world. Talk to the owner etc, etc. What are you going to do? Get a pic of the dog standing in his yard?

No. You set up a shot that shows the size of the animal in relation to other objects. You set up a shot that has 'cute' appeal. This is a doggy story. A common space filler in newspapers.

Not all photojournalism is the big international picture. Not all stories cover the destruction of the World Trade Centre.

Fruit Cake
Jun 2, 2013, 02:56 AM
KWALITY journalism at its finest!

----------

Why pay for this
Image (http://www.webbaviation.co.uk/helicopter-photographer.jpg)


+
Image (http://images.freshnessmag.com/wp-content/uploads//2011/07/photojojo-apple-iphone-slr-lens-mount-09.jpg)

Optimistic?

princigalli
Jun 2, 2013, 03:46 AM
Just because new gadgets are there doesn't mean that they will produce results. Having a new word processor doesn't make you a journalist either.

johnhw
Jun 2, 2013, 07:30 AM
With $650 per iPhone, i'd rather go with an entry level DSLR (think Canon EOS 100D) body only with a 50mm 1.8 prime lens. Same price, 10000000000000x better photos.

nt5672
Jun 2, 2013, 07:47 AM
This makes a lot of sense to me. Reporters quit being reporters many years ago. Now, they just repeat the propaganda. Propaganda is not worth much, so the papers don't need expensive photographers who take good pictures.

ob81
Jun 2, 2013, 08:22 AM
Yeah, newspapers are struggling pretty hard. I read a lot of replies, but I did not see any replies that mentioned the fact that most of the photos you see in the papers are actually photos that society has taken and given away for free, or a small fee.

The pictures from society tend to be taken earlier in the event. There is a picture of one of those women escaping from the home of that mad man. Who do you think took that picture? Not the news crews. They took great video coverage though, and shots of the crowds.

MacDarcy
Jun 2, 2013, 09:03 AM
I'm a travel writer, and have made the switch from DSLR to iphone for my travel photography. It's amazing what this little guy can do. I'm hooked. I know many professional photogs who have made the switch too. I even saw a war photographer doing an interview who says he uses an iphone. It's a photojournalists and street photographers best friend. Some magazine covers are being shot with an iphone now. Heck, last years Oscar winner for best documentary was partly shot using the iphone!

Having said that, I also recognize its limitations. Even while I sing its praises, I can understand why the Chicago Sun photogs are pissed. Not only for being laid off...but because the iphone can't do EVERYTHING. It still sucks for low light and action. And forget about shooting anything far away. Or sports. Or wildlife. Anything where you need a telephoto lens.

I & many others have embraced iphonephotograhy as a revelation. I'm a convert, and will never go back to lugging around a DSLR. But I also acknowledge that its not for everybody or the best solution for every situation. As much as I love the iphone, I was still shocked to hear the Chicago Sun was doing this.

MacDarcy
Jun 2, 2013, 09:19 AM
This makes a lot of sense to me. Reporters quit being reporters many years ago. Now, they just repeat the propaganda. Propaganda is not worth much, so the papers don't need expensive photographers who take good pictures.

I agree. We are living in the age of the Internet & instant communication. Newspapers & TV cannot compete, so they have become just as over the top & sensational. Everything is an easily digested sound bite now. Fear & gossip rule the day. Anything to keep eyeballs glued to the Telly or picking up a newspaper or magazine. Print media in particular is hurting. Advertisers are leaving in droves. So papers are cutting staff. Gone are the days of true investigative journalists who cover local beats. Gone are the days of real in depth, intelligent reporting.

It's all scandal, sensationalism and surface. Personally, I can't even watch regular news now. I turn to Jon Stewrt & Steven Colbert to cut thru all the BS & get to the truth. Lol.

Having said that, technology aint all bad. It has also put the power of twitter and a camera in the hand of every citizen. These are GREAT things too. Dictators are being overthrown with the help of twitter. The truth gets out quicker, in real time. It's amazing. Everyone can be a reporter. This is good.

But real journalists are still needed. They still exist, You just have to try harder to find them now.

syd430
Jun 2, 2013, 10:13 AM
Arn't all the people saying this is a stupid move because it would degrade the quality of the publication just stating the obvious?

Of coarse the person who made this decision understands that it will in some ways produce a lower quality publication as a result of lower quality images.

I'm sure that the person responsible for the decision also understands the intricacies of photography that many of you have keenly pointed out, and that it is an artform to be respected. At the end of the day, it's a business decision made by a for-profit company to cut costs. They weighed the costs and the benefits and decided that the saved costs would outweigh the benefit of high quality professional photos for their particular publication. Whether this was the right move is yet to be seen and will be determined over the long term. What I do know however is that all the people coming here and screaming that it's such an obviously stupid move come across as a bit.... naive.

----------

With $650 per iPhone, i'd rather go with an entry level DSLR (think Canon EOS 100D) body only with a 50mm 1.8 prime lens. Same price, 10000000000000x better photos.

Oh right, because they're buying iphones for staff only to use them as camera's, and not work phones that they otherwise would have bought their staff, like a huge number of other corporations. :rolleyes:

hjb
Jun 2, 2013, 11:10 AM
See analysis on my blog:
http://diginsider.com/2013/06/01/the-wrong-picture/

glsillygili
Jun 2, 2013, 11:14 AM
this is a joke. no way is this even possible

ScousePete
Jun 2, 2013, 11:55 AM
Next thing you know they will be replacing the reporters with monkeys on typewriters.

samcraig
Jun 2, 2013, 01:01 PM
Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.



Funniest post I've seen in a long time. Wait - you weren't serious, were you? :eek:

Dagless
Jun 2, 2013, 01:11 PM
Oh man this has to be a joke!

ctone
Jun 2, 2013, 02:27 PM
How many people posting here that this decision is stupid or a joke actually pay for a newspaper or a subscription to a paper? Too many people expect professional quality for free.

Shrink
Jun 2, 2013, 02:31 PM
How many people posting here that this decision is stupid or a joke actually pay for a newspaper or a subscription to a paper? Too many people expect professional quality for free.


***raises hand***

ctone
Jun 2, 2013, 02:39 PM
***raises hand***

Good - me too. I am sure there are a few more, but as someone involved in the newspaper and music businesses, I have seen firsthand how a lot of sad realities hit when people don't pay for your industry's products. It does adversely affect quality and puts many talented people out of work, which is a shame.

cambox
Jun 2, 2013, 02:43 PM
This is nothing new, the BBC has had their reporters filming with small domestic cameras for years after getting rid of two thirds of the news gathering camera crews.. No one noticed but the BBC saved a lot of money. Its only time that they will be using some sort of phone with wifi or 4G connection for live reports.

mbhebsgaard
Jun 2, 2013, 03:09 PM
And that will be the end of the Chicago Sun-Times... Im sorry!

yasyugixyugi
Jun 2, 2013, 03:22 PM
There used to be a day when one would pull up to a gas station and there would be a person to fill your tank, check your oil, clean the windshield and check the tires for air. Why don't we see this anymore, well, we just don't want to pay for it. The same may be for high quality professionally presented photos from a news organization.

They still do at small-town gas stations :)

Swift
Jun 2, 2013, 03:24 PM
When I was a kid, press photographers were actual figures in the culture. They used Press Graphics, the big camera that looked like a portrait camera, with a huge negative -- roughly 5 x 4 -- and the flash that was so big it seemed to explode in your face. When I worked in radio, it was at first the practice to take a recording engineer with you in the field, and then you'd do the editing yourself with a razor blade. Really. A little metal block with a groove in it so you'd always cut at the same angle, for smooth transitions.

I think the difference here is that, no, we're not going to have paper newspapers, as it were, much longer. It's too expensive to cut down the trees, manufacture the huge rolls of paper and buy the capital goods of those huge printers that could turn out millions of papers a day in big cities. It's going to be digital. What I hope to see is that the same amount of professionalism in the era when everyone will release their product much the same way. The great writers, editorialists, crusaders and so on. I doubt that every picture will be taken by reporters, since a lot of photo stories are beyond the abilities of iPhone users, or the writers of Sunday features in the rotogravure section or their equivalent. But that's not the everyday photos, the shot of the demonstration in front of city hall, the politician making a speech, etc. And there, without the need for a photographer to haul the cameras, the tripod, plus batteries and film(?) or the Canon Mark whatever they use, the reporter can get up the stairs, get a quote, record a video of the subject saying the same thing, and then grab a couple of shots while talking with him in a very fluid and candid way. Cameras, to use Steve's analogy, are like trucks. Some people need them, but the most popular camera in America is likely the iPhone. Bowing to the inevitable. The craftsmanship of the past isn't necessary except in limited circumstances. The photographers will be replaced by different craftsmen, of course, because that's the way it works.

wknapp0924
Jun 2, 2013, 04:29 PM
Damn so spending thousands on a professional photographer to take our wedding pictures could have been saved by hiring a friend with an iPhone?

This is disgusting and twitter, reddit, and Instagram are to blame!

TC25
Jun 2, 2013, 04:45 PM
The most shocking part of this story is the claim the Chicago Sun-Times practiced journalism. Who knew?

----------

How many people posting here that this decision is stupid or a joke actually pay for a newspaper or a subscription to a paper?
Cancelled our subscription lo the local paper when it became nothing more than wire service stories and the local coverage all but disappeared.

chrono1081
Jun 2, 2013, 05:06 PM
Obviously this decision wasn't made by someone with any amount of photography experience.

They're going to be in for a rude surprise real soon...

ijohn.8.80
Jun 2, 2013, 05:43 PM
Next thing you know they will be replacing the reporters with monkeys on typewriters.

I thought that happened in the mid 80's? That was when I started noticing the complete breakdown of grammar in newspapers. ;)

thekev
Jun 2, 2013, 05:51 PM
I'm a travel writer, and have made the switch from DSLR to iphone for my travel photography. It's amazing what this little guy can do. I'm hooked. I know many professional photogs who have made the switch too. I even saw a war photographer doing an interview who says he uses an iphone. It's a photojournalists and street photographers best friend. Some magazine covers are being shot with an iphone now. Heck, last years Oscar winner for best documentary was partly shot using the iphone!

Having said that, I also recognize its limitations. Even while I sing its praises, I can understand why the Chicago Sun photogs are pissed. Not only for being laid off...but because the iphone can't do EVERYTHING. It still sucks for low light and action. And forget about shooting anything far away. Or sports. Or wildlife. Anything where you need a telephoto lens.

I & many others have embraced iphonephotograhy as a revelation. I'm a convert, and will never go back to lugging around a DSLR. But I also acknowledge that its not for everybody or the best solution for every situation. As much as I love the iphone, I was still shocked to hear the Chicago Sun was doing this.

Out of curiosity, how large are these going?


Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.



You drifted off into nonsense with this part. Whenever someone suggests this, it simply means they're not used to raw processors. Phones depend on on immediate processing, and it's just about what renders a pleasing image in the majority of cases as easily as possible. DSLRs have a different range of requirements. Performance at different ISO ratings matters. They're generally set up to capture as much information as possible with fairly low default sharpening settings. It doesn't always look as good straight from the camera, but the quality and level of control tend to be higher in spite of lens design restrictions in mirror based cameras (like how wide angles are really reverse mounted telephoto lenses). This would have made more sense if you were arguing that the phone quality was both good enough and simpler. Better is ridiculous, and of course I've used both. DSLRs have been basically good enough to print at a decent size since the 1Ds 10 years ago.

Thanatoast
Jun 2, 2013, 09:05 PM
Without a commiserate pay raise, I assume.

Michael CM1
Jun 2, 2013, 11:18 PM
While I agree that it's not good for journalism, it's another part of the pay to play world we live in. How many of you opposed to this would buy a subscription/pay more to a news service to have an incrementally better picture? People aren't hardly willing to pay anything as it is so I'm not surprised when I see companies make moves like this. Do I like it? No. Do I understand it? Yup.

I work at a newspaper, and this doesn't shock me. Some people in the biz get it. Others thing that you should just throw everything on a website and see what sticks.

Reporters taking photos with iPhones is a very good tool -- in addition to regular photographers. So if a newspaper has two photographers who can only be at two events on a given day, your reporter might be able to get a good shot of a police interview or school board meeting speaker. With the right training it is a good addition to the usual photographs taken by people who taken bazillions of them.

But it doesn't replace them.

Did anybody at the CST ever ask, "How will this affect sports photos?" You cannot -- cannot -- take a good sports photo at night in a fast-moving sport with an iPhone camera. First of all, you can't zoom in. Second of all, SHUTTER SPEED. Third of all, NOT ENOUGH LIGHT. I tried to get some shots at a soccer game on an iPhone back in the day and with my dad's $500 SLR in the twilight. Blursville.

So again, some place is going the cut costs route instead of the "preach why we pay these people and why X reporter or photographer is a better source than @chitownnuwz." If anybody needs to know, go look at the Boston Globe reporting after the Boston Marathon bombing compared to the rampant rumors on Twitter and Reddit that had two guys -- the wrong guys -- metaphorically strapped into the electric chair in a couple of days.

I'm sure a lot of you understand this from articles written on MacRumors. So many of the rumors are written with the caveat of "this guy is usually right on what he writes" or "this guy saying the next iPhone will be powered by farts has been once right in his life when he guessed that the iPhone 5 would be offered in black." Credibility matters.

----------

Good - me too. I am sure there are a few more, but as someone involved in the newspaper and music businesses, I have seen firsthand how a lot of sad realities hit when people don't pay for your industry's products. It does adversely affect quality and puts many talented people out of work, which is a shame.

I just signed up for a subscription to the big paper in Atlanta, but honestly I'm not liking it much because the layout is very much a daily newspaperish "we'll update our top stories once a day" thing and you have to hunt and peck for the actual latest stories.

I did it kind of as a move of solidarity, but I don't know for how much longer. I honestly don't read it most of the time because I work for the very local paper and end up finding out about the statewide news working there or through some other outlet.

Maybe I'll give it a couple more months and just give them more feedback. "I don't like having to dig for the actual breaking news." They also put too many damn education stories as the big, dominant story with a photo. I have zero kids and live three or four counties out from Atlanta where all the cheating went on.

I think the Washington Post is going to paid this summer. I wouldn't mind paying as long as it's not way too expensive for what I do. I usually read the political section and columns. I'd pay $15/month for that.

Keep reminding your friends that there are people who are paid to do all of the stuff they see on news websites. Ads DO NOT cover the entire cost for almost anything outside of network TV. It's the fault of people in the industry 15, 20 years ago who decided to just give it all away. I just hope the whole thing doesn't crash before rebuilding once enough people realize what we do.

linuxcooldude
Jun 3, 2013, 12:00 AM
Technology is getting better all the time. The movie Crank 2, with Jason Statham, was shot primarily with consumer & prosumer grade camcorders. They had a advantage over the larger more expensive ones. Their small size allowed them to mount them in tight corners. They said the quality was good enough for film making.

I recently interviewed a news reporter for the Caller-times newspaper for my technology show. I asked her some of her favorite devices. She said by far was her iPhone. She used it for taking interviews, getting pictures for the paper and so on.

They seem to do things much differently from a newspaper. They actually film her entertainment segment "Top 5" that gets shown on TV 3 news & radio every week. I was quite surprised when I found out she often films her own segments because she has to wait a few hours or so till a cameraman is available. It faster if she does it herself.

Now the news media, whether newspaper or local or national television, now realize how powerful these mobile devices are. Its not always about the quality, its more about catching the latest news as it happens. So the best way to catch this late breaking news is by the general public themselves. Most people have smartphones capable of taking hi resolution pictures or video. Often many news coverage is using this cell phone coverage just because it was taken at the scene.

captain kaos
Jun 3, 2013, 12:16 AM
Good luck with that one chicago sun.....pfft.

92jlee
Jun 3, 2013, 12:51 AM
My iPhone 5 just cannot compete with my Canon 600D and that's an entry level DSLR!

SeaFox
Jun 3, 2013, 02:38 AM
While I may not agree with the decision, I can sorta see the logic - paying a bunch of senior staff whether or not news is happening can get expensive. You really only need the really good stuff for major stories.

Paying a bunch of senior management at a company whether or not big decisions need to get made is kinda expensive, too.

I love how every business is trying to make their jobs contact and need-based. It's like the 1% has forgotten everyone else needs a steady paycheck, too.

Romey-Rome
Jun 3, 2013, 03:41 AM
Lol. Wait. It's not April 1st.

bitfidelity
Jun 3, 2013, 04:40 AM
I think news photography is overrated, as the art and creativity is constrained by relevancy. When was the last time you saw a photo in a news story that could be considered art?

I also find it incredibly stupid that people still use smartphone cameras when there's small mirror-less cameras that can fit in your pocket.

fratey
Jun 3, 2013, 04:43 AM
This is about as intelligent as firing all journalists writing articles - I mean, "everyone can write". Might as well in-source highschool students to write the articles. No problem!

Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.
LOL
the iPhone doesn't even produce images at the same level as the eight year old 5D.

till213
Jun 3, 2013, 06:53 AM
To see what was lost by this action:

http://j.mp/sun-times-photos

Image (http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-W9tJ4jlh9To/UajJrUzEq6I/AAAAAAAAAv8/uMLgNrv9PBs/s500/Old+Suntimes+Logo1+copy.png)

And just a few pages later:

http://www.robbmontgomery.com/2013/05/mobile-reporting-smartphone-laptop.html

"Learn how to use your smartphone to produce high quality multimedia"

Sad but true...

Technodynamic
Jun 3, 2013, 07:47 AM
Goodbye bokeh! rofl

tbrinkma
Jun 3, 2013, 08:27 AM
It's that way now but it wasn't always that way. Also, even if the photos that ultimately end up in the newspaper aren't the most artistic, quite often the photographer takes many more on the scene and it's one of those that you see in a museum later.

With no staff of press photographers you have fewer pro photographers at these important events.


To even say this suggests you..

1) Don't know what really makes DSLR camera pictures so high quality (hint: it's not something you can "bolt-onto" a camera phone).

2) Are completely missing the point that part of what makes the pictures high quality is the talent of the people taking them. This is another something you can't buy for an iPhone.

1) Completely correct. The 'snap-on' lenses for the iPhone *do* provide a range of options that the stock iPhone does not. Thus increasing it's flexibility. But that doesn't give you the same light-gathering capability of the larger DSLR lens, nor does it give you the same lens *quality*.

2) Also completely correct, but entirely beside the point, and exactly why they're *TRAINING* their reporters. A pro with an iPhone will almost always end up with a better picture than a rookie with a DSLR, because a good photo is almost always more dependent on the photographer than the camera. On the other hand, the vast majority of photos that you see in newspapers or magazines have had an editorial hand applied to them. Even if nothing else is done to them, they're almost always cropped for better presentation.

On the other hand, it's a rare situation for a newspaper to *ever* have had a photographer available to go out on a job with *each and every* reporter. This improves on that ratio quite significantly.

jonnysods
Jun 3, 2013, 08:59 AM
They might find themselves in trouble when they need to take great night time photos. The iPhone 5 is good, but not that good!

AustinIllini
Jun 3, 2013, 09:00 AM
Studies have shown that people are more likely to read an article in the newspaper if there's a photo to go with that story. The better the photo, the more people read the story, and online that means more page views, which in turn means more ad revenue.

Studies also show people aren't reading newspapers anymore. It's a fact of life. I understand this entirely if the Sun-Times is trying to stay afloat. I'm not sure I share in the sentiment that this is in any way sad (Especially when compared to the newspaper industry as a whole).

sethypoo
Jun 3, 2013, 09:45 AM
A well known photographer once told me that the camera doesn't matter, it's the person taking the photo that makes the difference. This photographer told me that they would work with an instant disposable camera if that was the tool available to them.

Drunken Master
Jun 3, 2013, 09:50 AM
Studies also show people aren't reading newspapers anymore. It's a fact of life. I understand this entirely if the Sun-Times is trying to stay afloat. I'm not sure I share in the sentiment that this is in any way sad (Especially when compared to the newspaper industry as a whole).

They still read the stories online.

Michael CM1
Jun 3, 2013, 09:52 AM
Studies also show people aren't reading newspapers anymore. It's a fact of life. I understand this entirely if the Sun-Times is trying to stay afloat. I'm not sure I share in the sentiment that this is in any way sad (Especially when compared to the newspaper industry as a whole).

Go find anything of substance and it probably came from a reputable news source like AP, CNN, etc. @joeblow wasn't sitting on the Capitol steps to tell us a senator died. No, that was the Washington press corps.

As much as I complaina bout DRM on movies, I can't imagine how much better off the news industry would be if you had to pay or be allowed access after an ad to any news story. Like if you couldn't copy and paste the text or snap a screenshot. I'm not saying I think that's the way it should go, but I get the rationale behind DRM at times.

nburwell
Jun 3, 2013, 10:25 AM
As a hobbyist photographer, this is an absolutely awful move. While the iPhone is great in the social world to share photos you take instantly on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. It does not and should not replay DSLR's in the professional world (aka photojournalism). I'm an NYT digital subscriber, and I pay $15/month not only for the articles, but the photography as well. I would expect that if they did the same thing the Chicago Sun-Times did, they would lower the monthly subsciption price as well. While I understand this is a cost cutting move, it's still terrible move nonetheless.

While I love my iPhone for everything it does (including the images I take with it), it will never replace my DSLR.

HMF
Jun 3, 2013, 10:48 AM
That is just ridiculous.

Can't believe that a professional newspaper is firing a professional team with professional equipment and work with a consumer product and amateur team.

DUCKofD3ATH
Jun 3, 2013, 11:16 AM
As a professional photographer, this causes a lot of concern not only from the business side of photography but photography as a craft.

The iPhone does take decent photographs on the fly but if compelling images are needed, a professional photographer with years of photographic experience and training is needed.

Frankly, I am not surprised about this considering how the craft of photography has been slowly swirling down the toilet the past few years. No one gives a rat's tail about quality these days and settles for the mediocrity of cell phone pictures.

If it's a choice between good and better, people generally won't pay more for better if they can get good enough.

DUCKofD3ATH
Jun 3, 2013, 11:40 AM
Go find anything of substance and it probably came from a reputable news source like AP, CNN, etc. @joeblow wasn't sitting on the Capitol steps to tell us a senator died. No, that was the Washington press corps.

As much as I complaina bout DRM on movies, I can't imagine how much better off the news industry would be if you had to pay or be allowed access after an ad to any news story. Like if you couldn't copy and paste the text or snap a screenshot. I'm not saying I think that's the way it should go, but I get the rationale behind DRM at times.

Most people wouldn't pay for what they perceive to be dishonest reporting:

A new Gallup poll on perceived honesty and ethical standards found that journalists possess a dismally low rating. When asked to rate a variety of professions on having "very high" to "very low" honesty and ethical standards, pollsters found that below 25 percent of Americans have positive feelings about the honesty of journalists. The results are from a survey distributed between November 26-29.

In fact, journalists had a lower rating than bankers, chiropractors and psychiatrists. On the other hand, journalists had a higher rating than lawyers, senators, members of Congress, and cars salespeople.

The results are consistent with findings of polls past. In August, a Daily Kos poll showed that a staggering 78 percent of individuals said they possess an unfavorable view of the political press. A Gallup poll released in July found that confidence in television news hit a new low, with just 21 percent of adults saying they possessed a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the institution.

HuffPo (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/03/new-gallup-poll-journalists-low-honesty-rating_n_2231373.html)

ctdonath
Jun 3, 2013, 12:42 PM
A well known photographer once told me that the camera doesn't matter, it's the person taking the photo that makes the difference. This photographer told me that they would work with an instant disposable camera if that was the tool available to them.

That's the make-do attitude of the professional. Use what you've got to achieve the intended results. Whatever tools you've got, make 'em work. If that means getting visuals with charcoal on fishwrap, so be it - they'll make it work.

That doesn't mean said professional will opt for lousy equipment. A pro will recognize his limits, and choose tools which are at least that good, lest a situation arise within his limits but outside the tool's. Fast up time, deep zoom, high optical resolution, rapid sequencing, extensive color depth ... all factors a photo pro can easily make use of to achieve superior pictures, but which a mere iPhone (as good as it is) can't do. That's why high-end cameras are used, which not every mortal can make optimal use of.

Your source could, indeed, do marvelous work with just a instant disposable camera. That's why he's a "professional", able to take tools to their limits and work around their limitations. He'll get better results with that POS camera than almost any non-pro photographer than the latter with a premium high-end rig. That's why professional photographers are used, doing better than most any other mortal can achieve.

If we were talking some podunk town fishwrap spending too much for a photog covering minor incidents, we could understand downsizing accordingly. But we're not: we're talking a major national newspaper; maybe not quite so many photographers are needed, but getting rid of all of them is just nuts.

DUCKofD3ATH
Jun 3, 2013, 01:51 PM
If we were talking some podunk town fishwrap spending too much for a photog covering minor incidents, we could understand downsizing accordingly. But we're not: we're talking a major national newspaper; maybe not quite so many photographers are needed, but getting rid of all of them is just nuts.

Heck, maybe the Sun-Times is onto something. Even in podunk towns, people have iPhones, Galaxys, etc. to shoot news as it happens. There's a lot to be said for relying on crowds to snap mediocre, but serviceable, photos of newsworthy events instead of hoping a pro happens by and has the time to get set up while things are happening. (I love my Nikon D7000, but since it takes time to install a lens, occasionally the P&S I also keep in the bag is used to take a poorer quality, but timelier pic).

Is it worth keeping pros on staff just for photo ops?

xdhd350
Jun 3, 2013, 04:12 PM
To even say this suggests you..

1) Don't know what really makes DSLR camera pictures so high quality (hint: it's not something you can "bolt-onto" a camera phone).

2) Are completely missing the point that part of what makes the pictures high quality is the talent of the people taking them. This is another something you can't buy for an iPhone.

Those are two statements that hit the nail exactly on the head. I love my iPhone and the camera can do some respectable shots... but it's not an all situation camera which is what a lot of naive people don't realize.

The second point is also true and should be obvious. Different people have different natural talents. If it was that easy, I'd be a professional (insert sport or occupation here), but the fact is, it's not easy. Professionals make it look easy.

Here's a recent example of a shot you WON"T get unless you have a good camera and a natural talent for capturing the essence of a story.

(Credit: AP Photo Sue Ogrock)

Truss Wrod
Jun 3, 2013, 04:13 PM
:SARCASM MODE ON: Hey. Why stop at the snappers? Fire the journalists. Use bloggers. Sales people? Who needs 'em? Just switch the revenue model over to Google Ads. In fact there's not really any need for a managing editor's job.

chirpie
Jun 3, 2013, 04:18 PM
I can see that everyone has jumped on the iphone angle which admittidely sexes up the whole thing, but is this really whats happening?

You can buy a Sony Nex, Panasonic GX-1 or Olympus Pen micro four thirds camera, set it on auto and take amazing pictures without even trying nowadays. Surely it is more economical to send 1 reporter to a story who can take great high quality pictures with those type of camera's rather than 2 people?

The iphone cant do low light photography very well and cant zoom and cant be blown up a huge amount so I think its a red herring. You can only take quality pics on phones if you have great light. Thats something that you just dont have most of the time hence real SLR's.

But these compact camera's dont need a full time photographer to do the job. The way the newspaper is thinking is if bloggers can writes stories and use these cameras then why cant their writers?

Just like lots of artistry alot of the things that made it so special was how technical it was to achieve a basic thing. It was a big deal to shoot a decent picture in 1971, and then get it processed. Now I can shoot 100's of shots with perfect clarity, fix them in snap seed or pixelmator and print them on my own at home. No messy chemicals, no big deal. Thats how it is right now. Everyone just has to deal with reality.

EVEN IF the person on the scene had a dual degree in journalism and photography, experience in the field in both, and had all of that equipment on hand...

... both will suffer. If you're doing it right, you're specifically focusing on one and not the other at any one time. When I shoot video with my DSLR as the main activity, I'm framing it differently in my mind than if I'm trying to shoot for still. I don't switch back and forth mentally on a whim, and this is true for most people who try to multi-task. (No, I don't do it for a living, more of a semi-pro hobbyist.)

Multi-tasking is evil, and ironically, studies show that those who actively try to do more of it, progressively become worse at it.

I just have a lack of respect for organizations who take the stance of "Eh, good enough." While we'll never know, I wonder just how much the bottom line was hurting VS netting more overall profit? Sometimes this stuff can become it's own self-fulfilling prophecy.

Dranix
Jun 4, 2013, 02:11 AM
Also, there are TONS of camera lens accessories for the iPhone and they produce DSLR (if not BETTER than DSLR) quality.

While I agree to some of your points this one is ridiculous - iPhone cam is as far from a modern dslr in picture quality as a polaroid to a MF-back. They don't even play in the same league.

Michael CM1
Jun 4, 2013, 02:54 AM
EVEN IF the person on the scene had a dual degree in journalism and photography, experience in the field in both, and had all of that equipment on hand...

... both will suffer. If you're doing it right, you're specifically focusing on one and not the other at any one time. When I shoot video with my DSLR as the main activity, I'm framing it differently in my mind than if I'm trying to shoot for still. I don't switch back and forth mentally on a whim, and this is true for most people who try to multi-task. (No, I don't do it for a living, more of a semi-pro hobbyist.)

Multi-tasking is evil, and ironically, studies show that those who actively try to do more of it, progressively become worse at it.

I just have a lack of respect for organizations who take the stance of "Eh, good enough." While we'll never know, I wonder just how much the bottom line was hurting VS netting more overall profit? Sometimes this stuff can become it's own self-fulfilling prophecy.

I can also tell you that in my limited experience actually reporting, it can be hard to count on getting a photo AND actually reporting. I use my iPhone to record interviews. It's hard to take a photo at the same time. So if it's a press conference situation, you literally can't take a picture of a PIO speaking and record what's going on.

As for sporting events, there is no such thing as a good place to be for writing stuff down for a story and taking a photo. At high school football games, we're up in press boxes writing down stats. You can't get good photos unless you are on the darn sideline.

So what we end up doing with reporters sometimes taking photos that are basically "we have this photo instead of no photo" is just fine. I took a photo a couple of weeks ago with my iPhone for a Q&A. The photo editor gave me a tip and the photo turned out much better than I would've thought without the tip.

And did someone really claim that iPhone pictures can be made better than DSLR with some accessories? No. Just no. Sticking a keyboard on my iPad won't make it more powerful than my quad-core 12GB of RAM iMac. Just no.

quasibinaer
Jun 4, 2013, 03:23 AM
There used to be a day when one would pull up to a gas station and there would be a person to fill your tank, check your oil, clean the windshield and check the tires for air. Why don't we see this anymore, well, we just don't want to pay for it. The same may be for high quality professionally presented photos from a news organization.

That´s because you can do it yourself well enough. Same goes for mowing the lawn, taking out the trash or repairing your bike. If you´ve got the time and the ability, you can do it.
It´s a different thing with photography, though. You don´t become a photographer by walking into bestbuy, buy a mac, photoshop and 1000$ (or 15000$, doesn´t matter) worth of photo equipment. It takes skill, dedication, instinct, experience and a few other things that don´t grow on trees.

Publishing companies and newspapers know that. But they fail to get their priorities straight. First in line should be the reader, so you´d want good content to keep them on. Good content comes through various efforts, one of them being experience. Experience is a rare quality with humans and thus needs to be paid accordingly. You´d want experienced humanoids to wander about your newsroom. And it´s not like most (photo)journalists get paid a fortune - it´s enough to sustain yourself, maybe even have a family or a house. That´s with a regular staff position, though. Freelance work doesn´t pay as regularly and often not as well.

I do speak from experience here. I´m a professional freelance photojournalist, mostly working for a daily newspaper in the area. I had a colleague and friend who used to work 22 to 24 days each month, usually far north of 9 or 10 hours per day. He had a wife and two children to support. In the end, he wasn´t even able to pay for his health insurance (which is much cheaper here than in the US) and eventually died from a simple infection at age 46.

Yeah, freelancing. :|

demodave
Jun 4, 2013, 07:11 AM
Image (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/31/chicago-sun-times-fires-photo-staff-will-train-reporters-to-use-iphones-for-photos/)


A day after the Chicago Sun-Times fired the entirety of its 28-person photo staff (http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/breaking/chi-chicago-sun-times-photo-20130530,0,4361142.story), Chicago media critic Robert Feder (via Cult of Mac (http://www.cultofmac.com/229512/chicago-sun-times-lays-off-entire-photo-staff-will-give-reporters-iphoneography-training/)) is reporting (https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=574828549206261&amp;id=175146445841142) that the newspaper is training its reporters in iPhone photography to produce the photo content the paper requires.

Article Link: Chicago Sun-Times Fires Photo Staff, Will Train Reporters to Use iPhones For Photos (http://www.macrumors.com/2013/05/31/chicago-sun-times-fires-photo-staff-will-train-reporters-to-use-iphones-for-photos/)

This is an absolutely ridiculous decision and is a smack in the face to photojournalists. I agree with what many others have already said: there is art and technique to photojournalism, and as much as I do love that my iPhone puts a pretty nice camera in my pocket, it cannot replace a real camera. It's takes space, distance and volume to bend light. The reason telephotos are so big and the reason lenses for dark-light image capture are so big is that they need to be. The CMOS sensors may not need to be huge, and the post-processing will surely all be digital, but it's no good if you can't get the light onto the sensor.

This seems like a really dumb-assed financial decision. It's also just plain truly sad.

A better choice might be to "cut the cord" and eliminate *paper* in your newspaper, but I don't think the world is quite ready for that yet. (We're getting there, though, I hope.)

alexgowers
Jun 4, 2013, 07:17 AM
If a old fashioned newspaper wants to be modern maybe they should look at a more modern format than newspaper?

This is the epitome of 'cutting your nose off to spite your face' !

quasibinaer
Jun 4, 2013, 08:02 AM
If a old fashioned newspaper wants to be modern maybe they should look at a more modern format than newspaper?

This is the epitome of 'cutting your nose off to spite your face' !

Our paper is already making the transition - or at least taking steps in that direction. We have two app-based editions for tablets (iOS/Android) that are richer in content, i.e. you get videos, slideshows and so on. They also feature a handy PDF version of the days paper as well.
We´re far from having a stable solution that satisfies all readers (who are older than 40 on average) and I believe we won´t get that until about 2020. Also, people still like the printed version. It´s not like this mode of delivery is or will be suddenly out of fashion...

rGiskard
Jun 4, 2013, 11:32 AM
Seems like reasonable enough move. Phone cameras are a better fit for their level of journalism than pro photographers with DSLRs.

fivedots
Jun 4, 2013, 12:29 PM
They still read the stories online.

And online news has yet to prove itself as a sustainable business model. Ad supported does not generate enough revenue and paywalls force people to go elsewhere; for the most part there are too many other places to get the same news.

We've set a bad precedent that online equals free in many areas. This has to rectify itself at some point, but we're not there yet. We can only go so long before a revenue model needs to be in place.

I love photography and photographers, but the reality is that the Sun-Times did what they had to do to stay afloat.

truettray
Jun 4, 2013, 01:03 PM
On one hand it's cool that the iPhone camera could even be considered to replace a DSLR in the professional world. On the other hand, this was the wrong move for The Sun. 28 people are being told to take a hike... not only is it sad, it's frankly insulting to these professional photographers... to all professional photographers really.

glutenenvy
Jun 4, 2013, 07:38 PM
My guess is that if they get people to quit it will be cheaper than firing them. I am also speculating that as a whole it is cheaper in total costs to fire photography staff then it is to fire the reporting staff. If it closes in several months, we should be safe to assume that was the reasoning.

SeaFox
Jun 5, 2013, 01:13 AM
2) Also completely correct, but entirely beside the point, and exactly why they're *TRAINING* their reporters. A pro with an iPhone will almost always end up with a better picture than a rookie with a DSLR, because a good photo is almost always more dependent on the photographer than the camera.

Training can improve things, I will agree. But Art is only part training. The majority of it is talent and practice (experience). These reporters will likely have neither. Learning to take a good photograph is something your do in high school and college, not when you're already on the job. That's the level of proficiency you're supposed to be at before you start getting paid for it, and it's what those laid-off (they weren't "fired") photographers did while the reporters were supposedly learning to write professionally to do the story side of the equation.

A well known photographer once told me that the camera doesn't matter, it's the person taking the photo that makes the difference. This photographer told me that they would work with an instant disposable camera if that was the tool available to them.

I agree with this. Too often I see people walking around with $3000 DSLRs who think they're photographers when the ones really making the pictures look good are camera firmware programmers that wrote the "AUTO" setting algorythms and the folks at Adobe who coded Photoshop.

Can't believe that a professional newspaper is firing a professional team with professional equipment and work with a consumer product and amateur team.

With the way the news stories themselves are becoming less and less professional, maybe this is just the other areas playing catch-up.

:SARCASM MODE ON: Hey. Why stop at the snappers? Fire the journalists. Use bloggers. Sales people? Who needs 'em? Just switch the revenue model over to Google Ads. In fact there's not really any need for a managing editor's job.

This is already happening. The neat part is when there's bad information reported by the news outlet they can just blame the "network of viewers like YOU" for giving them the bad info, when the real problem is the news organization was too cheap to pay for reporters in the locations it needed to cover the news.

BTW, sales people will be one of the last to go. They are go good at what they do they will manage to sell themselves as being what keeps the entire business afloat even after they fire all the staff and there is no longer an actual paper for the marketers to sell.

RobertMartens
Jun 5, 2013, 06:35 AM
I never buy their paper nor go to their website, but now I'm for sure never going to support their business.

You just said you never were their customer. So I guess you never cared about quality photographs in the first place.