Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Do newspapers preserve memories?

As a news photographer you were thinking about making the deadline for the next days newspaper. Reporters have complained about how their articles were only read on the day of publication and after that the paper was only used to "wrap fish with."

Maybe for words,

The photograph is more objective, capturing a unique moment and enables the viewer to see: the people, study their dress, look at faces, environment, etc. This then brings back their own memories, or maybe helps understand the life of parents during WWII. Better understand articles reflecting on historic moments. See grandparents alive and smiling.

I was talking to a friend show commented on how she helped friends at weddings by photographing all the guests. Saying how the photo of the couple getting married was nice, but that couple would like to see and remember who came to the wedding. Interesting, who came to your wedding?

www.jimdomke.com


Saturday, August 25, 2018

Once upon a time I was a newsphotographer

Reading a Facebook post from an old colleague who took a newspaper buy-out, he posted how he liked all the events he has witnessed first hand. it started me thinking of my favorite moments at the various newspapers where I have worked. I always think about the successful photo that resulted.

For example, I remember interning at Newsday and getting to go to a peace concert at Shea stadium. Can't remember what bands were playing, it was a year after Woodstock, but it was the audience that caught my attention. The photo of the fans cheering has stayed in my portfolio.


A summer internship at the Aspen Times was a kick, got to find all my own stories. No assignments! I loved the new offset press and having all the space to fill with picture pages. Did a page on a rodeo, a sports car race, festivals, etc.

The one week "guest photographer" spring break for Chicago weeklies was fun in freezing weather showing a mail man who made friends with dogs.

On my first day at the San Francisco Examiner, the photo chief Bill Nichols assigned me to travel around with Fran Ortiz. Fran had freelanced for LIFE magazine but now worked full-time as a staff photog. We were heading to an assignment and he got a page on his car radio to head to Marin county where police were getting resistance and calling in support as they tried to confiscate a boat. I happened to have my motorized Nikon F with a 180mm lens, and Fran had his trusty Leica.

We got there with the boat owner on the deck and the police trying tie down the boat. The owner had a knife to cut the rope. I immediately stopped and started shooting with my long lens. The photo made the front page. From then on I've always had a photo make a section front page on my first day!

But is the returning P.O.W. photo taken at Travis AFB on a Saturday for the Examiner. It gets published as an example of being at the right place at the right time, well not the right time, my shot is a fraction of a second off the AP photog Sal Veder's shot.


As a staff photographer at The Philadelphia Inquirer my favorite moment was getting assigned to take a helicopter from Philly to NYC and come back with a photo. Photo of what? It was the power blackout in New York, no television or radio coverage. It was a front page story and the paper needed a photo. Photo Director Gary Haynes thought maybe an empty Times Square without electricity? But when I got there at 2 p.m. the shadows were terrible and you couldn't really see the lights were out. How could as aerial show no electricity? We had to go back the pilot didn't want to run out of gas, but there was some smoke. I told him to go past it as we circled around to head back.

Before we got to where the smoke was coming from we passed a a warehouse district and saw the picture. Looting! Seeing the resulting photo surprised the newspaper. They wouldn't run it until they could verify it. Getting through to the police was a challenge. Could they do it? I couldn't believe they'd hold the photo until the police verified there was looting going on. Nobody outside of New York knew about it, or believed it. Was this widespread?

At the Fort Worth Star-Telegram I started as a photo editor, but with the digital imaging being an editor was more like simply being a copy-boy, linking images with stories. So when I got to get back to being a news photographer my first assignment was to cover a high school class getting a lesson on ageing. They felt the kids needed to understand how older folks can't hear, see or breath as well as they did, and stuffing cotton in the hear, breathing threw a straw made them feel being old. Great photo and it made the front of the metro section.

But the best memory as a photog at the Star-Telegram was one Sunday when I had to do the work of two photogs. One staffer had called in sick, so I needed to go his assignments too. Driving around for three assignments, I also picked up a great "weather art" photo of two guys fishing on a raft in the middle of a corporate center reflective pool.

Getting five pictures published the next day, made my day.

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Friday, July 13, 2018

Photo story layout of the furture?

I also thought the photo story started with a lead photo, it would tell the overall story. Senator walking up steps to congress, then smaller photos showing him at work and exhausted. A picture story.

On the internet we can now have a lead photo and insert the secondary photos inside the photo. Click a button and you get another photo along with details telling about it. Designed for selling product, but it can also be a great way to tell the story for journalists!

Check out the big picture link to ThingLink.

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Remember when the mailman walked door to door?

Starting a new project documenting the great post offices, built in towns across the country. They were the most important building in the community. When the United States was founded they immediately picked Benjamin Franklin to be the postmaster/ The post office was how the government got the news about invasion and disaster.

The buildings often housed both post office and government courthouse along with other offices. These multi-functional buildings were unique and have changed over the years. Photos are needed to show their grandeur and how they are used today. Some are hotels, restaurants, libraries, school buildings and more.

Researching about the post office reminded me how during the Spring Break my senior year at the University of Missouri, I drove to Chicago to be a guest photographer for a suburban chain of weeklies. One of the stories was a picture page on a mailman who instead of being chased or attacked by dogs along his route, the pets loved to follow him and protect him.




Friday, May 25, 2018

Look close and see the flowers.

in the spring I like seeing the native plants come back, the wildflowers filling up empty fields, alongside the road and in nature preserves. With my macro lens I can get very close, but have to remember that there is a very limited depth-of-field, area sharp and in focus, and the flower may be moving in the wind blowing it in and out of focus. Some photographers simply find the easiest way is to pick the flower and photograph it without having to fight the wind.

I went to our local nature preserve in the city and couldn't resist taking some photos. Not just flowers, grasses and even had to take a photo of the trash. When I go to the park, I have to take a plastic bag with me to collect trash I find along the trail.


Beauty at Southwest Nature Preserve in Arlington TX
The plastic beast invading nature.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Four Freedoms today versus FDR

It's an icon, Norman Rockwell's illustration of Franklin D. Roosevelt's 1941 sppech to congress defining the United States standing for freedom. Four Freedoms: of speech, to worship, from want and freedom from fear.

The National Rifle Association's foundation is Freedom. Norman Rockwell illustrated the freedom of fear showing mom and dad tucking in their kids for the night. No guns in the phot, dad seems to have stopped reading the evening paper to help mom get the kids to bed. Freedom from fear. Sleep well.

Lt Gov of Texas, Dan Patrick,  thinks owning a gun would be a freedom of fear. Talking on ABC's This Week on Sunday, May 20, he thought that any gun control would simply enable the bad guys to gain power. The problem in Santa Fe, Texas, was that the father hadn't responsibly locked up his weapons. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/guns-part-nation-texas-official-shooting-victims-dad/story?id=55300369

Went to the recent national meeting of the National Rifle Association in Dallas and got to see Americans want to be better prepared to protect their freedom of fear.



Rockwell did the illustrations for Saturday Evening Post prior to America's entrance into WWII. His
canvases are ob display May 25 to Sept. 2 at the New York Historical Society Museum in NYC.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hurry, hurry Be the first to see it

It use to be a 7 p.m. deadline for the first edition of the daily newspaper, now with the Internet there are no deadlines, just post it.

National Rifle Association was in Dallas and a record breaking crowd came to learn how woman can defend herself, "refusing to be a victim" or the "fourteen factors impacting your shooting performance under duress."