A Steep Learning Curve

© Longmont Times-Call 2012

There is a lot to say about my first month at the Longmont Times-Call. Mostly, it was trial by fire. Some things worked out and some things fell through the cracks as I struggled to keep up with the pace of a daily news cycle again.

The biggest change has come from being a one-man-band to managing 3 one-man-bands. I am now part of a staff again which has solved as many problems for me as it has created. I now worry about what 2 other people should be producing as well as what I need to do to make sure they can do what I want. Make sense?

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Angst for the Memories Evergreen

© Matthew Jonas 2012/Evergreen Newspapers 2012

“Can you be here Monday?”

In August of 2007, I got a phone call from a former college instructor that would start my career in photojournalism. In the span of a couple days, I packed up everything I owned and drove 1700 miles back to Colorado in just under 24 hours.

I was excited to have landed my first staff job. I hit the ground running. I dove into every opportunity that I had. And as much as I complained (what else are photographers good at?), I enjoyed every second of it.

So here I am 4 1/2 years later about to take the next step in my career. You might be asking yourself, what does this have to do with a goose?

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sometimes its all in the details


Its the little things in pictures that can lead to a lot of head aches down the road. I’m not talking about bad white balance or composition. I’m talking about what your subject is doing or looks like they are doing. I had already written a cutline and color corrected a similar image (with a better facial expression) for pre-press when i took a closer look. Yeah, the baby totally looks like shes flipping me off. There are about a dozen frames like it with the same gesture. Had I went ahead and published this I would probably come back to email and voice mail about how we have “no standards” for what we will print and how “offensive this was” to some of our readers.

I am reminded of a time when the former Rocky Mountain News published a photo of man who’s house burned in the Hayman fire. He was wearing a pair of revealing shorts and from the angle that the photo was made appeared to show one of the man’s testicles protruding. The photo ran the full width of the page. The photographer paper claims it was just a shadow. Careful editing could have saved them from a lot of reader insults not to mention it would have kept the man from being embarrassed. While the photo above is not nearly as important or as controversial its a good example of why you need to pay attention to the little details.