If it’s so hard for travel writers & photographers to get gigs why is the writing in the major glossy mag I’m reading shite & photos blurry?1:49 AM Jun 22nd via web
Every photo in a major story in another glossy travel mag has lens blur or no discernible point of focus.1:53 AM Jun 22nd via web
I’d been catching up on a stack of magazines–mostly travel–and I agreed; a good number of the photos weren’t just boring. They were downright shitty.
In writing and art, including photography, plenty of subjectivity enters into any editor’s (or reader’s/viewer’s) decision about whether a piece is “good” or “bad.” But there are also basic technical skills that need to be evidenced to demonstrate competence and to merit publication. In photography, one of those skills is focusing. If achieved, the product is a crisp photo with, as Terence put it, a “discernible point of focus.”
Sure, there are some settings and situations in which photos with blurring are not only acceptable but may even be desirable. Photos taken at night or with subjects in motion fall into this category. The blur may not detract from the composition. Some good examples? Photos Francisco shot at the Larry Harlow/Ruben Blades concert a couple weeks ago and many of Lily Lebawit’s concert and nighttime images.
After sharing in Terry’s indignation, I let it go… more important things to spend my energy on. More important issues to get righteous about.
Then I flipped through Travel + Leisure’s September issue and read the article “Sydney, in Style.” The lead image on the first page of this article is just terrible- a totally blurry woman next to a rack of boutique clothing; there’s not even the suggestion of movement in her posture, which makes the blur both puzzling and annoying.
Is this really the best that Travel + Leisure can do? Seriously, what are the reasons why a photo editor would even consider running a picture like that?
I’d discuss it with Terry on Twitter, but if his last tweet–dated August 5–is to be believed, he’s abandoned microblogging, judging it a “shallow mass grave.”
Instead, I’ll ask you: What do you think lets photos of such poor quality slide into the pages of print magazines?