Photography and the Law - Useful UK Article

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by David Littlewood, Aug 28, 2005.

  1. Since this subject has been raised in various newsgroups several times
    recently, I thought it would be worth drawing attention to a very useful
    and quite comprehensive 3-page article in the August/September issue of
    F2 Freelance and Digital magazine.

    This UK magazine is not commonly found on newsagents shelves, but (I
    think) may be subscription only. I find it an excellent magazine (apart
    from the title) covering a good mix of things (film, digital, freelance
    work, generally the best end of amateur work and the part-time/freelance
    stuff) which suits me well. YMMV. It is edited by David Kilpatrick, who
    occasionally makes very cogent contributions here. Contact

    I have no connection, other than as a satisfied subscriber.

    David Littlewood, Aug 28, 2005
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  2. Thanks for the heads up - the article was in fact sourced from internet
    newsgroups originally, as its author made a PDF available freely. I
    approach her (Linda Macpherson, a law lecturer in Edinburgh) and she
    equally freely permitted reworking the rather densely packed PDF into an
    article, and updated sections at my request (specifically, those dealing
    with photographing children). Paul Cooper, a well-known UK commercial
    stock shooter, made a title page photo for me at a very modest fixed fee
    on the basis of placing the photo on Alamy as RF after I had used it,
    and I have been able to reproduce this excellent article in both our
    MASTER PHOTO DIGITAL (professional association) magazine and in f2.

    All our magazines including the UK Konica Minolta PHOTOWORLD mag are
    subcription only, and it is no easy task to sell physical paper
    magazines today. The title of f2 was a change made last year to our
    earlier FREELANCE PHOTOGRAPHER magazine because the ad agencies said
    that unless the title included the word DIGITAL we would be unlikely to
    see any more advertising; most UK photo importers now ask their agencies
    only to advertise in digital photography titles. Hence the name changes
    on our two magazines for the pro/am-pro markets.

    I find whatever contribution I may make to NGs is far exceeded by the
    value of the input and feedback received, by the breadth of knowledge
    (some unprintable without breaking embargoes) and in the featured
    photographers I am able to find via forums/NGs.

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 28, 2005
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  3. Sorry for the dig, I was just being playful. What you say sounds sad but
    all to credible.

    David Littlewood, Aug 28, 2005
  4. David Littlewood

    Justin C Guest

    Here's a link to what I think was the original article:

    Sorry, David, don't mean to disuade people from subscribing to your
    magazine. However, there are probably many who would be interested in
    the content but not the subscription fee.

    Please note, David has said that the information has been updated in a
    couple of places so, if the contents of the .pdf are likely to apply to
    you it may be wise to investigate further and treat the .pdf as
    suggestion, not law.

    Justin C, Aug 29, 2005
  5. We do provide a large number of articles in pdf form on the website, including some from the very latest
    editions in their full form, freely downloadable. If they turn out to be
    password protected in any way, it is 'hypo' or 'hypo1'.

    Right now we are working on a change to the website which will make it
    possible to put all the magazine content up as pdf downloads, accessible
    for small subscription fee on-line with no printed edition. If and when
    this goes ahead, the entire back issue content should be converted and
    available. If it proves successful, additional material not appearing in
    printed editions will be added.

    Although I love producing printed magazines, they are barely viable
    given my approach to content - the exact reverse of the Dorling
    Kindersley type 'easily digested chunks' with lots of sidebars, panels,
    little topics, tables and small pictures. I go for long rambling
    narrative texts with as many useful asides as possible and large
    pictures well presented in a plain fashion! Exactly what the industry
    says 'will not sell' to today's readers with their short attention
    spans, limited vocabulary and lack of real interest... :)

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 29, 2005
  6. David Littlewood

    kashe Guest

    kashe, Aug 29, 2005
  7. David Littlewood

    kashe Guest

    It was available on the site without subscription.

    You're simply repeating information contained in the last
    kashe, Aug 29, 2005
  8. David Littlewood

    Tony Polson Guest

    There is nothing wrong with the Dorling Kindersley approach - it gets
    people reading. All the excellent information in your long narratives
    is completely worthless if you cannot get people to read it.
    Tony Polson, Aug 30, 2005
  9. True, Tony, but having worked for the Dorling Kindersley machine (the
    darkroom section of John Hedgecoe's original 1970s Book of Photography
    was mine) and then for the partwork biz which followed (You and Your
    Camera and The Photo) I know that the restrictions of explaining every
    step in (shall we say) 5 lines of 50 characters each and forcing all
    processes into a set of three, six or twelve boxes/pix - and so on -
    does real damage to content.

    I see better written, longer articles in womens' market TV soap celeb
    magazines, compared to some consumer technology and photo mags. My
    experience is that most buyers of mags complain about lack of reading
    matter, and 'only takes half an hour'.

    There is a compromise and I like the general approach taken by Digital
    Photography, and Practical's latest makeover seems to have removed the
    excesses of graphic box/sidebar/pullquote/table/blob design-run editorial.

    Photography lacks an equivalent of Sound on Sound magazine, which is
    happy to print a 4500 word feature if 4500 words are needed. It's also
    amazingly successful for a private venture. If I was 20 years younger I
    might look at that and think 'I can do the same with digital
    photography' but I'm no longer especially interested in big money -
    either making it or LOSING it...

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 30, 2005
  10. David Littlewood

    Steve Guest

    Oi, mush! We didn't use boxes *that* much on The Photo (an ex-Marshall
    Cavendish sub writes) - in fact, we used to run quite long articles. But
    I'd agree with your general premise. The move to boxout-mania to entice
    those afraid of words has contributed to greater superficiality.

    BTW, if memory serves, my very first journalism job was to sub an article of
    yours for The Photo - a 2,000-word piece on using wideangle lenses.

    Steve Mansfield
    Steve, Aug 30, 2005
  11. David Littlewood

    Liz Guest

    In message <devt5e$3dh$>
    But here's the double whammy:
    I teach in a school which, although we have some excellent pupils
    every year, is definitely pear-shaped in the academic department.

    I'd imagined at first that the small chunks with sidebars,
    pull-quotes, etc., etc. was trying to cater to the 'lower-ability'
    reader: and have noticed that a lot of the publications which we get
    to give out to pupils are written in this style. Suprisingly, the able
    pupils (who would be able to cope with the traditional 'wordy'
    approach) like and can cope well with the more modern layout: the
    poorer-ability pupils are totally lost, as they don't know where to
    look and get confused.

    Of course, they are totally turned off by the 'wordy' approach, and
    probably can only cope with the narrative beginning-to-end in photos
    or, preferably, cartoons.


    Liz, Aug 30, 2005
  12. David Littlewood

    John Fryatt Guest

    I agree with this. I am quite susceptible to buying magazines, but only
    have two (the GMC ones) on subscription now as I find that generally
    they are all of this DK style which I find too superficial. You can
    'read' an issue of many photo. mags in a short space of time and end up
    feeling like you've wasted your time. There's no 'meat' there.
    I'd like to think that there's scope for both approaches (entry-level,
    boxes, sidebars, etc. and a more 'learned' style), as there used to be,
    but perhaps there isn't anymore? Sad, but we're often told that society
    is all 'instant gratification' these days.
    John Fryatt, Aug 30, 2005
  13. David Littlewood

    Frank ess Guest

    How many can name the popularizer of the expression "double whammy"?

    Without Google.
    Frank ess, Aug 30, 2005
  14. David Littlewood

    Andy Clews Guest

    Thus spake Frank ess unto the assembled multitudes:
    Wasn't it the UK Conservative Party - or perhaps one of the Saatchi clan?
    Andy Clews, Aug 30, 2005

  15. OK, The Photo was not quite as compartmented as Y & YC, and I am
    thinking of the step-by-steps more than anything - there always had to
    be a set number of steps no matter what the subject!

    The Photo was less commercial too. Eaglemoss were still paying me fees
    for spin-offs five years ago, twenty years after the original photos
    were published. It's dried up now, finally, but they kept reeling out
    reworks and revisions and stuff for two decades. I suspect maybe
    Marshall Cavendish only bought words from me - this was the publication
    where I stopped supplying images because of the complaint:

    'Yours pictures have too much green in them...'

    Yes, I lived in the countryside, and my pictures generally showed that.
    The London picture editor couldn't stomach so many trees, fills, fields
    and things like that and wanted more concrete!

    Actually, what they wanted was a more international flavour, and the
    reason for my pictures not being acceptable was that they didn't work
    well outside the UK. Not just more urban, but more variety of landscape,
    was needed; desert, prairie, alpine, arctic, the lot. And more variety
    of people, and architectural styles. They had to source images from all
    over the world in order to create a publication which could be sold on
    to the world market.

    Now of course if it had been run by EMAP, a boxful of shots of Bamburgh
    Castle, that Cornish beach with big stones, a couple of waterfalls -
    well, I'd have been made...

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 30, 2005
  16. John Fryatt wrote:

    GMC is the best hope you have. Keith Wilson and Ailsa McWhinnie both
    come from the same direction as I do editorially/designwise, and they
    have a VERY good company behind them. Outdoor Photography and Black and
    White Photography are in a class of their own on the news-stands.

    I recently received two books from GMC and their associate PIP
    (Photographers Institute Press), both on the KM Dynax 7D camera. The
    American imported book was little more than a manual reprinted, black
    and white all through, irrelevant pictures badly captioned in the wrong
    place, peppered with errors. Their own PIP guide by Chris Weston (an
    excellent UK photo tech writer) was exactly the same price, full of
    colour, far better produced and a decent user book going beyond the
    manual in every way. They just happen also to be the importers for the
    American object. Their own production standards are far higher.

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 30, 2005
  17. David Littlewood

    ian lincoln Guest

    Judge Dredd Voice activated gun. Double whammy was the highest output of
    the gun.
    ian lincoln, Aug 31, 2005
  18. David Littlewood

    Tony Polson Guest

    You seem to have missed the point here.

    Lots of people read Dorling Kindersley books, and enjoy them. Their
    style invites people to read them. The content may be compromised -
    in your eyes - but it is far better to get people reading something
    than nothing. Many people are put off by long narratives to the point
    where they either don't buy the book, or buy it and don't read it. No
    matter how good the content, it is wasted if people don't read it.

    This isn't because they are thick, it is just that most people no
    longer have the time (and the peace and quiet) to digest long, complex
    narratives. That's why there is a demand for books that explain
    things in a way that people find easier to understand, given the many
    competing demands on their time.

    It takes a gifted person to write books in this style without losing
    sight of what the book is about. In my opinion, Dorling Kindersley
    deserve high praise for maintaining a very high standard of content
    while making their books immensely readable and enjoyable.
    Tony Polson, Aug 31, 2005
  19. Tony Polson wrote:

    AVA Publishing are the current best at this. There is a particularly
    good - really, really good - book by Jeremy Webb about to appear. Watch
    out for it. It's the best photo book I have received in a long time. It
    is called 'Creative Vision, £24.95, ISBN 2-88479-072-1 and it goes on
    sale tomorrow.

    This book does use the boxed copy/spread/extended caption style, but the
    text is printed in tiny 8pt and the pages are biggish, which means
    several hundred words can be used in place of just a few, for each
    example. Webb himself is an exceptionally good photographer and uses
    work from several dozen others. It's intelligent, visually surprising,
    technically sound, and well designed and printed.

    I believe it is also Jeremy Webb's first book. No commercial interest. I
    just happen to be impressed by this in comparison with (for example) the
    RotoVision pot-boilers where a fair to moderate hack writes a para about
    a different photo example per spread - same basic formula, but in this
    case, an extremely perceptive and thoughtful writer deals with just
    about the whole visual idiom.

    David Kilpatrick, Aug 31, 2005
  20. Success in this style depends on content, audience - and brilliance! I've
    wasted much time in trying to transfer basic text with graphics (for
    computers) to boxed step-by-step style and, not only is it very hard work, but
    you frequently end up with very little said after 4 or 5 pages. It may be OK
    for *very* basic stuff where that very little is all that is said - or where
    you know *all* the audience knows all the basics and just wants the extra bits
    illustrated. Attempting it under other circumstances is doomed to fail ...

    ... but I'm willing to learn from anyone who knows otherwise. ;-)
    John Cartmell, Aug 31, 2005
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