John Gogick

Executive Editor for The Augusta Chronicle. | E-mail

Getting the big picture is all about perspective

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A professional photographer called me Wednesday to ask whether I had seen the pictures from Tuesday’s Augusta Commission meeting on the front page.

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A Texas Titans player tries to put back a rebound against the New York Lightning at Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League's Finalsin North Augusta.  TODD BENNETT/STAFF
TODD BENNETT/STAFF
A Texas Titans player tries to put back a rebound against the New York Lightning at Nike's Elite Youth Basketball League's Finalsin North Augusta.

He told me that it was obvious the people at the meeting weren’t ready for their pictures to be taken. When he takes pictures, he explained, his subjects get a countdown to prepare themselves.

I told him that our pictures weren’t portraits, which he understood. He just wanted me to understand how it looked from his perspective.

It was a point of view I hadn’t considered. I appreciated his call.

The reader’s point of view is usually summoned in newsrooms to encourage someone else to take a non-official view on a story.

It is a call for a different perspective. And perspective is what our professional photojournalists bring to the table every day.

Sometimes they are portraits. But most of the time, our pictures are candid, action shots. And occasionally, they teeter on art.

When that happens, the printed newspaper is not the medium that does those images the most justice.

That is why we are so lucky to have digital devices at our fingertips. They offer the perfect platform to showcase amazing color photography. And I would be remiss not to remind that your print subscription includes a digital account, which allows you to enjoy all of our images electronically.

I saw a gallery of photographs from the Peach Jam basketball tournament Thursday night and was amazed by some of them.

Early Friday, I asked Todd Bennett, our chief photographer, who took them. He told me that he had.

So I pressed him for details on how he captured the images of players dunking from above the rim:

“Hanging over the balcony with a fast shutter speed,” Todd said.

He explained the different techniques he used that made some of the picture look as though they had been taken at different times of day. I asked, how do you get your camera to do that?

“Underexpose the highlights,” Todd said. “And wait for the people to move.”

Wait for what people to move? People were walking in front of the windows, casting different shadows and altering the light. So he waited for the sunlight to pass between their legs and snapped his picture.

Perspective, perseverance and patience.

Go to augustachronicle.com/slideshows and look for “More Peach Jam” to see these pictures. While you’re there, browse the other wonderful work our photo staff and community photographers do every day.

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