How Technology Has Changed News Photography Over 40 Years

Jim Wilson has been shooting photos for the New York Times since 1980:

When I started, everything was dependent on processed film, which meant having to bring film, a darkroom kit including enlarging and print making equipment, and a transmitter (very much like a souped up fax machine). We’d have to find or at least arrange for a telephone line and telephone access when we needed to send our images. I remember having a small portable typewriter that I’d use to write the captions that were pasted onto the photos before they were put on the drum transmitter and sent back to The Times. The phone lines were all analog, and each picture took around 10 minutes to send — if the line was interrupted for any reason, we’d have to start over. If we got out 10 images in a day, that was huge.

Today, many we carry connected cameras with us everywhere. Even large professional cameras tend to have direct networking capabilities.

Times sure have changed.

Sunset by the Tidal Basin

This past Sunday evening, Lauren and I spent some time walking around the Tidal Basin capturing photos for an upcoming project (shhhh). After living the DC area for so many years, it can be easy to take The Mall & surrounding monuments for granted. While it's not always fun fighting the tourists, getting down there once in awhile brings with it a certain apprecation for the city.

Editing Color by Sean Tucker

As a photographer that often uses post-processing to complete an image or create consistency across a set of images, I found this video to be a great little intro bending curves and tweaking colors.

Sean Tucker creates some fantastic images, and has a signature look to his photography that I'd asipre to have one day in my own work. Spending time in the Curves & Channels modules in Lightroom (or Darkroom on my iPhone) has always been hit or miss for me, and I've often leaned heavily on presets to bring consistency to my work. This recently published video has become a bit of an inspiration for me to attempt creating a more original aesthetic for my images:

That said, I've often been asked what "presets" or "filters" I use on my images. Truthfully, I use quite a few different looks to create my images. I do, however, try to find a specific look to fit a mood or tone I'd like a set of images to have. This look often varies from set to set. I've used Lightroom presets from Rebecca Lily, VSCO, and Nate Photographic (just to name a few), as starting points for different image sets over the last few years. I've also spent quite a bit of time in Priime and VSCO over the last few years on my iPhone.

With this extra little bit of inspriation, I hope to spend a little less time with these other tools (these are all great tools though, and I'd recommend all of them), and a little more time with tools of my own making in the coming months.

Light the Night on the National Mall

I've met some incredible (and hopefully life-long) friends that have given countless hours of their time and energy as members of the LLS team here in the DC area.

It's an incredible cause and great organization. I'll be joining the LLS Alumni team this year in Mina's place. Please consider making a donation to help support the research of blood cancer treatments. Your contributions can and will help save lives.

Austin Mann’s iPhone 8 Camera Review: India

The iPhone is the world's most popular camera. The fact that it’s attached to your smartphone means it’s nearly always with you. Austin Mann’s real world reviews each year really do a great job of showing just what’s possible. I look forward to getting a chance to employ the new portrait lighting (and new to me) portait modes in the near future.

Check out some of his previous reviews, even if the reviews themselves are now dated, the images & videos are still great: