Sunday, November 13, 2011


A small but important milestone happened this week, when a photograph I took was published in the Sueddeutsche Zeitung,  one of Germany's largest circulation broadsheets, a paper with a similar profile to the Guardian in the UK.  A couple of years ago I shot a Gaelic Football tournament in Munich, which included a ladies competition.  A close friend helped to organize the event and asked me to come along and record it on camera.  Recently he was interviewed about the ladies game for the paper and asked if it was OK for one of my photographs to accompany the piece, no problem at all.

The original photo was:

Apart from the fact that this is the first photo I have ever had published, it also came along with a few learning points.  The first is around attribution,  Niall stated that the photo could be used, but only if I was clearly identified as the photographer.  This request was ignored and the photograph was used without any attribution.  I am disappointed, but will chalk this one up for experience, I am not planning to sue the paper, although I might write them a letter of protest and see what happens.

The second learning is around sports photography and editing.  The shot used was heavily cropped by the picture editor (quite correctly), and in the paper the quality was fine.  The key to a successful sports photograph, is capture of the moment and portrayal of the action, hence the use of fast cameras with a relatively low pixel count.  Newspaper resolution is low and a photo does not need to be 21MP to succeed, 1-2MP is probably sufficient.  Most important is good exposure and sharpness.

In any case, with a few caveats I am delighted to have a photograph that I took make it into a major national newspaper.  In the grander scheme of things this is not terribly important, but for me it was a cause for celebration.

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