- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2002

Prizewinning staff takes readers to scene



The photography department of The Washington Times strives to provide readers with pictures that tell stories with honesty, accuracy and impact. Although the mundane has its place, our award-winning photographers try to capture moments of emotion that help readers feel and understand an event rather than just observe.
Beyond electronic pagers and cell phones, our equipment has changed quite a bit over 20 years. Photographers carry laptop computers and digital cameras so they can transmit pictures back to the paper minutes after an event. They can send pictures from a basketball court, the White House, even from the streets of Kandahar, Afghanistan.
News and feature photographs are scanned into and "outputted" from a computer, and each image is cropped and toned for accuracy to provide the best color reproduction. Instead of making prints on photographic paper, photography editors make proof prints from digital images on a laser printer. News editors can look quickly and easily at these images while discussing what will be on Page One and other pages of the next morning's paper.
This leap in technology allows the photography department 22 photographers, editors and support staff to get more timely pictures into the newspaper. Photographers also can choose to spend more time with their subjects without worrying about rushing back to the darkroom. Newspapers do have deadlines that must be met, but today, there are ways to squeeze those deadlines.
Every day, photography editors of The Times search for arresting images by staff or wire services that amplify stories locally, nationally and abroad. They scan through hundreds of wirephotos from around the globe in search of the best pictures to tell the day's news.
On September 11, The Times produced an extra edition with staff and wire photos by 12:30 p.m. for distribution that day. In the next morning's regular editions, vivid images accompanied accounts of the attacks, and picture pages showcased staff photographs from New York, the Pentagon, the White House and the airports.
I could not be prouder of our photography staff for its professionalism and resourcefulness. That, of course, is what readers have come to expect from The Times.
Alan Zlotky,
director of photography



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