Monday, 5 December 2011

The Big Issue

Over the last few months OCA have been working with The Big Issue in the North to get students' photographs in on a weekly basis.  So far I have had four published.  Originally the brief was something topical from the previous week but this has since changed to any image.  My first picture in the magazine was from the week of the royal wedding.  An interesting subject bearing in mind it was to go in the Big Issue which had just run an article questioning the relevance of the monachy the previous week.  The image used raises the question 'were we patriotic or did we just want something to celebrate in the current climate?'

The next two shots were general interest/topical pictures that are quite clear and striking for their own reasons; the dedication of the Bob Marley fan with the design and the artist in the background and the results of errosion on the coastline creating sculpted patterns between the sea defences.

This shot was one that I took on the day of the pensions march in Manchester and uploaded straight away so that it could meet the deadline for the magazine for the next issue.  I was mindful that this was the sort of shot they would go with so I put forward a selection from the march. 

Here are a couple of images that didn't get in.  There is a learning curve in working out what an editor prefers or will go with.  This first shot wasn't used because the editor did not want any post modern industrial images.  The second shot was too contentious.  I thought this might be the case but put it forward to get the reaction.  As an editor I can see why it he did not want the headache of the possible backlash but it did make me laugh that it was too contentious for the Big Issue.

Other things that need to be considered are the size and format of the image.  Because of the position in the magazine, landscape images are preferable.  Portrait is ok but there's more chance of getting in using landscape.  The image is not particularly big in the magazine so the subject generally has to be large and clear.  A busy detailed picture will be more difficult to see.

It has been and still is an interesting challenge and now I often think about shots that will work for the Big Issue when I'm out.  If I'm in it then I always buy an extra copy to send to the folks down south!

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