STORY BEHIND THE PICTURE

Date Published 
Fri 19 Nov 2021

The talk by Cliff Hide took us into the world of Photojournalism.

It was illustrated by many stunning images he took during his time as a press photographer, as he now works as a picture editor.

Forget well composed and technically excellent images. In his world, which is very competitive, the object is to bring back an image that grabs the attention of the picture editor and importantly the reader of the paper, regardless of the conditions and difficulties on the day.

Each image shown was provided with full technical information, focal length, shutter speed and aperture and ISO rating, which was often very high and never seemed to drop below 400 ISO. Most of his shots were taken using the widest available aperture. Focal lengths used (typically prime lens) varied between 16mm and 400mm.

All his cameras were Canon and all set for continuous shooting, so he had plenty of images to choose from. This is important when for example the police request that their faces do not appear in the photograph, so he can pick an image when their face is covered by an arm or another obstruction.

He also demonstrated that he found that recognising a celebrity in a street was an asset.

He was on hand when Prince Charles and Camilla’s Royal car got caught up in a demonstration when the demonstrators got between them and their police escort. His image caught the moment brilliantly.

Another image that also caught the right moment was during a demonstration where students were being held back by the police using long batons. One policeman was photographed using his baton in an inappropriate manner, although an adjacent policeman was using one correctly (low down).

Clearly, the job of a press photographer is far from safe as they get into the heart of action and their efforts on our behalf should be applauded.

Terry Day