Field Notes – Photography

Throughout this semester of studying The Dallas Morning News, I’ve noticed that they tend to play it safe in their design. The design they use is usually effective and helps to tell a story, but they don’t often branch out very much. Before studying the photography more closely, I assumed this would follow suit. I thought they would probably use a lot of passive photos and stick to the traditional square/rectangle shapes. I was pleased to see that they do a very nice job of choosing active photos that typically feature people. The photos are interesting and can tell a story by themselves.

The sports images are also intriguing and show the action of the athletes.

The paper does have a few passive photos, but these are usually found near the back of the paper. There is also the occasional photo that does not feature people. These are also found near the back of the paper. The DMN does not use any text on their images, nor do they use superimposed images or cutouts. Not every story is accompanied by a photo, but occasionally stories will have more than one image.

The frequency of images is not exact. Sometimes you can flip through six pages and not see a photo. This is usually when most of the page is consumed by ads. The DMN does try to get at least one image on every page as long as there is room. They use a mixture of color and black & white images. Either way, the photos usually do a great job of telling a story.

The paper also uses a mixture of wide, medium and tight shots.