The photography, dominated by cutouts on the top of the Guardian A1 is very undramatic and lacks depth and other photographic tools to evoke emotion.
Because the photo is a headshot cutout, it works as a promo, but removes the foreground and background, removing all context besides the subject of the photo. Devices like, blurred action, panning, selective focus, rule of thirds, and composition are all impossible. (As I see most of the advertising world) these promos and cutouts, seem like a missed opportunity to add some photographic POP to A1. Other photos on A1 seem awkward because of how they are cropped and edited and use on the front page. Many vertical photos (see images 3 & 5) run on A1 over 2 full columns but as stand a lone photos look quite awkward in that shape. As a reader, it seems like a forced image that needs to jump in 3, and an awkward angle/view in #5 that doesn’t seem to add to the story at all.
The photos in general seem to be at the mercy of the grid, instead of the other way around. In photos 1 & 4, not only are the subjects of the scene, boring, not very evocative and lame; they are also forced into an awkward square shape. Especially in image 4, the man’s forehead is very weirdly cut right off and his posture/pose/stance increases the uneasiness I get from the use of this photo.
Besides the main photo run large and the cutouts, there is sparing use of photos. There are occasionally one other small one on the page as a cut out or small img accompanying a bigger story.
I’m also not a fan of the huge blue screens behind a person’s head on A1. What is the point? have they no ink restrictions? do they think it highlights a person well? It’s worse the more I look at it. Cutouts get lost in the deep blue screen so fast they are immediately drowning. Nuf Said.