field notes/photography.

Almost all of Zaman’s photography is presented in simple rectangles, accommodating their grid as well as allowing for their photo credits to lie mostly within the otherwise blank columns between stories meant to emphasize white space. I have yet to see an image cropped into a shape other than a rectangle, though photos are often rotated onto slight diagonals, making them pop out visually and causing readers to pause to understand the emphasized content. Though I understand the purpose of this, I enjoy when pages of rectangular images are broken up with cut-outs of the photo’s focus.

In the top right corner of the above pages, the reader can easily identify columnists by a photograph topping their story’s sig. These small portraits are reproduced often in both print and on Zaman’s website, leading me to believe the faces are of those highly recognizable in the Turkish community.

Zaman’s subjects tend to be very active, especially in both politics and sports. Both of these sections often include well cut-out figures mid some kind of action, be it a political point being made with a large hand gesture, or simply a final goal celebrated. Some kind of effort, hardship, or strain (both positive and negative) is easily identifiable in such photography, and draws my interest into political stories that I may have otherwise simply skimmed.

*Note: I have seen more published photography of war weaponry on Zaman’s A1 and politics pages than I can remember noting in any single publication. Wether this attests to Turkey’s current political state or to Zaman’s preference for violent photography, I cannot be sure.

Overall, the newspaper offers a wide range of photography. While photos of individuals and political speakers are often trimmed so that corresponding body copy can wrap tightly around a singular side of the image, most political and general news photographs are rectangles, with the way the caption is applied to them changing as determined by location (A1’s captions are mostly below the photo, inside captions are placed to the side un-obtrusively to the side of an image wherever possible).

After spending much time analyzing Zaman without a true understanding of its language, I feel the newspaper’s photography does a very clear job presenting relevant imagery for its content. I was able to identify and sort through pages based on the content of the photography alone, showing how well the paper gets its visual message across.



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