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Memorials left for baby thrown from bridge in Radcliffe

By philtaylorphoto  
A 22 year old man has been charged with murder after throwing his own 11 month old son off a bridge in Radcliffe, Manchester. Naturally, the town is grieving after such a terrible event. Amongst all the the flowers, and cards offering 'Prare's', and oddly a Chocolate Orange, this soft toy left me with a lump in my throat.

I was on the scene soon after it happened, and have been on the story for 36 hours, but sometines it's the simple message that stands out, without being dramatic.

Tags: Photo journalism Bridge Baby Irwell Radcliffe Murder scene

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banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4095 Canada
13 Sep 2019 1:24PM
I sure this was not meant for critique?

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philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
13 Sep 2019 2:37PM
I'm curious to know if this 'works'. Yes, the rest of the job has been in the Mail, Star, Mirror, Metro and at least 2 overseas titles, and 3 local papers, so obviously I know what will sell.

Yes, I know it's not usual epz stuff, OK I did do some close ups of flowers, I did get up at daybreak 2 days running, so it might fit in.

Sometimes on a horrid job, it's easy to see something that touches you, but not other viewers, and might not convey the message.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4095 Canada
13 Sep 2019 4:07PM
For me it certainly works, that low level and the teddy are heartbreaking.
philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
13 Sep 2019 4:40PM
Thank you. A lot of the other stuff was done from higher up. OK, the wording might not be perfect, but the sentiment is.

Today, it's been all jobs for the education page with nursery and primary school kids, and I kept thinking, the poor lad never even made it to nursery.

In hindsight, a tighter crop might have helped, but this is as sent straight from camera to agency.

It's sometimes hard to accept how fast news moves on. Today the local paper was back onto Bury FC's collapse. Obviously, much of that is for legal reasons, but it's sad how quickly this will pass from people's minds.

banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4095 Canada
13 Sep 2019 5:44PM
We live in brutal times Phil.
chase Plus
14 1.4k 326 England
13 Sep 2019 6:12PM
For photojournalism I think this works very well.
A heartbreaking scene which, if you crop you could lose some of the 'being there' feeling. For me, the chap on the right is so important to this image.
pamelajean Plus
14 1.3k 2116 United Kingdom
13 Sep 2019 7:16PM
Yes, Phil, it works for me.

I don't know how much you would be allowed to manipulate an image for reportage, but have done a modification.

I cropped the left and cloned out the large white "blob" bottom left.
The "Why Hurt You" message now sits on a thirds line.
I added a bit of canvas to the right so that the pedestrian becomes more of a feature of the image, which I think is important because he is looking at the memorials, and the viewer will therefore follow his gaze.

I think your low point of view adds a lot of impact to the scene, and well done for including the man.

philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
13 Sep 2019 9:14PM
Cloning is out, unless it's dust spots. Ditto extending a canvas.

Tone, contrast, shadow, highlights, grads are all OK.

I agree, the blob is a distraction, but I tend to keep stuff the original shape to allow flexibility at layout stage.
dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1603 England
14 Sep 2019 9:07AM
A moment of thought in a public space. The picture captures it well, the passerby is necessary, emotionally and compositionally.

The situation leaves me speechless.
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2019 4:37PM
Thought that I had commented and this and a couple of others and they are not there?

The story is, obviously, tragic but I am not a supporter of this tilted camera presentation. I find it un-nerving and less than natural. There was a glut of it in our local paper a few years ago - oon stopped.

philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
15 Sep 2019 5:04PM
I'm afraid I'm with you on the'tilt' thing. As you will be aware, in TV advertising it's done so that you can tell that the actor dressed as a dentist is real because of the regional accent and tilted camera...

There's another snapper who contributes to the paper who uses tilts a lot. For me, I'll use them to include important picture elements, when to do a straight shot would leavea lot of empty space or have gaps between important elements. In this case, levelling the camera would have resulted in a large area of blank pavement and a gap between the man and the shrine.

Particular techniques can become atrademark, or a lazy device that becomes overused, because it works well. I'm a sucker for the Lightroom Vignette 2 on sports work.. I'm also a lover of the fisheye, I try to use no more than one fisheye per publication per month, biut I reckon there will be scowls wit a second one this month.
dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1603 England
15 Sep 2019 5:24PM
A wry attitude along with real insight into the less-obvious tricks of the trade.

Yet again, you made me laugh, Phil!
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2168 United Kingdom
15 Sep 2019 9:28PM
Forget the chocolate orange and the plush dinosaur. This works for me, because there's a sense of direct connection between the cuddly toy and message and the random passer-by, stopped in his tracks by the camera. And without the tilt you would lose that.

The (sole) staff photographer for our local paper uses tilt as though it was compulsory, often cutting out really important information. I hate that. But here it works because it's pragmatic, it's a way of getting the important elements into the frame.

Significant cloning is verboten for PJ, the truth actually matters. But I'd still go with Pamela's (slightly doctored) crop for story-telling impact.
philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
15 Sep 2019 9:37PM
Our local (sole) photographer was on leave this week using up excess hours owed. I stepped into the breach, offering to help out. Turned out to be a bit more 'helping out' than I anticipated.

As to truth, not sure about tonight's efforts where the sky was made a darker blue, and a floodlit building was made a darker green, and the sodium lighting tweaked.
dark_lord Plus
16 2.5k 635 England
15 Sep 2019 10:10PM
The white blon isn't great but neither a great problem.
Using such a wide angle a few centimetres one way or another could possibly have avoided it if it was noticed at the time. Not terribly imortant given the rest of the scene and the message.
As you sy, as supplied, so the paper can crop if it wants/needs.
Colour balance is on the cold side, intentional or not: Again, the publication could easily change it if desired.
philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
15 Sep 2019 10:38PM
True, it is quite blue, and I suppose a few minutes in Lightroom wouldn't have gone amiss. Left to my own devices it would be No1 Vignette, warming up, remove the bad chromatic aberration, top the blob out, and finally a bit of crunchy clarity.

To put it in perspective. I had finished wiring out to my local paper at 22:30 who ran a rolling blog until 23:00, the agency for the nationals got stuff a whisker before 21:00.on Wednesday I was on the road for 5:30 the next day, on location by 6:00, and had wired to my local and agency by 7:00, hung around till 8:00 when regional paper, and rival agency arrived, followed at 9:00 by PA. I hung around until 10:00 snapping people laying flowers, toys, a giant dog etc. I then had 3 diary jobs to complete the day. Friday morning, it was a 7:00 mop up of any more memorials, a visit to the now police tape free crime scene to photograph significant places for the trial reporting. Of course, that has to lie on file, as it's now sub judice.

All of the wiring was done direct from camera via mobile phone and WeTransfer, whilst sat on the pavement.

It's been horrid to contemplate what has happened. Even publications in Australia were running the story.
paulbroad 12 131 1288 United Kingdom
16 Sep 2019 4:19PM
To include all you do not need to tilt - that's what zoom lenses and/or your feet are for.

philtaylorphoto 18 332 1
16 Sep 2019 6:57PM
Hmmm, I carry the usual trinity of press photographer zooms, a fisheye and a 300 and a 1.4. I get the idea of zooming, but sometimes you can't put things where you might want them. Now, of course, I could have turned the toy round to face the camera,, that way I could have waited until he then walked past. Of course, that then changes the story, you could call that 'fake news'.

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