Sunday, April 25, 2004


Jack Driscoll: On Photography:
Ed Fitzgerald was a well-known photographer who in his later years became a wire service and newspaper photo editor. He was considered an expert on which lens to use when. But there was another major factor that enhanced his prize-winning photos: lighting.

Most photographers realize that shooting an image from the correct angle is crucial to the creation of distinctive photographs. Fitzgerald took it one step further, making sure that the light on his subject was just right.

One day he was assigned to cover baseball slugger Ted Williams who was working out at the ballpark after recovering from an injury. Williams tended to be antagonistic toward journalists, but Fitzgerald engaged him in conversation about camera shutter speeds while maneuvering Williams to a spot on the first-base line where, in mid-conversation, Williams took picturesque practice swings with his back to the field. More importantly the lighting was perfect at that spot.

On the way back to the office, Fitzgerald stopped his car in the middle of the street in front of city hall, having spotted an old man with a white beard sitting on a low wall reading the paper. The noon sun was glancing off the newspaper, illuminating the facial image. Fitzgerald crouched, snapped the photo and jumped back into the car. That profile photo appeared in newspapers around the US and won another major contest.

Fitzgerald was an artist who saw images in the right light.
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