The story behind that amazing Thursday Globe and Mail front page photo

Did you see the front page of yesterday’s Globe and Mail of Toronto in the wake of the lone gunman attack on the Canadian Houses of Parliament?

It was stunning.

The Globe and Mail‘s design director, Devin Slater, tells us:

We were after an image that spoke to the assault on our democracy, our freedom and our leadership.

Ultimately, however, yesterday was an assault on our country’s spirit. It was a tall order for a front page photo.

As powerful as the pictures were from the events in Ottawa yesterday, the goal was to take the design further, toward a deeper level of meaning. What does this day mean for Canada’s security? Our government and leadership? Our soldiers? The memory of our fallen?

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Of course, many readers will interpret and react to the photo differently. For me, what makes Fred Lum‘s photo powerful is the glint of the Canadian flag. After a very tough day, it shows a glimmer of hope, resolve, and intense patriotism. That’s Canada.

Click on that page for a much larger look.

A few hours later, Fred himself shared with us the story of how the picture came to happen.

All my photos have been filed today so I can finally sit down to talk about our paper’s front page…

Got here late in the afternoon and Roger Hallett, one of our photo editors, had relayed information that the paper was looking for an iconic and moody image from Ottawa. All the breaking news photos had come and gone by the time I arrived so there was no point in playing catch up.

Ideally, we were hoping to line up the War Memorial with Parliament Hill (the Peace Tower would have been great) as one concept but walking around it became obvious that this was not going to happen. Any good vantage points were locked down with absolutely no access whatsoever.

In case you know Ottawa, I started down by the east side of the canal north of Albert St. and it was here that aside from not being able to get the memorial and Parliament Hill in one frame, the setting sun had backlit the Canadian flag of East Block (which was already silhouetted along with the Peace Tower) and this was what I put my efforts into photographing. I worked this location a bit before deciding to try another vantage point on the Albert St. overpass — which, I believe, was the spot the front page photo was taken from.

I’d made a number of exposures with the flag unfurled so I headed back to file and make deadline and to give Devin and [art director] Jason [Chiu] time to work with the photograph as they designed the front page of Thursday’s paper.

Here’s the full-frame image Fred shot. Click for a larger view.

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Fred adds:

Being given direction but the freedom to interpret my task however I felt I should, allowed me to “see” this photograph and give the editors back in Toronto, what they needed to work with. That our paper took a different path visioning the day’s events is something that makes the Globe stand out.

Nuts and bolts: I underexposed the photograph a bit (normal practice for how I work) to bring out the clouds and darken the buildings on Parliament Hill, but I also brightened the flag slightly in post processing. But basically, what was printed was very close to what I saw and photographed.

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Fred has worked at the Globe and Mail for more than 30 years. A couple of years ago, he gave readers tips on how to make great pictures in their own backyards. Find that here.

The Globe and Mail was all over this story Wednesday.

Political reporter Josh Wingrove was inside Centre Block on Parliament Hill then the place was locked down. He caught video of part of the attack via his cell phone.

My good pal Tonia Cowan and her crew put together this map that showed how the attack unfolded. Click for a readable version.

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And reporter Jane Taber put together a detailed tick-tock of Wednesday’s events.

Twitter feeds for some of the folks mentioned here:

Find the Globe and Mail‘s coverage of the Ottawa attack here.

The San Francisco Chronicle’s World Series preview

Thursday, the World Series took a day off to travel to the West Coast.

Let’s take the opportunity to check out the World Series preview section from Tuesday’s San Francisco Chronicle.

The cover boy was superstar catcher Buster Posey.

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The picture is by staffer Michael Macor.

Click that page — or any of the others here today — for a larger look.

Page two, below left, contains a story by sportswriter Al Saracevic on how the Giants are no longer the young upstart team. The Royals are filling that role this time around.

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Page four, above right, features a story by John Shea about the Giants’ nine rookies.

Page six, below left, is perhaps the most fun page in the section. It gives the World Series history of the Giants — This is the team’s sixth appearance in the Fall Classic and its third in five seasons.

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Lead art of Tim Lincecum in 2010 is by staffer Carlos Avila Gonzalez.

On page seven, above right, staffer Bruce Jenkins fills readers in with a profile of the American League’s Royals. Jenkins also supplied the sidebar downpage.

Pages eight and nine, below, carry the section’s cover story on Buster Posey by staffer Ann Killion.

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The vintage pictures of Posey in his Florida State uniform are by Steve Cannon of the Associated Press.

Page 10 holds the jump to the rookies story.

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Pages 12 and 13 are filled with projected lineups, projected starters and regular season stats.

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The series is tied at 1-1. Play resumes tonight at 5 p.m. PDT, 8 p.m. EDT. All games are televised on Fox Sports.

Birthdays for Friday, Oct. 24

Here’s wishing the happiest of birthdays to seven talented visual journalists…

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Jim Ducibella is a web writer for the public relations staff of the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Va., and a freelance writer and author. He currently writes for Virginia Golfer and BoomerLife magazines. A 1974 graduate of Xavier University in Cincinnati, Jim earned a master’s degree from Marquette in Milwaukee. He wrote for the Milwaukee Journal and the Washington Star before joining the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., in 1981. In nearly 27 years as a sportswriter for the Pilot, Jim spent 22 of those as the Washington Redskins beat writer. He was named state sportswriter of the year six times and was named to the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame in 2010. Jim left the Pilot in 2008. His first book — Par Excellence: A Celebration of Virginia Golf — was released in 2000. His second — King of Clubs: The Great Golf Marathon of 1938 – came out in 2012. Find his Twitter feed here. Jim turns 62 today.

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Alyse Kordenbrock is a designer for Columbus Alive and Columbus Bride — both publications of the Dispatch of Columbus, Ohio. A 2011 graduate of Ohio University, Alyse served as a designer for the school paper, the Post, and the school’s fashion magazine, Thread. She interned for Blackwood Media Group, Southeast Ohio magazine, eLearning Ohio and the Courier-Journal of Louisville before starting work for the Gannett design studio in Louisville in 2011. She moved back to Ohio in 2012. Find her portfolio here, her blog here and her Twitter feed here.

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Tracie Louck is art director for the Dallas Observer, an alt-weekly in Dallas, Texas. Tracie finished her studies at Ball State University in 2001 but didn’t officially graduate until two years later, due to an extended honors project. She spent two years at the Tribune of South Bend, Ind., before joining the Des Moines (Iowa) Register in 2005 as a designer for the Register’s youth tab, Juice. She moved to Meredith Corp. — a large magazine publishing firm in Des Moines — in 2011 but then moved to Dallas in 2012. Find her portfolio here and her Twitter feed here. Tracie turns 36 today.

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Bob Simmonds is a copy editor and page designer for the Index-Journal of Greenwood, S.C. A 1998 graduate of the University of South Carolina, Bob went to work right away for the Index-Journal. Find his portfolio here.

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Laura Stanton is a graphic artist for the Washington Post. A 1990 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, Laura spent two years at the Dallas Morning News and one year at the Chicago Tribune before joining the Washington Post. She has spent the last 20 years working remotely from St. Louis. Find her Twitter feed here.

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Jean Trumbo is a visual literacy and design professor at the University of Nevada, Reno. A 1981 graduate of Iowa State University, Jean earned a masters degree from Iowa State in 1986 and then a MFA from the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth in 1991. She’s spent the past 20 years as an associate professor at Nevada, teaching visual communication, new media, and graphic design. She’s the chair of the school’s media technology committee. Find her blog here and her Twitter feed here.

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James Williams works on the sports desk of the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin of Ontario, Calif. He’s written for a number of organizations, including the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Football.com. In addition, James runs his own sports news web site, Sports Minded. Find the Sports Minded Twitter feed here and his personal Twitter feed here. James turns  23 today.

James, Alyse, Tracie, Bob, Laura, Jean and Jim share a birthday with actors Kevin Delaney Kline, Cathryn Rose “Casey” Wilson and Fahrid Murray Abraham; musicians Adrienne Bailon (of the Cheetah Girls), Monica Denise Arnold (best known by her first name only), Aubrey Drake Graham, (best known by his middle name only), William George Perks (better known as Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones) and Jiles Perry Richardson Jr. (better known as the Big Bopper); MTV personality Tila “Tequila” Nguyen; sports greats Jay McKinley Novacek, Corey James Dillon, Yelberton Abraham “Y.A.” Tittle (all football), Peyton Robert Siva Jr. (basketball), Rafael Antonio Furcal (baseball), Kyla Briana Ross (gymnastics), Ian Michael Baker-Finch (golf) and Brian Lee Vickers (auto racing); textile magnate Roger Milliken; convicted murderer Scott Lee Peterson and Bob Kahn (better known as Bob Kane, the creator of Batman).

In addition, today is Food Day, Wear It Pink Day, United Nations Day, World Development Information Day and National Pharmacy Buyer Day. Seriously.

Best wishes, all! Have a wonderful birthday!

How to lead page one with a huge infographic

Monday, the Democrat and Chronicle of Rochester, N.Y., presented a big story on the changing diversity of the city. Projections suggest the city is in for a bit more of a radical change than others.

The paper kept the focus on the numbers by clearing most of Monday’s front page and running a huge slope graph to show the numbers.

Click this for a much larger view.

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Joanne Sosangelis, creative director of the Gannett Design Studio in Asbury Park, tells us:

The Rochester A1 design was a collaborative effort between myself and Tim [Frank, studio director].

I went back and forth about how to show the numbers about the projected change in demographics for greater Rochester over the next 50 years with editors Sarah Crupi and Sean Lahman​ at the Democrat and Chronicle. A line chart seemed to be the only way to visually show the increases in African-Americans and Hispanics and decrease in Whites in that area. Tim brought the color idea into it, and helped me refine the details along the way.

But honestly, it could never have happened without the trust we have built with the folks in Rochester. They sent us the information and gave us our space to think.

In the end I think we were all happy that it was not the typical Wednesday A1.

See the paper’s online presentation of this story here.

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A 1988 graduate of Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art & Design. Joanne spent several years as art director for features at the Journal News in Westchester, N.Y. She moved to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2005 and ran the graphics department there before becoming art director for the Sunday paper. She moved to the Gannett studio in 2011.

Find Joanne’s design portfolio here and the web site for her photography business, Skye & Raine Photography, here. Find her Twitter feed here.

That front page image was from the Newseum. Of course.

A look at Thursday’s World Series pages

Yesterday, everyone was writing off the Kansas City Royals after the royal drubbing they took at the hands of the San Francisco Giants in Game One of the World Series.

Last night, the Royals exploded for five runs in the 6th inning. They won, 7-2, tying the series as it moves from Kansas City to San Francisco.


SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
Circulation: 229,176

The win gave Royals fans — awfully quiet during Game One — something to cheer about. That was displayed across the top of the front page of today’s Chronicle.

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The picture is by staffer Scott Strazzante.

There was this very odd tense moment in the bottom of the 6th inning. Giants pitcher Hunter Strickland gave up a home run to the Royals’ Omar Infante but then appeared to taunt Royals catcher Sal Perez as Perez came across the plate. Perez had knocked in two runs himself.

Perez responded in sort of a: “You talkin’ to me?” sort of way. That moment was captured in the huge picture on the front of the Chronicle‘s sports section today.

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That picture was by Carlos Avila Gonzalez. The page was designed by Louie Rendon.

Both benches kinda sorta cleared, in preparation for a rumble. But wiser heads prevailed. The umpires didn’t eject Strickland, but he was yanked anyway for giving up a homer. And, presumably, some of his self-control.


KANSAS CITY STAR
Circulation: 200,365

The little Royals crown returned to the Star‘s nameplate today to celebrate the huge victory.

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I mentioned Perez, the catcher, had knocked in two runs in the 6th inning. The picture by staffer Shane Keyser on page one today shows the celebration after those two runs scored.

That page was designed by Charles Gooch.

What a great picture this is by John Sleezer on today’s sports front, of Omar Infante catching the Giants’ Brandon Belt diving back to second base. Smack! Right in the face.

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The designers — Bob Merrick and Sarah Morris — played it big and got the hell out of its way.

Charles tells us:

We were trying for a bit more attitude tonight with our heads, with KC getting back into the Series with a big statement game.

Sarah also designed today’s poster page showing Billy Butler bolting for first base while knocking in the go-ahead run.

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Butler is the Royals’ designated hitter. Therefore, he’s not expected to play wile the Royals are on National League soil this weekend.

Again, tonight is a travel night. The series resumes Friday in San Francisco.

The Chronicle front page is from the Newseum. Of course.