Out of My Mind, Jan. 19, 2012

Color on every page: Start of new look for the G-T

In case you haven’t noticed we took our first steps toward the new look for the newspaper, put our toe in the water so to speak. Starting this week we have the ability to print color pictures and advertisements on any page.
By having this ability it really makes for a change in the possibilities for layout. We aren’t restricted to having to plan our color photos around the front and back pages of newspaper sections. Now color advertising, especially full page ads, won’t be competing with sports or special event photos for room on the back page because they can go on any page.
By making this change we can bring you all the photos in color and I think this will really enhance the look of the newspaper. Advertisers can say they want full process color, but would like to be inside the paper, rather than on the back if that is their preference.
It’s not to say I won’t miss black and white photography because that’s what I grew up with from the first time I ventured into a darkroom to develop a roll of film and make a print in my early teens. Photography seemed more like magic than science back then. Black and white, from old photos to film noir, will always hold a special place in my heart. Black and white photography is both simple and complex at the same time. When executed properly it can be a technical and artsy triumph or just a good snapshot recording your family history. I’m sure one day I’ll look back with nostalgia on the all black and white newspapers, and read all over, as the tagline to the old riddle goes. But for now I’m excited about this step in the evolution of the G-T.
I missed the cold and hot type eras, which came on when community newspapers were typeset with CompuGraphic machines and then went to being set on early PCs, growing into being laid out entirely on computers and eventually taking the darkroom entirely out of the picture. Nowadays we set type, download photos and send what we want to be printed over the information superhighway directly to the printers. What a change.
There will always be photographs that just look better in B&W, but color delivers a more realistic accounting of the news we capture – we don’t see in black and white. Good color photos can pop off the page and really draw your attention to an article. Although I wouldn’t have believed it a dozen or so years back, today’s digital cameras do rival film in nearly every way and in some ways surpass it, often giving the photographer the ability to shoot in much lower light situations without having to fire off what might be an intrusive flash to get the shot.
Anyway this is just the start of what we’ve been hinting at for the last few weeks and since I’m writing this before the newspaper has gone to press (obviously) I’m hoping everything went off without a hitch. Fingers crossed and look for more positive changes in the newspaper as the year progresses.
Although it’s a little belated, thanks for being our loyal readers and best wishes in 2012.