TAMPA, Fla. — One of the things I had always liked about journalism was the division of labor. Editors edit, writers write and photographers take photos.
At places with smaller staffs, there’s some mixing of duties, but even then people try to stick to their strengths. Simple enough.
But in this age of Twitter and camera phones and short attention spans, a lot of times those rules get thrown out the window.
The results can be disastrous, as I so capably proved yesterday, my snapping the worst sports photograph of all time.
It started innocently enough. I arrived for the Yankees’ workouts, Tweeted a few details, and felt the need to take a picture. Even if I hadn’t, people on Twitter would have started asking, and I would have. felt obliged I had only an iPhone, and you can only do so much with it, but as a friend once told me after I shanked a golf shot and threw my 6-iron down the fairway, “only a poor craftsman blames his tools.”
So I tried, and failed. Miserably.
I aimed the camera at a line of Yankees players running on the practice field and came out with an image of barely recognizable figures lost in a gray haze.
It made me wish that iPhones came with lens caps. Leaving the cap on and snapping the photo would have produced a better result.
One day, I’ll be brought up for multiple charges of “crimes against photojournalism.” And when it comes time to present evidence, they will unearth the photo above and enter it as Exhibit A.
Really, to find me guilty, would they even need anything more? Doubtful.
I was stupid enough to Tweet the photo. One blog even used it on a post, a tactic that I’ve decided could only drive away potential readers.
Anyway, real workouts begin soon, and that means the real photographers can take over and do the wonderful job that they do.
And me? I can go back to using then iPhone for the purpose of sending inane tweets, which is a whole lot photojournalistic atrocity.