Metro Un-edited, 2007

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    32 page newspaper. Collaboration with Metro in association with the LOOK 07 photography festival, Manchester.

    The original intention was to reproduce in a special Metro supplement every image filed to the newspaper from every picture agency over a 24 hour period, but this was impossible as the number of images Metro routinely receive every day is approximately 15,000. Metro agreed to print all the images filed by one agency - Associated Press (AP).

    The pictures appear chronologically, as they became available, with a brief caption. While the project offers a general insight into the news gathering process, it also allows for an analysis of the kinds of images that picture agencies such as AP know they can sell. Sport, celebrity and fashion generated the bulk of images, with less than a quarter falling into the ‘hard’ news category.

    “…I suppose normal produce for a day’s work 30 years ago would have been 100 or 200 photographs but now we get that in less than an hour….So on Oscar night we had something like 900 pictures of Dame Helen Mirren alone, without the other pictures from the night. Every three seconds a new image arrived. The most images we’ve ever had in one day was 39,000 pictures – that was during the Olympics. That’s a huge number of pictures to sort through….” Alan Sparrow, Executive picture editor, Metro.

    “The images accrued….represent just one day’s sampling of the output of one press agency. They display the full range of activities that attract the lenses of the world, from the earth-shattering to the quotidian. Digital media have transformed the realm of news photography, not just in the speed with which images can be harvested and sent across the globe but in the sheer quantity that can be made and delivered to the picture editor, delegating decision making closer to the point of delivery. It’s an industrial process that continues 24 hours a day”. Martin Vincent, Metro Un-edited.

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Metro Unedited
Metro Unedited, Front Cover