Monday, February 27, 2012

The brilliant, the blurry and the down right terrible

So we know that reporting from the runway has changed considerably over the last few seasons. Experiencing the shows not sat on the 'frow' or even then second or third, but from the comfort of the palm of my hand through my twitter feed has improved no doubt with every blogger and fashion editor known to man twittering photos of every look as it walks down the runway - often giving you several different angles on the same show.

Now this is where it gets interesting. You can instantly tell two things by the photos that are posted: A. whether they've been given a good seat or not. And B. who has a good phone and who doesn't.

Susie Bubble's photo from Dolce & Gabbana FW12

Let's take A. Front row proximity. This is an obvious one. The people who are taking photos with lots of heads in and an extremely bright runway bleached out the middle are not very close to the front (see below). WHAT IS THE POINT? Seriously. These photos serve just to show that you were there, they provide no detail beyond that, you can't even see what the set is like. Now there are people that utilise their position at the back, normally quite high up, and take great photos such as Dolce&Gabbana Spy's photo from Dolce & Gabbana yesterday afternoon (top) which showed the grandness of the chandeliers in all their glory and the movement of the final walk below. And when Susie Bubble can take a photo like the one above from her seat which looked (unusually for her) 3/4 rows back there should be no excuses. The quality of photographs greatly improves as you go through the rows and you'd expect the best examples to be coming from the front row, because there is nothing in the way.

Not the best example of a runway photo

This moves me onto my next point. B. If you are lucky enough to have a front row seat, and want to tweet from it, please please please make sure that you have the skills and a camera phone suitable for the job. Namely, NOT A BLACKBERRY. I have always found that they cannot deal with the contrast and detail under such light conditions. In addition, learn what your phone can do, tap on the screen to make sure it knows what it's looking at, and if the light is just plain rubbish and the models are moving too quick for photos (which I'm sure is commonly the case) use the blurriness and movement to your advantage (as per Cindi Leive of Glamour Magazine below). At least make the photo look good. Even if we're not going to get the details, we'll get an idea of the mood at a stretch. And that's better than a horribly blurry, bleached out image which is good to no-one.

Cindi Leive of Glamour Magazine's shot of Dolce & Gabbana AW12

AND Finally, when sending your photo off into the ether, just think for a second, does this serve a purpose, can any information be gleamed from it or is it an arty blurry shot. If not then, WHY BOTHER? (Avril Mair has the right idea). This also goes for images which are of such bad quality that we can actually see the pixels, I look to you again Blackberry users.

Again, not a great example

I'm sorry for going of on a little rant, but I think it's about time that the IT and Communications departments of the world's fashion media wised up and gave their editors phones which can actually take photos that are worth sending out to the millions of people following the fashion shows vicariously through twitter. Not torturing us every time we have to wait for an image to load up only to find out that we can't tell if we're looking at a shoe or a chandelier. Magazines, reporting in real time is going to become even more important than it is already, so prep your staff and let's hope things improve in Paris.

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