removing the dried, caked fixer on the sink and the cupboards. We tossed out the old film canisters and mangled strips of negatives piled everywhere by the previous occupant. Kathy set her own Leitz enlarger (it only printed from 35mm negatives, which has a significance I’ll explain later) on the newly cleaned counter. Along the wall near the Leitz, Kathy kept her copy of Visual Impact in Print, by Gerald D. Hurley and Angus McDougall.(3) McDougall had been Kathy’s teacher at Missouri.

This book had a great influence on my generation of newspaper photojournalists. It outlined a program for changing the kinds of photographs editors assigned and the way those photographs were eventually displayed in the paper. The book addressed itself to editors and designers as much as to photographers. It outlined a new aesthetic, different from the one the oldtimers used to photograph car wrecks and ribbon cuttings. Significantly, it also outlined a program for changing the status of newspaper photographers.

The book advises that photographs be cropped to be “lean and meaningful,” “trimmed to [their] essentials” so that their “content” can be “quickly grasped” by readers. It advises deleting “distracting elements” (what working photographers often refer to as “clutter”), “correcting” camera tilt, and “reducing the apparent distance between the camera and the subject.” The authors commend and show examples of work in which there is “no posing” and “no camera consciousness” on the part of the subject. If a photograph is posed, then “credibility suffers,” while unposed photographs have “believability.” They praise photographers for making pictures with “eye-catching quality” and for going “behind the scenes.” They tell photographers that “the best photojournalists” are “blessed with good taste, unhandicapped by eccentric behavior or attire,” and, in their dealings with subjects when on assignment, they “quietly establish rapport.”