Using photographs on the BBC News website

Is the use of still photographs in news undergoing a second revolution now that so many people have smartphones, asks Phil Coomes, picture editor on the BBC News website?

What makes a good picture, and why are they still vital in a news environment dominated by video?

Phil Coomes, picture editor for the BBC News website, says the still photograph is undergoing a second revolution - more than 100 years after Kodak invented the Box Brownie that allowed members of the public to capture life events on a camera for the first time.

Phil says a good picture captures a moment in time and drags readers into the story - they are a good way of adding ‘punch’.

Pictures freeze the world and allow the reader to see every nuance, revealing things you do not see in video, he says.

But he warns about copyright: “If you’re in any doubt, ask. And don’t just use it or a very big bill could be heading our way.”

 

The College of Journalism offers face-to-face and online courses for BBC staff:

Online Production

Multimedia & Multiplatform

BBC training is available to non-BBC staff on a commercial basis.