In the Newsroom

Conceptual meaning, photojournalism ethics come into play behind ‘the eye’

By Alec Vick ’15
THE ROUNDUP

Photo Illustration by Alec Vick '15 -- Facebook captivates its users despite growth of rival social media sites.

The cover photo for the September edition of The Roundup was an eye, and on the inside of the eye was the logo belonging to the social network site Facebook.

The picture caused more discussion around campus that these cover photos typically seem to earn.

So I, as the photo editor of The Roundup, would like to share some insight into how I produced this picture.

We needed an image for the cover to accompany our package on how technology impacts students’ lives.

When we started with this idea we had a classmate of mine sit in front of a large computer screen with the Facebook logo spread across it.

Roundup adviser Mr. Mica Mulloy ’99 and I positioned a camera on a tripod behind the backside of the computer facing towards the eye of the student in hopes of getting a picture of the reflection.

We tried many things, dimming the lights and adjusting the camera settings, but nothing would work well enough to perfect the picture.

I decided to give it a try myself.

I took the camera off the tripod and sat where the student had been sitting, in front of the screen. The lights were dimmed and when I pointed the camera at my eye I could see the reflection. “Facebook.”

I snapped a few shots of my own eye and one stood out among the rest, and it eventually became the cover photo for that particular edition of The Roundup.

The reason we were obliged to call it a “Photo Illustration” instead of just a “photo” is, in addition to me setting up all aspects of the image, we had to tinker with it in the editing process.

When I took the picture, because my eye acted as a mirror, the word Facebook was backwards.

Once I was inside Photoshop I flipped the picture horizontally and added my typically editing techniques that I use for every photo, i.e. crop, saturation boost, image sizing. Flipping the image changed the reality that it captured, although created something that would better represent the collection of articles in the edition.

I would like to thank everyone for the compliments I received regarding the photo and I hope this clears up any questions about it.