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Steal (or borrow) these ideas

December 20, 2010

A full-tilt Lower Mainland roundup today.

John Van Putten‘s photo in the Maple Ridge News of an up-and-coming goalie employs a great and simple concept. I’m not going to try and describe it, so just click through. Story by Grant Granger is also a solid read.

Need another photo lesson? Here’s one in the North Shore News by Rob Newell. He makes a portrait of a guy standing in front of some banners infinitely better just by rotating his camera a few degrees. Granted, his flash lighting doesn’t hurt either.  Story, by Sean Kolenko, is also great.

There’s a lesson to be learned here. When you have one person dedicated to writing the story, and another concentrating all his or her efforts on coming up with a solid photo idea, the result is a good photo and a good story, rather than a story with a photo that may look tagged on.  Alas, not all papers have the resources, but one can dream. In lieu of that, it’s probably worth thinking up some photo ideas before heading out to an interview, rather than improvising when you get to the meeting spot. (I write this as someone who has, on a couple of occasions, entirely forgot that a photo is required).

I’ll stick with the North Shore News to point out Greg Hoekstra‘s excellent feature on how local police try and round-up suspects when they have fled the city, the province or the country. The story is another great win-win concept: the cops get a chance to highlight the city’s most wanted and the work they’re doing; the reporter gets significant access to and understanding of the behind-the-scenes process, which makes for a great story — if you write it as well as Greg (I’m going to start referring to people by their first name now, just ’cause).

The Langley Times runs a timeline of the convoluted and controversial building of that city’s hockey rink (does that make it a Timesline? I’m sorry. Real Sorry.) Timelines are easy, but underused (I think we just forget that we can do them).

Michelle Hopkins of the Richmond News investigates if anybody really likes to receive gift cards. Great Christmas story. After all, when you buy a gift card, you’re simply putting a limit on how that money can be spent. Cash would seem much more logical. But many like them, Hopkins finds. (It seems to me that they’re an easy way to give, and ask for, something almost as universally handy as cash. That can be handy because of the taboo against giving cash at Christmas time.)

Diane Strandberg of the Tri-City News and John Kurucz of the Coquitlam Now both have good stories on a nurse whose life-saving treatment by a doctor at her hospital will be documented on a television show.

Tracy Holmes of the Peace Arch News with some good ol’ fire reporting:

Marc Hiatt and his family lost everything when he and five others escaped a fire at their heritage home in South Surrey overnight Friday.

But it will be a good Christmas nonetheless, Hiatt and his son, Rob, said later that morning, after surveying the remains of the 13951 Crescent Rd. house.


Need some more good ideas to steal? Glad you asked. The Richmond Review’s Kudos page deserves kudos and theft. The page showcases local good deeds through photos and gives a dynamic look to grip-and-grins and the like.

And finally, the Surrey Leader (using Google Maps) has a superb online map of that city’s best holiday light displays.

Photo by Andy Rennie via Flickr.


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