Doing Both

Alex Garcia on why reporters are ill-equipped to replace photographers in the news room, as the Chicago Sun-Times is doing:

That’s because the best reporters use a different hemisphere of the brain to do their jobs than the best photographers. Visual and spatial thinking in three dimensions is very different than verbal and analytical thinking. Even if you don’t believe that bit of science, the reality is that visual reporting and written reporting will take you to different parts of a scene and hold you there longer. I have never been in a newsroom where you could do someone else’s job and also do yours well. Even when I shoot video and stills on an assignment, with the same camera, both tend to suffer. They require different ways of thinking, involving motion and sound.

It’s similar to why it’s rare to find people who are truly good at both design and development. It’s different thinking and doing both usually means both suffer. I suffer from that. The flip side is you can get a lot done.

2 responses to “Doing Both”

  1. Geoff says:

    I think the people who can do both make the ones who are really great at that one thing even better.

    I’m biased because I can do both, but I think we bring the value of translation, or “hey this is important because,” to either side that might have difficulty understanding.

  2. Gray says:

    At Pixel Union, we have dedicated developers and designers. While each side has obvious input on the other (no designer is capable of handing off a project without a few suggestions :D ), each person (or team) has a dedicated role to play. I love not having to worry about design elements. It lets me *really* focus on my job as a developer and I think I’ve improved significantly since joining the team a year and a half ago.

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