From the editor

On to another year

Posted:  Wednesday, June 27, 2018 - 8:45am

We’re halfway through 2018 and I officially began my 32nd year as an employee of the Boothbay Register last week – three months as a reporter, three months as assistant editor and the rest of the time as editor.

Last week I wrote a bit about starting here at the newspaper and a bit about how the internet and other technological advances have changed the way newspapers operate.

This week I would like to talk about photography. In 1987, we did not have digital cameras. We worked strictly from prints. When we chose photos for publication, we taped a tag to the prints, and marked what size we wanted the photo to run. We then had to have the photo processed into a PMT (photo magnetic transfer), which was then waxed and pasted onto the page. If we wanted the print to be cropped, we used grease pencils to mark where the photo should be cropped. The processing was done in the Harbor Print Shop, which was located in the basement of our office at the time.

Then there was the job of getting the prints. When we started, we didn’t have a darkroom, so the staff photographers or I would bring the roll of film to the then Video Loft (now Harbor Tech Solutions) to be developed and prints to be made. We then had prints to work from. There was a lot of cost involved, which is why we finally (thank you Marylouise Cowan) got a darkroom built. Staff photographer John Edwards then developed the film, made contact sheets and I chose many of the photos that appeared in the paper each week for about 20 years.

Then along came digital cameras in the early 2000s. We were a bit confused on what this technology could do but it sure saved us a whole lot of money. It was around this time, too, when we started printing color photos in the newspaper after nearly 100 years of printing just black & white photos.

It is much easier and quicker choosing photos for print these days, using computers/laptops to view them and work on them.