By: Daryl Lang/Photo District News
After more than a year in development, The New York Times launched a large-format photo blog Monday to showcase photojournalism projects.
Lens, as the new blog is called, joins a growing field of sites that showcase photo projects that might not be able to find a home in print. The blog has the advantages of drawing on the prestige of the Times, which just won a Pulitzer Prize for photography, and the popularity of NYTimes.com, the most popular U.S. newspaper Web site.
?We?re pretty darn proud of it,? says Josh Haner, a New York Times staff photographer and one of three Times staff assigned to produce the blog. The others are senior staff photographer James Estrin and metro reporter David W. Dunlap.
In a sign of how online publishing is often run on a shoestring, the blog has no dedicated staff and no budget for photography. It will showcase work shot for the Times? print edition, personal projects by Times photographers, wire service photographs, and work provided for publication at no cost.
Lens will also feature multimedia features by the Times video department and still photographers, Haner says.
Lens draws some inspiration from The Big Picture, a photo blog published by Boston.com, which is also owned by The New York Times Company. The Big Picture pioneered a wide-screen layout that took advantage of improving resolutions of computer screens. It proved popular with audiences and has been widely imitated.
One innovation from Lens is an interface built with Adobe Flash. The interface lets viewers flip through images using arrow keys and allows them to display photographs full-screen without the clutter of menu bars.
Haner describes it as a ?centralized showcase of best work? from the Times photo department. ?We really wanted a home for photography,? he says.