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Read All About It: Newspaper Photographer Focuses on Composition

With Paint Shop Pro, photographer Michael O'Kane can focus on what's important.

"I concentrate more on composition," O'Kane said. "I don't worry about the white balance or if the lighting conditions aren't perfect because I know I can fix that all with Paint Shop Pro."

A few years ago, O'Kane, a photographer for the Queens Chronicle in New York, was looking for software to help him improve his photos.

"People would recommended software by other companies," he said. "But most of the time the software was too hard to learn or much too expensive."

Then a friend suggested he try Paint Shop Pro and he went right out and bought it because it was so inexpensive. He's been using it ever since.

“Paint Shop Pro makes my life a whole lot easier and it makes my editors a whole lot happier”

Michael O'Kane
Newspaper Photographer

"Paint Shop Pro makes my life a whole lot easier and it makes my editors a whole lot happier," said O'Kane who started taking pictures in 1966 while he was in the Navy. "It allows me to make a good photograph even better."

It wasn't until retiring from the telephone company that O'Kane got involved in newspaper photography.

Thousands of Photos
"I retired, and now I get to do something I've always wanted to do," he said. "I love it. I get to show people stuff they usually wouldn't get to see."

And O'Kane, who's been with the newspaper for nearly two years, has plenty for people to see. Whenever he goes out on assignment for the newspaper, he takes three cameras -- two for the newspaper and one for himself. When he comes back from these assignments, O'Kane usually brings back about 100 photos.

This is where the other member of the Paint Shop family comes in handy. O'Kane uses Paint Shop Photo Album to download photos from his digital camera and uses it for cataloging. O'Kane estimates that he keeps about 1000 photos on his hard drive and has about 8,000 photos backed up on CD-ROM.

"I can locate any one of them in a matter of minutes," he said. "It rarely takes me more than 10 minutes to find any photo."

Of those 8000 photos O'Kane said he's proudest of the one he calls "Lost Childhood."

The newspaper often sent O'Kane out to cover the memorial services for victims of the 9-11 World Trade Center attacks. It was at one of these memorials where he snapped his pride and joy.

Paint Shop Pro Makes it Easy
"It's a simple photo," he said of the photo that captures a young man mourning the loss of his uncle who was a fire fighter. "I wasn't expecting it. As soon as I snapped the shutter, I knew I had a winner. Adults put a mask on as soon as they see a camera. Kids give you what they got."

“I don't think I could do the kind of photography I do without Paint Shop Pro”

Michael O'Kane
Newspaper Photographer

To O'Kane, the success of his photography isn't measured by how much money he makes. Its measured by how well the photograph communicates to the audience.

"With every photo I take, there are three people involved: you, me, and the subject of the photo," he said, "If I can make you feel what I felt in the instant I released the shutter, then I succeeded."

O'Kane also likes to take a lot of travel photography. He and his wife try to take a trip to Hawaii or Bermuda every year.

"It's hard to take a bad picture of Bermuda," he said. Even if he did manage to get a bad picture of Bermuda, he'd always have Paint Shop Pro as a back up.

"I don't think I could do the kind of photography I do without Paint Shop Pro," he said. "I would spend all my time learning software. Paint Shop Pro makes it so easy for me to make the adjustments that I need to make a living."