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Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Todd James Illustrations editor Todd James talks about the issue of space and content when selecting a photo.

Cut It?
“This photo is among my favorites from the whole take,” says illustrations editor Todd James. “It is as good as, and, in some ways, better than some of the others that were chosen for the article. But when you’re putting together a story, you have to impose limits. We needed a close-up image of the Palio festival, and the photo of the woman holding the mask [NGM, page 106] not only gave us that put worked better with the other picture on the spread. It came down to the issue of space and content, and there just wasn’t enough room in the layout for two photos on the same subject.”

Or Keep It?
“This picture is like a great quote,” James continues. “An implied narrative communicates through the layering of tradition and human drama that takes place in the photograph. The festival and church come together in one place as two strong cultural institutions. Add to that the human drama of a confessional and the interaction between two lovers (one in modern clothes and the other in period costume), and you’re left with a wonderful image of life and history. All of that makes this photo a great choice for Final Edit.”

Stolen Moment

Photograph by William Albert Allard

Po River
Stolen Moment

It was during the Palio of Ferrara, a centuries-old festival celebrated in one of the former ducal capitals along Italy’s Po River. Townspeople in period dress were parading into the cathedral to have their banners blessed, while National Geographic photographer William Albert Allard wandered the church looking for situations that go beyond the obvious, that ask questions that may not have immediate answers. That’s when he saw a couple waiting for the ceremony to end. “It was a very human moment,” says Allard. “A young man and woman, possibly in love, with all the attendant highs and lows, sitting a few feet from a priest who was listening to someone else’s problems.” The picture gives us a clue about the Italian people, says Allard. “I don’t think you’d see this in a Catholic church in Minnesota.”

Learn more about the feature story this photo was originally taken for and watch an interview with Bill Allard. William Albert Allard Zoom In on more images by Photographer William Albert Allard

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