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Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Senior editor John Echave explains how flaws sometime work in a photo's favor.

Cut It?
"Even though this picture was quite evocative, it didn't fit the visual narration," says senior editor John Echave. "It was like a high note that shrilled. The other images fit the pitch and rhythm of the story."

Or Keep It?
"The photo's interest lies partly in its flaws," John continues. "It's very grainy because of the low light; the digital camera couldn't hold the image, and the picture started to break up. It's alluring enough and surprising enough that our readers should see it on its own merits as a single photograph. When they turn to the last pages in the magazine, the visual surprises continue, and they aren't let down."

—Amanda Bowling

June Final Edit
Photograph by Jim Brandenburg To send this image as a postcard click here.

Against the Grain

    Minutes before darkness, a Canada goose prepares for sleep on an unnamed slough in northern Minnesota. If photographer Jim Brandenburg had waited any longer, he wouldn't have been able to produce a usable image without artificial light. Yet even in this shot, with an exposure that lasted at least two seconds, his digital camera's light receptors—more sensitive than the highest speed film—struggled to capture the failing twilight. That's what created the photo's dreamy, pixilated look.
     Though some staffers thought the impressionistic effect was magical, Jim was surprised the picture came as close as it did to being included in the article. "I suppose the effect adds to the aesthetic for some people," he says, "but I would have preferred the image to look less grainy."

—Hillel Hoffmann

Check out Boundary Waters, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by Jim Brandenburg.

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