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Final EditThe image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Assistant design director Elaine Bradley talks about telling stories with photos rather than just publishing compelling pictures.



Cut It?
"The images of a lion hunting zebras captured the sequence of predation over time (NGM, pages 40-1); they tell a story," says assistant design director Elaine Bradley. "The crocodile photo only hints at the story. We wanted the reader to feel the inherent dangers of zebra life immediately. We could have used the croc photo on the spread showing zebras crossing the water (NGM, pages 42-3), but adding a third image would have taken away the grace and power of the story."

Or Keep It?
"This is a compelling picture for many reasons," Elaine continues. "The photographer brought in some of the best zebra photographs the Editor had ever seen. There were many amazing images that we had to let fall to the floor, and that's the hardest part. But we were trying to convey the story's themes, in addition to showing beautiful photographs.  So we gave this one to the readers in Final Edit."

—Rebecca Rivas


September Final Edit
Photograph by Anup and Manoj Shah To send this image as a postcard click here.

ZEBRAS
A Tale of Too Many Stripes

In the quiet aftermath of a crocodile's violent kill, photographers Anup and Manoj Shah captured this study in contrasts—a wary predator guarding its prey in Kenya's Mara River. 

The story's design editor, Elaine Bradley, found the image graphically irresistible. "You have this great juxtaposition of color, shape, and texture, then boom, right in the middle you have this eye that sucks you in," she says. But when you're working on an article about zebras, bold graphic images come easy, and the story was quickly full of them. "We had stripes in motion, stripes en masse—and there were other good pictures of predation," says Elaine. "So, unfortunately, we had to let this one go."

—Jennifer Steinberg Holland


Check out Zebras, the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by Anup and Manoj Shah




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