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Final Edit
November 2004

The image we rescued from the cutting room floor.

Final Edit Editor Design editor Bob Gray talks about choosing between two powerful pictures.

Cut It?
"We needed to meet an Aussie to set the stage early in the story," says design editor Bob Gray. "The farmer on pages 92-3, with his look of dread at the oncoming monsoon worked much better for us than this photo of the cow. The mixture of expectation and resignation on the farmer's face had the impact we were going for."

Or Keep It?
"There is something palpable in this animal's misery," Gray continues. "Everyone and everything is affected by the monsoon. There's no escaping it. All the cow can do is shake off the flies. To me, this simple photo conveys that very strong message. "

November Final Edit
Photograph by Randy Olson Send this image as a postcard

Australia's Monsoon
Winged Misery

An image of cattle tormented by swarming buffalo flies evokes the punishing climate of Australia's tropical north, where the insects proliferate soon after the torrential rains come. But while some photographs stand completely on their own, others work best in context. "An obvious pairing would be to run this picture with the cattleman on pages 92-3," says design editor Bob Gray. "We needed a strong human face for the opening text page, and we found it with the rancher's anxious look. But there wasn't room for both, and the cattle picture would not fit in as logically later in the story."

A different pest—the bush fly—caused plenty of annoyance for photographer Randy Olson. "They land on your skin and lick your sweat," he recalls. "As I was climbing an incline to photograph lightning, they walked in circles around my eyes, trying to get to the moisture below my eyelids. I had a camera in one hand and electronic equipment in the other, making it hard to shoo them away."

Check out "Australia's Monsoon," the feature story for which this photo was originally taken.
Final Edit Photographer Zoom In on more images by Randy Olson.

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