back to article Beeb sends teaboy outside with iPhone

We're delighted to report that the BBC has taken El Reg's advice and sent the teaboy outside with an iPhone to grab a snap of its own building. To recap, we reported yesterday that the Corporation was using a Getty Images stock photo to illustrate an illuminating piece by Robert Peston: BBC report with Getty image of own …


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  1. LuMan


    That has got to be the WORST example of digital photography I have ever seen. Was it taken on an iPhone??

    1. Anonymous Coward

      This is a Title.

      from the fog I'd say it was a 3, shame they havn't got a 4 yet, or even surprisingly a camera.

  2. TeeCee Gold badge

    You may be being unkind there.

    I've heard that the camera on the iPhone isn't quite yer Pentax, but I don't think it's *that* bad.

    That pic looks like it came off an HTC device to me.........

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It is *THAT* bad, It wasn't that foggy yesterday!

      My Money is on an iphone 3. (the characteristic iPhone fog is the giveaway that you dont get elsewhere)

      For many years iPhone users have been saying they don't need cameras in phones because they have proper cameras. I think this proves them wrong.

  3. AndrueC Silver badge

    What bothers me most the font rendering of the article. Do I detect the not-so-dulcit tones of that abomination called Clear Type? Whatever the cause you have to admire (ha ha) the way it has combined blurring with a significant reduction in contrast.

    I'm the one getting my coat because Clear Type and its ilk always make feel sick if I look at them for too long.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Or maybe...

      Maybe it's just where el Reg has hit <Print Scrn> and saved in a compressed lossy format so the page doesnt take long to load...? The original article text on the beeb site looks ok to my untrained eye.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: JPG quality

        "Maybe it's just where el Reg has hit <Print Scrn> and saved in a compressed lossy format so the page doesnt take long to load...?"

        No, the file was saved at 92% quality with 1x1 sub-sampling and no smoothing.

        If anything, they're much larger than they need to be. The 94kb image could have been under 40kb and still had adequate quality.

    2. Test Man


      There must be something wrong with you if a font rendering system like ClearType makes you feel sick. In most sane people, they either like it or don't, they don't overreact and make out like they feel ill just from looking at it. Methinks you should calm down and not talk such rubbish.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cleartype

      No, that's obviously anything other than Cleartype. It's plain anti-aliasing, possibly on Linux or Safari using its native rendering.

      Cleartype is fantastic, and if you honestly don't think that then you must either be using a CRT or an LCD that doesn't have its sub-pixels arranged in square R-G-B patterns. If you do have a B-G-R or other LBC type, just use MS's tweak tool to adjust the rendering to your weird screen's needs. You can also control how thickly it renders the strokes of the fonts.

      Cleartype is just MS's name for a generic method of smoothing fonts. It's also used by Macs and other systems, and goes back to the 70s. If the text on a Mac LCD system/laptop is smoother than your Windows LCD system/laptop with cleartype enabled then something is wrong with your system.

      Another possibility is that you're not running your LCD at its native resolution, are not set in 32-bit colour mode or have your graphics card set up oddly.

    4. Version 1.0 Silver badge


      because you were viewing the Clear Type via a Wi-Fi connection? It's the combination of the two that causes the worst effects.

    5. Nick 42



      You are not alone in your dislike of MS Cleartype. Over the years I've tried it on many different LCD displays with various graphics cards, always using DVI-D connections and running at the panels native resolution and, not once have I found turning Cleartype on actually improves the readability of text - using the MS Cleartype tuner tool does make a difference, I can vary the readability from poor to very poor!

      Take a screen grab of some small text, (black on white) with Cleartype on and off and then compare the magnified images - I find with Cleartype what should be nice solid black is just a muddy grey with smeared grey edges to the characters. All it seems to do is make my nice sharp TFT display look like a crap old CRT.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Peston probably took it...

    ...just as a joke for Register readers

  5. Ralph B
    Dead Vulture

    A follow-up question ...

    Does El Reg now have to pay either Getty or the Beeb for reproducing those pics?

    1. lpopman

      titular baloney


      They provide editorial context to the news article, so no permission or license is required for their use.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Hurrah !

    Another victory for the Daily Mai .... errr Register.

  7. spider from mars


    god, could they not at least have run it through photoshop to adjust the levels?!

    schlub w. digital camera =/= photographer.

  8. Dave 62


    oh god, there's a reason for getty!

    Not only has it got hideous glare, it's uneven, not to mention it looks like a faded newspaper clipping. Teaboys with iPhones can't take decent photos. Bad Reg! *slaps El Reg on the wrist

    Although you would think they could...

    (a) have one of their own photographers take a picture of their building (they must have some!)

    (b) not put a picture on an article which doesn't need it.

    (c) not put a picture on an article which doesn't need it.

    (d) seriously guys, sometimes the pictures aren't even relevant, what's the point?

    (e) seriously guys!

    (f) I think the TV license is as good as a tax you fuxtwits.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Getty's not that good...

      Have another look at the picture in the first version. A nice bit of processing has resulted in good contrast and colour-balance, but it was initially taken on a chronically cheap camera, so there's all sorts of lens flare and internal reflections going on.

      Why do Getty accept moderately crap pics from amateurs with cheap cameras? Because they're willing to sell them for less, which means more profit for Getty. It also means market rates drop considerably, and the pros have to charge less.

      The dream of everyone with a stake who either archives or uses stock photos is a workforce of "incidental photographers" who give their work away for free or near free.

      So wave goodbye to the professional photographer, peeps....

  9. Anonymous Coward

    I think the LabCon government is not cutting far enough

    I thought the basic journalism curriculum at a university had a photography course in it. At least it used to have in 5th world countries in the days when I was going to a university.

    Judging by this snap quite clearly we are paying too much for a TV license and the BBC is getting too much public funding. A 70% cut to put salaries in line with the material they are producing is clearly on order and should not be delayed.

    It also explains why they were using stock images initially - it is called "basic competence" problem. This kind of problem is often experience by public funded organisation after a long spell of communist-style government which think that having a large public sector is a jolly good idea. This problem also tends to linger after privatisations, making companies "independent". This is just one example - plenty of others.

  10. Lionel Baden


    I guess its the thought that counts

    But they didnt have to take the advice so literally !!!

    im guessing they have a camera man at the BBC ???

  11. jubtastic1

    A perfect example of why

    Getty Images does mad business.

  12. Mal Franks

    Can't have been done on an iPhone...

    as there's no Hipstamatic effect on it

  13. Graeme Coates
    Thumb Down


    At least you would have thought that they would have held the camera straight (or at least 'shopped it back to horizontal afterwards...)

  14. GreyWolf

    Crap photo adds to embarrassing cockup

    LuMan, you are so right. But that photo has been looked at and accepted for publication...hasn't it? Damn, I'm still making the assumption that the Beeb knows what it's doing. Now we know they have no content vetting process for their website - or possibly a vetting person who is as blind as a bat. [Yes, yes, I know bats aren't blind - it's a figure of speech, OK?]

  15. alyn

    not short of cameras?

    Surely the BBC is not short of cameras?

  16. Anonymous Coward

    You're missing the point...

    Why exactly was a cut to Auntie's pension bonanza top of the 'Other Top Stories' pile yesterday anyway? What's next? 'Beeb Reporter's Wife Nagged Him This Morning?' Or maybe 'Who pi$$ed on my Wheatabix?!'

    Shouty Shouty: Because that's what the Beeb were using their own news service for.

  17. Ben 47


    that's have a go at them for using a stock photo AND have a go at them for taking one themselves

  18. Scouser

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet...



    The Spelling Police are in attendance, along with the font-checkers :)

  19. Gareth.
    Thumb Up

    Next article...

    Can you write an article about the Beeb not broadcasting the F1 in HD please :o)

    1. Shades


      I think it's Bernie you want a word with.

      Unlike years past, where local TV facilities and directors were used, FOM brought it all* in-house and now supply the world feed. So, if Bernie doesn't want to do HD broadcasts then NOBODY in the entire world** gets F1 in HD.

      * Except for the Monaco GP

      ** Except the Japanese for some inexplicable reason but even then only for the Japanese GP.

  20. Rob


    So does this mean they got a refund for the image they used from Getty? Or has that cost now been written off?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      The Worst of Both Worlds - Banknote Blowing Competition

      No, now we've ended up paying for both methods of getting a photo, giving 'the commerial sector' a stick twice as big to bash them and their care-free attitude to money and the frittering away thereof.

      A wise news editor would have either just left the article alone and let the storm fizzle out of its teacup, or remove it completely. By displaying fear and panic like this, they're showing a red rag to the bull, which will only result in more people hearing about this. It's like when you stare out a predator. The moment you run or dither, it pounces!

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who cares who took it...

    ...its a truly crap photograph either way.

  22. Andrew Oakley

    Now replaced with a Press Association picture!

    You're not gonna believe this. They've replaced it again, this time with a Press Association image.

    So that's two image royalties plus timewasting for the teaboy. Good to see the budget cuts working hard at Auntie.

  23. TIMMEH

    I'd imagine...

    The photo switch was a joke on the part of someone at the Beeb who reads The Reg. Given the amount of business the two companies do, the original image likely cost nothing or next to nothing. The rubbish quality was probably intentional too.

    I think some people need to lighten up!

  24. Chris (Geek Guy)

    The plot thickens...

    They've changed the pic again to a nicer, still-not-Getty one!

  25. Sam Dutton

    ...and now they've got a PA pic

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