An angle that was missed

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November 04, 2007|By Barbara Haddock Taylor | Barbara Haddock Taylor,Sun Photographer

Last week, I was assigned to cover the opening day of the special legislative session in Annapolis called by Gov. Martin O'Malley in order to wrestle with serious state budget concerns. An array of new taxes, tax reforms and slot proposals was on the table.

Taxes are something that is important to ordinary citizens, but it's hard to capture that human dimension in a sea of lawyers, lobbists and legislators. Two of the day's events included a speech by the governor to a joint session of the Maryland legislature, and a rally by anti-tax protesters on Lawyer's Mall outside the Statehouse.

I knew my editors would probably want overview photos of the rally - images that would give readers a sense of the size onf the crowd. To focus on the human dimension, I took a number of photos of individuals attending the rally and the signs they were carrying.

Both kinds of photographs, especially when used together, can help tell the story.

In the next day's edition, two photographs were used, both emphasizing the size of the crowd, which was an important consideration. There was another picture,though, which might have added a different dimension to our coverage.

Judith Randall of Solomons, a citizen who took the time and effort to go to Annapolis and express her opinion, held an American flag and a sign. In her quiet way, she added depth and an important presence to the gathering.

While covering this event, I was struck by the contrast between what was happening inside the Statehouse, where legislators would be grappling with the complex issues of budgets, revenue shortfalls, fees and taxes, and the people outside who were quite simply saying "No."

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