Saturday, 24 July 2010

Sun: jet crash

Updated: See comment posted by Roy's wife
All five Sun tabloids went with the same Great Escape! front page Saturday, - and good on them. A refreshing look after a week or so of oddball fronts.

All of the other fronts on, including the Toronto Star and National Post, take a back seat to the spectacular fiery CF18 jet crash and the pilot parachuting to safety.

Hopefully, photog Kurt Roy of Kurt's Kustom Photography, a professional photographer for 17 years, will be fairly compensated for his breathtaking photo.

Print editions of the Suns provide a "Kurt Roy photo" credit.

Online, it's "Kurt Roy/QMI Agency" and there is a line offering readers to buy the photo from Sun Media. Other news services credit Roy's business.

In the best of times, Kurt Roy would be pocketing a good chunk of change for the photo and possibly a photo award, even an NNA.

Today, you just don't know.


  1. I used to work at a Quebecor paper that would sell reader submitted photos on its website. That always seemed kind of questionable legally, since it wasn't like the people had signed any kind of release. I guess if they actually buy your photo, they probably make you sign your rights away

  2. Canwest (aka. Postmedia) ran the exact same photo but credit line went to the guy's wedding/portrait photography business.

    Always nice to see QMI take credit, as it often does for pick-ups.

    Notice that the Sun's version of the fire had much more red and yellow added than the Canwest version, and even more than the actual crash itself?

    Since Sun Media (and Canwest) is no longer a CP member, it missed out on CP's amazing sequence of pictures. TV news channels in Canada and USA also used the CP pictures.

    The NNA spot news award will go to the CP picture(s), which Sun and Canwest readers didn't see (at least in print).

    Yes, the Toronto Star and Globe+Mail, (both owners of CP), blew it on their front pages. Star ran a so-so local picture and the Globe ran a useless, boring front. What were they thinking? National Post, of course, went crazy over Conrad Black.

    But if you really want crazy: the CP-member newspaper, whose own photographer exclusively shot the crash sequence, did not run the pictures immediately online. What were they thinking? It only manged to put some small pictures on Youtube later in the day (!?).

    I suspect Sun Media and Canwest are thanking their lucky stars that a citizen-with-camera was at the air-show and standing in the right place at the right time. What kind of business model relies on members of the public being lucky and bringing in pictures?

    Pocketing a good chunk of change? Ha!

  3. The above Information is not all accurate, and the reason I know that is because my husband Kurt Roy is the professional photographer (not just a citizen photographer) who took the photograph on the cover of the Sun papers.The photographs are credited as requested with my husband's name and his photo business Kurt's Kustom Photography.

    My husband has been a professional photographer for 17 years, and while he does offer a variety of photography services he was not photographing a wedding at the time. We were out for a fun afternoon and knew planes were flying around so we were hoping to capture some pre-air show photos. Yes my husband was fortunate in the timing and positioning, who would expect to witness such an event.

    It was an incredibly scary event to witness that left us feeling quite shocked and wondering if we really did see what we saw, something you only ever seem to see on TV. While I am very proud of my husband for the photographs and the front page coverage, the most important part of this whole incident is that the pilot was safe and survived the crash.

  4. Corrections noted. Thank you for the replay of events leading up to the photo.

  5. No offense but: "We were out for a fun afternoon and knew planes were flying around so we were hoping to capture some pre-air show photos."

    makes him a citizen photographer, and even a passerby, (albeit one who knows what he's doing). It's not meant as an insult but just a reflection of the situation.

    Knowing what Sun Media and Canwest pay today, I doubt the photographer got anywhere near what these outlets used to pay for plane crashes.

    Again, no offense, but in 2010, the picture was worth *at least* $8,000 to $10,000 for Canadian print/web rights (obviously, this is time dependent - the sooner you contact the paper, the higher the price.); plus Canadian TV rights (but CP was first and it had sequential pictures which TV likes); plus maybe another +$12,000 in UK and European markets if the photographer was quick enough and called the right publications; plus maybe a thousand for US magazines, (but again, this is time-dependent).

    Contrary to what they say, there is a lot of money out there.

    Or, could've made an easy five figures by contacting the right agency. The absolute worst place to take pictures like this is to your local paper. This is the biggest mistake a citizen photographer can make.

    The CP pictures, because they show the entire sequence including jet, ejection seat and pilot, are/were worth far more, and also have additional commercial value if the photographer contacts the right companies, asap, in the USA.

  6. You're welcome! :)

  7. My copy of Toronto Sun just says "Kurt Roy photo" on front page.

    And the national page pdf created by the so-called Centre of Excellence says "Kurt ROY QMI Agency"

    No mention of any wedding site.

  8. Give the shooter some credit, and all other professional photographers while we are at it, where its due. I really doubt that a citizen photographer could shoot tight and hold his thoughts together to capture this image. I will certainly give him the benefit of the doubt. Why not? Its way to easy to be negative.
    He nailed it regardless of what anyone else got.
    These days when the profession of photojournalism is often forgotten and or taken for granted and all assume that anyone can do it, I prefer to simply enjoy a break-taking image that was captured by a pro.
    Well done Kurt Roy.

  9. And if a QMI photog had taken it, it would have been worth two points!