An eye for news

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Boston Herald photographer Mark Garfinkel gestures while speaking to students at Northeastern University on Tuesday. Photo by Steve Daly.

With a bevy of digital tools available to photographers, Mark Garfinkel believes the best implement can’t be found in a laptop or  a camera bag.

“The best cropping tool,” said Garfinkel, a staff photographer for the Boston Herald, “is your feet.”

To get the best, tightest shot, it’s imperative that you get as close to your subject as possible.

That piece of advice was among a handful that Garfinkel passed along to graduate students in Dan Kennedy’s Fundamentals of Digital Journalism class at Northeastern University on Tuesday.

The changing world of journalism hasn’t altered Garfinkel’s approach to his craft. You want to get the best shot or perhaps be the only one to get it? There’s a simple solution.

“Being there first is still the name of the game,” Garfinkel said.

Garfinkel has built a career on not only being the first one there, but sometimes being the only one there.  His exclusive photos of then-pregnant supermodel Gisele Bundchen taking helicopter lessons were gobbled up by tabloids and magazines around the world.

He’s also pleased to see that, even if the medium is changing from newspapers to online, picture stories are still an important part of the photography culture.

“I love picture stories. They’ve become a lost art,” he said. “But a lot of websites are embracing them. They tell a story that you can’t tell with words.”

Garfinkel’s website, Picture Boston, offers him an opportunity to “show what I did all day.” The picture blog includes some of his best work, including a great selection of sunrises and jets crossing in front of full moons.

“Clearly, I love airplanes and moons,” he said with a laugh.

Something else he loves? His job.

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