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In Focus is The Atlantic's news photography blog. Several times a week, I'll post entries featuring collections of images that tell a story. My goal is to use photography to do the kind of high-impact journalism readers have come to expect on other pages of this site. Along the way, I'll cover a range of subjects, from breaking news and historical topics to culture high and low. Sometimes, I'll just showcase amazing photography.

I got into this back in 2008, when I created the Big Picture news photo blog for the Boston Globe. I ran that site for two years before joining The Atlantic to start "In Focus" in January of 2011.

About me: I grew up on the West Coast, primarily in Washington state, but lived and worked in California and Alaska as well. When I was young, I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut or astrophysicist, after college I thought I wanted to be a writer, but I ended up finding a career as a web developer as the web sprang into life, and I found myself in the right place at the right time. I learned a lot from my time working for MSNBC.com, Amazon.com, and the Boston Globe. I discovered a way to combine my love of storytelling, photography and photojournalism with the web skills I'd developed over nearly 15 years, and to create a new platform for telling visual stories on the web.

How to get the most out of In Focus

- Take advantage of the opportunity to see the photos at the largest possible size. The site is optimized for screen widths of 1,280 pixels or more - if your monitor and bandwidth can handle. Look for the "1024 or 1280" checkboxes at the top right of an entry page.

- Use keyboard shortcuts. When viewing an entry page, scrolling from image to image can be an inexact science - so use the "j" and "k" keys or the left and right arrow keys to move down or up within an entry.

- Take your time. These photographs are often meant to be lingered over, letting the details become apparent. Allow yourself to be immersed.

- Not every point of view/group/nationality will be represented in every entry. For instance, if I post an entry with 36 photos called "New Years around the World", and don't feature a photo from Hawaii - don't read anything into that. There are a thousand reasons why Hawaii might have been left out (no photos available to me, available photos weren't that great, available photos were good, but didn't make the final cut, etc.). Just because I left a photo out, please don't conclude that I have an anti-Hawaii bias.


- Can I see the Exif data for the images?
Unfortunately, the images provided by the news agencies come to us with most of their Exif data stripped off, so there isn't any data to pass on.

- Can I use these images in my own work / Can I get higher resolutions?
These questions are best directed to the photo agencies we license the images from. Primarily AP, Reuters and AFP/Getty. They are the owners of the images, and have systems set up for licensing and purchase.

- iPad app, Android app?
Still working on these applications. Stay tuned.

- Hey these images aren't 1,024 pixels wide or 1,280 pixels wide, what's up?
The images are "optimized" for displays that go up to 1,024 pixels or 1,280 pixels. What this means is that you have to subtract a bit to account for browser borders, scrollbars, etc. If we made the images full-size, you'd end up with horizontal scrollbars, and nobody wants that.

- Will you feature my photograph?
I can't make any promises, but I do encourage you to contact me at ataylor@theatlantic.com if you have images you'd like to share. Before sending email, keep in mind that the images should be of high quality, large size, owned by you, and free for us to post online. I'm very happy to provide links and full credit in the caption.

-Alan Taylor