Report from the eye of the storm | VailDaily.com
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Report from the eye of the storm

Tom Boyd

Like Dorothy walking through the door with Toto, I feel like we’ve entered the land of color.The past two issues of this newspaper have come across my desk in a Technicolor dream. I say dream partly because it feels so good to see our pages catch the eye with color, and partly because the whirlwind of events surrounding the recent sale of this newspaper has set our world spinning. My desk, it feels, is in the eye of a hurricane, where every element of the world sweeps past in a wall of chaos.Out of that chaos, somehow, comes another edition of this newspaper.When I see the color on the pages it calms the seas, so to speak. It offers clarity. The photographs seem so solid on the page, and it assures me that we must have, in fact, gotten ‘er out the door and to the presses on time.And, truth be told, our new four-color presses have awakened me to the quality of work coming from my pal and photographer Dan Davis, who we’re lucky enough to have on board as this ship sails the swirling seas left over from The Big Sale.I’ve always felt a bit biased when it comes to Davis’ work because, over the years, he’s also become a good friend. I’ve listened to his thoughts and ideas on his art, and watched him conquer unending logistical nightmares to get his lens to the right place at the right time all to deliver work that runs in a one-inch by one-inch frame (in black and white, no less) at the back of the paper.But if you haven’t noticed, bringing Davis’ work to the forefront has been one of our highest priority goals in our first few weeks here at the Trail. It’s given me a new appreciation for his work his ability to manage light, to see the photo, to frame it, and to make it color (or even carry) the words wrapped around its borders.It’s good to know I’m not alone in appreciating Dan’s work. He recently received first place in the very competitive Colorado Press Association Awards for creating the best sports photo.Wait till they see his color work.And when Davis’ work is combined with Amanda Swanson’s layout and graphic design, it’s no wonder that more awards come through the door. Amanda picked up third place for Best News Page Design.Color adds new dimensions to a photograph, and same goes for a designer. Amanda’s eye was limited mostly to black and white until last week, but now she can blend backgrounds, photos, words and images with a full palate making all of our work appear fresher and more exciting to the eye.And the same goes for advertisers. Swanson and advertising representative Amy Pease teamed up for first place in the Best Black and White Ad department just think what they can do with more opportunity for color advertising. Color is a magnet for the eye, and there’s no doubt it can do good things for a business that wants to get noticed.Our Web site has always been color, and for those many readers who would rather click than flip, there’s not many better Websites in the state at least the CPA thought so. They awarded us third place for Website design and second place for best overall website.Apparently, the CPA thinks our paper is a joke. Which is a good thing if you’re writer Barry Smith, who picked up best humor column for Irrelativity, the weekly column that describes the oddities of the world in that way that only Barry can. (Yes, Barry, you can now call yourself an award-winning writer just don’t forget the hyphen.)It’s also a great bonus to this paper to have Don Sidle back in action after a week off last week. Don’s indescribable ability to distill complicated issues inside one frame is simply magic to someone like me. After all, it took me 3,203 words to paint my picture of Bair Ranch. Sidle, in one frame, provides an entirely different viewpoint in a matter of seconds and you get a laugh out of it, to boot.My personal favorite didn’t take home any awards, but no doubt it will soon. After reading Movie Detective I just don’t trust anyone else. Plus, I’ve never read anybody who can weave social commentary so seamlessly into a review of “Blue Crush”.I’d mention Scott Willoughby, but I’m afraid I’ll have to own up to it later tonight at the Saloon. Scotty Dubs gets plenty of mail, I’m sure, so I’ll leave it up to his many fans to drub him with love and attention (if that’s what you want to call it).As for me, it’s like I said last week: I’m still here. And this paper is still out on the racks. And things are already beginning to smooth out. By the time you read this, the hurricane will have calmed to tropical-storm status, and in a few weeks I’m sure we’ll be sailing smooth seas under sunny skies. I can’t wait.Tom Boyd has surmounted his e-mail deficiency and is once again available at tboyd@vailtrail.com. Write or call at (970) 390-1585.


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