Here’s a fun project that even photographers can now afford. Take a standard US Lincoln penny (like we said, photographers could afford this project) and flip it in the air 100 times. Statistically, it will average out about 50/50 with the penny landing almost evenly between heads and tails of the coin. Now take the same coin and spin it rather than flip it. It will now come up tails about 70% of the time. There is a difference in weight of each side that does not affect it when flipped, but does affect it when spun.

Which brings us to two recent stories about newspapers that have been all over the blogosphere last week. We see both stories connected, two sides of the same coin. And this one has photographers falling on their face no matter which way you flip or spin.

First is the Chicago Sun-Times laying off its entire staff of twenty photographers. They will now send out reporters with their cell phone cameras. Right. A friend on line, Wes Maggio called it idiocy at it’s finest, which Jack pointed out it really gave idiocy a bad name and was really idiocy at it’s worse. A lot has been hashed over and discussed about this action by the Chicago Sun, and being animal lovers, we see no reason to continue beating this horse any more.

Which brings us to the second story we read recently on regarding the Rogers Photo Archives. (Click here to read). The Archive has been archiving and digitizing the photo archives of many newspapers, in exchange for their photos. They are selling the photos, some of which are generously called “mundane” by us, and they are selling  $120,000 worth of photos EVERY WEEK on eBay.  That ain’t mundane money by any calculation.  Our guess is they will be contacting  the Chicago Sun Times in the near future, if they haven’t already, to cut a deal.

The reason we say mundane is that the articles shows staff headshots taken at the Miami Herald. No offense meant to that staff, but their headshots, now available on eBay, are half a step above 1970s and ‘80s high school senior photos. Their clothes are nicer, but the hairdos still, well, you know.  So they’re saying they make this bundle on these, let’s say, “simple” shots. So everyone makes money off the photos….except the photographers who took them. That’s real money, unless you don’t think $120K per week is not real money.

So spin this coin any way you want, but the vast majority of the time, more than 70% of the time,  it’ll land on photographers’ faces. We sincerely wish “good luck” to the Chicago 20, who are laid off to today join the vast pool of “PJ style” wedding photographers.