They're definitely a big hit with the editors. Definitely.
photo credit: Egor Gribanov
HE EDITORIAL department at Google News has confirmed that many of its photoswhich often feature uncentered images, such as partial heads peaking out of the bottom of the frameare submitted by their most prolific freelance photographer, Raymond Babbitt, known to his legions of loyal fans simply as "Rain Man."
Said Google News' Production Editor, Ed Baldwin, "We wanted a new way to present illustrations to our readers, and Mr. Babbitt immediately came to mind. As a savant, he sees the same old thing in original perspectives. Who can forget that photo of a woman's feet at the end of Rain Man?" referring to the hit film starring Raymond Babbitt and Tom Cruise as his shorter brother, Charlie Babbitt.
Rain Man has been highly sought as an art photographer ever since the 1988 film catapulted him to fame.
"I definitely wanted to take pictures. Charlie Babbitt thought I should stop it. He definitely wanted me to stop it," Rain Man stressed.
"Here's one of Valeria Golino's necklace, which is very sparkly. Sparkly necklace. We kissed in the elevator. Valeria Golino kissed me in the elevator," Rain Man said, recalling a scene in the film with the lovely Italian actress who was to become his wife shortly after Rain Man was completed.
"Raymond is such a brilliant man, and such a good kisser," said Ms. Golino, beaming.
It was actually Ms. Golino who encouraged Rain Man to submit his unique photographs to Google News and thus expand his audience beyond the art world.
"I saw the Google News pictures, and I thought, why, why are these pictures so dull, so lifeless? 'Raymond,' I said to him, 'YOU should send your pictures! Stop counting toothpicks and send the Google News your pictures!' And now of course they love him, because he gives them art."
Rain Man is currently engaged only by Google News, but has his sights set on breaking into more traditional news outlets such as The New York Times.
"The New York Times is definitely on my short list," said Rain Man, adding, "Uh-oh, Wheel of Fortune is on in 14 minutes. Wheel. Of. Fortune."
© 05.19.09 Kate Heidel