How CONTACT magazine is made – Part 3 – starting a layout with photos

In part 3, I make a good start on laying out a seven-page spread, using just the photos – because I haven’t actually written the story yet.

This isn’t an unusual way to start – but it helps a lot knowing in my head what I’ve got in the bag in terms of phots and the style, tone and length of the story I want to write.

Besides, this isn’t the first time I’ve covered the Wings Over Illawarra airshow.

Speaking of the photos – I took about 1800 over two days and, before I started recording this video, I selected about 60 that fit with CONTACT’s military remit.

From there, I can let the space, my imagination and some divine inspiration take over, whittling the final selection down to about a dozen photos used in the layout.

It’s also worth noting too that magazine layouts allow for a lot more artistic freedom than straight news reporting – as you’ll see in the video. And this is doubly true when I took the photos, because I don’t have to worry about upsetting a photographer by ‘butchering’ his/her photos.

I didn’t add the timer to this video because this one only covers about a quarter of the whole spread, which, including writing the story, took about five hours all up.




View all my personal vlogs here.
View my Mavic Pro videos here.
And, see CONTACT news videos here.

This video is brought to you by CONTACT Publishing – producers of CONTACT Air Land & Sea magazine and CONTACT fortnightly newsletter – subscribe to both free, here

and the daily CONTACT military-news web site

CONTACT reports on the people, platforms and operations of the world’s defence forces, particularly Australia. We are dedicated to presenting stories, photos and video that capture the essence of serving-members’ lives, as much as possible from the grass-roots perspective.

Subscribing to CONTACT is totally FREE – here

If you subscribe, you can expect to receive our quarterly magazine, our fortnightly newsletter and a copy of our viewee-twoee-sized “Weapons of the ADF” Part 1 and Part 2 – and no spam.

If you want to support CONTACT directly, you can become a member of our DFSW Club here –

A bit more about us…

CONTACT is independently owned and operated by a proud Aussie Veteran.

The CONTACT web site ( is our internet-based headquarters where we publish daily news and other interesting, relevant items. 

We also use 

Facebook (

Twitter (

Pinterest ( and

YouTube ( 

as ’embassies’ where we engage our audience, inviting them back to our headquarters –

The CONTACT newsletter is a free fortnightly email-based publication that draws attention to recent news stories. Its intent is to bring readers the best of the previous fortnight in a handy-reference format, as well as ‘blog-style’ articles produced specifically for the newsletter.

CONTACT Air Land & Sea magazine is a high-quality, full-colour, features-based magazine published four times per year. Initially launched in March 2004 as a traditional paper-based magazine, it switched to digital in 2013. It is now only available by FREE subscription – 

Our magazines are digitally archived at – but are restricted to members of our ‘DFSW Club’ – find details at

Thank you for your interest and support.

I very much appreciate it,

Brian Hartigan

Mobile – +61 (0)408 496 664
Email –

PO Box 3091, Minnamurra, NSW 2533, AUSTRALIA









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Posted by Brian Hartigan

Managing Editor Contact Publishing Pty Ltd PO Box 3091 Minnamurra NSW 2533 AUSTRALIA

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