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Photojournalism is not just taking pictures; it’s telling the news through photographs. Like reporters, photojournalists, or news photographers, must have a nose for news. They must also have the skill to show news, accurately and objectively, through photographs.
The ways photos are used vary: Some stand alone as a story with a cutline and others are part of a photo essay. Most photographs, however, accompany stories, so they must coordinate well with those stories. To accomplish this, you’ll need to be prepared – not only for spontaneous photo opportunities but for more formally arranged photo sessions, or shoots .
First, you need to understand why photographs are used.
in newspapers. All are important, but communication is the most important function. Unless a photograph communicates something newsworthy,
it’s not photojournalism .
A photograph can communicate general information very quickly. For example, a photo of a student sweeping up after a dance tells readers this is one of the chores that have to be done after a dance. The cutline provides specific information. It identifies the student and may explain that the chore falls to members of the dance committee.
Photos may communicate emotions as well as facts. They inform and express. The student’s face and body posture, for example, may express disgust with the clean-up chore.
Mood too can be communicated in photographs. For example, you can convey the nostalgia at the end of a school year in a shot of the school grounds at sunset.
A photograph makes whatever
is pictured seem more real and true.
It lends credibility to the story. People are more inclined to believe what they see than what they read.
3. Visual Appeal
Photographs are visual magnets, drawing readers into a page or a story. For this reason photos often serve as entry points. Part of a photograph’s visual appeal is the variety it adds to a layout. The contrast between a photo and copy is exciting and eye catching. That’s why a photograph is usually the dominant element on a page or spread.
A photograph adds life–vitality–to a story in a way no illustration can match. Even a mugshot can do wonders. It makes readers feel as though the person in the story is real.
1. The RULE OF THIRDS
Many camera include a circle in the center of the view finder that serves as a focusing tool. It’s not a target for positioning subjects! Subjects placed smack in the middle of a frame create a static, boring photograph. By following the rule of thirds, you can avoid this humdrum visual arrangement.
As you look through your view finder, divide the frame by thirds horizontally and vertically to form a grid--like a tic-tac-toe board. Place your main subject on one of the intersecting points of the grid. Other subjects may be placed diagonally opposite to create dynamic tension. Horizontal lines should be along the top or bottom line of the grid.
2. FILLING THE FRAME
Fill your frame with the image. This means you should get up close whenever you can. You don’t have to include all of the subject in a picture
-- just the most interesting feature. For pictures of people, this is usually the face .
3. BACKGROUND and FOREGROUND
no matter how you get, watch the background. It may add to a photo. In that case, play it up. But if it’s destructing, move yourself or your subject to minimize destruction. Another option is to adjust your depth of field so the background is out of focus.
Pay attention to the foreground too. Remove distracting objects if possible. Use the foreground to your advantage when you can. An overhanging branch or another object in the corner can create a subtle framing device. It also adds depth.
4. ANGLES and VIEWPOINTS
Always take more than one photograph of each scene. This gives you options. One shot may serve better than another.
Take the same photo from different angles--from above, below, to the side, and so on. Be mindful of how angles affect the overall image. Photos taken from above make a subject appear smaller. Photos taken from below make a subject appear larger.
Worm’s Eye View
Below the ground or worm’s eye view shots
Bird’s Eye View
A top view shots
make your photograph excellent and great
5. LEADING LINES
People can’t resist following lines wherever they go. Use lines within your composition to lead viewers to important subjects in the scene. Lines may be formed by walls, telephone lines, roads, fences, and even shadows.
Horizontal lines are restful, whereas vertical lines imply action. Diagonal lines are the most exciting and powerful.
Take candid photos of people engaged in activity. They communicate more and are more interesting visually.
7. COLOR CONTRAST
Contrast of colors in your subject really add vitality. It also attracts people/judge to focus on your photograph because it’s more interesting visually.
8. Lines and texture
Same as cartooning, you must also notice and apply different lines (vertical, horizontal, zigzag, diagonal, etc.) in your subject to have a great output.
9. INSERT SIZE INDICATOR
Size indicator is useful to speak more on your subject. This kind of composition explains how big or small your subject, among others.
10. POSED GROUP SHOTS
Avoid photographing large groups (more than ten people), especially in small photos. Determine in the newsmakers in the group and concentrate on them.
Avoid firing squad subjects
11. SILHOUETTE (Shadow, outline)
This composition creates drama in your photographs.