On October 23rd, 2014, we updated our
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Major formsSingle picture, picture groups, picturesequences, picture series and photo essaysor picture stories- give photographers an opportunity to explore in depth the “why”in a story as well as the “what” and “where”
The single picture Make sure that you have one image that sums things up – that tells what happened in one picture The basic unit of U.S. newspapers is STILL the single storytelling photograph with accompanying captions. How to get it: PJ’s are always scan scenes, particularly news scenes, with a keen and inquiring eye. Look at what first appears to be the most important aspect of the scene. Then look elsewhere to make sure it is what it appears to be.
The picture group Picture groups – two or more pictures about the same subject published together – can communicate more information than individual pictures can. Require less space than a photo essays and picture stories The distant view anchors the group and puts it in geographic perspective, a medium view sums up details and a close view shows important aspects lots in distant images. Sometimes, picture groups convey information to readers more effectively than if the pictures were published separately.
Picture sequences A series of pictures about the same subject taken from the same position within a few seconds of each other. Taken in about one second You can take multiple pictures per second
Picture series Series are taken sequentially over a longer period of time than picture sequences and without regard to the photographer’s position. Tell the broader story than a picture sequence but more restricted story than a picture group.
Photo essays and picture stories More in-depth typically than other forms More than 10 pictures Usually taken over a longer period of time: weeks, months, years Depict concepts of themes: truth, poverty, pollution Include the photographer’s personal view as an integral past of the essay You must develop a keen sense of what is going on, its importance, and the ability to relate each image to the others accompanying it.
Picture stories At least 4 photos, used together with text blocks or longer word stories* One advantage is that you can write the text for the picture story Tell about a single subject or some aspect of it –usually done in relatively short period of time: days or hours Can appear in the newspaper and in special sections All the photos must relate to each other Ideas come from: Personal knowledge Minor and major stories in newspapers and magazines Press releases TV, online and radio Friends, relatives and acquaintances
How to prepare for picture stories: Be familiar with the subject before you leave the house Set aside a day or half a day to shoot: complete coverage demands time to do things right If the subject is inherently visually exciting, you may only need a short text block of captions If not, a longer story to accompany the pictures if best
Arriving to your scene: Your job is to remove the mask by making the subject feel comfortable. A laid-back attitude of “you’re important and I am here to listen to you, find out about you and what you do” can help. A rushed photograph stands little chance of making a subject feel comfortable and getting through to who they really are So, genuine interest in people is essential
At the scene: When you first arrive, the walk-around is essential, so forget about taking pictures for now. Let people talk about themselves and show you – you can use your recorder now if you ask permission. Walk-around allows the subject to become familiar with you. Get your “color” here: what the subject and place look like, smell, act.. Find specific picture situations here.
After the walk-around Suggest a break. Don’t ask for anything other than water. Talk in-depth with the subject during the break. Always be alert for little tidbits that will allow you to tell a story that readers can become involved in. Readers need to see what you saw, feel what you felt, learn what you learned. You’re almost ready to take pictures!
Shoot! Shoot horizontals and verticals of the same scene Record at least one establishing image Include long, medium, close up images Record small details with close ups Cropping should be done BEFORE you shoot Do not spend so much time on one situation that you cannot cover others adequately. Allow time for caption gathering – complete and in-depth caption information is a must! Don’t be afraid to interrupt your shooting if the subject says something that would make a good quote.
How to digest after shooting picture stories: Choosing a lede: every picture story needs an “eye burner” or anchor that brings the reader into the page. Three different photo story types: news, sports and feature News – lede photo is informational and includes strong dramatic or emotional aspects Sports – image of a turning point or includes powerful emotions Feature – more creative lede photo but usually person is not recognizable – very few faces are so interesting to tell a subject’s whole story - so the selection of the lede is critically important Go for the most storytelling photo available, which ideally contains an emotion-provoking element Portraits work best in picture stories as complementary photos
Selection process Complementary photos are 3-5 images that are not the lede but help tell the story. Picture stories must have a beginning, a middle and an end, varied depths and content. The geographical placement of photos on the page can add to the readers’ perception of “beginning and end” The lede most often serves as the middle photo
Selection process The beginning photo is informational and straightforward. The purpose is to add information not included in the eye burner lede photo. The middle photos make up the meat of the story and can contain any type of image known in PJ. The only rule is that they must add dimension to the story. The ender should make the reader feel a sense of completion or the end of a cycle or event. Try to stay away from the obvious – sunsets, stop signs, etc. – Go for thought provoking
Selection process The more detail an image has – the more size it needs to visually communicate its information You will have likely end up with a bunch of photographs that don’t have any more news value than the other. So, try to consider the images from the reader’s POV and try to give them something that they have not seen before
Designing The reader should be able to follow the story without interference from the design – it’s impossible to get more than 6 photos attractively on a page Never have two pictures on the same page that “say” the same thing Typically: one main image, played large and toward the middle of the page, with other pictures played smaller. A detail shot – tight close up of an object or a body part, such as face or hands, is required Captions appear beneath each picture or in one or more groups near the related images. White space, which is an area of the page without design elements, is a design element itself.
Photo essays Eugene W. Smith published a photo book about mercury pollution in a Japanese fishing village (1975) http://www.magnumphotos.com/Catalogue/W-Eugene-- Smith/1971/JAPAN-Minamata-Mercury-poisoning-1971- 1975-NN144972.html Donna Ferratos’ 1991 book about domestic violence against women http://emuseum.icp.org/view/objects/aslist/People$0040 934;jsessionid=C27D2CED3866859F3F96D104817775B4?t:sta te:flow=4c6cf058-2117-4f91-8470-a22e683890fb