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29 Jan 2009 Jour 5030 Profiles & Multimedia Storytelling


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Photo Basics - Visual Journalism

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29 Jan 2009 Jour 5030 Profiles & Multimedia Storytelling

  1. 1. JOUR 5030 - Visual Journalism Class Notes January 29, 2009
  2. 2. <ul><li>Three Fundamentals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The ‘Holy Trinity’ of Photography </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Composition </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Focus </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Exposure </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Don’t get bogged down by the technology is an enabler </li></ul><ul><li>Remember: You’re a journalist – Don’t get caught up in the moment </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Learn how to use your camera </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Find the manual </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Shoot, shoot, shoot: It’s digital! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Change settings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experiment </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Become hypersensitive to all your surroundings </li></ul><ul><li>Use natural light whenever possible </li></ul><ul><li>Get up close </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be shy!!! </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>When you look through the lens, what do you see? </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: ‘Is there too much in this frame?’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Single ideas, simple images are often the best </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Remember, we’re talking about VISUAL communication. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Just like verbal communication, if you talk too much, sometimes people don’t listen or the words become white noise </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are you trying to say? </li></ul><ul><li>What is your point? </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Here’s what you should do: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If you can move around objects, do so. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If you can’t, figure out a way to focus on a single object </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Narrow down your ideas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>With portraits: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make sure what you see through the viewfinder is focused on the subject </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Frame your shots </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at all elements in the picture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tendency is to just focus on the subject </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scan the rest of the frame the image, and see what’s relevant </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Photographs are two-dimensional. </li></ul><ul><li>To make images more real and alive we try to give the illusion of depth. </li></ul><ul><li>Helpful hints: avoid shooting people up against a wall, pull them away from the wall, have them stand with a room or field behind them. </li></ul><ul><li>Light the subject or have them be the brightest object. </li></ul><ul><li>Or, if you're shooting a building, shoot it at an angle (from the corner) and have some branches be in the shot - close, yet out of focus (to add an element of foreground depth).  </li></ul>
  7. 7. Foreground - the part of the photo that is closest to the camera - the branches in front of a park scene. Background - the part of the photo that is farthest from the camera - the mountains behind a park scene.
  8. 8. <ul><li>Portion of the photograph that is in clear sharp focus. </li></ul><ul><li>How much of the picture is crisp? </li></ul><ul><li>To get lots of the photo in focus have lots of light and have the subject farther away from the camera. </li></ul><ul><li>You may want to have a shallow depth of field (only the subjects eyes in focus, for example) then you would decrease the light and move the subject closer to the camera. </li></ul>Can you guess which part is the Depth of Field?
  9. 9. <ul><li>Aperture: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Also known as “F-stop”: the higher the aperture (e.g. F22) is used, the picure will contain a large depth of field. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>That means the images in the foreground, middle ground and background will appear sharp </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Focal length: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The long the focal length (50mm on a 35mm camera) the smaller the depth of field will be. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Distance from the subject </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Close up photos = Narrow depth of field </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Large DOF Wide Angle Lens Large Distance to Subject Big F-Stop DOF Small DOF Long Lens Small F-Stop Small Distance To Subject Low Light Bright Light Short Shutter Speed Long Shutter Speed
  11. 11. <ul><li>Variety adds to your photograph. </li></ul><ul><li>The subject should be the lightest area of the screen because our eyes are drawn to light. </li></ul><ul><li>The background behind them should be darker. </li></ul><ul><li>Placing the sun behind you will assist you in getting good lighting. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>The amount of light entering the camera  </li></ul><ul><li>Proper light makes your best pictures </li></ul><ul><li>A picture looks its best with proper light and exposure.  </li></ul><ul><li>Automatic exposure will adjust the amount of light entering your camera. </li></ul><ul><li>Try manually controlling the lights and exposure to see how you can improve your photos. </li></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>You want to avoid “surprises” in the background </li></ul><ul><li>Learn to see what the camera sees </li></ul>
  14. 15. <ul><li>Fill the frame </li></ul><ul><li>Tells a better story </li></ul><ul><li>Focuses the eye on what YOU want the viewer to think is what’s important </li></ul>
  15. 16. <ul><li>Visual Weight </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider all elements of the photo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Color, texture, brightness: What’s grabbing the viewer’s attention? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Yellow flower against the dark background is better than a yellow background </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be aware of the lighting </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Extremely bright/dark backgrounds </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Be conscious of how images may be cut off </li></ul></ul></ul>
  16. 17. <ul><li>Positioning of main focal point of image </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Balancing image, light, background, colors, textures </li></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 18. <ul><li>Don’t shoot pictures from the same height </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Shoot low, get high </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get close: Shoot from different angles </li></ul></ul>
  18. 19. Reflections Lines Shadows
  19. 20. <ul><li>Great Portraits: </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Listen carefully </li></ul><ul><li>Observe </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Capture details: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gestures, figures of speech, clothing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Write so that you appeal to all five senses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bring the character to life </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Recreate the scene </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Show people as they are </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Show how they interact with others </li></ul></ul>
  20. 21. <ul><li>Do your readers know why you’ve written this profile? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I revealed anything about the subject no one else knows? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I capture my person in a real-life setting? Professional setting? Family? Recreational? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I balanced the mundane with the spicy? Juicy? </li></ul>
  21. 22. <ul><li>Have I revealed the turning points in a person’s life? </li></ul><ul><li>Do I have enough quotes from the person and from other interviews to make this story compelling? </li></ul><ul><li>Have I done enough research on this person to ask the right questions? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s the most obvious question I FORGOT to ask? </li></ul>
  22. 23. <ul><li>Types of Interviews </li></ul><ul><ul><li>News: talking to an expert for a specific story </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personality: seeking to reveal the character and personality of an individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Symposium: talking to people participating in a seminar, forum or workshop </li></ul></ul>
  23. 24. <ul><li>Getting people to talk </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding common ground </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What’s a good icebreaker? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Be conscious of the environment/the setting </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where you interview someone, sets the tone of the interview </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finding the right person to interview </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The right person: everything flows; the wrong person, you’re searching for questions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Maintaining control </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stay alert – avoid the rambler </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t be afraid to have them slow down </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. <ul><li>Types of questions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Close-ended v. Open-ended </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep them simple! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What makes a good question? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ how’ and ‘why’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The more specific, the better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: ‘Is this question appropriate for the source to whom you’re talking?’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch your tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BAD: ‘You’re known as being a real loud mouth’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GOOD: ‘Your critics say you are really loud all the time’. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  25. 26. <ul><li>What makes a good question? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ how’ and ‘why’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The more specific, the better </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask yourself: ‘Is this question appropriate for the source to whom you’re talking?’ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Watch your tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>BAD: ‘You’re known as being a real loud mouth’ </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>GOOD: ‘Your critics say you are really loud all the time’. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 27. <ul><li>What’s a bad question? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two-part questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ What ifs’ / hypothetical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Apologetic, “I’m sorry I have to ask you this, but how old are you.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Set up a flow of questions </li></ul><ul><li>- From broad to specifics, from business to personal </li></ul>
  27. 28. <ul><li>Taking Notes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create your own shorthand </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consider spelling words without the vowels </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The actual quote “The man in the car looked like he was never going to stop.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Without vowels: ‘th mn n th cr lkd lk ws nvr gng to stp. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Immediately following the interview. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Stop. Sit down. Review your notes. Fill in the blanks of incomplete words. Place asterisks next to really good quotes and/or information you intend to use in the story. </li></ul></ul></ul>