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Transcript of Photojournalism
Journalism Seminar Workshop
Solano, Nueva Vizcaya
July 9-10, 2012
Photojournalism is a particular form of journalism (the collecting, editing, and presenting of news material for publication or broadcast) that creates images in order to tell a news story.
Photojournalism is distinguished from other close branches of photography by the qualities of:
An informational photograph is little more that a visual record of a person, place or event. It offers nothing more than identification value and has no redeeming story‐telling qualities.
Passive situations show people whose essential purpose is to have their photo taken for publication.
These situations show real people involved in real events in real time. Photojournalism needs to go beyond the surface facts and should try and capture the essence of a situation or personality.
the collection of elements in the picture, and how those elements compete for the readers' attention. As the eye tracks across the picture, the position of those elements, the composition, makes the eye move on or stop and study the image.
The relationship between lines, shapes and forms produces an aesthetically pleasing visual presentation.
QUALITY OF LIGHT
The use of natural and/or artificial light to enhance the subject and contribute to the story‐telling capabilities of the image
Human beings possess the widest range of emotions of all the planet's inhabitants, and it is through these emotions that the photographer captures the human condition.
It is the photographic presentation of opposing elements which often convey a sense of irony.
A state of mind or feeling an image evokes from the reader.
SENSE of PLACE
That which allows the reader to quickly comprehend the setting of the image
POINT of ENTRY
That part of the photograph that immediately draws the reader into the image. e.g. introducing disorder into a controlled situation
A photograph that has impact provokes an immediate, powerful and emotional response from the reader
Photographers are the eyes of the reader and should show them things they may not be able to see for themselves. In other words, a unique visual approach
Those images that show readers the unexpected
Dominant foreground, contributing background
A photograph with a strong point of entry supported by storytelling information in the background or other layers of the image.
With every image, a photographer chooses the exact moment to record an essential truth about a person or event. If the moment is missed, the quality of the image suffers. If the photographer fails to take the picture, that moment is gone forever.
MELVIN C. GASCON
News & Photo Correspondent
The image goes beyond just what the person looks like and should shed some light on the individual's personality.
RULE of THIRDS
Many photographs can be divided into visual thirds. This "visual rule" plays upon the natural instincts to see images in this manner, beginning with paintings of the masters.
When to break the rule of thirds:
Subject is too large to fit into one of the intersections;
1. The “firing squad” photo
Photographers should avoid:
The “hand shaker” photo
The “check passer” photo
The “pointing” photo
The “three men and a piece of paper” photo (contract signing)
The “ribbon cutters”
The “smorgasbord” photo (too many subjects; limit the number of persons in your picture to 3 or 4)
Adopted from the National Press Photographers Association, Inc.
Photojournalists and those who manage visual news productions are accountable for upholding the following standards in their daily work:
Be accurate and comprehensive in the representation of subjects.
Resist being manipulated by staged photo opportunities.
Be complete and provide context when photographing or recording subjects.
Avoid stereotyping individuals and groups. Recognize and work to avoid presenting one's own biases in the work.
Treat all subjects with respect and dignity. Give special consideration to vulnerable subjects and compassion to victims of crime or tragedy. Intrude on private moments of grief only when the public has an overriding and justifiable need to see.
While photographing subjects, do not intentionally contribute to, alter, or seek to alter or influence events.
Editing should maintain the integrity of the photographic images' content and context. Do not manipulate images or add or alter sound in any way that can mislead viewers or misrepresent subjects.
Do not pay sources or subjects or reward them materially for information or participation.
Do not accept gifts, favors, or compensation from those who might seek to influence coverage.
Do not intentionally sabotage the efforts of other journalists.
“A good cutline is as important as the good photo that it accompanies.”
Suggestions in writing captions
By Kenny Irby, Visual Journalism Group Leader & Diversity Program Poynter Institute
Check the facts. Be accurate!
Avoid stating the obvious. "Annabel Dama smiles as she kicks a broadcast photographer in the groin."
Always identify the main people in the photograph.
Don't let cutlines recapitulate information in the head or deck or summary.
Avoid making judgments. "An unhappy citizen watches the protest..." Can you be sure that he is unhappy? Or is he hurting. Or just not photogenic. If you must be judgmental, be sure you seek the truth.
Don't assume. Ask questions in your effort to inform and be specific. Be willing to contact and include the visual reporter.
Avoid using terms like "is shown, is pictured, and looks on."
A photograph captures a moment in time. Whenever possible, use present tense. This will create a sense of immediacy and impact.
Don't try to be humorous when the picture is not.
Descriptions are very helpful for viewer. The person dressed "in black," "holding the water hose," "sulky from chagrin," or "standing to the left of the sofa, center" are helpful identifying factors. (Photographers must ferret out this kind of material.)
Be willing to allow for longer captions when more information will help the reader/viewer understand the story and situation.
Use commas to set off directions from the captions to the picture. "Kachira Irby, above,..."or "Kennetra Irby, upper left..."
Quotes can be an effective device, be willing to use them when they work.
Conversational language works best. Don't use clichés. Write the caption as if you're telling a family member a story.
• “The Language of the Image”, John Davidson, News University
• “Visual Edge”, Rich Murphy
• Philippine Daily Inquirer’s Canon of Taste for Photographs
• “Model Ethics Guidelines”: www.digitalcustom.com
• “Hot Tips for Writing Photo Captions”, Kenny Irby, The Poynter Institute
“A great photo happens when a photographer sees a situation unfolding in front of him/her that evokes an emotion that the photographer feels deep down, in the middle of his/her chest. And in a split second, he/she then makes a conscience choice of exposure, lens, depth of field, lighting, body language, composition, etc., and releases the shutter.
“The photo is then processed, laid out on a page, printed on a press, driven across town to the newspaper carrier who sells it to some guy, who then opens the newspaper and looks down at that photo…and if that guy gets the same feeling deep down in the middle of his chest that the photographer did when he/she viewed the situation in the first place, that photographer has made a great photo.”
What is a great photo?
“The act of taking photos for photojournalistic purposes--that is, photographing other people’s lives-- should start and come from the same place deep down…”
“…in the middle of our heart where we feel the emotion of our own lives.”
It’s the place that...
...hurts so bad when we grieve...
...is the center of all butterflies we feel when we are anxious.
...makes as feel awe when we see something beautiful...
...and makes us feel good when we are just plain happy for no reason at all...
...makes us feel excited when we are in love...
A good photographer knows this place well.
Henri Cartier-Bresson called it
the “decisive moment.”
It’s the place that feels like we are going to explode when we are angry...
Telling a story with a picture, reporting with a camera, recording a moment in time, the fleeting instant when an image sums up the story.
…venues may be different, but the mission is the same--to inform, to report, to carry the scene to the reader, whether they are thousands of miles away, or just down the street;
...to show them something they might not have had a chance to see for themselves;
...to grab a moment of history and preserve it for the future.
Dominant foreground, informational background
A protester stands in front of a burning barricade during a demonstration in Cairo January 28, 2011. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic
A libyan rebel fighter runs up a burning stairwell during an effort to dislodge some ensconced government loyalist troops who were firing on them from an upstairs room during house-to-house fighting on Tripoli Street in downtown Misrata April 20, 2011 in Misrata, Libya. The photographer. Chris Hondoros, was later fatally wounded in a mortar attack by government forces in Misrata. (Chris Hondros - AFP/Getty Images)
An anti-government protestor holds a blooded Egyptian flag in Tahrir Square on February 3, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt. (Peter Macdiarmid - AFP/Getty Images)
A plane flies through the "Tribute in Lights" in lower Manhattan in New York September 10, 2011. REUTERS/Eric Thayer
U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 12, 2011. REUTERS/Baz Ratner
A shopper tries on bridal dresses during the Filene's Basement "Running of the Brides" bridal dress sale in New York June 3, 2011. The annual sale is known for its long queues and frantic shopping among brides-to-be hoping to save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on designer wedding gowns. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
A 22-year-old woman in a wedding gown is grabbed by Guo Zhongfan, a local community officer, as she attempts to kill herself by jumping out of a seven-storey residential building in Changchun, Jilin province May 17, 2011. According to local media, the woman tried to commit suicide after her boyfriend of four years broke up with her, just as they were making plans to get married. The woman did not sustain any injuries during the incident. REUTERS/China Daily
The car of Dan Wheldon of England, driver of the #77 Bowers & Wilkins Sam Schmidt Motorsports Dallara Honda (left), and the #30 Rahal Letterman Lanigan Dallara Honda of Pippa Mann fly in the air during the Las Vegas Indy 300 part of the IZOD IndyCar World Championships presented by Honda on October 16, 2011 at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Robert Laberge - AFP/Getty Images)
Billy Stinson, his wife Sandra Stinson and daughter Erin Stinson walk out to watch the sunset from the steps where their cottage once stood August 28, 2011 in Nags Head, North Carolina. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed yesterday by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head. (Scott Olson - AFP/Getty Images)
Resident boy Adeel, 8, plays with a tennis ball in front of the compound where U.S. Navy SEAL commandos killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad May 5, 2011. REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro
Marami pong salamat.