Photojournalism tips from a pro

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In “7 Photojournalism Tips” (above), you’ll see beautiful images made by Reuters photojournalist Damir Sagolj as he tells us, in a voiceover, his advice.

Some of this you’ve heard before, but it will be well worth your time to watch the video.

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Blog post 24: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Kobré chapter 13. Your notes must appear in the form of one numbered list. Write a brief statement above the list to explain or summarize it.

Write at least five (5) items in the list.

The list is not meant to represent everything in the chapter. It should represent what was most meaningful to YOU. Thus each student’s list will be different.
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Examples: College Photographer of the Year

If you want to see what college students are shooting, check out the just-announced winners in this prestigious annual contest:

College Photographer of the Year (all winners)

In particular, I suggest you study the composition in these two categories of winners:

Feature and Sports Feature

Think about WHY those images do not look like random snapshots.

I also recommend the Portrait category.

Enjoy.

Blog post 23: Multimedia

Choose any one story from this list of 2013 winners: Best of Photojournalism 2013 Multimedia. Please choose a different story from other students who posted before you did.

Read both Kern, chapter 6, and Kobré, chapter 12, before you view the multimedia.

NOTE: Be sure to select a STORY with AUDIO.

In your blog post, do all of the following:

  1. Provide the title of the story, and make the title a direct link to the main story page.
  2. Summarize the story (do not copy/paste anything; use your own words).
  3. Tell how the story made you feel as you watched and listened to it.
  4. Discuss the images (specify whether they are video or stills or both). You may compare them to images from some other visual media; for example, are they cinematic? Are they like print news images? Are they like TV news images?
  5. Discuss the audio — both its content and the way it contributes to the story.
  6. Separately, discuss the use of natural sound (nat SOT) in the story.

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Blog post 22: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Kern, chapter 6, and Kobré, chapter 12.

Your notes must appear in the form of two (2) numbered lists, one for each chapter. Write a brief statement above each list to explain or summarize that list.

The goal is for you to highlight or capture the ideas or information that resonated most strongly with you, in a format that other people might find interesting to read.

Read more of this post

Audio and photo story

The point of this assignment is for you to combine still photos and audio to create an interesting story. A true story, of course.

An audio slideshow is really a lot different from video, and that’s why the requirement is to use stills. The pace is different — the gathering of the assets is different. You can show a lot of variety and evoke a lot of feelings with a slideshow, allowing the viewer to just experience the frozen moment in each image.

However, it’s very important not to leave any image hanging there too long. A rule of thumb is to allow no more than 5 seconds for any one photo. Longer is boring. So do the math: You need 18 GOOD photos to make a 90-second story!

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Blog post 21: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Kern chapter 5 and Kobré chapter 10. Your notes must appear in the form of TWO (2) numbered lists (one list for each chapter). Write a brief statement above each list to explain or summarize it.

Write at least three (3) items in each of the lists.

A list is not meant to represent everything in the chapter. It should represent what was most meaningful to YOU. Thus each student’s list will be different. Read more of this post

It’s not the camera. It’s you.

If you want proof, see the shots Jim Richardson took with an iPhone 5s in Scotland.

“Little by little we come around to taking the pictures the camera can do well.” — Jim Richardson,  who shoots for National Geographic Magazine

See Richardson’s Instagram feed.

Examples of photo stories

These are from the winners of the annual international NPPA competition, Best of Photojournalism 2013.

Look at each image and think about the composition. Also: What is THIS picture about? What is the point of EACH image? If you answer these questions, you will be better prepared to start making more meaningful pictures yourself.

AE1 – Myanmar elections, 2012. Think about how the photographer waited, and where he stood, to make these pictures. Almost none of them are straight-on or typical. Look at the lines, the framing. Think about why he chose each one.

1st – illegal immigration in the U.S. This is an issue story (Kobre explains this type). Check out the vast variety of scenes in this photo story. There’s only one full-on close-up of a person in the whole story.

3rd – Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Try to noticed the “captured instant” or “frozen moment” quality in many of the images of people in this story. They are the opposite of random. These are examples of “when to push the button.”

1st – 14-year-old Elvis impersonator. Check out the variety as well as interesting composition in photos are featuring one person.

3rd – A home for underage mothers. This story demonstrates a great variety of angles within a constrained single location.

Blog post 15: Reading assignment

In this blog post, publish your notes from Kobré, chapter 11. Your notes must appear in the form of one (1) numbered list. Write a brief statement above the list to explain or summarize it.

Your list must contain at least five items.

The list is not meant to represent everything in the chapter. It should represent what was most meaningful to YOU. Thus each student’s list will be different. The idea is to highlight or capture the ideas or information that resonated most strongly with you, in a format that other people might find interesting to read.

This chapter will help you understand how photojournalists think about photo stories, including the different types of photo story. Read more of this post