PHOTOJOURNALIST TECHNICS (Practical Photojournalism)
A photojournalist learns the fundamentals of pictures taking, approach to picture taking, approach to specific assignments follow the rules to the end. The following are basic guidelines to effective photojournalism.
RULE NO. 1: TAKE LOTS OF PICTURES
The photojournalism should come back with at least 10 to 15 shots. In fact, 10 to 15 for any assignment would be a good minimum.
RULE NO2: A PEN AND ANOTEBOOK ARE AS IMPORTANT AS A CAMERA
Photojournalists have to write down what and whom they are shooting. The will have to identify people for cutline information. They cannot trust their memories for any of this. They must have a pen and notebooks with them at all times, and they must use it. They must also be accurate in getting their information, especially in spelling names correctly.
RULE NO. 3: PLAN
Some pictures happen spontaneously; most don’t. They are shot because the photographer planned to be there to shoot them. You may diagram the scene of photo assignment.
RULE NO. 4: GET CLOSE
Anybody can take wide-angle, establishing shots. Real photojournalist gets as a close to the action and the people as they can. They get expressions, hand movements, interactions etc. they literally get in people’s faces.
RULE NO. 5: SHOOT IN THE BEST LIGHT POSSIBLE
Light is what makes pictures possible, and nothing makes up for an absence of light. Pay attention to the light.
RULE NO. 6: EQUIPMENT DOEN’T MATTER
Well, it does to some degree. But a photojournalist should never be allowed to use equipment as an excuse for not taking good pictures (unless the camera simply doesn’t work, of course). A good photojournalist adjusts to the limitations of the camera. A good photojournalist learns how to use the equipment he or she has to take the best pictures possible.
RULE NO. 7: BE CREATIVE
Photojournalists are required to return from an assignment with shots from more than one angle. They should get high, get low, move around the room. Some situations –like sporting events – dictate where you can be. In most other cases, they should always think about physical proximity to the subject.
Most of the photojournalists practice the art of working unobtrusively to minimize the effect of their presence on the surrounding or objects they want to photograph. This can be achieved by:
· Raise the camera to take the image not to find the image
· Be decisive, don’t procrastinate
· Minimize the amount of equipment being carried
· Carry the camera in the hand rather than around the neck
· Reduce the size of the camera bag and do not advertise the cameras that are inside.
· Use the ambient light present- use fast film and fast lenses (shutter speeds) – rather than flash.
· Choose appropriate clothing for the location or company that you are in.
· Move with the activity.
· Familiarize yourself with the location and or people prior to capturing the images.
THE AIM, OBJECTIVE AND PROCESS OF PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITING
The aim of editing is to select a series of image from the total production to narrate an effective story,. Editing can be the most demanding aspect of the process, requiring focus and energy. The process is a compromise between what the photojournalist originally wanted to communicate and what can actually be said (communicated) with the images available.
The task of editing is not the sole responsibility of the photojournalist. The task is usually conducted by an editor or in collaboration with an editor. The editor considers the viewer or potential audience while selecting images for population. The editor often has the advantage over the photojournalist in that they are less emotionally connected to the content of the images captured. The editor’s detachment allows them to focus on the ability of the images to narrate the content to the intended audience.
A typical process is listed as follows:
· Images are viewed as a collective.
· All the prints or transparencies are spread out on a table or light box
· All of the visually interested images and informative linking images are selected and the rest are put to one side.
· Similar images are grouped together and the categories (establishing, action, portrait and detail) are formed.
· Images and groups of images are placed in a sequence in a variety of ways to explore possible narratives.
· The strength of each sequence is discussed and communication is established
· Images are selected from each category that reinforces the chosen communication.
· Images that contradict the chosen communication are removed
· Cropping and liking images are discussed and the final sequence established
· Further work may include the input of a graphic designer who will discuss layout and the relative size and position of images on the printed page
Evaluating Image Quality
When evaluating the qualities of the images, the photojournalist follows the simple acronym N.O.T., to remember the three basic steps to obtain a great image.
N= Narrative: the juxtaposition of the images and the text, so they can have a harmony to the reader, and can understand more the massage of the picture more easily.
O= Objectivity: the content and tone you want to show according to your point of view. Remember that when you are being objective, you aren’t expressing a general truth, you are expressing your ideas and values through your work.
T = Timeline: Every product of information is linked to an expiration date. Depending on the event, the photograph could have a short time span. For example, if the event is a catastrophe, it will have a great length before reaching the expiration term. Conversely, if it is someone who died in a crash, the expiration of information will probably be less than 24 hours.
Basic Code of Ethics
i) No photojournalist will intentionally add to a victim's grief for monetary or award-winning gains.
ii) No photojournalist will intentionally violate a subject's privacy for monetary or award-winning
iii) No photojournalist will intentionally stage manage a subject or use traditional darkroom or computer technology to alter the meaning of an editorial picture. No editor will use traditional darkroom or computer technology to alter the meaning of an editorial picture.
iv) No editor will subject a photojournalist to the pressure of forced contest participation.
v) No editor will demand that a photographer take a picture that is against that photojournalist's personal ethical code.