Always bear in mind to tell the story in a single shot. It is about nouns, verbs and adjectives. Above all, you have to communicate these to your viewers honestly and sincerely. The story should be factual and the emotions drawn should be left to the public.
Photojournalism is about showing a story that really happened. Your images should convey just a moment but can be also be interpreted in volumes of angles. Success is making your clients transform into real witnesses.
The full story is composed of two major elements: the subject and the setting. The interaction between these two is what makes the total image elicit “raw” emotions. More often than not, these emotional reactions can also trigger not just a knowledge of the news item but may also result in a call for action.
Photojournalism is always present and expected in places of conflict areas like war zones, civil disturbances like rallies including riots, hostage taking and police pursuits.
But photojournalism is not just about war or photographers or covering the police beat. It can be the aftermath of a terrible storm, a group of dead whales washed ashore or a slam dunk of basketball legend. It’s much more than that. Photojournalism tells a story and it often does so in a single photograph and evokes feelings of surprise, joy or sadness.
The mark of photojournalism: to capture that single moment in time and give viewers the sense that they’re part of it.
Ethics is accuracy
The frame of the image should be reality and an account of what really happened. A piece of evidence that can validate a reporter’s story.
The photojournalist is ethically bound not to change the story by editing the elements through modern technology like applications that includes image manipulation.
What was captured is how it should be. Sadly, the era of digital photography has made it easier than ever to manipulate reality where more smoke can be added to an ongoing neighborhood blaze or a few bodies of men quantified to a multitude.
Images can be enhanced by adjusting uneven exposures and sharpened for clarity. Shadows may be lessened to expose more details but never the essence of the image captured.
The essential rule is “the rule of thirds.” Imagine that your image is divided into nine equal squares (basically a tic-tac-toe board) with the lines equally spaced.
• The four points where the lines intersect are the strongest focal points of your image.
• The lines that make up the squares are secondary strong points.
Why? The human eye is always focused on these vital areas and not the center of the images. You maximize the impact by placing your chosen subject along these points or lines or where they converge. A portrait or a landscape should make use of these convergent zones.
A camera always thinks or records an image as two-dimensional not like the human eye which can interpret its full 3D character supplemented by the electrical impulse of the human brain. Our eyes digest all the details like exposure moderation, self-adjusting depth of field, play of light and shadow and automatic consciousness of background and foreground.
Photography is the art of capturing light reflected from subjects on film or a digital surface. Always be aware of the lighting procedures and consequences. When you look at a scene, your eyes are constantly adjusting to the different lighting situations. When you take a photograph, the camera only records one light situation because it does not have our brain’s ability to interpret and adjust to the scene.
• No harsh light behind your subject.
• Beware of too dark shadows.
• Watch out for dominant whites that underexpose the rest of the image.
• Avoid shooting at high noon. Early morning or late afternoon make the images more appealing and pleasurable.
What you should carry
The following is a basic list of equipment that you may find useful. Not all of it is necessary, but it can help as you progress. Camera bag, camera strap (shoulder or wrist), tripod, extra memory cards, additional lenses, filters, flash system (if necessary), extra batteries and charger, lens cloth and cleaning fluid and shutter release cable.
“I believe that the chief value of photography as a means of communication depends entirely on the ability of the camera to arrest life instantly. It thrills me to speculate how the invention of photography has contributed to the speeding up of human reflexes. The rapidly working camera has sharpened man’s capacity to observe and observe rapidly; it has taught many of us to use our minds to classify visual phenomena in an instant of time; to relate our own attitude to that of the person in front of the camera in a split second. This to my mind is the essence of photojournalism.” – Josef Gross
“I am a very emotional person to begin with, but you have to try and control yourself. If you start thinking about what is happening— especially when photographing people who are suffering—and get too involved, you stop thinking as a journalist and you don’t take the picture. It’s a psychological trick, learning self-control. You have to keep reminding yourself why are there.” – Klaus Reisinger
Good work, good deeds and good faith to all.