Presentation on theme: "Intro to Photography & Photo Essays"— Presentation transcript:
1 Intro to Photography & Photo Essays Design for JournalistsSummer 2013
2 What is a photo essay?A set or series of photographs that tell a story or evoke a series of emotions in the viewerTypically accompanied by written text and published as a book or special feature in a newspaper, magazine, or online.When printed, typically arranged in a one- to two-page spread.
3 Choosing a good story idea There is activity and/or people doing something observable (e.g., not a meeting story).It is visually rich (e.g., lots of color, decoration, contrast, rhythm, motion, scenery, etc.).There are lots of different situations taking place and/or a variety of interesting moments (i.e., not a bunch of different people repeating the same thing).The idea is emotional and/or humorous.It features rich character or personality.
4 Photography 101: GeneralGreat photographers always consider the following when taking pictures:CompositionViewpoint/anglesLightingMotionDirectionThere are a variety of ways to approach each
5 Photography 101: Composition *How each object is arranged in the frame*Rule of thirdsLayeringBalancing elementsRepetitionFraming
11 Photography 101: Viewpoint/Angles *The position from which you take thephotograph*Eye level: Shows subject(s) straight onHigh angle: Shows subject(s) from aboveLow angle: Shows subject(s) from belowBird’s eye: Shows subject(s) from directly aboveSlanted: Shows the horizon on an angle
23 Photography 101: Motion *The way in which movement in a photograph is shown to the viewer… adjusting the shutter speedallows photographers to capture motion**Frozen field of visionBlurred field of visionBlurred background, subject in focusBlurred subject, background in focus
33 But how do you create a great photo story? Not every sequence or collection of pictures make a good storyThere are specific formulas you can follow when you start shooting to make sure your pictures tell a good storyLife Magazine’s photo story formulaPoynter’s 5-shot sequence
34 Life Magazine: Photo story formula Photographers were required to bring back the following eight key photo types from every photo story shoot:An introductory shot or overall shot, such as a wide angle or an aerial.A middle-distance or “moving in” shot, such as a sign, street, or buildingA close-up, usually hands, face or detail.A sequence, or how-to shot.A portrait, usually environmental.An interaction shot of persons conversing or action portrayed.The signature picture- the decisive moment, the one picture that conveys the essence of the story.The clincher or goodbye shot, signifying the end of the story.
35 Life’s Eugene Smith: “Country Doctor” Life Magazine photographer Eugene Smith is credited for creating the magazine’s photo story formulaIn his photo essay “Country Doctor,” where he profiles a small-town practitioner in the 1940s, each of the shot types described in the photo story formula can be foundClick here to view the essay in its entirety
51 Poynter: 5-shot sequence Shot one: Scene setterShot two: Medium shotShot three: PortraitDetailAction(source: Poynter.org)
52 Shot one: Scene setterWhere is your story taking place, and what does it look like? Is it a building, a town, an old southwestern graveyard? Place your audience in the action by taking a photo that shows it all.
53 Shot two: Medium shotLet’s start to hone in on the spot of your action; the area of the building or town or graveyard where your subjects are. This shot narrows your story’s field of view and should bring you closer in.
54 Shot three: PortraitWho is your main subject and what does he or she look like? This can be a traditional head and shoulders shot or a wider shot that shows the person’s surroundings.
55 Shot four: DetailDetail shots work especially well for transitions, but can have great storytelling potential all their own. What are the pictures on someone’s desk? What books are they reading? What’s that post card they have tacked to the wall? All of these things tell us a little bit about our subject and are great elements to have in a photo essay or multimedia presentation.
56 Shot five: ActionAction shots show your subject doing something. This is the shot some photographers spend an entire shoot trying to perfect, often amounting to the same shot being taken 30 times. Photos of your subject in action are essential in audio/visual pieces.
57 Preparing for a shoot: Shooting script Life magazine was best known for nailing down the photo story first. Life staffers, from editorial to art departments, would collaborate on story ideas, select a topic, and research it to the fullest, thinking ahead to what images they thought the story might bring.The script encouraged a photographer to prepare for what content they might come across while shooting, so that they could better find the unusual or unique pictures.Don’t force anything you script to happen. This is simply meant to prepare you for what might happen.
58 Preparing for a shoot: Storyboarding Storyboarding forces the photographer to visualize what each frame of their photo story will look like.Once you have your shooting script/shot list developed, you can then take the content you plan to gather for each photo and decide how you are going to visually place that content.
59 With that said, you should… Brainstorm what content you might get by writing out a shooting script/shot list.Visualize what the photographs might look like by creating a storyboard.Apply a variety of the photo techniques discussed (different compositions, lighting, angles, motion, directions, etc.)Try to collect the 8 key photo types used in Life’s photo story formula.Also try shooting using Poynter’s 5-shot sequence as a guide.