Inspiration and review for your picture stories/photo essays

Reviewing some the materials might help you get started on your final shooting assignment for the semester. Make sure you thoroughly read through the assignment itself, though.

Here is the handout that accompanies the lesson on visual narratives. It contains lists for the formulas that we discussed in class. Referring to this will help you through the shooting and editing process:

Visual Narratives: The art of picture stories and photo essays

Here is the PDF version of the presentation on visual narratives. It might help to review the examples of picture stories we looked so you can see how the pictures work with one another, along with the captions, to create a narrative:

Presentation: Visual Narratives

Here is the key video we watched in class. Again, listen carefully as Dave explains how he discovers what he needs to shoot in order to tell someone’s story. Essentially, by talking to your subjects and getting to know them, they will lead you to where the pictures are. And understand the importance of projection. The best journalists, regardless of the medium they work in, learn how to put themselves in another’s shoes in order to tell their stories. And learn the importance of trust. You will never scratch below the surface and be able to move your audience without the trust of your subjects.

 

We didn’t watch this in class, but here is a follow-up, companion video to the one above. This is a master lesson in how to approach and think your way through shooting a picture story, in great detail. In the first video, Dave tells us about working with a student during a workshop on a story about a woman caring for her 97-year-old father. In this video, we get to hear an actual, unedited conversation between Dave and the student, specifically talking about how to approach the story, the student’s concerns, and Dave’s advice. It’s like being in the huddle with a master coach, and it offers some keen insight into the thought process and problem solving while shooting picture stories. It’s a little longer, but I highly recommend you find a little time to view it. Great advice on shooting and what to look for. Great advice on editing. Just great advice …

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Materials from Ethics lesson (2/15)

There was some great discussion in class Wednesday! We didn’t get to cover everything I wanted to, but that’s okay. Here are some follow-up materials for review and to help cover what we didn’t get to  …

If you ever want to reference the topics covered in John Long’s video, here’s a link to the special report posted on the NPPA website:

NPPA SPECIAL REPORT: ETHICS IN THE AGE OF DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY

You need to become familiar with the issues and how the discussion is being framed in the news industry. Plus, expect to answer questions from this material on your midterm and final exams.

STUDY MATERIALS

Here is a briefer, bullet-pointed synopsis of Long’s video, along with some updated thoughts and suggestions:

Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography Study Guide

Also, please read and download the material about issues of taste in photographing and publishing photographs depicting death and tragedy:

Lessons in Humanity: The Ethics of Taste in Photojournalism

Especially make sure you read through this handout, since we didn’t get to explore and discuss some of the issues. Expect questions on your exams from it, particularly about the concepts of newsworthiness and the conditions that require newsroom discussion when deciding whether or not to publish potentially controversial photographs.

And lastly, as always, here is the PDF version of the presentation:

Photojournalism Ethics Presentation

NOTE: For those who missed class, make sure you scroll through the presentation and read my presenter’s notes. The associated videos are below.

These are important issues. Like I said in class, your generation will determine how photographs remain credible testimonies in the context of news. Know the issues and think about how to solve some of the problems we experience with credibility in visual journalism.

Expect to see some additional articles posted on the FB group to help you expand your understanding. Hopefully, we can generate further discussion about this, too.

As always, contact me if you have any questions.

Videos from presentation:

Photoshop CS5 Tutorial Content Aware Fill

 

James Nachtwey’s mission (excerpt from “War Photographer”)

Before next class, watch this video!

In order to participate in class next week – and to pass a short, 5-question quiz at the beginning of class – you need to watch this video:

Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography

First, give yourself an hour. It’s not a short video – it’s an in-depth discussion about the most pressing ethical issues confronting visual journalism today. And the issues might not be exactly what many first think of when discussing ethics in journalism.

Why make you watch a video about ethics instead of simply presenting the issues in class myself? Well, I want everyone to understand that there are some prevailing thoughts and philosophies in the industry. I don’t want you, as students, to simply take the word of one photojournalist from the local newspaper. You need exposure to the thoughts and opinions of important people in the news biz. That’s part of my job as your instructor.

This is a video produced by the National Press Photographers Association in 2006 and features former Hartford Courant photographer and photo editor John Long, who was the NPPA Ethics Chair for over 15 years. While 2006 might seem a little dated (and the production quality of the video is certainly dated), the issues just might be more pressing than ever.

You NEED to watch this video in order to participate in ethical discussions. And I WILL be asking questions and we’ll be looking at a few current examples of the issues and discussing them.

The video isn’t published anywhere on the internet, so – for copyright reasons – I can’t post it on Facebook or the class website.

If you have problems watching it, contact me RIGHT AWAY!

Take notes while you’re watching it. I’ll even let you use them when you take the quiz!

Shooter’s Mantra review

Here is the PDF version of the presentation on the Shooter’s Mantra from class so you can review it:

The Shooter’s Mantra

Also, we skipped this video in class, but take a couple of minutes to watch this, and learn how capturing moments forms the foundation of photojournalism:

Follow-up on class: 1/25

If you need to review the material we went over in class, here you go …

Here is a PDF version of the presentation, with my presenter’s notes:

Technical Control: Photography basics

I’m going to post some videos here, too, in case you want to review what we watched in class, as well as a couple of videos that go into more depth about what we discussed:

This is the first video we watched, so you can review the basics. The terminology is important:

 

Second, here is a video that goes into detail about aperture values and why some lenses have a range of maximum apertures vs. a fixed maximum aperture value:

 

If you need to review how to shoot in manual mode and how to use your light meter, watch this:

 

Here is the video that helps explain the process of choosing the best exposure values (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) for your conditions:

 

And here is the video on using back-button focus:

 

We skipped this video, but if you want a primer about how to use your autofocus points, view this:

 

Shooting news photographs is a lot more like shooting wildlife than you might realize! If you want more info and details about using back-button autofocus, watch this (NOTE: this is especially good for Nikon users who don’t have a dedicated AF-On button – such as the D3000, D3100, D3200, or D3300 – but Canon users should watch this, too, because the technique is the same):

 

So, there’s your review.

If any of you missed class, this is where you need to start. Read and watch everything, with your camera in hand. Then contact me ASAP if you have any questions.

That goes for everybody, if you have any questions, contact me!

Dave LaBelle: On Storytelling

We watched this video in class, but I wanted to post it in case you wanted to watch it again.

Again, listen carefully as Dave explains how he discovers what he needs to shoot in order to tell someone’s story. Essentially, by talking to your subjects and getting to know them, they will lead you to where the pictures are. And understand the importance of projection. The best journalists, regardless of the medium they work in, learn how to put themselves in another’s shoes in order to tell their stories. And learn the importance of trust. You will never scratch below the surface and be able to move your audience without the trust of your subjects.

 

I’m including a BONUS video! In the first video, Dave tells us about working with a student during a workshop on a story about a woman caring for her 97-year-old father. In this video, we get to hear an actual conversation between Dave and the student, specifically talking about how to approach the story, the student’s concerns, and Dave’s advice. It’s like being in the huddle with a master coach, and it offers some keen insight into the thought process and problem solving while shooting picture stories. It’s a little longer, but I highly recommend you find a little time to view it. Great advice on shooting and what to look for. Great advice on editing. Just great advice …

 

Make an investment in your subject. Every picture (in a story) is like a word in a sentence. And never forget this: The secret to great storytelling is to get out of the way!

Think photography is passé? Think again …

I introduced this into the discussion about feature photography, but I could very well use this for any number of discussions about photography. All the buzz created by this Super Bowl commercial really demonstrates the power that still photography has to connect and generate discussion, and that the public really does have an appetite for great photography.

Over on the blog A Photo Editor by Rob Haggart, you can learn more about the commercial and how it was made: The #1 Rated Super Bowl Commercial Shot By 10 Photographers