Photojournalism For Schools

  • When it comes to capturing great photographs, technique is more important than equipment. As the saying tells us, a photo is worth 1,000 words. Next time you plan to publish a photo, ask yourself of your technique, "What words do my photo contain?"

    You can take great pictures with a suitable camera and enough practice, and understanding some common techniques.

    Composition: Rule of Thirds, Framing, Leading Lines, Angles

    The rule of thirds is a guideline that applies to the process of composing photographs. The guideline tells us to divide an image into nine equal parts. We imagine two equally spaced horizontal lines and two equally spaced vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along these lines or their intersections. This technique makes photos more interesting by creating tension, energy and interest in the composition, more than what simply centering the subject provides. Framing is the use of surrounding objects to draw attention to a specific part of a composition. Leading lines is the technique of using lines and shapes to casually point the eyes toward a specific direction. The angle that a photographer chooses for capturing an image can make a decent shot outstanding. When photographing people, looking down on them minimizes their importance, as looking up at them maximizes it. When photographing children, it's often important to kneel or lay down to get the right angle.
    Rule of Thirds

    Quality: Proper Exposure, Size, Post Processing

    Publishing a photo of low quality can easily convey the wrong message. Make sure an image is of the appropriate exposure and size for the medium that's used for sharing it. Images posted online typically don't need to be full resolution, whereas those used in print publications do. Often, image don't reach high quality coming straight from the camera. Photoshop is often used to mimic techniques that are common to traditional darkrooms, such as dodging, burning, color balancing, spotting and adjusting contrast to accurately record an event or object.

    When it comes to the digital darkroom, remember to only make obvious masking techniques to conceal personal information, student transcripts, medical records or criminal investigation reports. Never use techniques for enhancing and exploiting a scene to misrepresent the subject of the original image. Never misrepresent facts or circumstances of an event or object, as originally recorded, including cropping, editing or enlarging to selectively isolate to distort reality.

    Before publishing an image on behalf of District 49, ask yourself, "Am I representing the District 49 communications department's core values of accountability, transparency and trustworthy?"

D-SLR Photography

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