A friendly photo tip

August 14, 2011

It’s been said that “A picture is worth a thousand words.” In journalism, a picture should be able to tell a story by itself, captions should only be needed for purposes of identification.

If you are photographing an incident (ie: fire or accident), try to capture your photo from the perspective of a participant (ie: fire fighter or victim). For functions like ribbon cutting, donations, trophy presentations, the action may need to be posed instead of spontaneous to get the best recording of the event. If you are looking for action pictures, several shots in rapid succession will probably help in catching that perfect hoop shot or foul ball.

Whatever you are photographing, ask yourself certain key questions: What are you trying to say with your picture? Focus on what you want people to see such as a happy event, a danger, etc. How much of the setting is important to the story you want to tell? Include enough to set the mood without becoming too distracting. Do you want the results in a single shot or a photo essay? If you are planning a photo essay, remember the beginning, middle and end of the story; if you have room for only one shot, look for the most significant angle/event.

Yonkers Tribune 8/28/2008; photo by Mark Engelman

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