Tag Archives: photojournalism

I’m Going to be Shot At, Guaranteed

I only have myself to blame.

I didn’t have any assignments today, or any ideas. I finished all the little things I had to do by 9 a.m. with a lot of day left.

This inspired my boss to get out her car keys and say, “C’mon. I’m going to teach you how to find stories.”

Oh boy.

So I hop in her minivan and we ride around town looking at signs, odd going-ons and then we stumbled upon a house with a yard full of weeds taller than me.

I take a picture, mostly to appease her, and we drive on. Then we see a home with what looks like everything that once sat inside of it in the yard. Televisions, chairs, vacuum cleaners, stuffed animals — you get the picture.

Then, genius struck me. (This has been happening a lot lately: genius ideas)

Why not take a photo of unsightly homes, yards, etc. all around the area and post them to the website? The genius of this was so simple: Take a picture, post the picture and get a ton of page views.


Then I realized my stupidity.

Most unsightly eyesores reside in neighborhoods that eat little girls like me for breakfast.

Once we got back to the office and the idea was approved and the project was stamped with the idea that this would be mine to do, I set out to find some eyesores.

I walked out of the office with my head held high. I’m going to get readers involved with submitting stories, I have found a way to get out of the office and roam the area whenever I’m bored. I’m a freakin’ genius.

As I drove listening to my radio, sipping my ice water and keeping an eye out for ugly stuff, I slowly started getting more and more uncomfortable.

I was in neighborhood’s where domestic violence happens all the time, gun shots are always heard in the background and I know one of those roads had a dead body spotted on it not more than a year ago.

Not to mention, I have to stop and roll down my window or get out of my car to get these pictures.

My only thoughts as I finished up my photo taking sessions were, “This is how I’m going to die. I will be shot for taking a picture of a rusted car …  Steve Irwin had a better death than that.”



Joel Sartore

In my photojournalism class we talked about a freelance photographer for National Geographic named Joel Sartore.

Sartore worked on a project about the great state of Nebraska in 1996, in 1998 National Geographic published the piece.

The interesting thing about working for National Geographic, I thought, is that the photographers go first.

What I mean is that in news papers the reporter goes out and gets the story and then the photographer is told what to shoot accordingly.

At National Geographic, photographers go out and find the things to shoot.

About half way through they go to what is called a Halfway Show, where the photographer comes in and shows the editor and the rest of the team at the magazine what they have been working on and then the rest begins.

During his time in Nebraska, Sartore spent about 40 percent of his time on research alone. He found teenagers working in the corn fields, demolition derbis’ and went to the Pioneer Day parade.

After his pictures were put out in the magazine National Geographic decided to make them into a book, later he had another set of pictures made into a book about endangered species.

Photoillustration – It’s Coming

When the word photo illustration first came up I was confused and not able to put a specific picture in my mind of what one would look like.

My first thought was that they looked something like a cartoon, then my brain traveled to the pictures of a toy in the corner with a lot of shadows to represent sadness in the child’s life and then I found out what it actually is.

Photoillustration is a made picture constructed to make a point.

Sometimes story topics, such as child abuse, can be difficult to photograph so photographers set-up the scene and paint the picture for the reader without using anything real.

Another reason to use photo illustration is to make a picture of something that would be hard to capture, like people being hassled by telemarketers. Instead of frantically watching someone answer the phone and hope for an angry face you can show someone with an angry face and tons of phones around them.

Photo illustration can be subtle or blunt, it just has to get the point across.

A great tool for photo illustration is Photoshop, and I just happen to have some great tips for using it.

While taking the pictures for your layers keep light in mind, it will look pretty odd if your person has dark lighting and in the background there is no cloud to be found.

When photographing singular objects it is easier to photograph them with a white background, for cutting out the shape.

There are no ethical issues with illustration except to keep copyright in mind at all times.

Now you too know a little bit about photo illustration.

W. Eugene Smith

W. Eugene Smith was what many have called the Master of Picture Story/ Essay during the era of LIFE magazine in 1950-1970.

Smith was born in Wichita, Kansas and began his love for photojournalism at the ripe-old age of 14. It is said that Smith wanted to work so badly that he offered his services to the newspaper for free and when they turned him down he offered to pay them.

He was known for his crazed perfectionist habits in the darkroom and even more known for his love of burning and dodging. So the saying goes, “when in doubt, burn it out.”

During his time at LIFE magazine, Smith worked on various photos of the war, during which time an explosion went off causing him to lose hearing, mess up his jaw and caused trouble with one of his eyes. Smith endured a two-year-long recovery for the injuries sustained.

After two years, Eugene Smith took his first picture since the injury, the picture was that of his children walking out of a garden-type scene and into the light. The picture, The Walk to Paradise Garden, was displayed in a gallery and was recognized around the world.

Smith took time to take several more picture essay photos such as Country Doctor, Nurse Midwife, Albert Shweitzer and, the most well-known, Minamata.

He died shorty after taking up a teaching position, but to this day is known as a man obsessed with making the world a better place through his work.

‘Tis the Season

I love the season’s — the change in color on the trees and the contrast of the weather from season to season.

With photography the change in season means a change in setting on the camera.

When trying to capture the seasons you can’t just look at the center of interest, you have to look at the surrounding areas. For instance, when it’s winter try and capture some icicles or snow falling or gathered.

In the fall, try capturing some red and yellow leaves in the foreground. Then look to your center of interest, do they look bundled up in the winter, or are they eating a snow cone in the summer.

You have to capture as much as possible in the one photograph, you only have one chance, so get it right the first time.

Henri Cartier-Bresson

That’s right, he is a French man.

Cartier-Bresson is a world-class photojournalist who had the most amazing perspectives when taking photos.

He has inspired generations with his unique style of taking pictures. He is known most for his pictures that feature “the decisive moment,” which is a combination of a unique moment and has a touch of geometric patterns and shape with each piece.

Another part of Cartier-Bresson’s fame deals with his being a “street photographer.”

He would candidly shoot the picture and walk away, a lot of the time not even getting a name, just capturing everyday people just doing their thing.

His style influenced others all around the world and can be seen most with deep, great depth of field, foreground and background composition, lines and angles, as well as light and shadow using human forms.

During his time Cartier-Bresson traveled the world and was a founder of the Magnum photography agency. He passed away in 2004 but not before making a huge impact on the world of photojournalism.

More Photojournalism

I love when classes overlap information.

Right now, in my photojournalism class we are looking more closely at Depth of Field.

The tricky part about Depth of Field is that you have to change the f/stop as well as keep up with the ISO.

Our assignment in class is to take three separate pictures: one will be indoors with a focus on the subject and the background is blurry, second will be outdoors with the subject and the background both in focus and third will be of the subject in motion, either moving left and right or up and down.

I think that my poor roommate will be the subject in many photos to come, I just hope the pictures will come out correctly.

Here begins my journey to learn more about technology.