11 March 2015


The essay. CLICK HERE.

PHOTO ESSAY, Part 3 - The Shot List

Photo essay article. CLICK HERE.
Example of a shot list. CLICK HERE.
Photo essay examples. CLICK HERE.

(from http://photo.journalism.cuny.edu/week-5/):
  • Signature photo: A photo that summarizes the entire issue and illustrates essential elements of the story. This might be a photo of woman — maybe your main character — weaving at a loom in the bungalow. Ideally, you’d be able to frame the shot to provide some context, maybe other women, the village in the background, etc.

  • Establishing or overall shot: a wide-angle (sometimes even aerial) shot to establish the scene. If you’re shooting for National Geographic it’s entirely possible they would rent a helicopter and you’d take an aerial shot of the village. Or, if on a tighter budget, maybe the village from a nearby dune. The idea of the establishing shot is this: When you do a photo story your are taking our viewers on a journey. You need to give them a sense of where they are going, an image that allows them to understand the rest of the story in a geographic context.

  • Close-up: A detail shot to highlight a specific element of the story. Close-up, sometimes called detail shots, don’t carry a lot of narrative. Meaning, they often don’t do a lot to inform the viewer on a literal level but they do a great deal to dramatize a story. Perhaps the weavers hands or a sample of a rug or the bowls in which the dies are mixed. For reasons we’ll come back to when we talk about multimedia in week 12, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to shoot lots of close-ups.

  • Portrait: this can be either a tight head shot or a more environment portrait in a context relevant to the story. As mentioned above, photo essays are build around characters. You need to have good portrait that introduces the viewers to the character. I always shoot a variety of portraits, some candids and some posed.

  • Interaction: focuses on the subject in a group during an activity. Images of your character interacting with others — kids, others in the village, sellers — all helps give a human dimension to your character. It’s likely that our weaver(s) also raise families, which means cooking cleaning, etc. Think about reactions too.

  • How-to sequence: This is photo or group of photos that offer a how-to about some specific element of the story or process. With our example maybe we would telescope in for a few images on how the dyes are made or the making of a specific element of the textile

  • The Clincher: A photo that can be used to close the story, one that says “the end.” Essentially, our example is a process piece. What’s the end of the process? Maybe an image of a camel caravan loaded with textiles and heading off into the sunset on the way to market.
I want to introduce a few basic ideas here about editing essays in general and slideshows in particular. As outlined above, variety is key. The first few images are especially important and often include a combination of the following:

There are several conventional ways to structure the narrative of a story, sometimes photographers will use a combination of the options presented below:
  • Process: essentially the photographer is showing how something is done from beginning to end. How a sculpture is made. A sports competition. Even an arrest and court case.

  • Chronology: real or implied, you can let time structure your story. A very typical way to structure a story through time is as a ‘day in the life’ piece.

  • Highlights: in reality all photo stories are highlights stories in that the photographer should always seek to relay the most important visual elements of a story. But some stories are structure less to illustrate  a clear story line and more to show the peak moments or most dramatic aspects of the topic. For example, a year-in-review story or coverage of a natural disaster or a story after the death of a public figure that highlights the most significant moments in his or her career.  When news organizations do this kind of story often the work of several photographers — and maybe even crowd-sourced photos — are used.
In the commercial world online publications frequently present something called a ‘flipbook.’ This might be series of images of this season’s most popular style of purses  or the ten best-selling flatscreen TVs.


DIRECTIONS: Make a shot list of 15-20 images you can imagine photographing at your photo essay event. 

You want to go into the event with clear ideas about the pictures you want. As you make the photos on your list, you will be inspired for and see different and spur-of-the-moment photo opportunities.

Links to get you thinking:
5 Types of strong photos. CLICK HERE.

5 Photo Essay Tips. CLICK HERE.



Days With My Father by Phillip Toledano. CLICK HERE.

EVENT/TOPIC chosen by: Tuesday, March 17.


Daily Exercises to make you better. CLICK HERE.

Review #1. CLICK HERE.
Review #2. CLICK HERE.
Review #3. CLICK HERE.


Douglas' site. CLICK HERE.
Pizza In The Wild. CLICK HERE.

09 March 2015

PHOTO ESSAY: Foodcarts, Portland.

Drewbirdphoto.com. CLICK HERE.

PHOTO ESSAY: Olympic Provisions, Portland, Oregon.

Lifeandthyme.com. CLICK HERE.
Photo by: http://lifeandthyme.com/author/kimphil/


DIRECTIONS: Your final (due in June) will be a photographic essay. You will be telling a story through photographs. That story needs to be either a news-related or human interest subject.

"OBJECTIVE": not influenced by personal feelings, interpretations, or prejudice; based on facts; unbiased: an objective opinion.

You are going to walk a line between strict photojournalism and reportage. The difference is minute, but in a nutshell:

Photojournalism is strictly a telling of what happened without a personal bias.

Reportage is a telling of what happened, but with a bit of personal perception/experience thrown into the mix. Think of it as creative non-fiction.

It may help you to think of your photo essay, literally, like a written essay:
But it doesn't necessarily have to be that literal. 

When choosing your reportage/photojournalism project, keep in mind the following:

Your subject matter (place, event, organization, process, person(s), etc.) should be timely.
Your subject matter should be photographed with objectivity, but you can be - should be - creative in the composition and arrangement of the photo.
Looking at your final five (10 or more) photographs, the viewer should have a sense of a narrative about what you have photographed.

Timeliness — the images have meaning in the context of a recently published record of events.

Objectivity — the situation implied by the images is a fair and accurate representation of the events they depict in both content and tone.

Narrative — the images combine with other news elements, to make facts relatable to the viewer or reader on a social, political, entertainment, or cultural level.

Begin looking:
James Nachtwey speaks...
James Nachtwey & Time Magazine
James Nachtwey at FKG Gallery
James Nachtwey "Shattered" (Time)
James Nachtwey.com
James Nachtwey at VII Photo
5 Questions with James Nachtwey
James Nachtwey at PBS.org
International Center For Photography
A photo essay on Martin guitars (click here).
The accompanying article.(click here).
Oregon Photographer Herman Krieger's site. (click here).
Herman Krieger's profile @ Profotos.com (click here).
Magnum Photo Essays
NY Times Photo Essays
Time Magazine Photo Essays
Getty Reportage
Getty Reportage
Google: Photo Essays

1.  A day in the life of...hair salon
2.  Living in a nursing home
3.  Preparing for a game (athlete rituals)
4.  Making ice cream
5. Homelessness in Portland