Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Practical Skills in Photo Journalism

To be a good photo journalist is not easy. You'll need to be at the right place at the right time, see your surroundings differently from others to know what makes a story, and be quick to capture moving objects or events. This essentially means you'll always need to have a camera at hand wherever you go.

Many times photos for the front page news bear pictures of event aftermath, and such photos are usually not good enough because they do not depict the story, but only tell what have happened earlier. Candid on-the-spot pictures of actual event, on the other hand, need little narrative as they tell the story visually. Theories of photo journalism frequently emphasize the ethical aspect of presenting the truth of a photo as is, rather than crop or make it seem to convey other messages. What you see in photographs, however, in reality are not truths as represented. It is alright to use digital capabilities to enhance pictures, but it is unethical to modify content.

If you are considering a job in photo journalism, first consider what it entails, then hone your skills to live life in action, fine-tuning your instinct and making changes in perception, to sense the story behind every event and every important person.