Where to Find News Photos • Scanner Radio • Know the codes • Tips Help • Special interest groups call in tips to the newspaper if they think publicity will do them some good. • Keep in mind they want to direct what you shoot to present the image they want. • News Radio • Everyone knows then but better than nothing.
Where to Find News Photos • Beat Reporter • They should know what is going in their area. • Making Contacts • Get to know people who can keep you informed. • PR Office is There to Aid You • Most agencies will have PR people to help you out. They can keep you informed of schedules. • Keep in mind they want to direct what you shoot to present the image they want. • Many of these PR releases suggest good picture possibilities.
Where to Find News Photos • Paper Prints Schedules • The daily paper can keep you informed of what is coming up. • You should also keep a eye on what other people or shooting. • Trade Magazines • Trade Magazines can supply unusual leads.
Working with Reporters • Photo Request Starts the process • Most news publications have many more reporters than photographers. • Reporters request a photographer to be assigned to the story. • Photo Request Starts the process • A assignment sheet should include: Name or person or event to be photographed, Time, Date, Place, Color or B&W, Slug (story name), Contact numbers, and brief description of story.
Photographer and Reporter • You should meet the reporter ahead of time. • The best circumstance is when the photographer and reporter work as a team. • The team should meet and try to define the story’s thrust and news. • Many times the reporter and photographer don’t meet until on location. The photographer just gets the info from the editor.
Best Time for an Assignment • The best time for a photographer and reporter to cover a story are often different. • A reporter often needs time after the action to talk with the subject. A photographer must cover the action when it happens. • Recreation of events is sometime a necessary evil.
Making Arrangements • Editors and reporters do not always take into account the special needs of photographers. • Often photographer, because they know the kinds of pictures they are looking for, they can make arrangements better than others. • For many stories the photographer and reporter don’t have or should work together. • Lighting can effect when a photographer should take the photograph. • The activity of the subject also effects the time a photo should be taken.
Working in Tandem • Some times the photographer and reporter must cover the event together. • The reporter and photographer can help cover each others backsides. • Even when they are working together they should most times go their own way when covering the story. • It is important that the story and photographs tell the same story. • If there are any discrepancy between the story and photos they should be worked out before the story goes to press.
Picture Politics • Many publications over rate the value of written word and under rate the value of the photographs. • Assignments are normally proposed by reporters or editors, not photographers. • Photographers rarely originate story ideas. • Traditional photographer are only brought in when the story nears completion. • The photographer is very often given very little time to shoot the assignment. • Sometimes the photographer just has to make due with the time and conditions available.
The Budget Meeting • A budget meeting is to decided how much space to allow for each item in the newspaper and what position in the paper they are placed. • Each section editor pitches their best story to the managing editor to decide what stories get on the front page. • Each editor other than the photo editor normally has a certain amount of space that is his or her responsible.
The Budget Meeting • The photo editor has no reserved space in the publication. • Managing editor who make the final decision about who gets what space normally come from the written side and not the visual side of education. • It is sometimes amazing that photo editors get any pictures published against all the odds against him.
The Budget Meeting • Today in reality every managing editor knows the importance of front photographs. Papers must sell to keep everyone employed. Front page photos SELL newspapers. The right photo can make people pick the paper up at the newsstand.
Take a Reporter to Lunch • To avoid the trap of being the last one to know about stories try to be informed about what is coming up. • Try to know what the reporters are working on. • If you find out that a story is in progress try to take photos that might work for the story when it is done. • It is a whole lot easier to find the right subject when you days to find it and not hours!
Self Generated Assignment • Self-generated assignments are ones that a photographer proposes to an editor. • Sometimes a photographer just shoots a photo of a happening event without an assignment of any kind. • If a photographer sees news happening they should take the photo. • Most often a photographer receives a written or oral assignments. • The photographer then develops the story and near the end a reporter is assigned.
International Assignments • Many larger publications routinely sent photographers around the country and the world. • Many photographers keep passports in their camera bags. • If you have the possibility of traveling keep ready. • Travel light. (Don’t forget a towel.)
Assuring Visual Variety (what shots) • Overall shot • Medium Shot • Action • Close-Up
Overall shot sets the scene • The overall allows viewers to orient themselves to the scene. • How big was the crowd, what were the surroundings and what was the weather like are some of the things that a over all should show. • You should always shoot a overall. It will allows the photo editors to better understand the situation • Generally the overall requires a high angle. • A wide angle lens can also give you an advantage in a overall shot.
Medium Shot Tells the Story • The medium shot should “Tell the story” in one photograph. • Shoot the picture close enough to see the participants, action, yet far enough to show their relationship to one another and the environment. (A wrecked car and the victim.) • Action improves the photo
Medium Shot Tells the Story • Shooting news action is like shooting sports. (see Chapter 6) • If the fire chief tell everyone to move back that a wall is going to fall, be ready to take the photo of the wall falling. If you are not ready to take the action you will miss it!!! • For the medium shot, a wide-angle lens, such as a 24mm or 28mm works well, a 50mm will do. • The wide lens will in part a closeness to the subject in the photograph. It can also emphasize the subject.
Wide-Angle Distortion • Buying a wide-angle lens, however, is not a photographer’s panacea. • The wider the angle of the lens the greater the chance for apparent distortion. • Wide angle lens appear to distort distances. • They can also make building look if they are going to fall over. • Try to keep the camera parallel to the subject. • If you are shooting NEWS do you want to distort reality?
Close-Up Adds Drama • Nothing beats a close-up for drama. • A close-up should isolate one element and emphasize it. Not all close-ups should include a person’s face. • Long lenses enable a photographer to be less conspicuous when shooting close-ups. • With a 200mm lens, you can get 10 ft away and still get a tight facial close-up. • Micro lens and extension tubes can also be used for close-ups.
High/Low Angles Bring New Perspective • Most people see the world from standing or sitting. • You can add interest in your photo from just changing your perspective. • Avoid the 5'7" syndrome.
Saturation Method Increases Your Chances • When on assignment, take several frames from each vantage point. • A slight change in perspective can bring important elements in the scene together to make the picture more visual. • Keep shooting! Shoot the scene then keep trying to take a better photo. • Photographers stay on location until they get the best picture possible within their time limits. Amateurs take a few snapshots and hope for the best.
Saturation Method Increases Your Chances • 35mm film is cheep in comparisons to a good photo. • Pro photographers may take hundreds or thousands of exposures to get just the right photo. • If you see a picture, you should take it. • Most times if you don’t click the shutter you have lost the moment and can’t go back.
Save the Last Frame • Many photographers stop shooting before the end of the roll. • They have been caught with only one frame left just as something spectacular take place.
Catching Candids • The photojournalistic style depends on catching candids. • The photojournalist must catch the subject as unaware as possible to record real emotions. • The photographer observes but does not direct. • Always a spectator and never a gladiator. • With good candid pictures, subject never stare at the camera. Eye contact with the subject leads the viewer to suspect the subject knows about the photo.
Approaches to Candids • There are 3 approaches to candids • Big Game Hunter • Hit and Run • Out-in-the-Open
Big Game Hunter • Use a long lens to stock the subject. • Shoot from a long way a way to avoid being seen. • Patience. Patience. Patience.
Hit and Run • Shoot quickly before they know you are taking a photo.
Out-in-the-Open • The out-in-the-open approach works when the subject, engaged in an activity that is so engrossing, forgets for a moment the photographer’s present. • A subject can also just be so comfortable with you being around they just forget you are there.
Preset Your Camera • Set your camera’s aperture and shutter speed before you point the camera at the subject. • Use areas with similar lighting to preset the camera’s aperture and shutter speed, focus on something the same distance away from you as the subject. • Automatic cameras’ with auto focus and exposure are great for candids, however you need to learn the delay time from pressing the button to when the exposure is made.
Anticipation and Timing • To catch a candid requires the photographer to anticipate the action. • A photographer must choose the right lens, film, shutter speed and f-stop. • Timing is of the essence! You must click the shutter at the peak of the action. • Most action builds to a peak and then settles down again. And almost every event has a crucial moment.
Candids When they Know You’re There • When the worker goes back to his daily routine, he tends to get lost in his work, and the photographer can produce story-telling candids.
Staff Photographer vs Freelances • If you are a staff photographer once you take a spot news photograph your next steps are very simple you just call the editor and inform him of the photo and the circumstances. • Your editor will direct you if the story is important enough to spend more time on. • If you freelance you must find where to sell your photos.
Determining Possible Outlets • Local paper & TV stations • Associated Press (AP) • Agence France-Presse (AFP) • Reuters • National Chain Newspapers (Night Rider) • National Magazines, (Life, Time, Newsweek) • National Tabloids • Agencies (Mercury Pictures or Black Star)
Time Element is Crucial • Don’t underestimate the value of your pictures, and don’t wait too long to find a buyer for them. • For the price of a telephone call, you can find out if an editor is interested and would like to see your film. • Because of the time element, the best market for spot news is a newspaper or wire service. • News Wires pay around $100 per photo. • If you go with a picture agencies they negotiate the sales and split the profit with you. • Exclusive photos can be worth a lot of money.
Crimes Make Headlines • Almost any kind of crime makes a news.
Bringing the Crisis Home • Crime pictures rivet readers attention. • When viewers recognize the location it give the photo personal meaning. • The publics’ curiosity is why so many crime photos are run. • A photo can be worth a 1,000 words when describing a crime.
Photographing a Crime in Progress • Photographers unlike reporters can’t reconstruct the details of a crime. • A photographer must be able to sense some up coming violence. • Photographing a crime in progress is very rare!!
Evaluating News Appeal • Sometimes crime photos take on an importance beyond the new value of the story. • Because it is so rare for to a photograph to capture a crime editors usually give it much more play than importance of the crime. • The photo’s value depends not only on crime but the freshness of the photo. • Besides action, the editor also evaluates the photo on the importance of the story, how many people involved, how much money, etc.
Uncooperative Subjects • The true test of a news photographer is getting pictures of criminals entering or leaving police headquarters. • Focus and keep your distance from the subject. • Night surveillance pictures can be made with Kodak’s p3200 film pushed to 6400 ISO. • Results are VERY grainy but recognizable. • The flatness of the film helps the high contrast lighting of night photography.
Fires: Catching the Flames Without Missing the People • Why Shoot Fires? • Over 500,000 homes burn each year, counting all fires over 2 million are reported each year. • A photo can show not only the emotion of the participants but also the size of the fire better than words. • Even the remains of a fire can carry impact.
Covering a Fire • Scanner radios are standard gear for spot news photographers. • Scanners can tell you where the fire is and how big.
Get There on Time • The first on-scene report from the fire department can tell you how big the fire is. • Is the fire big enough to still be burning when you get there. • Don’t waste your time with false alarm or one-alarm fires. • Working fires are however indicates a substantial blaze. • Two alarm fires require additional companies of firefighters to be called out. • Five alarms mean a major conflagration is underway. • If you can’t arrive at a fire within a few minutes of the time the first alarm sounds, stay at home. • Cover it any way.
Plan for Traffic • Check your map. • Listen for fire engines and sirens. • Don’t block the way for firefighters and don’t get blocked by firefighters!
Watch for the Human Side • Try to get people in the shot. Look for trapped people, people getting first aid, firefighters working, people watching, and etc.