Navigating Photojournalism

If you don’t know, Marywood has an online, student run, newspaper called the Wood Word. As a freshman I started off as a contributor, taking photos of events when needed, and eventually became a staff photographer. I mainly stuck to photographing smaller events as a freshman, like gallery openings or outdoor gatherings. This semester however, I am filling in as the photo editor, which means I am at nearly every campus event taking photographs. Working all these events has definitely given me a much larger appreciation for photojournalism and its fast paced environment. While I typically have a few days to edit portraits or product photos, and am doing meticulous editing to make it perfect, now I need to keep up with the pace of news. Instead of having days to finish the photos, they are up typically within the hour, sometimes even less.

Because photojournalism is much more fast paced than what I am used to, I have to change the way I shoot, as well as edit. When photos are meant to be up and ready in such a short amount of time, you don’t have time to cull down several hundred photos as you would when doing something like portrait or product work. This means I am more selective and intentional about each shot, trying to get the important and most revealing parts of whatever my subject is for the day. his can mean focusing on expression a lot of the time, as that is a good attention grabber for many audiences. It can also mean getting specific detail shots to better explain the scene of the event, with things such as table settings or merchandise displayed on a table. When editing for photojournalism, it is essential that the photos are true to what was actually at the event. In portraits we may remove acne, tan lines, etc. but photos for news need to be real and authentic. This does help speed up the process in many ways, as much less time is spent cloning out imperfections. While I have learned how to use flash in a studio setting where everything is very controlled, I am still learning to use flash in an out of studio environment. I’ve tried it a few times for different events, and while the photos are legible and somewhat properly exposed, they still need refinement. I hope as I adjust and grow into this particular realm of photography I can learn to better utilize my flash and feel more confident using it.

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