Visual Storytelling-Chapter 6 Mark Briggs

22 02 2011

If you were to choose between reading a two page essay or flipping through a picture book on the same topic, which one would you choose? Our minds usually just wander to the picture book answer because pictures are visually more engaging. They tell a story within themselves and are a must-have for every article you write.

Libyan protesters, photo taken from CNN article.

  • Digital photography is the one of the biggest features to an online journalists story. The convenience of a digital camera is one of the reasons why people are rapidly switching from traditional cameras to digital. You can see your picture immediately after you take it, you picture taking is not limited by the amount of film remaining, and you can upload the pictures anytime, anywhere. You can also edit the photos no matter where you are as long as you have your laptop.

*Always remember, when you take pictures from other sources, you need to CITE THEM. Otherwise you could be sued and that opens up a whole lot of legal troubles that I have no idea how to explain. Just cite your sources.

  • There are two types of digital cameras:
  1. A point-and-shoot, is more compact, easier to use and less expensive than other types. They usually come with a built in flash, video mode and lens, making it easily packable for a reporter on the move.
  2. A DSLR camera, this will capture better quality photos because the image sensor is 10x larger than the other type of camera, but it will cost you two or three times more. It is more complex and the accessories (like lens and flash) are an additional cost.

  • Tips for taking better photos:

Hold the camera steady: If you must, support yourself on something steady while taking the picture

Fill the Frame: Be careful not to leave to much headroom

Focus on one thing: A good point of focus is the subject eyes

Get closer: Get the right angle and move around

Go vertical: Follow the subject, if the subject is vertical, go vertical

Shoot action: Capture in the moment photographs, avoid poses

The famous National Geographic photo of a young Afghan girl on the June 1985 cover.

  • Editing and uploading a photo has become easy with sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Flickr. Briggs gives you these simple suggestions when your editing your photos:
  1. Edit a copy of a photo-never the original
  2. Crop the photo
  3. Resize the picture
  4. Modify the resolution
  5. Tone and color correct the picture
  6. Save a web version
  7. Keep the photo editing simple

*Check out 2011’s best photo editing software here.