Week 2: Introduction to Photojournalism

Pic: Sana Amos. William, Zoe, Gordon and Declan during Thursdays photography excercise.

Pic: Sana Amos. William, Zoe, Gordon and Declan during Thursdays photography exercise.

By Sana Amos

After our great start, I was looking forward to this week as I am not a woman of many words but give me a camera and I will be lost in my own surreal world for hours. To say the least I was very excited to get started and learn to combine photos and words.

Once everyone arrived and had a hot drink in our hands, our tutor Zoe kickstarted our 10am Thursday session with an old style pub quiz about, you guessed it, photojournalism! Divided into two groups, we quickly got into the competitive spirit. It was really fun and insightful as I felt confident with the technical aspect of photography but learnt new information on the history of journalism such as war propaganda pictures. The rule is no alteration should be made to any journalists photographs, as you have to show what is really there, so not even a small tweak. After marking each other’s answers, Zoe concluded with a short presentation. Oh, and yes our group won!

We learnt that as photojournalists we are to let subjects tell their story through emotions and actions, but we must accomplish the following three in every photograph: Inform – what happened? Educate – why it is important? Resonate – connects to the viewer?

After lunch, we learnt about the importance of composition, lighting, shutter speeds, depth of field and apertures amongst others techniques. The only way to learn and better yourself in this field is to practise, practise and more practise makes perfect.

So with all this new knowledge and information, each of us strapped with a camera made our way to the park nearby to practise what we learnt and work on capturing images that fit the criteria techniques set as a task, which gave it more directed approach. The task was to be completed by end of our Friday session.

Eager to photograph, the whole group spread out and had advice, help and direction from Zoe, Tobias and Declan throughout.

After a short review of the images to end the day, each of us had more of an idea of what we need to look for when we photograph. Even Christopher who is completely new to photography was more confident and free while shooting and got some really good shots.

Next day, we all met at the Imperial War Museum. I have never been there so it was definitely a highlight for me. Zoe reminded us of the task and examples of photographs using the techniques. I could not photograph a lot as I was on crutches but I really liked the shots I got and felt that I followed the brief. The Museum is truly beautiful and there is so much to see and learn.

We all got really great shots and were happy by end of the day when we had a short review.

This week was very challenging because it reminded me of how my physical limitations have impacted and still does on things I am passionate about including photography. It showed and reminded me that there are a lot of things I can’t do, but once I accept that I can start working on what I can do which is a lot too. Reflecting back, I see a small flicker of confidence and desire in me. The next four weeks will be a challenge, however it is one that I can complete and look forward to build on.

And as our photography mentor Declan said about the “golden mean” rule that it is there to be learnt and understood, but it is also there to be broken.

Here is to breaking the norm and the learning to use our minds and talents to make an impact!

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