How to give my pictures a PhotoJournalism feel?
Hello All,.

I love taking pictures and the images that I enjoy looking at the most are pictures that have a photojournalism feel to them. My question is, how does one take a picture like that? I'm sure the type of camera matters but are there certain settings that should be made on the camera?....Or are these pictures taken with "normal" settings of the camera, and just edited (using some image editor) after the fact?.

Any insight?..

Comments (11)

Are you trying to get your shots to look like real photojourmalism, or what some wedding photographers pretend is photojournalism?.

Re> and just edited (using some image editor) after the fact?<.

Real photojopurnalism has a minimum of post processing. A little exposure adjustment, maybe some durning or dodging, and with digital, some sharpening probably. That's about it..

Plus, we need to define photojourmalism. Real photojournalism is very broad. Go to the store and buy Vanity Fair, (UK, North American, whatever version is where you are), the largest weekend nespaper near you, the Sunday New York tTimes if you're in a big North American city, Portfolio, if you can find it, Newsweek, Businessweek, and Time, or similar magazines in your community..

Find CAR, the UK automotive magazine..

Study these..

More, later....


Comment #1

If you go to and to you can find lots of photojournalism, and refer to these pictures in our conversation here, so that we all are on the same page, so to speak..

The two biggest PJ concenpts are:.

1/ the camera is strictly an observer of what's going on, with no contact, physical or intellectual, between camera and subject. i.e. dead body in a swamp..

2/ The picture is planned so that it conveys informtion to the reader, prehaps / probably with help from the subject. i.e. meat wagon driver, cop, and coroner showing the camera, and thus in turn the reader, the canoe with the gaping hole where the alligator bit through the boat and chewed of the arms of the dead body in the swamp..

Either shot may or may not have flash fill, may or may not be shot with a telephoto lens, or a wide angle lens, or a normal lens. How deep is the water and does the photographer have boots and where is the the crime scene tape and will the cops let the photographer inside?.

REgardless, the picture was shot with threeintentions to be of interest to a significant number of readers, to help convey what the story is all about, and to be better than other pix competing for the same space..


Comment #2

Thank you for the feedback......I understand that it's not as much about the camera as it is about the shot itself. My confusion comes in when I see 2 shots taken of the same image, but one of the shots looks like it came straight out of a magazine while the other one looks like a "regular" picture (doesn't have the PJ look). How can that be? What was done differently?..

Comment #3

Can you provide any samples that illustrate the difference you see?.

By your comments it sounds more like a particular look you are referring to more so than content. (Or composition).


Comment #4

I'll have to do a search for the pictures that I'm referring to, but you are correct, it is the look that I'm inquiring about as opposed to the content...

Comment #5

Are you also referring to the concept of the "prints" where there is no cropping of the edges where you see the dark border around the edge of the picture from the enlarger?'OOOOOH, they have the Internet on computers now!' Homer J. Simpson..

Comment #6

The traditional look for PJ shots is a very grainy picture. You can simulate this on a dSLR easily by either adding noise or film grain in Photoshop after the fact, or by shooting at a High ISo like 1600. Then convert to B&W for the true feel. Also a lot of this style is not so much about detailed pictures but, high grain and high contrast shots..

I think that is more what you are referring to..

Take a look at this article and pictures, is this what you are talking about?.



Comment #7

Ben, this is PRECISELY what I am talking about..

Other examples can be found at: the Photo Gallery...

Comment #8

So, all it boils down to is that I could give any picture that PJ "look", if I either add noise, contrast, or film grain in Photoshop after the fact, or if I shoot at a High ISo (at least 1600)?..

Comment #9

My view on this is that you could achieve this "look" in any of the good editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom without making any pre-adjustments at the time of capture (e.g. using high ISO on purpose). I'd rather capture moments using the correct exposure and composition (in RAW) to preserve the original/natural look of the image, then play with the settings, adjustments, actions, presets, etc. in PS or Lightroom to achieve the "look" I wanted. That way, I can try different looks without affecting the original image...

Comment #10

In addition to the other feedback you have recieved, you can give this a try on existing photos. Does a passable job..



Comment #11

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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