How to Improve Your Documentary Photography

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Many associate the golden era of documentary photography with the heyday of picture magazines such as Life and Look magazine, but the practice of the photo story is still alive and well. Though such work may not find a home within the pages of most of today’s consumer magazines, there is still an interest in such bodies of work which can be frequently found online.

These photographers, many of whom I have had the opportunity to interview on my podcast, The Candid Frame, focus on more than just getting a nice-looking singular image. Instead, they show the power of a photo story where multiple images are used to convey facts, emotion and drama. These techniques can be used just as effectively by the rest of us whether we are focusing our lens on the lives of others or our own.

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How to Tell a Story Using Photos

IbarionexThePhoblographerPhotoStory01

There are times when an activity or event needs more than a single image to tell the whole story. A photo essay or photo story provides the means to reveal several facets of the narrative in visually interesting and dynamic ways.

You don’t have to be a photojournalist to practice these techniques. You can apply these simple principles when you are photographing a family event, sports or a social occasion.

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Why You Should Upgrade from a Built-In Flash to an External Speedlight

4808_SB-700-AF-Speedlight-front Many think of flash as a tool you use only when there isn’t enough available light to shoot with. If it’s dark, simply pop up the built-in flash and make the photograph. Never mind that the photographs don’t look especially good. The direct, hard lighting a speedlight delivers may not produce fine-art, but at least it ensures that we got something usable. However, flash can be an incredible creative tool especially when you have the flexibility of an external flash to work with. It’s an investment that provides more than just power, but choices that can improve the look of a photograph. Continue reading…