Pictures for the Web
A good photo can
tell stories -- and sell stories. Words alone can't always describe
the news that happens.
Photographs can give readers a sight to go with what you write,
so they can see the action for themselves.
If you have a good news story with a photo, it might make
the difference of whether or not it goes on the front page -
or even in the paper at all.
for taking good news photos
- Good photos spark
a reader's interest. Ensure you know that the picture must relate
to your story and enhances your audience's understanding of the
- Photos that show people and display
emotions in them are first-rate - they attract
human interest. Everyone will want to read your story to find
out more about what happened in the shot.
- You should be able to see the people in your picture clearly and closely, and
not have to squint to see a person's face. If you want photos
that make an impression,
take shots of certain people instead of crowds.
- All photos need cutlines --
sentences that are found under photos identify the faces, places
and activities shown. Don't assume readers will know everything
about the photo or that they will even read your story to find
out. Give your readers the story behind the picture. Well-written
cutlines make photos easy to understand, and tells why both the
photo and the story are interesting and important.
- Include a byline,
which tells readers about the photo. For pictures, they usually
come after the cutline - "John Doe photo," or "Photo
by Jane Doe." - with or without brackets around them.
The "Grip & Grin"
These are photos
of people receiving awards or diplomas, cutting ribbons or passing
out cheques. They just do the handshake' pose and smile
at the camera.
The "Execution at Dawn"
These are groups of people lined up
against the wall to be shot (with
a camera of course)! For large groups, cutlines end up
being long lists of people from left to right'.
You can avoid these problems by taking photos of people actually
doing something. If someone wins an award, take photos of what
the person did to win it. Grab the action shots of the special
activities these people do.
If you do not have an action shot, put in a head shot -- a
close-up picture of the person's head and shoulders, to show
readers that your story is centered on someone's actions.
With present technology, you can take a photograph and make
it into a computer image. To do that, you need a scanner. The
scanner simply copies the photo into its memory and stores it
like a computer file.
Once the photo has been scanned, you can look at it on your
computer screen and adjust the size and shape of the photo (a
process known as "cropping") or adjust the brightness
of the photo. When you have a good-looking copy, you can save
the image as a file to go with your