PH2 Lawrence T. Henderson
Figure 12-2.News photograph with action and impact.
can support headlines and written spot news accounts as
well as feature stories.
The photograph serves as a definition for words. No
two people imagine identical photographs through words
alone. Groups of words rarely cause similar mental
images in everyone. Different people see different
photographs in their mental interpretations of verbal
descriptions of a given scene. From a photograph,
everyone gets the same mental picture.
TYPES OF NEWS PHOTOGRAPHS
What is a news photograph? Just about everything
said about recognizing and gathering news also can be
applied to the news photograph. News photographs also
have common news elements. These same 10 elements
immediacy, proximity, consequence, prominence,
suspense, oddity, conflict, sex, emotion and progress
are essential to successful photojournalism. You can
judge the newsworthiness of a photograph by the degree
to which these elements are present. The newsworthiness
of a photograph, like that of an event, depends on the
strength of intensity of the news element it contains.
Nearly all news photography is classified into two
categories: spot and feature news. This applies to sports
as well as any other type of newsworthy activity. Since
the spot news photograph achieves a dramatic quality,
the unrehearsed action is obvious to the reader. The
feature photograph, on the other hand, consists of
elements that allow it to tell its story with a brief cutline,
or on many occasions, without a cutline.
In covering unrehearsed action, control over the
kind of photograph you will get is somewhat limited by
the situation. For example, in shooting a boxing match,
you work at top speed and usually under great pressure.
You record developments as they occur with little regard
for the control of the men in the ring. Your ingenuity and
alert observations will have to be called upon to ensure
any technical quality at all. In shooting well-known
personalities, you should photograph them doing
something. A photograph without action, regardless of
the prominence of the personality, is not in itself a
storytelling photograph. The successful and usable news
photograph has action and impact (fig. 12-2) and