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Notes on Editing & Sequencing Photographs

Added on by Ridzki.

This will be a very quick note on editing and sequencing photograph by Alison Morley, Chair of Photojournalism and Documentary Photography International Center of Photography. I pick as my mentor Alison because she's the only photo editor on the roster of mentors. I can learn about photography from other people or from my portfolio reviews but how to edit and sequence should be coming from a photo editor.

Basically here's a point of photo editing as based from the material that Alison give us:

a. Shoot at least one of the each type:

  • Overall: A wide-angle or aerial shot to establish the scene.
  • Medium: Focuses on one activity or group.
  • Close-up: One element, like a person's hands or an intricate detail of a building.
  • PortraitL Either a dramatic, tight headshot or a person in his or her environmental setting.
  • Interaction: People conversing or in action.
  • Signature: A summary of the situation with all the key story-telling elements- often called the decisive moments.
  • Sequence: a how-to, before and after or a series with a beginning middle and end (give the story a sense of action)
  • Clincher: A closer that would end the story.

As usual, rules are meant to be broken, the ones above are no exceptions. As I see how the process goes in my class we can see two or three different stories were made over the same set of photographs (imagine this being done on a long term projects)

b. Always keep a photo for yourself. During your travel, your assignment or whatever you photograph on, always take a photograph of yourself. It will be useful later on.

c. Getting more technical: organize your raw pictures into groups (I divide mine into overall, portraits, detail, food, hands, family, activity, etc.). Print it, put it on your wall and live with them, then you'll grow a senses of how the story is going to be.

d. The last one I might one to say, is perhaps be ready if your favourite pictures didn't make it into the cut. It may be good, but in a story perhaps it is not working good enough. Work with someone you believe and trust as an editor and then let them have their opinion for the stories.