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The Maranda Writes

You HAVE the Right to know!!

Today’s lesson will be about teachings I have learned from an online course from Poynters News University about “The Language of an Image”. I had to take the lesson for my PRCA 3339, PR research class. I will include an outline from the lesson with vocabulary I found helpful to me along with personal notes included along the way.

Imagery in journalism is often times the most powerful element associated with a news story. It’s used to identify a subject in the story, or visually define an event.

There are three types of photos:
Informational – Simply a visual record of a person or event
Passive- Pictures taken specifically for publication after the event has occurred.
Active- Pictures taken while the event is occurring. In Real Time. Preferred by journalists to communicate to the reader the tone of an event.

Creating an image calls the incorporation of a variety of ‘single elements’ some of which are:
Quality of light – the use of natural and artificial light
• This may seem like an obvious note, but a small amount of light can greatly affect an image.
A sense of place – how quickly the reader comprehends setting
Juxtaposition – two opposing images to show contrast in mood or status.
• Interestingly, called one of the most powerful story-telling elements
Perspective – Be mindful that you are the “eye of the reader when taking photographs. So put yourself in the reader’s shoes to achieve the best look.
Layering, moment, and surprise are also single elements.
Of course these elements can be used simultaneously to “enhance the story-telling capabilities”
What familiar elements do you see in the photograph below?

Essentially capturing an image can call upon a variety of different elements. Achieving the best possible look is left up to the discretion of the journalist. There is no specific right or wrong way to take a picture. But failing to include at least one of each element can result in an incomplete news story.  

Now that you have been informed, Snap away!


You HAVE the right to know!


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