Chapter seven of Kenneth Kobré’s “Photojournalism: The Professional Approach” covers the topic of photo editing. At first glance, this subject seemed surprising to me; I didn’t understand why we would spend so much time discussing photo editing, when editing can alter the message and integrity of a photograph. After reading the first portion of the chapter, I realized that the term “editing” applies not only to graphically editing photos using software, but also to the general task of assigning, filtering, cropping, arranging and captioning photographs.
It’s up to the editor to decide which photos are the best companions to specific stories. The editor decides which photographs convey the most emotion, show the right amount of graphic imagery, and attract the most attention. Kobré mentions that on paper, the readers’ eyes glance at a story’s dominant photo before anything else, including the headline. If the reader isn’t attracted or enticed by the dominant photo, they can be deterred from reading the story entirely. In that sense, photojournalism is one of the most important aspects of designing a good story. Based on the first issue of The Roar, I need to work on arranging photos, especially when it comes to creating dominance and drawing the reader’s eye to a specific point.
Another topic that Kobré covers is captioning photographs. While I knew the importance of creating context and giving credit through photo captions, I never realized just how much information was expected to be included. For example, if a photo is captured using a slow shutter speed which creates a unique effect on the outcome, that information should be included in the caption.