This past Wednesday and Friday I completed Poynter NewsU’s “The Language of the Image”. ( ) This online photography course teaches users to understand the conventions of standard photography and the effects that they exude.  One of the most interesting things that I learned was that there are photographs taken that are ment to show mere information and not emotion.  This type is known as informational for obvious reasons.  These photos do not require an emotional connection, but simply set up the article or story.  Another photo type is a passive photo.  These are clearly staged photos that are taken for the purpose of showing off something or setting up a situation.  These can be effective promotional pictures but the clear fact that they are not real can hinder the credibility of the article.  The next set, and often the most effective for photojournalism, is the active shot.  This type shows a real-life event or situation as it’s unfolding.   I also learned that there are single and multiple elements to a photo type.  The ones that I found most interesting were graphic, juxtaposition and emotion.  These single elements can make a story more powerful.  The graphic is the use of clever camera work to make a real action or situation seem as if it was staged by the unbelievable quality of the image.  The juxtaposition is an amusing, but sometimes thought-provoking method of showing differences in an image.  The use of emotional imagery can be highly effective in creating an important photograph.  There are also numerous multiple elements to an image.  The rule of threes was my favorite.  This uses three image points to create a dynamic photo.  I enjoyed the course but I think that I would like to have seen more uses for the types outlined.  I felt that the approaches were effective, but I didn’t know for what.


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