Thursday, June 19, 2008

What Mark Lent Left Me To Think About

Veteran photojournalist Mark Lent gave a presentation on "Visual Journalism" this week that really made me think about the degree to which photojournalists work to get that perfect photo that we read in the newspaper or see in a magazine.

I thought I as a reporter was busy gathering all the facts and information for the text part of the story.

Looking at some of the photos that Mark Lent, a telecommunication and film student at the University of Alabama, shot, I have a whole new appreciation for the visual side of news gathering.

In checking out some of the Mark's writing on the Popular Photography Web site, I see one of those photos that left an impact.

Mark talked about the importance of capturing emotion. He also talked about the factor of timing. This photo would not have been possible if Mark had not had just the right timing.

In his article, he talks about the three key elements to getting photos like this: focus, exposure and timing.

But, the big thing he revealed is that he practiced. He didn't just accidentally stumble into this shot. He pratices shooting children playing -- a way to see if you get just the right shot.

"Shooting sports well means that you can regularly anticipate what's going to happen, " Lent wrote in an article from Popular Photography nearly two years ago.

If nothing else, I realize that to get really good with my digital camera, I had to be willing commit time to practice-- with the focus, exposure and timing in mind.

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