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Old Sep 14, 2010, 2:42 PM   #1
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Default Photojournalists. How do they do it?

I profess a great admiration for photojournalism. I've become an addict to Lens, the NY Times photo site as well as other photojournalism web sites. Amazing picks, shot on the fly, in harsh conditions: wars, earthquakes, natural disasters, crowds, volcanoes, hospitals, exterior, interior, etc. Extraordinary job.

My question is: appart from FF cameras and prime lenses, what kind of settings do photojournalist photographers use to shoot those picks? I mean, AF, metering, WB, etc., cause i don't think they have any time to change settings in such conditions and hurry. How do they do it?
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 3:48 PM   #2
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No doubt about it - the vision the best PJs have is truly inspirational. And that's really the difference - lots of people know how to use a camera and get a shot that's well exposed and in focus. But creating an image that tells a story that grabs the attention? That is a gift I really wish I had.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 4:27 PM   #3
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It's a gift indeed John. And yes, if a pick doesn't tell a story is worthless. Totally agree with you. Those guys are great story tellers.
But how do they work? I mean, technically.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 5:37 PM   #4
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You would have to ask one to be sure, but I guess it is like any of us who shoot in specific areas we know our kit and the settings we expect even before we get close to shooting. Also sure there will be different approaches to using manual expiate or a semi auto the same asin other areas.
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Old Sep 14, 2010, 7:20 PM   #5
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What if the environment is changing second to second? You can't preview that.
If going semi auto, what kind of auto settings do they work with?
May be they bracket like hell, shoot a thousand picks and chose one...
Just curious how they do it, technically.
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Old Sep 15, 2010, 8:45 AM   #6
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The old saw for photojournalists was, "f/8 and be there". That was in the days of Speed Graphics with 4x5" sheet film so shooting a lot was simply not an option.
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Old Sep 17, 2010, 7:07 AM   #7
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The eye of the PJ is being there and seeing the image in you head before you even compose it! Think of it a a writer that writes with light. You dont really go through the thought process of lighting and shot angles, they are already there and have been worked out in your head in a matter of milliseconds having already imprinted the output in your head before you snap the shutter. There is a difference between someone who knows how to use a camera and takes a bunch of pictures that are exposed well but just lacking in subject and the eye of a good PJ who can walk all day that that image they were after popped up in the corner of their eye and the story was already there, just needed someone to capture it and and share. The casual photographer will walk down a street and come back with a 100 images that may all be great and well exposed, the PJ will come down that same street with 3 shots, all breath taking.
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