Every picture tells a story.
The idea in journalism is to do just that, tell a story. There are many ways to do this but it is not as easy as it looks. When you see those great award winning images you should know they are attained most likely after a number of rolls of film have been shot. So shoot and shoot and shoot some more. Then go back and shoot the scene again. If it is a fleeting moment, you must approach the scene from as many angles and perspectives as possible to get as many shots as possible to increase your editing choices. You must become part of the happening. Get in close, don't lose your visual concept in unnecessary surrounding information.
For example, if it's a fire you're shooting, try to feel it and shoot it from a firefighter's perspective, or perhaps from a victim's perspective. Capture their emotion. Tell the story.
In journalism you have only a few moments to attract the viewer to your image. The image should be dynamic in several ways. It must be a strong graphic and convey a message. Generally an environmental photograph makes a good journalism shot. Placing a subject in or around other objects helps complete the viewer's ideas about the main subject. Try not to let the environmental objects overpower your subject unless their size is part of the story.
Diane Arbus was a great journalistic photographer, check out her work at your local library.
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