Que tomar? - fotografía en campo
Encontre este documento en mi maquina. Llevaba años almacenado. Es de una organización Quaker llamada:
American Friends Service Committee
Para aquellas personas que piensan que todo en la red es eterno, el documento ya no esta en su sitio, ni siquiera en los archivos. Les voy a preguntar si me puedan dar alguna liga actual. Mientras tanto aquí lo transcribo en ingles:
What to shoot...
What to shoot
All photographs in AFSC literature and fundraising pieces are printed black and white. Black and white prints can be made from color slides, but the quality does not approach that of prints from black and white negatives. AFSC publications can not use either color negatives or color prints. Photographs taken with Polaroid, single-use, or digital cameras are not useful for publication.
Composition and subjects
Cambodia Photo: Larry Miller
Since photographs used in AFSC literature are generally printed very small, they must be simple and uncluttered. Close-up shots showing one or a few people are generally more useful than large, spread-out or crowded scenes. Wider shots work if there is some unifying pattern, line, or center of interest. Faces, especially those concentrating on doing some work, are particularly useful. If you can see the people AND what they are doing, that is what we need.
The most useful photos are those that show the AFSC tie-in to the project. If AFSC staff are directly involved, show them working: teaching children, working on prosthetics, leading a workshop, vaccinating cattle, etc. If AFSC's role is advisory, a shot of the AFSC staff person conferring with a worker we have seen in other photos makes a visual link. At times a sequence of photos will show the development of a program or process. Step by step, this is how one builds an artificial leg, weaves a rug, etc.
Photos should answer the standard journalistic questions: who, what, why, when, where. It may not be possible to deal with all of these in one photo, so take several. One photo might show "where and why"; its companion "who and what." The more we can answer these questions in a photograph, the more useful the photo will be.
Shots of people DOING THINGS are generally better than shots of groups of people standing around. We are usually trying to illustrate the action that is happening. "People shots" show who, but shots of people doing things tell both who and what.
Most AFSC staff shoot too little film, especially of project work. When you consider travel and other expenses involved in getting to a project, the cost of an extra roll of film or two needed to completely document a program is not too much. WE CANNOT RE-WRITE A PHOTOGRAPH! If you do not shoot it, it is gone. IF A SHOT MIGHT BE SIGNIFICANT, SHOOT IT. MORE THAN ONCE.
Plan your shots
Before you start to take photos, think about what you want them to accomplish. What is the story you want to tell? What elements of that story are visual? Which of the visual elements can be shown together? If you cannot actually show parts of the story, can you imply them? For example, can you show people looking involved? People looking peaceful? Show the people we are working with? The conditions they live in?
Cambodia Photo: Jim Lewis
If there is physical action, how can you best depict what is happening, and why? For example, if we are vaccinating cows, elements of the story include cows, people, vaccine, and needles. Ideally photos should include a clear shot showing a person sticking a needle into a cow. It would help to be able to see both the person's and the cow's faces as well as the needle. How do the cows get there? How does the vaccine get there? How do you keep the vaccine cold? Is there instruction on how to do the inoculation? Show the teacher and the student. Include faces of both. Is there a production line with lines of cows waiting? How about the faces of happy customers-- owner and cow?
We need to get beyond tourist shots. Photos should tell a story about AFSC work. They can, but the photographer must be aware of what the story is and plan how to express it in photographs. Photos taken at random may, with luck, tell a useful story, but planned photos are much more likely to do so. Think about what you are doing before you lift the camera.
Mozambique Space on the right to move into.
Use the whole picture. The most common picture by a casual photographer has the subject's face dead center in a horizontal photo. This usually includes lots of useless sky, wall, etc. on the top and sides. Moving closer, or shifting your angle to use all of the picture improves your shot. Think about what you are including and excluding.
Many newer cameras, especially point and shoot models, have a "feature" where they insert the date and time in the image. This "feature" is detrimental for photos of program work. The numbers and letters often obscure important details of the image. When the data is inaccurate (it frequently is -- often years off), the problem is compounded. IF YOU HAVE A CAMERA WITH THIS "FEATURE," PLEASE CHECK YOUR MANUAL AND TURN IT OFF.
Mexico Space on left to accept movement and balance the darker right.
There are several general "rules" that help make photos even better. Sight lines and action should run into a photo rather than out of the shot. Shots with a flow of motion into the frame or diagonally across it work well. Dark areas are visually "heavier" than light areas and should be balanced by more light space. SIMPLE IS BETTER. Especially at AFSC where photos are printed small. Lighting that sets your subject apart from the background is useful.
U.S. Shooting from subjects' eye-level.
Many people take virtually all of their photos from their eye level. It is usually more effective to shoot from the level of your subject. When you are photographing children, that means sitting or kneeling. Look at the different perspectives you get from different heights and pick the one or ones that are appropriate for your subject-- a shot looking down to see the whole of a scene, looking up to give a plainer background, etc.
There are several ways to shoot pictures more quickly, and thus less obtrusively. Practice with your camera is the most important one. As you become more familiar with the controls, their use becomes more automatic. Whenever you come into a situation where you want to take photos, you can pre-set your exposure. Most locations are relatively uniformly lit. A meter reading for one part of a room will be the same in most of that room. Near windows and doors or in dark corners will be exceptions. If you have set the exposure for the room, when you want to take a photo, all you will need to do is focus, frame the shot, and shoot. It is faster if you don't have to determine exposure, too. Remember to advance the film before you want to take a photo.
U.S. Use of available light.
Often you will need to take photos in settings where doing so might be conspicuous and disruptive. You can minimize the disruption you cause by pre-planning. Rather than barging in and starting to snap pictures, try to get a sense of what is happening. Look at what is going on and figure out what camera angles will show the action best. Where is the light good? Are there windows in the background that a different angle would avoid? PRE-SET your exposure. Then you are ready to take the photos that tell the story best without having to do your looking and thinking as you are lining up shots. You know what photos you want and can take them quickly. If the situation allows, you can then look for other angles, shots, etc., but you have gotten the key photos and, if taking photos is disruptive, you can stop, knowing you have gotten the best shots first and quickly.
There also are times when you should not take photos at all. Be sensitive to the situation, and take your lead from local staff. Their ongoing work is more important than your photos.
U.S. Informal discussion following formal presentation.
If you have the time and freedom to shoot freely, explore variations on important photos. Try a vertical as well as a horizontal shot. Try one nearer or farther away, higher or lower. Perhaps a different angle will exclude a distracting background or include an additional element in the shot. If you are not sure of a tricky exposure, try several different exposures-- one will be better and we can use that one.
Another reason to take more than one exposure is that your subject(s) may have blinked. If you take several shots we can choose the one where they are not blinking. In large group shots making sure no one has their eyes closed is more difficult. One approach is to have everyone close their eyes until told to open them and look at the camera. When everyone's eyes are open, the picture is taken before they need to blink again.
U.S. Between conference sessions.
The more variations you take of one scene, the better the chance that when your photos are needed, the perfect one will be there. We sometimes need a shot to be horizontal, vertical, close-up, etc. because of the publication design.
AFSC staff often have to take photographs of conferences. There is not too much one can do to make one person talking to a room full of other people visually exciting. However, more intimate and expressive photos can be taken during informal discussion sessions after the main presentation ends. Take a shot or two of the formal presentation for the record, but stay around to see what develops later.
Haiti Natural light from an open doorway.
One of the most consistent trouble areas we experience in photography of AFSC projects is loss of detail in faces-- especially faces of dark-skinned people and faces under wide-brimmed hats. This problem is increased by the indiscriminate use of automatic and semiautomatic cameras. Camera exposure meters are designed around the reflectance of Caucasian skin. In-camera exposure meters also assume that scene brightness is average and uniform, but there are many situations where this assumption will not give good detail in faces. If faces are in shadows, and the background is brightly lit, the camera will expose for the average brightness and under-expose the face. In a dark-skinned face, detail will be lost more quickly. Remember that you can take a close-up meter reading for skin tones, but doing so will probably wash out your background. Camera film can deal with only a limited range of brightness. From direct sun to deep shadow is too much of a jump. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help.
Akwesasne Fill-in flash compensates for backlighting.
Be very aware of what light is falling on the faces of people in your photographs. Photos are made by light, so you must have light in the areas you want to come out. Usually faces are very important to your photographs. There needs to be light on faces to expose them properly. Try to find an angle where there is direct light falling ON people's faces. BEWARE OF BACKLIGHTING (light coming from behind your subject). There is much less light under wide-brimmed hats than outside them. People looking down are usually in their own shadows. Move so that there is direct light falling on faces in your shots, or at least strong reflections from something like a bright wall. If you take pictures early or late in the day when the sun is lower, your chances are better of getting more light directly on faces.
Many newer cameras provide fill-in flash for situations like this. Check your camera manual to see how to set your camera to flash on every shot when you are in a back-lit situation. If you have the option, you might want to set the fill-in flash slightly lower (1/2 to 1 stop) than the overall exposure.
You cannot always solve the problem but at least be aware of it.
U.S. Fill-in flash.
Keep a log of your photographs. It may help you later; it will certainly help anyone trying to use your photographs when you are not there to explain. Include names (with spellings) of people who should be identified. If you are photographing several countries or projects, note which photos were taken where. Make the first photo on every roll a shot of a page from your notebook indicating the current date and location (and time, if appropriate.) Do the same when you change projects and/or countries. If you are near the end of a roll, consider starting the next project with a new roll of film.