Basics of fine-art photography/Creating works in reportage photography

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A typical reportage photo taken by Russian journalist. Photo from article God is One… in 200 Persons (newspaper "Republic of Crimea")

Reportage photography is a genre used to illustrate articles published in newspapers, magazines, and online publications, where objectivity in depicting reality is paramount and artistic merit is secondary.

General information

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Reportage photography used in journalism and photojournalism has some similarities with documentary, street and genre photography. However, if the last three genres contain elements of aesthetics and compositional solutions, the photo reportage only captures this or that event, while allowing slight margin of error.

It genre used primarily in illustrating news articles, visually supplementing materials about political and sporting events, military operations, popular festivities, etc. But can also be applied in other aspects of journalism.

Ways of implementation

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To create photo works in the reportage genre, you need keep abreast of last events, attend events and keep your camera ready in everyday life.

Don't carry bulky equipment, interchangeable lenses, and even more so a tripod. When shooting reportage, speed is important, and voluminous equipment will become a burden.

If your camera has the ability to adjust exposure time and aperture, remember that by changing settings manually, you can improvise, focusing on the central object of the frame — this is a plus, but an interesting moment can be missed — significant minus.

Try, if possible, to do without a flash: it will draw too much attention to you, as a result, people who notice the photographer may look unnatural.

If you don't plan to become a reporter by supplying material to the media, it's better to choose another genre for yourself.

Example with commentary

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In the photograph from the newspaper presented above, five Indians are visitors to the historical and archaeological complex Qutb Minar: three of them are in the foreground, and the rest are only partially visible which is unacceptable in any genre of photography that claims to be artisty, but is acceptable in reportage shooting.

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Photographs by the creator of this article, travel journalist Viktor Pinchuk

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An example of the use (placement) of reportage photographs in a newspaper article