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Documentary Photography Tips - Edwin Brosens is back, and this time he's talking us through taking good documentary photos.
As an example, let's take a look at this series of photos, which I shot to explain the digitalisation of a collection of insects:
You should make sure you have ample time at the organisation to shoot all the photos you need. For this project, my main goal was to take photos concerning the digitalisation of the collection of insects at www.naturalis.nl.
For the above shot, I asked my subject to go carry out actions he'd do on a normal working day. As you can see, one box is open and there is a glass plate on it which reflected the light from the lamps. I had to take care with this as if the reflection was too large, detail would be lost in the shot.
The size of these Braconinae (parasitic wasps) is around 5mm to 3cm, so I have to make sure I have good sharpness. To do that, I used manual focus to set my focus point at the right place.
It was difficult to get the box of insects, scanner and the person who controls the scanner into one clear image. I used my flash to highlight my subject's face and overexposed the image because of the light coming from the window behind my subject.
For the above shot, the white balance of the camera had to be set at the right colour temperature, because the white in the photo where the insect is placed has to look natural.
Remember, when you shoot journalistic photos you have to shoot everything that might be useful for an article, so the photo editor can select the best story telling photos for the article.
For more information on Edwin Brosens, visit his website.