The story- your essay should be able to stand alone, without a written article, and make logical sense to the viewer. A range of photos



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The Photo Essay

Creating a photo essay is a combination of art and journalism. As with a written essay, the elements of a photo essay should be structured in a way that easily conveys a story to the viewer. Each individual photo contributes to the overall story, theme, and emotions of the essay. The photos you choose must not only be compositionally and artistically strong, but also informative and educational. Finding photos that have both qualities can be very challenging, but the result can be very powerful.

There are two types of photo essays: the narrative and the thematic. The narrative essay tells a story through a sequence of events or actions. They may follow an individual or activity over a period of time and present this story in chronological order. A thematic photo essay focuses on a central theme (e.g. homelessness, the environment, etc.) and presents photos relevant to that theme.
Regardless of what type of photo essay you choose to present, the following elements should be considered during its creation:


  1. The story- Your essay should be able to stand alone, without a written article, and make logical sense to the viewer.

  2. A range of photos: A variety of photos (wide angle, detailed, portraits etc.) should be included. See the types of photos section discussed below.

  3. The order of the photos: It is important that the order of your photos effectively tell a story, in an interesting and logical sequence.

  4. Information and emotion: Your photos should include both informational and emotional photos. Those essays that effectively evoke emotion while providing information tend to convey their messages the best.

  5. Captions: In a photo essay, captions are your best opportunity to describe what is happening in words and ensure that the viewer understands. Include informational content in these captions if necessary.

Types of Photos

By including a variety of types of photos in your essay, you will ensure that it is both interesting and informative. The following types of photos, presented together, can create a successful photo essay. Not only is it important to choose powerful photos, but also to present them in an effective order. While the order of some photos (e.g. the lead photo, and the clincher) is set, the order of most types of photos in your essay is your preference.



The Lead Photo: Similar to the first two sentences of a newspaper article, your lead photo should effectively draw in your audience. This is usually the most difficult photo to choose and should follow the theme of your essay. It could be an emotional portrait or an action shot, but ultimately it should provoke the curiosity of the viewer.

The Scene: Your second photo should set the stage and describe the scene of your story. An overarching photo taken with a wide angle lens is often effective.

The Portraits: Your photo essay should include at least one portrait. Capturing an emotional expression or telling action shot can effectively humanize your story. These photos often evoke strong emotions and empathy in the viewer (whether it is a positive and enthusiastic emotion, or a sympathetic and concerned emotion.)

The Detail Photos: Detail photos focus in on one element, be it a building, a face, or a relevant object. These photos are your best opportunity to capture specific objects. The captions of these photos should be informative and educational.

The Close-up Photos: Similarly, close-up photos provide an opportunity to focus in on specific objects. These photos are tightly cropped, simple shots that present a specific element of your story. Again, this is an excellent opportunity to present information in the caption.

The Signature Photo: The signature photo summarizes the situation and captures the key elements of your story in a telling moment.

The Clincher Photo: The final photo, the clincher, should evoke the emotion you want the viewer to walk away with, be it a feeling of hope, inspiration, or sadness. Decide on this mood before you select this photo.

Remember, these suggestions are only guidelines. Photo essays are a form of art, and like any artistic creation, breaking the rules can sometimes create the most powerful result. Don’t be afraid to try something different.

Source: http://www.collectivelens.com/blog/2007/09/23/creating-a-photo-essay/

Your topic is Canadian Nationalism/Patriotism


  • Choose a series of photos/cartoons/paintings that convey your feelings about Canadian nationalism/patriotism. I have intentionally made this a general because I do not want to limit the potential pictures that could be used.

  • Choose your photos wisely.

  • Your final project can either be in powerpoint (other presentation software is acceptable) or on a poster (limited space).

  • Your captions below each picture should not be more than two-three sentences.

  • Your essay must have a minimum of 10 photos (Max 20).

Photo Essay Rubric Template



Categories

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4

Knowledge and Understanding:

Purpose of photo essay

Characteristics of Photo Essay

Understanding of Canadian Nationalism/Patriotism



Demonstrates limited knowledge of the purpose and format of effective photo essays

Few characteristics are evident

Information presented demonstrates little understanding of the chosen issue


Demonstrates some knowledge of the purpose and format of effective photo essays

Some characteristics are evident

Information presented demonstrates some understanding of the chosen issue


Demonstrates considerable knowledge of the purpose and format of effective photo essays

Most characteristics are evident

Information presented demonstrates considerable understanding of the chosen issue


Demonstrates thorough knowledge of the purpose and format of effective photo essays

All characteristics are evident

Information presented demonstrates a thorough understanding of the chosen issue


Thinking Skills:

  • Analyzing and selecting photos to represent issues

  • Summarizing key information and details

  • Synthesizing information into a big idea

Slide layout conveys little of theme/synthesis of big ideas

Photo are random

Titles do not synthesize big ideas; captions summarize few details


Slide layout conveys the theme/synthesis of big ideas

Photos relate to the issue; don’t interest appeal to the viewer

Titles synthesize some big ideas; captions summarize some details


Slide layout contributes to the theme/synthesis of big ideas

Interesting photos support the big idea and draw the viewer’s attention

Titles synthesize the big ideas; captions summarize most important details


Slide layout enhances the theme/synthesis of big ideas

Thought-provoking photos extend the big idea and stimulates discussion

Titles synthesize and extend the big ideas; captions consistently summarize important details


Communication:

  • Physical layout and organization of ideas

  • Use of titles, captions

  • Quality and composition of the photos (camera angle, types of shot, foreground, background)

  • Sentence structure; persuasive language

  • Choice of vocabulary; Punctuation; Spelling




Slide layout distracts from the intended message:

Inconsistent use, type, colour, and size of font for titles and captions)

Little organization of slides and photos is apparent

Significance of title is unclear;

No captions

Photos utilize the same angle and type of shot; some photos are blurry; little or no apparent difference between foreground

Written text is vague and unclear

Uses little figurative or persuasive language to maintain interest and synthesize big ideas

Little attention to spelling and punctuation


Slide layout conveys the intended message:

Consistent use of type, colour, and size of font for titles and captions

Somewhat organized photo using captions size

Language of captions is repetitive

Title is obvious and vague

Photos utilize some angles and types of shots; some photo demonstrate the difference between foreground and background

Written text is clear

Uses some figurative or persuasive language to maintain interest and synthesize big ideas

Some care and attention to spelling and punctuation


Slide layout conveys the intended message and maintains viewer’s focus:

Interesting use of a variety of type, colour and size of font for titles and captions

Obvious organization of photos and slides using collage

Language of captions is clear and expressive

Title synthesizes big idea

Photos utilize different angles and type of shot; important ideas are in the foreground, secondary ideas are in the background

Written text is clear and focused

Uses figurative or persuasive language or innovative expressions to maintain interest and synthesize big ideas

Care and attention to spelling and punctuation


Slide layout enhances the intended message and captures the viewer’s attention

Effective use of a variety of type, colour and size of font for titles and captions to provide emphasis

Effective and creative organization of photos and slides using a variety of compositions

Language of captions is compelling

Title synthesizes information into an original big idea

Photos effectively utilize a range of interesting angles and types of shots; effective use of the difference between fg and bg to draw the viewer in to tell

Written text is succinct and expressive

Uses vivid or figurative language and innovative expressions to enhance interest and synthesize big ideas



Consistent care and attention to spelling and punctuation


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