The Photo Essay

KPS  in 2017, introduced a new section for our monthly image evaluations.

You can see the three essays awarded a Highly Commended here

2018 photo Essays awarded a merit can be seen here

Based on the photo essays or picture stories that have appeared in newspapers and magazines for years, the idea is to tell a story or present images around a theme.

Images can, but don’t have to be, accompanied by a short story or captions, just like in a magazine.

It can only be presented as a Powerpoint presentation or as a slideshow in MP4 format.

There is to be no sound accompanying your photo essay, nor are you allowed to edit your images other than the traditional ethical newspaper adjustments such as brightness and contrast or colour changes. Dust spot removal is fine but adding or removing elements in the original scene is not. The images should be as accurate a representation of the scene before the photographer as possible.

Our new Photo Essay is designed to get you thinking differently, so rather than simply taking one image, you will need at least five images (but no more than nine).
This concept is based on a section of the Walkley Awards, which is an Australia wide annual journalism award.
Imagine your images in a magazine or newspaper, telling a story or exploring a theme.


5 to 9 images
Can be presented with a (very) short story, no more than a couple of hundred words – brevity is best.
You can have more slides than images if you present a brief story to accompany your images.
Can be presented with captions.
Can be presented without words if you think the pictures are strong enough and do not require explanation.
This is NOT an AV so NO sound.
Only ONE Photo Essay can be entered.
Captions can be overlayed on your image (if you think it appropriate) or presented to the side/top/bottom of the image.
Transition from one image or slide to the next needs to be one second in duration or less.
EDI only.
Let’s repeat that – EDI only. No prints.

As we are trying to emulate a newspaper (at least the way newspapers used to be) there is to be no adding or removing elements from your images.
You are allowed to crop. You can dodge and burn. You can remove dust spots.
You can alter brightness and contrast somewhat.
Again, you cannot add, remove or move elements of the image. The image should represent the scene faithfully as the photographer recorded it.
However, monochrome is permitted.

The story or theme is more important than the technical quality of your images.
Having said that, your images must be of reasonable quality, for no self-respecting publication would publish poor quality images unless the news value was astronomical.
The best photo essays, as do the best photos, evoke an emotional response.

How can I present my Images?

As a slideshow, using a program such as Pro Show Gold. It needs to be exported as an mp4 file (here’s a hint: the Vimeo export provides an mp4 file).
As a Microsoft Powerpoint presentation (here’s another hint: Google Slides, which is a part of Google Docs, which is free, can export in Powerpoint format).
As a PDF (Google slides will do this) as will Libre Office.
Even Lightroom will work (using the slideshow module).

Photo Essay Delivery

Gary, our image steward doesn’t want his inbox overloaded so please do not email your entries to him.

Instead, put your entries onto a USB stick, CD or DVD and hand it to Gary absolutely no later than a time yet to be determined.

If you have a Dropbox account, you could use that to send the files to Gary.

However, the very best way to send your files is using the free service from WeTransfer 

It is incredibly simple to use, no login, no password.

Drag your files, put in Gary’s email address, add your email address and a message if you wish, press transfer.

WeTransfer will send you an email to confirm that your files have been downloaded.





You could present your photo essay as a slide show such as this one, made with ProShow Gold. It has a short story followed by captioned images with the captions overlaid on the images. Please note that some of the captions are difficult to read in this essay. Please keep this in mind when making your essay. Clarity is good.


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