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Finding my voice

Zachary Llorens | Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I am not a writer, but I love to share stories and capture moments that take your breath away. Working at The Observer has allowed me to do just that.
Early in the semester, I heard through the grapevine about the photo department and was compelled to join. I have always been interested in photography but really never had the extra time to go out and shoot as much as I would have liked. Picking up the camera as a part-time job for this newspaper has been a completely liberating experience for me.
While others at the paper share information, messages and opinions through words, our photo staff complements reporters’ stories with ideas of our own, in images. We do our best each and every day to freeze a moment, to make a lasting impression on the viewer.
There is no clean-cut definition for what makes the perfect picture, but there are a few things we look to get out of every shoot. First, we check exposure: Is it too dark, too bright, or just right? If it passes that first test, we go on to verify its focus: Is it sharp, and are the faces clear?
Next, we check content. Quite a few pictures that pass the first steps fail to make an impact on the viewer. Really, we look for pictures that elicit reactions from viewers. A diving catch and spectacular dunk can have their deserved place alongside a compelling picture of interesting campus architecture or the chubby little squirrels of God Quad.
Next time you page through The Observer, remember the thoughts in the writing, but also ask yourself just how a picture could be worth a thousand words, as well.

Contact Zachary Llorens  at      
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    The views expressed in the Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.