Workshop for effective visual material (and why it is important)

May 8, 2020

On Friday 27.04. the first online SeeNet workshop in 2020 was held on the topic of effective use and enhancement of the quality of photo and video material as practical tips were elaborated on good and bad examples.

Lecturers were Luka Tomac from Zelena Akcija, Croatia and Aleksandar Škorić from Centar za životnu sredinu, Bosnia and Herzegovina. The workshop consisted from short introduction on the importance of visual materials by Luka, followed by Aleksandar, who elaborated his advices on examples and pointed out common mistakes.

First, it was discussed why visual material matter so much in this day and age and how organisations can make use of them. This topic was introduced with special attention to very essential part of international cooperation – solidarity actions. Luka explained how these actions can be an easy and simple tool and at the same time very significant in projects and network cooperation.

That the best way to learn is through examples proved Aleksandar in his presentation where he gave few ideas through few simple steps on how to improve media and public visual output. Also, he explained how to photograph and record your actions and everything you are experiencing while on site with active Q and A session during the workshop. It was very interactive, participants were involved and the lecturers were very engaging with advice and skill sharing. Interesting ideas were mentioned showing this topic is much wider and broader and there is a lot of space for improvement.

The most important conclusion of the workshop was that even thought photos and videos are crucial for impact of actions and conveying a message, most of these visual materials are done ad hoc, contrary to their importance to the goal. As aim of the workshop was to show how little it takes for a material to send stronger and clearer message, we share here seven important tips:

  1. The sun or source of light is behind the cameraman
  2. The group is facing the light, so we can all see their faces well
  3. Everyone is making eye contact with the camera, if they see the camera, camera can see them
  4. Messages written on banners need to be large enough and letters  thick, so they are visible from a distance, especially for the media, who tend to stay far from protesters because they want to have better angle to film everyone
  5. If used for the local audience avoid English language
  6. Format: turn the camera so that it fits the format of acting, if photographing single individual, then vertical photography is ok, if it’s more people, group, always shoot horizontally
  7. Photos with individual letters on A4 papers to be kept close to each other and in line.

For a better understanding check the video of the whole workshop on the SeeNet Facebook page.