Telling the Story in Pictures

David Bathgate
Teacher : David Bathgate
Category : Intermediate, Advance
  • Duration : 90 days

Course Brief :

The main factor that distinguishes documentary photography from photojournalism is - time. Photojournalists work for the moment - capturing events in the moment, and portraying them factually to encapulate what has happened in one or several powerful images. Where news moves quickly in these digital times, accuracy and speed are the winners in the race to publication.

Documentary photography takes a different turn. While facts are still of paramount importance, time takes a backseat. Documentary stories can range over day, weeks, even sometimnes years. The goal here is to dive beneath the proverbial "tip of the iceberg," to tell the story in deeper, more comprehensive visual detail, and often with artistic vision.

In this six-lesson, six-assignment online and interactive course we'll explore and practice both genres. From capturing in a photo the joy of your child at play, the passion of a public speaker the podium, to an exploration of a subject or situation of personal interest, you'll work with professional professional documentary photographer and photojournalist, David Bathgate, in an interactive way, throughout the course.

Whether you travel the world with your camera, or simply explore your own hometown, neighborhood, or family life at home, photojournalistic moments and documentary stories are everywhere. In this insightful, inspiring, and interactive online course we will cover and practice it all.

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Capture and communicate the the essence of an activity or event in a single photojournalistic image.
  • Find story subjects that are interesting, and (optionally) marketable to print and online outlets
  • Establish rapport and feel at ease photographing outside your comfort zone
  • Shoot variety in the types of images needed to construct an engaging story narrative
  • Add an artistic touch to the documentary images you capture
  • Edit your documentary work into a tight, flowing and powerfully interesting visual presentation
  • Accurately caption and keyword your work for search effectiveness at home and beyond
  • (Optionally) display, or even market your work, to a broader audience


What you will need:

  • Digital SLR or compact mirrorless camera (film is also fine, but you'll be required to scan images for upload to the TCI website)
  • Preferably a selection of lenses ranging from wide-angle to telephoto
  • Computer with photo-processing software (e.g. Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop)
  • A light but study tripod would be beneficial
  • An unyielding curiosity about the world around you and willingness to venture into
  • Self-motivation and discipline to get the most from this instructor-interactive, e-learning course

Instructor :

David Bathgate is an award-winning documentary and travel photographer whose work appears in such publications as Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, Geo, Stern, The Guardian, The Times of London and the London Sunday Times.

Holding doctoral and masters degrees in anthropology and journalism, respectively, David Bathgate works regularly in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Europe, covering topics of social, political, cultural and environmental interest.

David is Founder and President of The Compelling Image - online and interactive school of photography and multimedia storytelling, contributing editor to Photojournale and conducts photography and photojournalism workshops in India and Morocco.  He is also featured Official Fuji X Photographer.

Visit David's website

Follow David on Instagram

Reviews :

I must say I am deeply impressed by the quality of the course and the flexibility and help of David and of the entire Staff. Feedback is quick and _VERY_ helpful. I learned a lot on many aspects and small details from David. He is a fantastic tutor and teacher. I liked his style, always nice but still at the same time helpful and concrete. He pointed out errors and what I did well. I had to stop the courses for roughly 3 months since I was without a camera for a while, and the entire team was very nice and let me start again now that I am again able to shoot.

For anyone at all levels I strongly reccommend this course. Feedback is tailored to your level so you will learn much! Absolutley love the courses.

- By Umberto Michelucci

David Bathgate is first of all an excellent instructor for this course. And he knows exactly what he's talking about based on the experiences he's had. I found his advice and assistance throughout this course to give me a solid basis for researching and creating a photo story that both engages and moves the viewer. I'll now be able to take what I've learned from David and apply it effectively to future stories I choose to work on.  Thank you David!

- By Ingrid Toner

A survey of other online-interactive photojournalism courses led me to conclude that this was the best. I signed up and wasn't disappointed. Instructor David Bathgate has worked worldwide as a extensively published photojournalist, and I'd seen he'd taught workshops in foreign lands, as well. The course gave me a very comprehensive start in the genre and I had a great time applying what I'd been learning to my own photojournalism project, completed by course end. If you're interesting in in-depth visual storytelling, there is no better online course than this.

- By Ingrid Halvorsen

An excellent hands-on introduction to visual storytelling via these two genres. You'll learn and apply the "mechanics" of just how a visual narrative is constructed and edited for greatest impact on the viewer. Besides this, David goes into presenting your work on the web, as well as packaging it for submission to publishers. An online course that is really value for money.

- By anonymous

No professional aspirations, at least not in the moment. Took this online-interactive course for enjoyment and to document my family, while our three children are growing up. I found the lessons and assignments really aligned with what I'm interested in. Great information, practical assignments, inspiration, and above all, David Bathgate was a fantastic inspiration. I'd strongly recommend this interactive course for anyone with a love for photography and telling stories in pictures.

- By anonymous

Although my goal isn't to follow a career as a documentary photographer, I've always been interested in the process of telling an indepth story in pictures. This was just the place to learn this - hands on! Lessons were interesting, informative and inspiring. I enjoyed the assignments, which were directly related to their respective lesson, and David's guidance was supportive and insightful. Great course! Great instructor!

- By anonymous

My career path has been in sales. However, my path of aspiration has always been to be a professional photographer - telling stories with a camera. Having seen David Bathgate's name in numerous magazine credits, I was led to his personal website, and from there to this course. David's lessons, assignment and feedback (as well as that from fellow students on the course), has given me the skills and confidence to venture into the world of photojouralism and documentary photography. In fact, my first published work in a regional magazine was inspired and driven from all that I had learned from David's online course. Thank you David and those students that worked through the lessons with me.

- By anonymous

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