J180 – Beginning Photojournalism

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Welcome to photojournalism. In this course we will seek to lay a foundation of technical photography and journalistic skills, and introduce you to an exciting, significant and fulfilling career. I think photojournalism is fun. I also understand that it is a tremendous privilege to be able to share people’s lives and tell their stories. With this privilege comes a responsibility for fairness, honesty, commitment and hard work. Photojournalism is a “hands-onâ€? profession. You will learn through fieldwork, reading, discussions and critiques.

• To understand and apply the fundamentals of professional photojournalism including necessary techniques, ethics and terminology.
• To understand the fundamentals of photographic communication.
• Build a beginning photojournalism portfolio.

At the end of the semester students will be able to:
• Manually operate a 35mm camera, flash and lenses.
• Analyze variables and make critical decisions on equipment, technique, aesthetics and ethics on assignment in the field.
• Write informative captions.
• Evaluate photography based on techniques, ethics and terminology learned in class, and judge its communicative value.
• Research and propose a photo story idea.
• Develop a first portfolio.

Course Requirements
You will need a 35mm single lens reflex camera with manual controls and interchangeable lenses. The school has some equipment available to rent for $50 for the semester. This fee entitles you to a camera body and a zoom lens; other equipment is available on a checkout basis. Checkout will be done by a graduate student and hours will be posted soon. *NOTE-Rental and processing checks MAY NOT be cashed immediately!

You will need to buy film and pay for processing. You will need at least 15 rolls of color negative film. The school provides processing for $1 a roll. You will be billed for processing at the end of the semester.

You will complete three shooting exercises, six shooting assignments, and a written picture story proposal. You will also have two exams. Your final portfolio will be considered as your final exam.

You will have reading most weeks. Reading cards will be collected before the corresponding lecture and will frequently be discussed in class.

You will have two exams. They will be on readings, class lectures, and current events. You are responsible for any information presented in class, whether it is in the reading or not.

A final portfolio will be due on the last day of class. It will contain photographs from each of your assignments (not exercises.) You will also turn in two “mini� portfolio containing the shooting assignments from class. These will be graded.

You will need to read various media to find events to photograph, story ideas and stay informed. You must subscribe to the Raleigh News and Observer and bring it to class. You will be required to turn in five photo ideas over the semester. Tests will include current events. In addition, you should be analyzing photography in print and on the web.

All assignments will be turned in to locked folders on the server. I will go by the time and date on the file to determine if it was on time. Late assignments due to an exposure or processing disaster or other emergency will be accepted twice and be docked one letter grade per week. The third and subsequent missed deadlines will result in a zero.

Attendance in class and PhotoNight is mandatory. Excessive absences may lower your grade or result in you being dropped from the course. If you need an excused absence, you must notify me by phone or e-mail before the start of class. It is your responsibility to obtain material and information from any missed class.

You will need to commit 3-4 hours or more out of class per week to complete assignments, lab work and reading. Manage your time well. Participation, effort, attendance and punctuality will be tracked and will count for roughly 5%.

Unfortunately, Photojournalism is EXPENSIVE. You can expect to spend at least $150 not including textbooks

A grade of incomplete will be assigned in only the most extenuating circumstance and at my discretion.

It is expected that all students will operate within the requirements of the honor code. All work must be your own, must be done specifically for this class, and should be done with the high level of honesty and integrity that this University demands.

Grading is done on a point scale. You will be graded on a beginning standard, with the expectation notching up as you gain experience. Each photo assignment will be evaluated based on the criteria below. You will understand each criteria from lecture, and will not be responsible for it until it is covered.

• Journalistic Merit (Captions, publish quality, storytelling value, emotion and moment quality, informational quality, news value, social significance).
• Aesthetic Merit (Composition, light, graphics, motion, technique).
• Technical Merit (Proper exposure, scanning, color correction, presentation).

The criteria may be weighted differently based on the nature of the assignment.

Required Texts
• “Photojournalism: The Professional’s Approach� Ken Kobre, 5th ed.
• “National Geographic Photography Field Guide: Secrets to Making Great Picturesâ€? – Peter Burian
• Subscribe to the Raleigh News & Observer

• Min. 15 rolls of 35 mm Color negative film (100, 400 & 800 ISO), Min. 15 – 35mm negative sleeves. Sharpie marker, Minimum three writeable CDs, Dustoff canned air, White cotton glove for negative handling, Memory key or portable hard drive (suggested)



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