Preparations for the next couple of classes …

A few things to help us get started.

If you’re reading this and haven’t joined the Facebook group yet, please do so right away. Here’s the direct link to the FB group:

GSU Photojournalism FB group

Simply request to join, and I’ll approve you right away.

You can choose to follow this website/blog via email (look for the “follow” button on the right sidebar). Just be warned that you will get a lot of emails when fellow students post their shooting assignments. I will link new posts from this website on the FB group, so following this site via email is optional.

Like I said in class, read over the syllabus. There are links contained within it that can help you get the gear and supplies that you need for this class. Email me or post on the FB group if you have questions.

Read over the Code of Ethics. Think of questions you might have. You can bring them up in class, email me, or message me or post on the class FB group. I would highly encourage the last option (FB), because others might have the same questions as you do.

If you want to review the presentation from the first class, here is a link to the PDF version of it. It includes my presenters notes: Presentation: MMJ3333 Intro

We had to fly through the end of it so I could get you home in time for kickoff in the National Championship game, so it might be worth at least scanning through the last third of it again.

Next class (Monday, 1/22), we’ll have a bit more lecture and discussion, so you’ll have time to get what you need to participate in this course. However, class #3 (1/29), everyone MUST bring cameras/lenses and memory cards to class. So keep this in mind.

Like I said, there are kits available from the University, but they might be limited. It’s possible you might have to share a camera with a classmate, if you go this route. I will let you know more about the ground rules for checking out cameras for this course next week,.

There is no textbook required for this class, so you might think about investing in a camera and lens so you’re not at the mercy of university supply. Read this post: Which camera? It contains links about cameras, lenses, and where to buy gear. Please read!

Here is the link about “where to buy gear.”

You can find links about other supplies you’ll need contained within the syllabus.

As always, feel free to contact me anytime, via email, text (you should have my phone # if you read the “About your instructor” link on this website), or the Facebook group.


Julia Fechter-Portfolio


Paige Peterson, 20, from Pembroke, Ga., spends some time with her five-month-old daughter, Kyra, at her babysitter’s house before taking Kyra home. Peterson is a junior writing and linguistics major at Georgia Southern University. She raises Kyra with her husband, Tom Peterson, who is a sniper in the United States army.


Jennifer Waanounou, 26, from Statesboro, Ga., inspects an authentic Swedish clog while placing shoes on a table display in the Deja Vu consignment shop on March 5. Waanounou bought the store, located at 601 Brannen St., from its former owner, Casey Arnett Lewis, in January 2017. She has been renovating the store over the past couple of months so it can have more space and have a more upscale retail vibe.


CJ Wiley, 23, from Statesboro, Ga., places jewelry on top of one of the displays in Deja Vu. Wiley was hired by Waanounou on March 2 to help stock the store’s increasing inventory, especially dresses for formal season. Wiley recently moved back to Statesboro to help take care of her ailing grandparents and found the store job by simply walking inside while Waanounou was there.


Debalina Ghosh, 23, a Georgia Southern graduate student from India, coaches Peyton Chapman, six,  from Statesboro, Georgia, to dance along to the music playing at Holi as other students also dance on the stage on March 23.

Ghosh enjoys Holi because of the vibrant-colored flour thrown there as well as the community. “It’s like bringing all of [your] friends and family together…you’re all the same so that discrimination [of skin color] is not there,” Ghosh said.


Sharmita Saha Porshia, 20, a sophomore at GS from Bangladesh (L) dances at Georgia Southern University Holi festival on March 23 alongside Debalina Ghosh (R), 23, a second-year graduate student. Porshia and Ghosh are performing a traditional Benghali folk dance at the festival.


Betsy Fanning, 55, and Elizabeth Allen, 87, from Charleston, South Carolina, take a moment to admire the blooming cherry blossom trees at the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia on April 1. Fanning and her brother, Bob Allen, 54, from Charleston, brought Elizabeth, their mother to the festival so they could enjoy the event as a family.


Sergio Ruano, 42, from St. Thomas, the United States Virgin Islands, crafts a bracelet from a repurposed bicycle spoke. Ruano had his jewelry tent set up at the International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, Georgia on April 1.

He has been making these bracelets for 13 years, and he purchases beads for his bracelets from all around the world. As well, he uses the bike parts other than the spokes to create steel sculptures that he sells.

Assignment 2: Part 2 | Erin Ahlholm


f/16 50mm


f/16 17mm


f/2.8 17mm


Georgia Southern University student, Grace McGoldrick, 22, Marietta, Ga.                            f/2.8 50mm

Visual Narrative // David Miller


Gina Miller, left, holds her grandmother, Abuela Sara, 95, as she tries to guide her around the small bathroom. At this age Abuela Sara needs assistance with every simple task, and Gina insists on keeping her grandmother at home in her care. Most of the time, Abuela Sara calls Gina “nena,” meaning “girl” in Spanish.


Some mornings Abuela Sara is cranky and agitated, but this morning she speaks and listens to Gina. Gina finishes their morning bathroom routine by brushing Abuela Sara’s tongue. Next, Gina will bring Abuela Sara to the dining table for breakfast.


Abuela Sara cannot take her medication on her own, so every morning Gina crushes and mixes it with either apple sauce, oatmeal or yogurt, which ever Abuela Sara prefers.


Gina’s mother, Mama Tina (left), 72, feeds yogurt to Abuela Sara with a rubber tipped baby spoon. Gina brought her mother Tina and her Abuela Sara to live in her home in Cairo, GA. after growing concerns for their health and care in Bradenton, FL. Both Mama Tina and Abuela Sara’s health has improved in the last month.


Abuela Sara was born and raised in the small town of Gurabo, Puerto Rico. She worked in tobacco fields in Puerto Rico while raising her children; four girls and three boys. She later moved to New Jersey and worked on an assembly line. She has moved from Puerto Rico to Florida many times in the last 20 years, but now that her age limits her, Abuela Sara’s new home in Georgia with Gina and her family will be where she stays.


After breakfast, Gina brings Abuela Sara to her spot on the couch. Abuela Sara’s gentle grip on Gina’s lower back keeps her from falling.


After Abuela Sara is settled and comfortable, Gina gets herself ready and makes her way to work. She usually has clients coming in and out of her office, but this slow morning allows for her to catch up on weekly paperwork.


On her office windowsill, Gina has family pictures, plants, and this motivational plaque saying “If you ever met my family, you would understand.” This is a reminder for Gina to stay true to her family values. Those who have met Gina and her family see the overflow of respect and love.


After dinner and a long day of work, Gina brings Abuela Sara to her bed in the room they share.


Gina’s son Jesse, 19, climbs on the twin size mattress to help get Abuela Sara up in her bed. “I help my mom whenever Abuela needs to be moved because she can’t do it by herself. Between school and work, I’m not here that often, but when I am, I help with almost anything,” Jesse said. “My spanish is horrible and Abuela laughs at me when I try to say anything in spanish to her.”


As Gina tucks in Abuela Sara, she kisses her on the cheek and says “bendicion,” meaning “may I have your blessing?” Tonight, Abuela Sara repeated “bendicion,” to Gina, giving her a laugh and a smile. Usually, she replies with “Dios te bendiga,” meaning “God bless you.”

AP Style Captions

This is one of the most important topics we will cover this semester, and you will need to put this into practice from here on out. Expect to be tested on captions in addition to being graded on them with your shooting assignments.

Download the PDF with examples of real AP photos with captions so you can always have this with you:

AP Style Captions.PDF

You can also view the slides on captions from the presentation (you’ll have to scroll down for the captions section):

Creative Control/Captions presentation

In the news business, photo captions are a fundamental, professional requirement and are necessarily included with every photograph submitted for publication. The Associated Press style for caption writing assumes that each and any picture it moves on its wire service may be used by itself, not necessarily with a story, so each photograph is accompanied by complete information. Whenever possible, try to keep captions to no more than two concise sentences, while including the relevant information. Try to anticipate what information the reader will need.

The 5 Ws:

  1. Who – Captions must include the full name, age, and home town of any identifiable subjects included in the photo. Also, if there are multiple subjects, indicate their position within the image (left, right, center, etc.) so there is no confusion about who is who. Titles and/or designations are also included. Ex: Georgia Southern University journalism professor Charles Brown, 54, left, …
  2. What – Be concise and clear about any actions depicted in the photograph, but don’t simply state the obvious. For example, if people are talking – what are they talking about? If someone is running – are they exercising, escaping danger, playing, etc.
  3. Where – Be specific, such as “in Veazey Hall on the campus of Georgia Southern University,” but also mark the town or city and state. Use AP Style for state abbreviations. Ex: … in Veazey Hall on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, Ga.
  4. When – Include the day of the week, month, day, and year the photograph was taken. Follow AP style for the date. Ex: on Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2009.
  5. Why – The first sentence of an AP style caption typically includes the first four Ws. Additional sentences – usually one sentence – can explain the “Why,” helping the reader understand the photo in its proper context by describing why the action, situation or content of the picture is important or interesting. It may include additional facts or statistics, either from the photographer’s own observations or from the accompanying story. Sometimes, the use of a subject’s quote may be appropriate. Ex: Brown is teaching the first multimedia course offered at the university in a program boasting record enrollment this year.


Style and form

First Sentence:

  • Active verbs – always use the active form of verbs. Ex:John Smith runs …” never “John Smith is running …”
  • Present tense – cutlines should always be written in the present tense, as if the moment depicted is happening right before the viewers’ eyes.

Past tense and passive verbs may be used in the contextual second sentence.

Signoff/Credit – Always at the end of a caption, in parentheses, the photographer includes a signoff – the photographer’s affiliation and name. Ex. (George-Anne photo/Jane Smith).

Use **CQ** after names that are not common spellings. Ex: Micheal **CQ** Jones learns audio editing software in a mulitmedia communications class …

Use double asterisks “**” before and after any information that is not meant for publication, such as CQ or contact information.

Note: AP captions are usually rewritten to fit a newspaper’s individual style and to avoid redundancy of information when multiple photographs of the same subject or event are published.

However, because one never knows how or when a photograph may be used, learning to write an AP style caption ensures that vital information and context always stay attached to the image file. Complete information is also extremely important for archiving and searching for photographs

Manual, Quick-start guide for camera kits

For those of you who will be checking out camera kits from Sanford Tuesday, here are links to the manual and quick-start guide:

Canon Rebel T3 Quick-start guide

Canon Rebel T3 instruction manual

All of you – start familiarizing yourselves with the controls and menus of your cameras. We’re going to start shooting – in class. Be prepared!

See you Wednesday and let me know if you have any questions before then.

Putting together a used Nikon kit


If you don’t own any camera gear already, strongly consider a Nikon kit, as well. Nikon once reigned supreme in the world of professional photography. When I started shooting in the 1980s, over 90% of professionals used Nikon gear.

Canon has gained the edge in both amateur and professional market shares, but Nikon products and technology are still recognized as serious gear for pros, and Nikons are always reliable and of top quality. Again, perusing the KEH website, I would recommend considering the following bodies:

Nikon D200 ($144-182) – I highly recommend this excellent prosumer camera, even if it’s a bit dated. It makes great image files that are easy to work with in image editing software. It has all the controls you need right at your fingertips instead of having to scroll through menus. It has weather sealing and is more solid and durable than the Canon and Nikon consumer-level DSLRs. This is a really easy camera to use and learn on. In fact, I know a couple of pros who still use it.

Nikon D40 or D40x ($133-159) – These entry-level DSLRs are now discontinued, but a used one can make a fine, economical starter camera to learn on. Small, light, and easy to use. The D40x has a larger megapixel count (10.2), but unless you want to make poster-sized prints, the D40’s 6.1 megapixels are plenty enough resolution for most uses.

Nikon D70 or D70s ($62-126) – At these prices, the D70 is a much better deal than the D40 or any of the Canon Rebel models, as it offers a more robust build with more features and external controls. The D70 had an excellent reputation and even has some unique features that once made professionals include one of these in their bags along with their highly expensive bodies.

Nikon D80 ($133-168) – See above. The D80 is a little more advanced.

If you insist on something a little newer, consider the D3100 or D5100 ($182-268). Both are entry-level DSLRs that have slightly more advanced sensors than the above cameras. Like all entry-level cameras, they lack external controls to change all the settings. You’ll have to to call up the menus more often.

The advice for Nikon lenses is generally the same as it is for Canon, except Nikon has kept the same lens mount from their film days. In other words, if you are willing to focus and shoot on manual, you can use any Nikon lens built all the way back to the 1960s. The following recommended lenses are all autofocus, but if you want some advice on other lenses that might work, let me know.

*TAMRON 17-50MM F/2.8 ($257-278) – again, for comparison: this is the same lens supplied with the university’s DSLR camera kits, except with a Nikon mount.

NIKON 18-55MM F/3.5-5.6 G AF-S DX VR II  ($94 – $115) – Nikon’s latest, basic “kit” lens. Maximum apertures are slow and it’s got a plastic barrel, but it’s sharp, has vibration reduction (image stabilization) and it’s fine to learn on.

NIKON 18-55MM F/3.5-5.6 G ASPHERICAL ED AF-S DX ($65-76) – same as above, but without vibration reduction, which isn’t crucial in this focal range.

NIKON 18-70MM F/3.5-4.5 G ASPHERICAL ED IF DX AF-S ($115-126) – For a little more money, you can get a lens with much better build quality, slightly faster maximum aperture, and a wider zoom range. This one’s recommended.

NIKON 35-80MM F/4-5.6 D MACRO ($72) – This is an older lens, but will work fine with pretty much any Nikon body. It’s a bargain, too.

NIKON 28-80MM F/3.5-5.6 D ($45-62) – Similar to the above lens, but with a wider zoom range. Another bargain.

NIKON 28-70MM F/3.5-4.5 D MACRO ($94) – Similar to the above two lenses, but a little newer and a little better build quality.

These are all basic, lo-cost lenses to get you started. If you can spend a little more money on a lens, I recommend that you do it, and I can make some suggestions for you.