Follow-up on Class – 1/18

Here are some handouts to reinforce what we’ve discussed in the first two classes. You should downloads these and read through them. It’s up to you whether or not you want to print them out. These will be your study materials for exams and, hopefully, the handouts will lead to better discussions during class time in the future as we build a base of knowledge.

From class #1: Why are photographs the front porch of the news? How do we cut through “the Imagesphere” and create meaningful photographs in the context of news? What are the strengths and weakness of photographs as a medium for communication? What distinguishes professionals from amateurs?

Photographs: The front porch of the news

In class two, we examined the language of photography, it’s power to communicate, and began to create a new vocabulary for discussing photographs with Joe Elbert’s Hierarchy. I shared his memo in class. Here is some follow up:

Joe Elbert’s Hierarchy

You don’t need to download this, but if you want to review the presentation and examples we looked at in class, here is a PDF version of the presentation, including my presenter’s notes:

Presentation: The Power of Photography

Additionally, if you want to review the videos from the past couple of classes, here they are:



Camera Kit checkout

You must bring a camera to the next class (1/25)!

If you are going to check out one of the university’s camera kits, here are the particulars …

First, here is a link to the Equipment Room Rules:

E.R. Rules

Read it thoroughly. You MUST print out and sign the last page and return it to me, no later than the next class. If you want, you can sign it, make a digital copy of it, and email it to me. If I don’t get these from you, you will not be able to check out equipment for this class.

Here is the link to the online checkout page:

Sign in, then click on the drop-down menu in the upper left-hand corner and select “New Reservation.”

Fill out the dates and times for your reservation. Note that 9:30 a.m. is the earliest you can pick up equipment Mon-Fri, and you must return by 8:30 p.m. Mon-Thurs and by 3:30 p.m. on Fridays.

Because there is a 5-day limit on equipment checkouts, you will typically check out a camera the day after class (Thurs) and return it by 8:30 p.m. the following Monday for most shooting assignments. Your ER Rules sheet states that equipment can only be checked out for a 24-hour period, but I spoke with ER supervisor Ben Bentley and he understands the nature of this class. The online checkout software allows for a 5-day reservation (hence, the Thurs–Monday suggestion). If you like, though, you can check out kits from Fri-Tues, although most of your deadlines are on Tuesday, so you should probably  be done shooting before Tuesday whenever possible.

NOTE!!! Because you need to bring a camera kit to the next class, use 1/25/2017 as the start date. Again, there is a 5-day limit on checkouts, and the equipment room closes at 4 p.m. on Fridays and is closed on the weekends. So again, for this checkout, use Fri. 1/27/2017 by 3:30PM as the end date/time.


If you need more time to complete the assignment (most of you will!), you can make another reservation for over the weekend and return it by Monday, or make a reservation for Mon-Tues to complete your assignment. You will not need to bring a camera to the next class (2/1). You will only need to bring your SD card with the images you shot and a card reader.


Under “Browse Resources” on the left, select “Cameras/Canon and choose either the Rebel T3 or the Rebel T6i.

On the right-hand side of the page, you will see the available kits. Click on “Reserve One of This Type.”

A notification will appear in the shopping cart on the right-hand side of the page. Click on the shopping cart and it will tell you which kits are available.

Click on the “Confirm” button at the bottom right-hand corner of the page.

A box will appear, telling you that your reservation has been confirmed. Click “Okay.”


That’s it. When you arrive to pick up your camera kit at the equipment room, you will have to sign for it, and you will receive a sheet that shows you the replacement cost of the gear you are checking out. You don’t have to baby your gear – it’s meant to be used! But take care of it and don’t be reckless.

Remember, you will need to repeat the checkout procedure each week we have shooting assignments.

Just make sure you return your equipment before the time you designated when you make your reservation. If you have any problems making your reservation online, stop by the equipment room and Ben will get you squared away.

So go ahead and make your reservation, pick it up Wednesday, and bring your camera kits to class.

And don’t forget to bring an SD card for it!!!



SD Cards – advice and deals!

We’re still a couple of weeks out from working hands-on with our cameras, but this is worth mentioning …

The FIRST thing we are going to do with our cameras is to insert our SD cards and RE-FORMAT them.

You should be doing this on a regular basis, anyway. It’s not a good idea – and certainly not professional – to use the memory card for your recording devices as longterm storage. File systems created by your devices on the cards can become corrupt over time. If that happens, you will not be able to access the files on your cards. Frequent reformatting increases the reliability of your card. Learn how to correctly store and backup your media files!

My very strong suggestion: get a card and use it just for this class. You can never have too many cards, anyway.

So I want to make some recommendations that should satisfy your needs, even if you’re on a tight budget. First, a 16 GB card should get you through shooting assignments for this class since we will be shooting in the JPEG format. The following are some cards I found on Amazon that I recommend:

Lexar Professional 1000x 16GB SDHC UHS-II/U3 Card (Up to 150MB/s read) w/Image Rescue 5 Software

This is a professional quality SD card that has the latest UHS-II/U3 standards. The $15.75 price is great. All Lexar professional cards come with their Image Rescue software, as well, so if you ever accidentally delete files from your card, you still have a chance to retrieve them. I’ve accidentally reformatted cards before downloading my images, and Image Rescue saved the day.

Another great deal from Lexar:

Lexar Professional 633x 16GB SDHC UHS-I Card w/Image Rescue 5 Software – LSD16GCB1NL6332 (2 Pack)

Two 16 GB cards for $13.49. It’s not the latest generation, but it should work great with the Canon Rebels and similar cameras. I still use one of these for backup in one of my cameras.

A 16 GB SanDisk card to consider for $15.75:

SanDisk Extreme PRO 16GB up to 95MB/s UHS-I/U3 SDHC Flash Memory Card

Here’s a pro-sumer card from SanDisk for only $10.85 that should meet your needs:

SanDisk Extreme 16GB SDHC UHS-I Card

SanDisk and Lexar are the most common brands you will see professional photographers and videographers using. Both are very reliable and built of quality material, and customer service is very good.

There are still many brands that are popular and good. Sony is usually top notch, but sometimes pricier than SanDisk or Lexar. Kingston, Delkin, Tobisha, and PNY are also well-known.

I have had good luck with Transcend cards. Consider this one for only $9.49:

Transcend 16GB SDHC Class 10 UHS-1 Flash Memory Card

Personally, I would avoid obscure brands and the bargain bin versions of the big name cards. They are hardly worth the few dollars you might spend on them – questionable reliability and durability, and usually very slow. They might make your camera buffer and download/copy speeds are typically very slow.

Check these out and let me know if you have any questions.

Follow up on class – Jan. 11

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.

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 next week, as there are some changes.

There is no textbook required for this class, so you might think about investing in a camera and lens. 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.”

I put together a couple of posts to help you put together a used camera/lens kit – based on prices and current inventory at KEH – for under $300. If you shop smart and follow my recommendations, you can even get a decent camera kit for under $200. So please read the following posts:

Putting together a used Canon camera kit

Putting together a used Nikon kit

Next Wednesday (1/18), 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 (1/25), everyone MUST bring cameras/lenses and memory cards to class. So keep this in mind.

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.

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:

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


Reshoots (see the syllabus for details). 

First, if you choose to reshoot your Interaction assignments for a better grade, they are due April 1st. Post them on the WordPress site as usual.

When you return from Spring Break, you will have your grades from your Features assignment. If you want to reshoot this assignment, it is due on April 8. Note that you will have a new assignment due on March 31st, so if you need advice about which assignment reshoot will best improve your grade, contact me. 

Again, reshoots are optional, but reshooting an assignment can improve your grade and help you learn!

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.