Bring something to take notes with!

Review the Nouns/Verbs assignment so you remember what to bring to class Wednesday.

First, we are going to learn the basics of creating an image workflow with Adobe Lightroom.

Creating images in the camera is only part of the task for a professional photojournalist. What happens to the images after capture is every bit as important. Simply dragging image files from your camera’s card into a folder on your computer to download them isn’t sufficient.

Creating a consistent workflow will enable you to efficiently deliver and publish images in a variety of ways and ensure that vital information is always embedded into the image files for future searches and archiving.

Please bring something to take notes with to class. Just so you know, I have a handout that I will distribute after the lesson, but you will better learn the steps if you first take notes as we go through the steps.

Taking notes is also important because we will move at a fairly brisk pace. After we process our Nouns/Verbs images and upload them to your Google Drive folders, we will learn about lenses, perspectives, controlling depth-of-field,  and writing captions. Then we get our next shooting assignment!


Invitations to become website “users”

I will also be sending out invitations to everyone so you can become users with “author” status and post on the website. Following the “Visual Nouns & Verbs” assignment, all of your subsequent shooting assignment will need to be posted right here.

If you do not currently have a account, just follow the directions so you can create one. We’ll quickly be going over how to post your assignments next Wednesday (2/8). You probably ought to go ahead and create your user account now, however.

If you want to, feel free to post a little “hello” right here so you can try it out. Or share a link or something you’ve seen that we all might find interesting. Just make sure you accept the invitation and join before 2/8.

Google Drive invitations sent

Okay. I have sent all of the Google Drive folder invitations.

Check your email and accept.

Keep in mind, I’ve done a lot of scrolling and copy-and-paste operations. So let me know if you haven’t gotten an invitation or I sent an invitation to the wrong folder.


Google Drive folders

We will upload most of our shooting assignments right here on the website.

However, our very first shooting assignment requires at least 200 images for credit, so I created a folder for each of you on my university Google Drive account.

I will show you how to do this during class, but FIRST, you must accept the invitation to share this folder on your own Google Drive account. I will be emailing invitations to the addresses you wrote down on your “Student info sheets” from the very first class. If you don’t receive an invitation in the next few hours, contact me right away.

The process is pretty straightforward. Your invitation it should look something like this:


Assuming you are already signed into your email account, you should only need to click on the “Open” button, and it should take you to your own Google Drive account and should look something like this:


You can always access this folder and add to it by clicking on “Shared with me,” then clicking on the folder itself, which should be named “PJ_Class_Your Last Name.”

I will show you how to upload your images to this folder in class.

So look for your email invitation and accept it BEFORE class on Wednesday!

Let me know if you have any questions.

More helpful menu settings

In class, we covered the basic menu settings so we are ready to shoot in manual mode with back-button focus.

However, a few issues popped up, so I will try to address some of them here.

Display/Meter shutoff

First, a lot of us had to keep re-activating our camera’s displays and meter because the default shutoff/sleep time is set at about 30 seconds. As you discovered, this is an annoyance. You can change the amount of time the display/meter stays active. I recommend you do this so your camera’s display/meter doesn’t keep shutting down while you’re shooting. 5-10 minutes is a pretty good range before your camera goes to sleep.

On the Canon T3:

Navigate to the Setup menu 1 (first yellow menu). Find “Auto power off.” The default is 30 seconds. Change it to 8 minutes.

On the Canon T6i:

Setup Menu 2 (Yellow)/Auto power off/Choose 8 minutes

On the Nikon D3300 (and similar Nikons)

Setup Menu/Auto off timers/choose option “E: Long”/Ok

On Nikons, always remember to press “Ok” to save your changes.

Picture Style/Control

Note: this is why one student’s images and displays were in black and white!

There are menu items on both Canons and Nikons where you can set the look and style of your images. Folks who shoot video like to play around with these, but most are not suited for photojournalism. When you check out a camera, take a look at this menu item and always choose “Standard” or “Neutral.” Personally, I prefer neutral so the camera doesn’t change the contrast or the color saturation of the scene I am photographing.

T3 & T6i

Record Menu 2 (red)/Picture Style/choose Standard or Neutral


Shooting menu/Set Picture Control/choose Standard or Neutral/Ok

Problems with setting ISO

The Canon cameras have some menu settings that can interfere with setting your ISO manually. If you had problems, see if any of these fix the problem …

DISABLE “Highlight Tone Priority!” If turned on, this setting will not allow you to access the full range of ISO settings in Manual mode.

On T3: 

Setup Menu 3/Custom Functions/C.Fn. II-5 Highlight Tone Priority/Choose “-0: Disable”

On T6i

Setup Menu 4/Custom Functions/C.Fn. II:Image/C.Fn-3 Highlight Tone Priority/Choose “-0: Disable”

On the T6i, enable ISO expansion. If this is not enabled, you will not be able to access the full range of ISO speeds your camera is capable of. Word of warning! The highest ISO setting on most cameras produces poor image quality. For assignments in this class, you should avoid shooting at this highest setting (ISO 25,000). However, there are times when you simply need it to get the shot. You want to have the option. 

Setup Menu 3/Custom Functions/C.Fn-2 ISO Expansion/1: On

Nikon-specific settings

Make sure Auto ISO is turned OFF! If it is turned on, it will override your manual ISO settings.

Shooting menu/ISO sensitivity settings/Auto ISO/Off

Image quality settings: on Nikons, there are actually two menu settings you need to be aware of.

Shooting menu/Image Quality/JPEG/FINE

Shooting menu/Image size/Large

These are just a few things that came up. Let me know if you experience any other issues.

Follow-up on class: 1/25

If you need to review the material we went over in class, here you go …

Here is a PDF version of the presentation, with my presenter’s notes:

Technical Control: Photography basics

I’m going to post some videos here, too, in case you want to review what we watched in class, as well as a couple of videos that go into more depth about what we discussed:

This is the first video we watched, so you can review the basics. The terminology is important:


Second, here is a video that goes into detail about aperture values and why some lenses have a range of maximum apertures vs. a fixed maximum aperture value:


If you need to review how to shoot in manual mode and how to use your light meter, watch this:


Here is the video that helps explain the process of choosing the best exposure values (aperture, shutter speed, and ISO) for your conditions:


And here is the video on using back-button focus:


We skipped this video, but if you want a primer about how to use your autofocus points, view this:


Shooting news photographs is a lot more like shooting wildlife than you might realize! If you want more info and details about using back-button autofocus, watch this (NOTE: this is especially good for Nikon users who don’t have a dedicated AF-On button – such as the D3000, D3100, D3200, or D3300 – but Canon users should watch this, too, because the technique is the same):


So, there’s your review.

If any of you missed class, this is where you need to start. Read and watch everything, with your camera in hand. Then contact me ASAP if you have any questions.

That goes for everybody, if you have any questions, contact me!

Assignment 1: Visual Nouns and Verbs


DUE: Next Wednesday (Feb. 1) in class


Now is the time to start practicing the concepts we learned in class.

Shooting in manual mode will allow you to understand the Exposure Triangle. Learning the Exposure Triangle will help you avoid over/under-exposed images, as well as blurry images caused by movement.

By using back-button focus, you can better control your point-of-focus and focus-tracking rather than letting the camera choose for you.

When covering the news, there is more at stake than when you are shooting snapshots of your friends and family. You might only get one chance to capture that key, storytelling moment.

Assignment criteria for credit:

  1. Shoot at least 100 frames showing visual nouns
  2. Shoot at least 100 frames showing visual verbs
  3. Shoot in manual mode (you select the aperture, shutter speed and ISO)
  4. Use back-button focus (practice both focus/recompose and focus tracking)
  5. (Those with university T6i camera kits, please use the Tamron lens for this assignment)

Next week, bring to class:

  1. Your memory card with the pictures you shot to class next Wed.
  2. A card reader
  3. A clean (empty and formatted) storage device (a large capacity USB 3.0 jump drive or an external hard drive) to class

NOTE: Remember, if you checked out a university camera kit, you will need to return it by Friday because of the 5-day reservation limit. If you want more time to complete your assignment (most probably will), make another online reservation for the weekend or for Mon-Tues. You can go ahead and do this now. You will still have to stop by the Equipment Room Friday, even if you are reserving the same kit. If you have any questions about this, you can contact me, but the people in the Equipment Room can probably better answer your questions directly.

You can shoot anything, really. Soon, your choices of subject will be important, but for now, I want you to concentrate on becoming familiar with your camera and learning the basics of exposure and autofocus. So have fun with this!

Carry your camera with you wherever you go. That way, if you see anything that interests you, go ahead and make pictures. Trust me, you really don’t want to try and complete this assignment the day before class. Give yourself plenty of time to make mistakes (and you will!) and correct them.

And, again, keep shooting until you achieve correct exposure and focus before you move on to your next subject.

If you run into some problems, contact me right away. You can even text or call me. I can’t promise to respond right away, but I will as soon as I can.

Like I said, have fun with this, and I’ll see you next week.