Final exam on Wed (5/3) at 5:30 p.m.

Just a couple of notes on the final exam. You should know by now whether or not you need to take it.

First, sometimes there is some confusion about the time. Sometimes people look on the exam schedule and mistake Wednesday class exams for classes that meet once per week in the evenings. Again, our final is at the regular class time. Here is a link to the exam schedule. Scroll to the bottom for the correct time:

SPRING 2017 Final Exam Schedule

The exam will cover material from the entire semester. Like our other tests this semester, it is an open note exam. To help you narrow down your focus, first think about themes and topics that have been consistently reinforced over that time. The questions will come directly from your previous tests. If it wasn’t covered on those tests, it won’t be on the final exam.

However, note that the same material might be slightly different on the final. For example, something that was True/False on a previous test might be a multiple choice question, this time. Or a multiple choice question might become a short answer one on the final. So don’t just try to memorize or remember answers from the previous tests.

I would suggest you skim over the handouts to re-familiarize yourself with the material. These are the posts with the links to the handouts necessary:


Email me if you have any questions, and I’ll see you all Wednesday evening!


Covering the news: materials from class on 3 /22

I will post the particulars of your “Events” assignment shortly, but for now, please review the content of yesterday’s presentation before you head out to cover an event.

We’ve spent our time developing fundamental basics and practicing them up to this point, but now we’re getting into the nitty-gritty of photojournalism and daily visual news coverage.

First, here is the handout that accompanies yesterday’s presentation. At first glance, it appears to simply reiterate the class presentation, but please take a few moments to read it.  This handout probably articulates some of these concepts a little more thoroughly. It might be helpful to read through the handout to put yourself in the right frame of mind before you shoot your Events assignment:

Covering the news: How to approach news assignments visually

And here is the PDF version of the class presentation (with presenter’s notes, as usual), in case you want to review it. If you were not in class Wednesday or had to leave early, make sure you view the full presentation so you can see examples of the concepts we explored and better understand the assignment!

Presentation: Covering the News

So, review the lesson, then go forth and cover a news event!

Again, assignment particulars to come …

Feature Photo handout

First, here is the feature photography handout/study material:

Feature Photography

Read through it before you start shooting feature pictures. It will help you think through this assignment and give you some ideas about what to look for. And speaking of what to look for, you might want to read through the last handout, as well, because there are a lot of tips about how to generate enterprise ideas:

Forget Good: Make your photos interesting!

The requirements for your Features assignment will be in the next post. Like I said, I don’t expect you to work over Spring Break, but if you see something interesting to shoot, it could be a great opportunity to fulfill the Off-Campus requirement.

Also, you don’t have to wait until the next class to begin shooting your On-Campus feature pictures, either. Start looking and shooting as soon as you get back, or even in the next day or two before you leave. You never know when life might present an interesting photo opportunity!

That said, enjoy Spring Break!

Preparation for the midterm exam on Wed., March 8

It is definitely not too early to start preparing for your midterm exam on March 8. It will be an open-note, written exam with multiple choice, true/false, and short answer questions, along with a few short essay questions at the end to make sure you can briefly discuss some topics. It will be timed – you will have one hour to complete it. There’s a lot of material we have covered so far, so you don’t want to be randomly searching through handouts too often when the clock is ticking.

Start reading and reviewing now so you are familiar with the material and know which handout to search if you get stumped.

HINT: Many of the topics are thoroughly discussed and give multiple examples and details, but the materials and concepts I really want you to know are usually in bold-face type or in italics. So start there.

That said, here is a study sheet to help you narrow things down:

Photojournalism midterm exam study sheet

The links to the handouts and presentations are spread out over different posts on the web site, so I will list direct links to them here:

If you want to view the videos from the presentations, you’ll have to find the post here on the website related to the topic, however.

If you haven’t read the handouts/study materials, do it now, even before you look at the study sheet. You should download them because you will probably need them for your exam. You can print them out or save them to a personal device and bring them to class, or you can download them and save them to a cloud account (like Drive or Dropbox) and pull them up on the computers in the classroom. It’s up to you.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Materials from class (2/22) for review

Before starting on your Portraits/Light assignment, you might want to review the material. Know what distinguishes a journalistic portrait from a more common understanding of portraiture. And refresh your memory on the characteristics of light and start observing them in the real world.

Here are the PDFs of the presentations so you can review the examples:

Presentation – Light

Presentation – Portraits

And here are the handouts from our class topics you will need to study for the midterm exam:

Let There Be Light


If you are unclear about anything or have any questions, please contact me.

Deadlines – No more late assignments!!!

I’m not going to post about this topic any more after this. We talked about this at the beginning of class, but some stragglers missed this discussion, so take note now.

Apparently, there’s been some disconnect about shooting assignment deadlines. I’m not sure why. Deadlines are in the syllabus. We discussed them during the first class of the semester. They were posted on slides in the presentations and verbally confirmed in class when the assignments were made. They were posted with the assignments here on the class website. And they were linked on the Facebook group. Despite that, only eight out of 21 students had posted their Interaction assignments on the website by Tuesday’s 5:30 p.m. deadline, and only nine had posted by class time Wednesday.

I’m flexible and pretty forgiving by nature. We learn from making mistakes. As you’ve seen, I make some as well, and I expect to be corrected. I’m mostly interested that you take some knowledge and skills with you beyond this course.

However, meeting deadlines is so basic that I just can’t let this slide. If you can’t meet deadlines, you won’t be able to keep a job. Period. Particularly in the communications field. Especially in the news biz.

This one time, for those who missed the deadline for the Interaction assignment but can upload it by Friday, Feb. 24 by 5:30 p.m. – you will have your score reduced by only 10 points (out of a possible 100) – essentially one letter grade. Your score will be reduced by 10 points for every day after that. I will not accept the Interaction assignment for any credit at all past Monday, Feb. 27 at 5:30 p.m.

In the interest of absolute, 100% clarity, for all future shooting assignments:

Late assignments will not be accepted!

Give yourself enough time to shoot your assignment, edit and process it, and upload it to the website BEFORE deadline.

If you run into any problems, let me know right away. Like I said, I’m pretty understanding, but meeting deadlines is not negotiable.

Materials from Ethics lesson (2/15)

There was some great discussion in class Wednesday! We didn’t get to cover everything I wanted to, but that’s okay. Here are some follow-up materials for review and to help cover what we didn’t get to  …

If you ever want to reference the topics covered in John Long’s video, here’s a link to the special report posted on the NPPA website:


You need to become familiar with the issues and how the discussion is being framed in the news industry. Plus, expect to answer questions from this material on your midterm and final exams.


Here is a briefer, bullet-pointed synopsis of Long’s video, along with some updated thoughts and suggestions:

Ethics in the Age of Digital Photography Study Guide

Also, please read and download the material about issues of taste in photographing and publishing photographs depicting death and tragedy:

Lessons in Humanity: The Ethics of Taste in Photojournalism

Especially make sure you read through this handout, since we didn’t get to explore and discuss some of the issues. Expect questions on your exams from it, particularly about the concepts of newsworthiness and the conditions that require newsroom discussion when deciding whether or not to publish potentially controversial photographs.

And lastly, as always, here is the PDF version of the presentation:

Photojournalism Ethics Presentation

NOTE: For those who missed class, make sure you scroll through the presentation and read my presenter’s notes. The associated videos are below.

These are important issues. Like I said in class, your generation will determine how photographs remain credible testimonies in the context of news. Know the issues and think about how to solve some of the problems we experience with credibility in visual journalism.

Expect to see some additional articles posted on the FB group to help you expand your understanding. Hopefully, we can generate further discussion about this, too.

As always, contact me if you have any questions.

Videos from presentation:

Photoshop CS5 Tutorial Content Aware Fill


James Nachtwey’s mission (excerpt from “War Photographer”)