A Photojournalism Course

PHOTOJOURNALISM COURSE taught by George Lessard
at The College of the Bahamas

Focuses on developing the skill of using the still camera for careers
in journalism, public relations and the print media in general. 
The student learns the basics of camera use and lenses, how to shoot 
events or pre-planned photographs. The aesthetics of the image will 
also be  covered.



To develope in the student the skill, techniques and art of capturing 
the essence of a story in a photograph. How to use a camera to capture 
the "moment" or event to enhance a news story or to stand  alone as a 
visual statement. To shoot photos for newspapers, magazines, public 
relations and other media.


At the end of the course students should 
a) - be able to visualize content; use the camera as an extension of 
     the eye; know what is visually newsworthy 
b) - be able to use a still camera (35mm) in all of its manual 
     functions (shutter, focusing, aspect ratio, depth-of-field,  
c) - know lens characteristics (wide, medium, narrow, telephoto) 
     and the kinds of images they produce 
d) - know kinds of film and the results they produce 
e) - be able to shoot the three kinds of journalistic images 
   -- "spot" news (live events) 
   -- photos to illustrate a feature story 
   -- set-ups (staged events - ceremonies, awards, committees, etc.)
f) - be able to judge and criticize photos and learn something of 
     their aesthetics 

COURSE OUTLINE I The Camera : Its function, parts & optical theory A. The lens and the camera 1. Function and kinds of lenses 2. Focusing and depth-of-field principals 3. F-stops (the diaphragm opening) 4. Shutter speeds and their effects 5. Filters; their use and effects 6. Manual versus automatic mode 7. Camera formats (35mm & other) 8. Kinds of film and their use/effects B. Lighting 1. Available light and how to use it 2. Controlled light (studio & remote) C. Editing-in-the-camera The importance of pre-planning, how experience helps to get good pictures "on-the-spot", getting what you want without wasting time and film.

II T h e "S h o o t s" of journalism & other print media A. On-the-spot coverage of breaking events (objective photography), shooting to record reality. 1. Local (fires, crime, politics, sports, public events) 2. Regional/National/International (war, terrorism, etc.) 3. Documentary shoots B. The Feature Story Photographs(s) 1. Photographs to enhance a narrative 2. Photographs with captions and little or no narration 3. The documentary feature photograph C. The "Set-up" shot 1. The routine of set-ups, the inherent "poses" of the genre; is innovation possible? 2. Examples of two officials shaking hands, officer installation, meeting of committees, etc.

III Aesthetics and Criticism of journalistic photos A. Criteria for on-the-spot photos B. Criteria for pre-planned photos C. Aesthetics of framing, composition, subject selection

EVALUATION Course work = 75 % Final exam or alternative = 25 % Course work includes photographs taken by students, a "hands-on" quiz, a written critical essay. The hands-on-quiz is one in which the instructor prepares about two dozens questions concerning the use of the camera parts and situations requiring the student's analysis of how to solve a photo-journalism problem with the camera. The quiz is administered (about 10 minutes) individually during class time while the other students are busy with their photo projects (and waiting their turn for the quiz). The final exam will be primarily on vocabulary and questions requiring more analysis of how to solve journalist "shoot" problems. ALTERNATIVE No final. Add one more quiz (written) beyond the "hands-on" quiz. A final portfolio of the student/s choice of their best work with a short paper on why they chose (detailing the course critical concepts that their choices reflect) and handed in during the last week of class. Shooting events and on-the-spot photos...........20 % Shooting feature story photos....................20 % Shooting pre-planned set-ups.....................20 % Quiz (one or more)...............................10 % Critical essay................................... 5 % --------------------------------- Term Mark 75 % Final exam..... or alternative...................25 % ------- 100 %

PRE-REQUISITES COM 250 (for majors). Permission of Department and/or Instructor HOURS PER WEEK Lecturer - 2 Laboratory - 2 TEXT Milkes, Harvey L. Photojournalism: A Freelancer's Guide ISBN 0-8092-5918-4, Contemporary Books, 1981 SUPPLIMENTARY Garaci, Philip C. Photojournalism : Making Pictures for Publication ISBN 0-8403-3022-7, Kendall-Hunt, 1983 LAB FEE: $50.00 EQUIPMENT A 35 mm camera (or other suitable camera with all required features and parts [full manual capability]) is mandatory. The student may use their own camera or one of the cameras owned by the department. A lab fee of $50.00 is required and is used to purchase film at discount prices for the students to use. Students are responsible for all costs incurred in getting the film developed/printed. Students will have to rotate use of departmental cameras and use such cameras during class time (laboratory day) is encouraged. Students must be able to use camera at night and over weekends. CLASS SIZE Limit 10- 12 (never beyond) Until such time as the department has enough of their own cameras, class size will be held to students who have their own camera, plus two-students per-departmental camera.

A Media Activist's Homepage Navigation Links

A Media Activist's Homepage: Click on this link to go back to my frontdoor