Thursday, September 3, 2009

Course Information

Course Description: This course will provide an overview of contemporary photojournalism from the perspective of a working professional. The majority of the course work will be hands-on with weekly assignments and real deadlines.
Emphasis will be given to the practical side of working as a photographer for newspapers, magazines, and wire services as well as freelance. Picture editing and handling also will be discussed. Registration for a photography/graphics lab is required of those without regular access to a computer and/or darkroom.

Course Objectives: Each student will develop a portfolio of images and clips reflecting a high level of competence in a variety of areas regularly covered by working news and feature photographers. Accordingly, each student will submit work to campus and/or non-campus publications to be considered for print or online use. Weekly and longer-term assignments will be arranged with each student. Consideration will be given to each individual's areas of special interest. Guest speakers will be meeting with the class from time to time.

Reading: Keep current in the journalism and photography literature, particularly trade publications. Many of these publications are available in Blitman Reading Room or the library. Photo coverage in the Philadelphia Daily News and Inquirer are required reading every day. Each Friday, bring clips from newspapers and magazines for class discussion.

In-Class Publications: A minimum of two in-class publications as well as a Multimedia project will be completed during this class and in addition to the longer-term assignments. At the end of the semester group publication will be produced and pulled together in 72 hours. . . start to finish.

Journal: Keep one in regard to your daily photo activity. It should include notes regarding your thoughts, experiences and observations. Be sure to include references to photo-related books, magazines, exhibits and other similar activities.

Your Work: All work will be viewed in class in digital format. It is important to see all or most of what you shoot, preferably in order. Store all images on a portable hard drive for possible in class review every week. Edit five best images from each weekly assignment and save in a “Keepers” folder on hard drive. At the end of the semester burn a CD/DVD with all the images from the “Keepers” folder on it for final review by the instructor. Each student also is expected to set up a web page that includes recent photo efforts. Digital cameras will be available over the course of the semester. Some of you may already own digital cameras. Purchase of CDs is advised. Be sure to back up your work.

Resources: Journalist's Compass is an online resource for photography as well as other journalism-related areas. This site is on the SCAT server within the next few weeks. This site is on the SCAT server at The site is updated regularly. There are plenty of photo-related URLs for use in regard to various class assignments as well as general reading. Photography Sites: Work from this class may be published here over the course of the semester. Student and alumni work are featured.

Grading. All assignments must be on time. Late work is accepted at the discretion of the instructor. If not accepted, no credit will be given for this work. Otherwise, 60% of your grade will be on the photo assignments and final web site, 10% on your journal, 20% on your final portfolio, and 10% on class participation.
Absences / lateness. These are only acceptable for reasons related to matters of emergency. If you do not have an emergency, you are expected to be in class. . .and on time.
Missed notes and assignments. You are responsible for getting this material from a classmate.
Lab conduct. If you work in the photo and/or computer labs, the supervisors will have some input on your final grade based on your performance during lab hours.
Plagiarism or otherwise presenting work that is not one's own will result in automatic failure of the course.
Incompletes are given sparingly and only at the option of the instructor.
Drops. There will be none after the last day of class.
Withdrawal. If you are passing, a WP; if you are not, a WF.
Office hours. By appointment.
More detail. See the university catalog. Other information is available on an as-needed basis through the Department of Journalism office (215-204-8346) on the second floor of Annenberg Hall.
Temple Account. It is strongly suggested that each student apply for a computer account at the Help Desk in computer services. This is available at no cost to the student. The account will open a variety of opportunities, including e-mail, photography-related information on the Internet, and the complete card catalog of Temple University libraries. It can be extremely useful in regard to class communication as well. Each student is expected to log on regularly to check for class-related messages.
Aperture.This is the student photojournalism society at Temple. If you are not a member, consider joining. Same deal with the NPPA.
If We Need to Know. . . Please Tell Us. If there is a physical disability or medical condition that may impact on your work in this class, please discuss this with the instructor as soon as possible. Every effort will be made to take this into consideration throughout the semester.
Photojournalism "Images List"
Consider the following as guidelines for your weekly efforts as well as your more long-term activities. It is expected that you will have work in virtually all categories by the end of the semester. Remember also that you are expected to come up with a significant number of clips (or at least evidence that you have tried) in whatever publications will take your work. The Temple News, the Templar, and a broad range of other publications in and around Philadelphia are obvious targets. Moreover, take a look at Photographer's Market and consider freelance efforts in that regard as well.
These categories are based on the National Press Photographer’s Association (NPPA) Pictures of the Year (POY) competition and are generally what a photo editor would consider the basis of a portfolio:
General, Spot or Breaking News
Magazine or Newspaper Picture Story
Food Illustration
Newspaper News Picture Story
Photo Essay
Magazine or Newspaper Feature Photo
Newspaper or Magazine Portrait
Newspaper or Magazine Feature Story
Magazine or Newspaper Pictorial

The above are guidelines and you may come up with additional efforts. Some of you may concentrate a great deal of your effort in a single activity such as the preparation of a book. An expanded web site also may qualify.
If you are having trouble with the descriptions given above, the NPPA site offers you the ability to visually see photos from the different categories. The NPPA also publishes the winning photographs in its POY book titled ‘The Best of Photojournalism: The Year in Pictures.  The contest has been running for about 50 years.
Give primary emphasis to general assignment/spot news and sports. Check various publications for scheduled events of various kinds. Other areas will come along as your work progresses over the course of the semester.
If possible, we can work toward an end-of-semester exhibit online or perhaps in some other form/format.
There will be a general print-sale event in the Atrium in December. More on this later. Aperture will organize and sponsor the activity.
Hearst Awards Competition There is a national photojournalism competition sponsored by the Hearst Foundation based in San Francisco. As information becomes available in this regard, it is hoped that at least some of you will consider entering work in this competition.

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