Thursday, February 24, 2011

Photojournalism: Two skills, one class

   It's seven weeks into the semester and the students finally have their first shooting assignment. The timing couldn't be better. They are instructed to document the weather, so this weekend should give them lots of photo opportunities. Toledo is supposed to get up to nine inches of snow.
   This shooting assignment will challenge the students in many ways. First, they are tasked to approach strangers dealing with weather, like shoveling or sledding, document the activity and collect caption information. That's the journalism part. The photography part is knowing how to take photos in the snow. Knowing how to properly meter a white scene is key to accomplishing this assignment successfully.
   That's the complexity of this class: photography (math) + journalism (writing) = photojournalism. These are two distinct skills that are learned in one class. The wonderful writing in their blogs prove they are ready to use their cameras. Like one student blogged in her most recent post, "I am a photographer...I did not sign up for grammar."
   Yes, you did, Kathy, and you're doing a wonderful job.

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