Monday, November 26, 2012

Students turn their cameras to homes destroyed by arson

   When students signed up for the Intro to Photojournalism course this semester, they had no idea they would be shooting Toledo-area homes destroyed by fire, but that's what they'll be doing Wednesday morning.
    The class is going on a field trip to document houses targeted by arsonists. Arson is a big problem in the downtown area, and the students are doing a photo story on the problem for, a website dedicated to urban blight and beauty.
    The students will not only shoot photos of the destroyed houses, they will also interview neighbors of a few of those houses. Because this is an introduction class, the students won't be 'investigating' the why of the arson problem ... just the what and where.  The intent is to get their feet wet in the photojournalism biz, and to generate discussion on documenting life around them.
    Next week, back in the classroom, they will collectively produce a photo story that will be published on Rust Wire. This team project is a great way for students to learn how to work with other people, and then work together. It's practical experience they couldn't possibly get by reading a textbook.
    They prepared for the project by learning how to:
  • shoot a photo story;
  • select and edit photos using Photoshop;
  • collect and edit sound using Audacity:
  • marry the photos and sound together using Soundslides, an audio/slideshow software.
    The students work in teams throughout the process. All of them will shoot, but then they are divided into teams. One team will capture and edit the audio; a team will write the captions and design the title and end slides; and another team will put the show together using Soundslides.
    The team project began two years ago, and it's so beneficial to the students that it's a mainstay of the course. It's also a great way for Owens to contribute to the local community. So far, former students have covered the Sunshine Home, Cherry St. Mission and Bittersweet Farms.
    The URL link to the arson story will be posted on this blog when it's published on Rust Wire.

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