Sunday, August 20, 2017

Taking the Wayne State COM 2280 Digital Photojournalism course?

Then read this Q & A ...
Q:  Why do I have to take this course? I’m a journalist/PR specialist, not a photojournalist.
A:  This course is necessary because at some point in your career you probably will be asked to take your own photos. Unfortunately, staff photojournalism jobs are dwindling each year, leaving journalists to pick up the slack with point and shoot cameras and cell phones. Despite their lack of photography experience, journalists are being tasked (and sometimes forced) to produce their own images. The only way to combat poor photo quality and legal/ethical issues is to offer courses like COM 2280, which is designed to prepare you for the inevitable.
Winter 2017 COM 2280 class
Also, even if you never take another photo for your job, this class will help you understand the photographers you will work with, for, or who will work for you.

Q: How hard is this course?
A:  Moderately difficult. This course is designed to give you basic photojournalism skills to prepare you to work in 21st Century journalism newsrooms and public relations offices. It is a practical-skills driven course, meaning you will practice what you learn. 

You will be introduced to camera operations, and a few of the industry standard software used in the field, like Photo Mechanic, Photoshop and Adobe Premiere CC. So yes, expect a steep learning curve on a few assignments and exercises.
   The two most important tips I can give you are to pay attention and keep up. Please be fully engaged in every lesson, even if you’ve already been exposed to photography and some of the digital editing tools. After all, practice makes perfect (I never say perfect in this course) precision. Once you think you know it all, you stop learning and improving.

Q: How can I get an A?
A: I understand most students expect an A in every class they take. That’s human nature. But it’s not realistic. If you don’t earn an A, don’t fret. Remember that you are learning the building blocks of a very technical profession. Practice and opportunity in the field are what truly matters, not an A in a single class. Trust me, editors don't care much what your grades are when hiring; what matters is your portfolio of work and social media presence.
That said, here are several ways that will NOT earn you an A:
·       Tell me you need an A because you have a perfect GPA so far. If you want an A, you have to earn it with great attendance; zero missed assignments; good class participation; and a willingness to climb out of your comfort zone.
These are what I look for when determining good grades:
·       Nearly perfect attendance
·       No more than one missed assignment and zero missed quizzes
·       Willingness to help your classmates
·       No fear of asking questions when you don’t understand something
·       Pay attention to the little details, like spelling, AP styles, blog design, etc.
·       Redo less-than-stellar assignments
·       A good attitude

Warning: It is possible to get a D or flunk this course. Believe it or not, one or two students flunk every semester; not because their work sucks, but because they give up! It's true! They simply stop showing up, or stop shooting. Seriously, all you have to do is miss a lot of classes and homework assignments to earn Ds and Fs. 
Of course, I don’t like dishing out Cs and below, but I won’t give credit where it’s not due. It’s only fair to those students who worked hard throughout the course.

Good luck this semester!