Feature Assignment

Photography 215
Scott Groller
Fall 2017

Feature Assignment
Due: Wednesday, Nov. 29

Now that we have the tools and processes figured out, let’s make some photographs. For real. Create a photo essay for publication on Cougar News (official) or Canyon Call (unofficial). You will work to reveal an objective but interesting viewpoint within a story which you choose. Your coverage must be visually interesting while fitting both the aesthetic of the subject matter, and your own personal style.

A comprehensive set of images should work just as a film does to provide an establishing shot, some heroes, details, drama, texture and contrast. Several key or meaningful moments should be represented within your story.

You will shoot at least 144 photos for this assignment, and will work hard to keep the style of your work consistent within the story. Create and process your final images so that they hold up individually while holding onto a constant personal style. Above all, your photos must work together to tell the story.

You will turn in:

Your assignment proposal (story choice) on 10/25 via email
Progress summaries consisting of 3-5 captioned images on 11/8, 11/15, and 11/22
All original photos and your final, captioned jpegs on 11/29

Your grade will be based on the following standards:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept
Technical achievement and sophistication in the photography
Visual storytelling using the camera and composition
Success in delivering an engaging and truthful story
Focus on the human element or experience

Students will submit all work in a named folder via StuData. All students must attend the critique.

Photojournalism Paper

Photography 215
Scott Groller
Fall 2017

Photojournalism Paper
Due: November 15th, 2017

It’s one thing to step into the role of a photojournalist for a moment or two. It’s quite another to understand the issues involved with the profession completely, especially as the evolution of the photojournalist has been recently accelerated in the direction of extinction. Changing markets, mediums and technologies have placed pressure on those who act as witness and share their visions of unfolding history.

In an effort to connect deeply with these issues, students will identify a topic for exploration which relates to the changing landscape of photojournalism, and produce an essay. This paper will reveal your perspective on an issue facing shooters while providing the reader with a tour of the history, facts and relevant details.

Optionally, you may elect to choose a photojournalist whose work you admire or respect, and focus your thoughts on their work, their process and their impact on the world. You will have to write the same amount and do the same level of work, but with a different emphasis on photography instead of the news industry.

You will turn in:

Your Topic Choice via email (short description) due Nov. 1st
Your 2 page paper

Grades will be based on the following:

Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept – 50pts
Research of topic and expression of idea – 50pts
Proper formatting and presentation – 50pts

Assignment #2 – Story

Photography 215
Scott Groller
Fall 2017

Assignment # 2 – Story
Due: Wednesday, October 11th

One of the most powerful aspects of photography is the ability to communicate without the use of words. A single image can be used to relate a simple idea or to tell an entire story. A small number of images in a sequence can communicate change and drama. We are constantly being told stories through the mediums of print, television, film and the internet, and often we rely primarily on images to understand the story.

Your next assignment is to develop and create a set of photographs that leads the viewer through a story entirely through visual means. The story is up to you, but it should be dramatic and narrative, and should not simply lead the viewer through a sequence of images, but to reveal change through different story states. Realize that while the idea is important, the images should be strong on their own merits. Your photographs should speak clearly to the viewer by using deliberate compositional elements, and should be technically sound. Sharpness, focus, perspective and lighting should all work together with the subject matter to visually explain the actions of the story.

Create sketches of your story to assist you in making decisions as to camera angle, subject, composition, etc., and to ensure the understanding of your scenes. Use light as a character. Use light to emphasize what you want the viewer to concentrate on.

As the director of this work, you are also responsible for the quality of the acting depicted in your photographs. Make sure your talent is aware of the role they are playing and the idea you are communicating. Be clear, and be dramatic!

You will turn in:

Your ideas/sketches/storyboards
One set of 7-10 outstanding images which tell your story without additional context
Your entire shoot on a flash drive (no deleting).

Your grade will be based on the following standards:

20pts. Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept
20pts. Control of exposure and sharpness to show detail and create mood
20pts. Use of the elements of composition to communicate clearly and intentionally
20pts. Use of light to create clarity, contrast and mood
20pts. Effective storytelling through concept and use of the camera

Work will be critiqued on the day the assignment is due, and all students must attend the critique.

Story and Storyboards

Your next major assignment deals with your ability to tell a story using your camera. Instead of working like a photojournalist for this one, work like a director. INVENT your story.

Think of three short stories that you are able to tell to the viewer through the camera. Get inspired by stories you have heard, miniature sections of larger stories, or get inspiration from the drama of real life. Any way to come up with your ideas, you’ll write one sentence each which describes what the story is. Then pick your favorite of the three and create a storyboard (7-12 frames is good, stick figures is ok) showing how you plan to create each composition to tell your story ONLY through photographs.

Bring in:

Three sentences (one for each story)

One set of storyboards for your story of choice

We will be discussing this work in groups next class meeting.

Assignment #1 – Small Event

Photography 215
Scott Groller
Fall 2017

Assignment #1 – Small Event
Due: Wednesday, September 6th

Your first assignment will be to photograph a real, small, live event. A get-together, a party, a meal, a show, a game if you must – any kind of event will work for this, but you must find a main character to follow and you must tell the story of their role. Essentially this is safe photojournalism in an uncontrollable setting while showing the context.

Do not create light, do not interrupt the event with your camera or presence, and try not to irritate people as you do your job. Do NOT delete anything.

Make at least 36 exposures (more is ok) in raw format, download them to your hard drive using Adobe Bridge and export a selection of 7 jpegs using Adobe Camera Raw. Create a new folder using your full name in our class folder on StuData and add your 7 jpegs to it.

You will turn in your flash drive which will contain 2 folders:
One folder with all raw photos made for this assignment
One folder with processed jpegs of your 7 selects

Your grade will be based on the following:
Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept (20 pts)
Success in learning to achieve correct exposure (20 pts)
Use of the camera to show the subject clearly (20 pts)
Use of light to create clarity and mood (20 pts)
Proper use of software to process raw images (20 pts)

Please be sure to have your name attached to your flash drive using a physical tag. Work will be critiqued at 7pm on Wednesday the 6th, and all students must attend the critique.


Welcome to Photography 215 – Photojournalism/News Photography

This should be a great class.

I’m very glad to let you know that you have homework to do already! This assignment serves several purposes including gathering your contact information and learning about your personal vision for you work, while also forcing you to write a brief but professional paragraph. Ready? Here we go:

Email your instructor as though you are applying for a real, paying internship at a major news outlet. Introduce yourself, describe your interest in photography and in photojournalism in particular, and also communicate your vision for how working for a major news outlet might impact your work. What do you hope to achieve? Provide a link to somewhere this person can find your work online, and lastly provide your full name, email address and phone number (the ones you actually check daily).

As you write, you’ll assume that the recipient knows nothing about you and that you really want to impress them without lying or going overboard. It’s just a paragraph, don’t gush.