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.


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.