Essays and Stories

As promised, here are the links we looked at in class today …

Sleeping Cars – This is the hashtag on Instagram started by Gerd Ludwig.

Diners – This is Riley Arthur’s story about disappearing diners in New York.

Trees – We did not look at this, but it’s an interesting approach to telling the stories of trees around the world and how people interact with them.

Porches – This is Wayne Lawrence’s look at African-American life on porches.

Harlem Jazz Clubs – A look inside by Gerald Cyrus.

Lumberton, North Carolina – This is a massive piece looking at how one town has suffered through two massive hurricanes.

And a reminder, March 19 at 12 noon is when you need to have your first essay take in. Don’t dally and I’m happy to hear ideas.

ASSIGNMENT: The Portfolio

Your portfolio is a collection of 20 images shot this semester that show what you have learned and experienced. You should show a good balance between all of the types of photojournalism we have explored – features, news, sports, portraits, packages and event coverage.

Technical excellence should be demonstrated – if it’s not sharp, don’t put it in. If it’s not properly exposed, don’t put it in. Strong compositions and moments are also necessary – these 20 images should stop people in their tracks, get them to linger and ponder, foster curiosity. Check your captions ruthlessly – you know the format, don’t cut corners or make mistakes. State names should be spelled out and every image must have IDs and contact information. If it does not, that image will not be considered as part of your portfolio.

As for the balance of images, up to five can come from the Georgia National Fair workshop. You can have other packages of up to three images, but you must have at least five stand alone images.

In addition to the 20 images, please include a statement about why each image is in your portfolio. This is a simple document, just a sentence or two on why each images is being included. Think carefully about the images you select and this will come easily – it’ll also prepare you for portfolio critiques as editors will almost always want to know why you included certain images. It should also get you thinking about why you are, in fact, including these images – if you can’t articulate it clearly and concisely, why is it in here.

For those of you finishing the program, your equipment is due back during your exit interview. Please make sure everything is in your kit when you bring it in. I need to clean and check everything to get it ready for the new kids in January, please let me know if there are issues.

Your kit is comprised of:

  • Canon EOS 80D with strap and body cap
  • Two-three batteries
  • Battery charger
  • 16-35 with filter, hood and two caps
  • 50 with filter and two caps
  • 70-200 with filter, hood and two caps
  • Two 600 batteries (with tinted domes if they are RT II models)
  • Off camera shoe cord
  • Domke bag

Anything else you have checked out is due back in, as well.

As for the deadline … the syllabus says you have until December 8, so the eLC drop box will close at 5 p.m. on that day. Absolutely no portfolios will be accepted late.

The Photo Cave will be open from 9-12 on Friday if you want to come in and hang out.

You all should have gotten an invitation for your exit interview and been mailed the schedule.

ASSIGNMENT: Executive Portrait

We are moving the deadline for the Executive Portrait assignment to Tuesday, November 27, at 12 noon.

This is a single portrait of an executive – a senior management type person, someone who spends their days primarily behind a desk or in meetings. This is not an environmental portrait, the image should give a sense of leadership without depending upon visual cues.

You must light this with either the lighting kit or your strobes – note the plural there. You can use the reflector from intro to create a larger light source like an umbrella or soft box. You should plan on having an assistant or two to help you manage the lights (unless you choose to invest in a couple of light stands now, which I would recommend).


Here’s the breakdown on your midterm elections stories.

The Issue

  • Notify via Slack channel by 12 noon on Friday, October 19
  • Due on eLC by 8 a.m. on Monday, October 29

The Campaign

  • Notify via Slack channel by 12 noon on Friday, October 26
  • Due on eLC by 8 a.m. on Monday, November 5

NOTE: Either the Issue or the Campaign story has to have an audio component to it.

The Candidate

  • Notify via Slack channel as soon as you know who and when you’ll be covering them
  • Due on eLC by 8 a.m. on Tuesday, November 7 (Those covering the major candidates in election will have to file to Newsource during the evening before.)

Questions, comments or concerns, send them along as always.

ASSIGNMENT: The SonicIDs at the Fair

So here’s the deal on the SonicIDs … you’ll each need to produce one during the day. You’ll interview someone in the field asking them what the fair means to them. You can ask follow-up questions if you need to, but your voice will not be in the final piece.

When editing your audio, the only thing that should be in the file is them answering the question – they do not need to identify themselves, we’ll handle that in graphics.

You will edit the audio and combine it with 2-3 photos – remember, you’re aiming for a 30 second piece. Straight cuts on the photos, no transitions – but make sure the timing matches a break in the audio. Export it as a QuickTime file at 1920 x 1080 resolution. You’ll drop that on the USB drive (named with the date code, your initials, “_SonicID_” and then their last name).

You’ll need to email me with their full name and where they are from. I’ll do the final graphics work on it and decide which (and where) to post them. If you want me to tag you, send me your Twitter and Instagram handles when you send the email.

Deadlines as follows:

  • Team H-M – 12:00 p.m.
  • Team B-W – 3:00 p.m.
  • Team H-C – 7:00 p.m.
  • Team C-L – 10:00 p.m.

ASSIGNMENT: Visualizing the Fair

Links to Fair Photos

(I’ll be updating this post with more links as we approach the weekend, keep checking back.)

The Georgia National Fair web site.

Another gallery as posted to the Macon Telegraph, this is a mix of our kids’ work and the Telegraph’s.

Images from last year’s workshop are up on the Grady Newsource site.

Allison Duncan at The New York Times spent a day at the Minnesota State Fair trying to eat her way through the day.

The Dallas Morning News had their staff photographers cover the Texas State Fair with just their smartphones.

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s galleries of the Minnesota State Fair.

The Atlantic’s InFocus on the 1964 World’s Fair and the 1939 World’s Fair

Mashable’s look at the 1964 World’s Fair

Jim LoScalzo took a look at Iowa county fairs.

World’s Fair galleries from Life magazine.

David Bowman has done several projects on fairs, worth taking a look at.

Calming Ways and Sharp Eyes

Over at The New York Times Lens blog, David Gonzalez looks back at the first African-American woman to be a staff photographer there. Ruby Washington, a South Georgia native, died earlier this year.

“The temperature would go down a couple of degrees because she had that nice, calming way and was nonthreatening with a ready smile,” Ms. (Nancy) Weinstock said, echoing the remarks of her colleagues on social media. “She would observe, step back a little, and she was very observant. She would see before shooting. She wasn’t one to shoot from the hip.”

Worth some time to look at her work.

Don’t forget that we have Kevin Ames in class on Wednesday – make sure you’ve studied his work and background.

State Fair Images

Here are some links to state fair packages worth looking at, I may update this from time to time.

Newbie at the Minnesota State Fair – New York Times

Seeing the State Fair of Texas through the iPhones of Our Staff Photographers – Dallas Morning News

Iowa’s County Fairs – Jim Lo Scalzo

2017 Georgia National Fair Coverage – UGAVJ

New York State Fair –

I suspect there will be some politicians, thoughts on how how this visit was handled?