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.

As for the deadline … the syllabus says you have until December 13, so the eLC drop box will close at 5 p.m. on that day. As noted in the email I sent, I need your portfolios prior to your exit interviews. If your portfolio is not in by 5 p.m. on December 10, you will not have an exit interview and I’ll calculate your grade based on the syllabus. (I know, it’s not much of a choice, is it?)

ASSIGNMENT: The Intellectual Photographer

We have looked at a lot of images over the last few months and you (hopefully) have been looking at more outside of class. So my question to you is simple: What is the most important photograph ever made?

Due on eLC by 5 p.m. on Sunday, December 2, is a two-page paper explaining why you chose that image. You can submit this as either a Word or PDF file.

ASSIGNMENT: The Entertainers

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Who entertains us? And how? Why do we care about those who bring joy into our world? The effect of entertainers on us is undeniable, but who are these musicians, singers, writers, artisans and designers? What makes them create?

Perhaps that’s the better title for this assignment – The Creators. Think about entertainment in a broad sense, the music scene here is fine but there is so much more art within this community than just those who play an instrument or sing a solid tune.

This collection of three to five images should give us a strong sense of not just what these people do but why and how. Show us the soul, show us the care and concern, show us some of the process but much more of the essence.

In addition to the three to five images, you need to produce one structured, conceptual portrait – something that encapsulates who your artisan is in one frame. You have free reign on this, compose and construct as you see fit.

This is due on the server by 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 28.

ASSIGNMENT: The Executive Portrait


Due on eLC by 12 noon on Tuesday, November 7, is one executive portrait. This is a lit photograph, using at least two lights with modifiers (soft boxes or umbrellas). It should show us a leader in the community. It is primarily about them and not their environment.

Of all places, there’s a decent Pinterest gallery you can look through for ideas. (Note that not all of these are lit, yours need to be.)

Curious about pricing on this stuff? Check out the price list here.

Ben Chapnick at Black Star Rising put together a good post with ideas on how to make better executive portraits.

We will talk more about lighting next week, but you should be spending some time at least reading through David Hobby’s Lighting 101 lessons – that’s a 25 lesson course for free.

Woman At War


There were not a lot of women combat photographers in Vietnam (or most other conflicts), one of the best was Catherine Leroy and Elizabeth Herman has part of her story up at The New York Times Lens blog.

Many consider Ms. Leroy as the most daring of all photographers in Vietnam, and she most likely spent the most time in combat because she needed the money. Being broke meant traveling with soldiers, sharing rations and sleeping in the countryside.

Her’s is an amazing story, worth the time.

Some Flash Tips

In going through your questionnaires, there were a lot of concerns about flash. The fair is not the greatest place to practice though the editors have been apprised of your comments.

Meantime, you should carve out a few hours to read David Hobby’s Strobist blog. (Yeah, he’s the guy your filter kit is named after.)

Mike Haskey recommended starting with this post on balancing flash and ambient.

Hobby also built several self-directed lighting courses, take a look at Lighting 101 and then continue on though the series.

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. They also have a preview story up on this year’s fair.

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

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.

The Syracuse Post-Standard on the New York State Fair

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

World’s Fair galleries from Life magazine.

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

Eyes On