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Week 2 Monday


  1. Textbook: Catch up with the readings once you have the textbook. We will do a short-write on chapters 1, 2, and 6 on Wednesday. (You can use the textbook for this activity.)
  2. Reminder: Meet at UW Williams Conservatory (located near 9th and Ivinson green space) at 9 a.m. for Friday’s class. Bring your photo and/or camera!
  3. Working on WordPress- tricks and tricky things?
  4. Today’s content: Photography Basics & Creative Devices
  5. Office hours cancelled today.

Discussion: Working on WordPress

Inspire your peers out by sharing:

  • 3 things that you love about working on WordPress
  • 3 things that you hate about working on WordPress
  • Talk to your neighbors for a bit then let’s talk together.

The Basics of Photography

For the next two weeks, we’ll be working on photography and photojournalism

First things first, we’ll learn about the basics of photography and forever-useful creative devices. While it is great to use a DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera because they produce high-quality photos, you can still capture great photos using your smartphone.

Creative Devices for Composition

Good photojournalism begins with understanding basic composition and design principles. Here’s some easy ways to improve your shots.

Steady Does It: Hold the camera steady by digging your elbows into your chest, placing your elbows on something, using two hands, or leaning against a wall.

Move around to get different angles and perspectives.

Move Around and Get Closer: You need to constantly be moving around to get a variety of good shots. Go on your stomach, your knees, a ladder, or chair. Change your position and your angle. Don’t be afraid to get very close to your subjects.

Use Vertical Shots: Don’t always shoot horizontals, be sure you use vertical shots as well. With some digital cameras, you can automatically save a picture in two ways.

Pick A Focal Point: The automatic focus on point-and-shoot does a good job at focusing on what you desire. If you have a smartphone, you can touch the screen in different places and get different results in terms of focus and light. If you have a DSLR camera, then you can turn out the automatic focus and switch to manual focus.

Light: Natural light provided by the sun is the best light to shoot in.
=> If there is bright sunlight and you’re shooting people who are facing the sun, they may squint and shadows may be cast on their faces. Be sure to avoid those shadows by moving around to find the best angle.
=> If there is bright sunlight and people have the sun behind them, their faces will be dark. You can compensate by using a flash.
=> Noon and mid-day sunlight is typically bad sunlight for photography. Sunrise and sunset light is better. But, partly sunny days provide the best light because it is much softer on skin.

More Composition Tips

Top Composition Tips as outlined by Photography Mad, plus a few more suggestions of my own. Some of these are also mentioned in Ch. 6 in the book as well.

  1. Rule of Thirds: Example
  2. Balancing Elements: Example
  3. Leading Lines: Example
  4. Symmetry and Patterns: Example
  5. Viewpoint: Example
  6. Background: Example
  7. Create Depth: Example
  8. Framing: Example
  9. Cropping (Note: This does not refer to cropping in Photoshop; this refers to compositional cropping when you take the photo): Example
  10. Color: Example
  11. Texture: Example
  12. Establishing Size: Example
  13. Contrast: Example
  14. Focus: Example

Question: Which composition tips do you usually use?

Practice Time! What creative device(s) do these examples use?

Example 1
Example 2
Example 3
Example 4
Example 5
Example 6
Example 7
Example 8
Example 9

Reminders for Wednesday:

  • Everyone please bring a picture that you have taken or a picture you find somewhere for us to analyze together. (Don’t be shy! You do not need to reveal the author of the picture you bring if you prefer not to.)
  • For the short-write, you will reflect on the following three questions:
  1. What are the top 5 tips or information from the Introduction, Ch. 1, and Ch. 2.
  2. What makes photography powerful? What are several ways that we can think about the term “powerful”?
  3. How do you anticipate using photography in your career?

My 3 things-Love:

  • More than 1/4 of all websites use the WordPress content management system (CMS)! This is a very important skill to put on your resume: “Experience with CMS (WordPress)”. Sell it to potential employers!
  • WordPress auto-saves a revision history of all the blocks in a post.
  • The mobile app is very handy for jotting down quick thoughts on the go.

My 3 things-Hate:

  • Blocks are less intuitive that traditional writing software such as Microsoft word.
  • I need to pay for some functions.
  • Less control over the format


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