Too often communicators think about images too late, leaving the visuals to a last-minute scramble. This results in overuse of “stock” photography – things you grab in a Google image search or find on Flickr. For your IS project, we want you to think about images early and get some practice capturing photos that advance your story directly.
To do this, we’re going to use a photo assignment developed by Mark Johnson from the University of Georgia – “Places to Faces.” (You can read more about Johnson’s approach here.) It takes you through the wide-medium-tight elements of visual composition that you’ve read about in The Media Handbook.
In week 8, you will submit five original photos related to your IS topic that meet these requirements:
- A Place: This is an establishing shot, usually from a wide perspective. It sets some kind of ground in which your IS sits, emphasizing a place to give your readers a sense of it.
- A Face: This shot establishes a person implicated by your topic in some way. It can be – but does not have to be – a person you’re using as a source. This is almost always going to be a tight shot.
- A Place with Faces: In this wide or medium shot, you’re still focused on a place, but this time it has people in it. The emphasis, though, is on the place.
- Faces in a Place: Now flip it. Again, you have place and faces, but the emphasis is on the latter.
Check out this example from one of Johnson’s students, Brenna Beech, who was covering a monastery.
Your fifth required photo involves the WordPress site you will eventually build. Most design themes for WordPress require a photo with a strong horizontal orientation. So your final photo must be a horizontal shot that illustrates your topic in a meaningful way. You can see what we mean with this shot from past J202 student Megan Otto or this one from Sophia Dramm.
In Week 8 lecture, we’ll go through your photos and discuss them as they relate to various visual communication and composition principles. You’ll then have the opportunity to change your images before they’re graded on your final site.