JMC 197 | Intro to Photo and Video |Fall 2019 | AUBG JMC |Professor Jodi Hilton
Classroom: BAC 101 (MacLab)
Course time: Monday 9-12
Office hours: Monday and Tuesday 12-1 or by appointment


Syllabus is subject to change. 

  • Course Description
    This is a skills-based course which introduces students to the fundamentals of photography and the camera, using digital SLRs as both still and video cameras as a communications tool.

The skills developed in this class willsupport more advanced visual courses in the JMC major, but the course is opento all beginners wanting to learn to use a camera.

Students can expect to learn camerafunctions as well as use of composition, light and moment to create visuallystrong and interesting images including portraits, storytelling and actionphotographs and video. We will discuss trends in photo and video journalism andwill use photo and video editing software.

  • Learning Objectives ​
  • Manage the basic technical skills involved in photography and DSLR video
  • Think in terms of imagery, and analyze the visual impact of their work;
  • Prepare and present their skills to their peers and professors.
  • Course Readings/Materials
    Use of assigned instructional videos and online resources to enhance learning of camera and software skills.

Short readings will be assigned forsome themes in the course and you may be asked to watch videos. 

We will a private Facebook group for theclass which you are expected to join and follow. All assignments andannouncements will come through Canvas or through AUBG email. You are expectedto read and respond to messages received and follow and upload assignments onCanvas.

Warren’s book Photography willbe on reserve in the BAC Library. You will be expected to read and study somespecific pages from that book. 

Resources and suggested materials:
Adobe Lightroomtutorials 
MediaStorm projects
Adobe Premiere Toolkit
Bulgarian Photography Now
Langford's Basic Photography
Nat Geo’s Guide toPhotography 

  • Equipment
    Note: It is not necessary to own a camera to complete the tasks involved in this course but it will be easier if you do. For this course, we will be using DSLR cameras with ability to control all functions manually, a medium zoom lens or approximately 3 lenses (wide, medium and long) or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. Cameras and related equipment are available to borrow for up to two days from the OCC (MB Room 118)

You will need to own a 1 TB USB-hardexternal hard drive for this course (Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital areall known brands) which should be formatted EXFAT. You should bring yourhard drive to class as well as your camera, if you own one.

Students will use the MacLab and theAdobe software suite to edit and process images and video. 

  • Course Requirements 
    Working in the media industry involves meeting critical (and often fast deadlines). Your ability to meet deadlines is important training for real-world situations. In this class, you will be expected to turn in your work on time. Your ability to do so contributes to your overall grade for the course. Homework assignments must be submitted to the instructor by the indicated deadline. No late assignments will be accepted, except in extenuating circumstances (illness, for example) and this needs to be arranged with professor over email.

Attendance is mandatory, because studyingphotography is a hands-on experience and much of the learning takes placeduring class discussions and critiques.

Assignments should be submitted to Canvasby 7 pm on the day before class time unless directed otherwise.

You are responsible for backing up allyour original raw files on your hard drive in an organized way.

Folders should be named according todate_theme_type

i.e 010919_composition_raw

and all your selected and toned jpgfolders in a separate folder


Your selected images should be filed toCanvas during the course, unless directly otherwise. All images should beproperly captioned according to AP Style (who, what, where, when) in the IPTCmetadata fields. 

You should also bring your assignmentsto class on hard drive. 

  • Grading
    Assignments- 40 (these are pass/fail, ungraded)
    Class Participation- 10
    Midterm Project– 20 points
    Final project – 30 points 
    Extra credit assignments – 1-2 points each

  • Course policies/Procedures
    There will be one graded midterm project in photography and one graded final project, which will be in video in addition to weekly homework assignments which will be pass/fail. The assignments are time intensive, so plan accordingly. You will be expected to be a problem-solver and self-learner as well. This means you will need to seek resources, including online training videos, in order to fill any gaps in your knowledge or class learning. The class will be focused on camera techniques and concepts and a limited introduction to relevant software. Students are expected to pursue resources to improve their fluency with software (especially Lightroom, Premiere) on their own, using Adobe tutorials.

The photo assignments should be shot inRAW and saved on your hard drive in a folder labeled according to date andassignment.

Final selected images for eachassignment should be exported as JPG at 1500 PPI and uploaded to Canvas alongwith your self-critique. The procedure for this will be explained in class.Photographs should be fully captioned in the file info fields (IPTC). Allassignment photos should be captioned according to AP style.

All homework submissions should beaccompanied by a self-reflection (2-4 paragraphs where students analyze andcritique their own work) unless directed otherwise.

Size:  Set to export images at 1500PPI (on the longest side)



Caption example: Borislav Georgiev works at the café at the AUBG Student Centerin Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. Georgiev has been employed as a café worker for twoyears. Photo/Jodi Hilton

Assignments that are not submittedcorrectly will not be accepted.

Late assignments will be deducted by 50%.

An additional copy of your selectedimages should be brought to class on external memory either USB thumb drive orhard drive. You are responsible for saving, organizing and archiving yourimages on your own computer, hard drive or backup cloud. Please do not saveimages or media on the computers in MacLab unless instructed otherwise.

8. Academic Honesty and Professional Integrity
You are expected to be familiar with and adhere to AUBG’s policies aswritten in the Student Handbook. Violating university policies means you willbe subject to the consequences outlined in the handbook. These may includefailing the course or being expelled from the course or the university. If you plagiarize or fabricate material for this course,you will receive an F. IMPORTANT: the rules of journalism apply to thiscourse. For this reason, you cannot alter images and reporting work must beverifiable and true.

Your instructor:
Jodi Hilton is an Americanphotojournalist and graduate of Colorado College and University of Missouri’sSchool of Journalism. She started off as a news photographer, producing news,feature, sports and photo stories for Chicago (USA) area newspapers. She hasbeen a freelance (independent) photojournalist since 2001.  She’s producedphotographs and stories for US and European media outlets, NGOs andinternational organizations. She’s the co-founder of The Children’s PhotoWorkshop (for refugee children) and the founder/moderator of the Balkan PressClub, a logistics site for media practitioners across the region ofSoutheastern Europe. From 2010-2014 she lived and worked primarily in Turkeyand the Middle East. Since 2014 she’s focused on Southeastern Europe and TheBalkans. She’s a co-recipient of grants from The Pulitzer Center on CrisisReporting and The Robert Bosch Foundation Cross Border Reporting Grant. Herwork was exhibited in Turin, Italy as part of the exhibition In PrimaLinea: Women Photojournalists in War(2016) and in Tel Aviv, TheHuman Body as a Work of Art (2017).Her work is represented byNurPhoto Agency in Italy.

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