JMC 197 | Intro to Photo and Video | Fall 2019 | AUBG JMC |Professor Jodi Hilton
Classroom: BAC 101 (MacLab)
Course time: Monday and Thursday 10:45-12:05
Office hours: Monday and Thursday BAC 308 13:00- 14:00

Syllabus is subject to change.

I. 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 will support more advanced visual courses in the JMC major, but the course is open to all beginners wanting to learn to use a camera.

Students can expect to learn camera functions as well as use of composition, light and moment to create visually strong and interesting images including portraits, storytelling and action photographs. We will discuss historical and current trends in photo and video journalism and will use photo and video editing software.

2. 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.

3. Course Readings/Materials
You should seek out and watch instructional videos and online resources on your own time to learn camera and software skills and solve problems

Short readings will be assigned for some themes in the course and you may be asked to watch videos or listen to podcasts.

We will a private Facebook group for the class which you are expected to join and follow. Class announcements, interesting events and other information will be related on that page.

You will be expected to read the posts and be aware of the information being distributed.

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

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

4. 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-hard external hard drive for this course (Seagate, Toshiba and Western Digital are all known brands) which should be formatted EXFAT. You should bring your hard drive to class as well as your camera, if you own one.

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

5. 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 studying photography is a hands-on experience and much of the learning takes place during class discussions and critiques.

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

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

Folders should be named according to date_theme_type

i.e 010919_composition_raw

and all your selected and toned jpg folders in a separate folder


Your selected images should be filed to the appropriate DropBox folder for the course. All images should be properly captioned according to AP Style (who, what, where, when) in the IPTC metadata fields.

You should also bring your assignments to class on hard drive.

6. Grading
Attendance, class participation- 10 points
Assignments – 60 (4 x 15 each)
Final project – 30 points

7. Course policies/Procedures
There will be at least four assignments in still photography and one final project, which will be in video. The assignments are relatively easy, but in order to execute them well, it will take time, 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 photo assignments should be shot in RAW and saved on your hard drive in a folder labeled according to date and assignment.

Final selected images for each assignment should be exported as JPG and filed to the class DropBox folder. The procedure for this will be explained in class.

An additional copy of your selected images should be brought to class on a USB thumb drive.

Final photographs should be fully captioned in the file info fields (IPTC).

Size: 2500 PPI (on the longest side)

Labeled according to this formula Day/Month/Year_Studentname_Assignmentname_number.jpg etc.
for example 05/05/2019_hilton_portrait_01.jpg

8. Academic Honesty and Professional Integrity
You are expected to be familiar with and adhere to AUBG’s policies as written in the Student Handbook. Violating university policies means you will be subject to the consequences outlined in the handbook. These may include failing 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 this course. For this reason, you cannot alter images and reporting work must be verifiable and true.

9. Your instructor:
Jodi Hilton is an American photojournalist and graduate of Colorado College and University of Missouri’s School of Journalism. She started off as a news photographer, producing news, feature, sports and photo stories for Chicago (USA) area newspapers. She has been a freelance (independent) photojournalist since 2001. She’s produced photographs and stories for US and European media outlets, NGOs and international organizations. She’s the co-founder of The Children’s Photo Workshop (for refugee children) and the founder/moderator of the Balkan Press Club, a logistics site for media practitioners across the region of Southeastern Europe. From 2010-2014 she lived and worked primarily in Turkey and the Middle East. Since 2014 she’s focused on Southeastern Europe and The Balkans. She’s a co-recipient of grants from The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and The Robert Bosch Foundation Cross Border Reporting Grant. Her work was exhibited in Turin, Italy as part of the exhibition In Prima Linea: Women Photojournalists in War (2016) and in Tel Aviv, The Human Body as a Work of Art (2017).Her work is represented by NurPhoto Agency in Italy.

10. Tentative Schedule

­­Week 1: Sept 4

Roll call, paperwork

Intro to Instructor

Intro to Syllabus and Schedule

What is a camera? From pinhole to large format to DSLR to video camera to phone camera. Film> Digital

Optional video: how to make a camera obscura

5 min break

Personality Profile

Group Photo for FB

HW: 1. Download and skim Nat Geo Guide, note any questions you have which we can discuss in class

2. Watch Nikon Videos on camera operation

Week 2: Sept 9-12

9: Workshop [bring camera to class] All about gear.

Camera basics: manual settings, exposure triangle, focus, lens, white balance

Get into groups according to experience. In each group is a teacher and 2 students

Drills (5 min each) set camera to ISO 200 5.6 /250 to start

1. Proper Exposure + -


2. Focus

3. ISO

4. Aperture

5. Lens

Intro to Assignment I. Depth of Field

You will make creative photographs demonstrating your ability to control depth of field using aperture with at least three subjects. Find something interesting! Make it fun!

In order to do this assignment, please first watch/read the following:

Read Warren P. 74-77

Watch video on aperture/shutter speed/ISO

Purchase Hard drive and bring to class along with some test photos we can use in the lab (preferably on memory card)

12: How to

Questions on camera functions

-Format HD

-Lightroom workflow: downloading, ingesting

-AP Style captioning

For preparing files please watch

HW: select and prepare 3 x 5 best images, fully captioned on Flash Drive and uploaded to DropBox

Week 3: Sept 16-19

16: Aperture Assignment due (photos and reflection)

Discussion: which photos were most/least successful, and why

Assignment II. Freeze and Blur

Workshop: Shutter speed

19: Lab: Download/tone/caption images

Optional: editing/sequencing images

Week 4: Sept 23-26

23: Deadline: Freeze and Blur

26: Critique Motion: Freeze and Blur
HW: Read about and watch video on composition

Week 5: Sept 30-Oct 3

Optional flash/lighting workshop

30: Field exercise: Composition scavenger hunt

3: Lab, composition hunt; Assignment III. Composition

Week 6 Oct 7-10


10: Assignments due Wed. Oct. 9 at 7PM, captioned and emailed to professor.

Critique composition in class.

HW: Watch Eli Gardner videos and dissect, 1-2 pages how it was made.


Oct 14-17

14: Time of Day exercise

HW: Bracketing

17: Lab: Bracketing and camera functions continued



2. Personality Profile: Chose one of the following videos from handout and try to imagine how it was shot. Break it down into components which you learned about in the first video and write a 1 page analysis on how you think it was made.

3. Prepare for Vis Language Quiz

Week 8: Oct 21-24

21: Vis Language quiz

Intro to final projects: Personality profile; for Nov. 7, you should have a list of three interesting characters who would agree to be part of your short 2-5 min. documentary and their story.

Bring Cameras and tripods to class

Basics of DSLR video

In-class exercise

HW: Motif Media prep and Indentity, an interactive exhibition, Artivive appинтерактивна-фотоизложба-по-повод-св.html

24: Workshop at workshop: Special Guest: Motif Video: The Video Interview

HW: research and propose three different characters for final projects, write up who you would like to profile and what kind of activity you could film. 1 paragraph “pitch” on each one, specifying “who” and “why should we care” about the person you are considering for your subject.

Week 9: Fall Break


Week 10: Nov. 4-7

4: We go over Pitches for Final Project – who and why should we care?

Pitches due and workshopped in class

What is your reporting plan? What will your final output be?

HW: refine pitches

7: Final Pitches due and approved

Shooting B-Roll and sequences workshop

Week 11: Nov 18-21

Week 12: Nov 25-28

18: Lab: Basics of Premiere: Sequencing video

21: To be decided

Week 13: Dec 2-5

2: Workshop mini docs group feedback and refinements

Dec 3: Mini Docs deadline

Dec 4: Showcase

5: Presentations of Final Projects: Short Doc.

Week 14:

Dec 9: Presentations of Final Projects: Short Doc.

Dec 15: (Exam Period) Presentations of Final Projects: Short Doc. (if needed)

Using Format