Photojournalism Course Descriptions

Photojournalists develop photographs which can be used to tell or enhance a story. Courses in photojournalism are usually completed through a full undergraduate or graduate program.

Essential Information

Photojournalism courses are available through bachelor's and master's degree programs in photography, graphic design, journalism and photojournalism. In addition to learning to create written pieces, students get experience using audio, video and other multimedia to tell a story. Such programs often provide students with opportunities to do journalism internships, show off their work at exhibits, create a professional portfolio and complete various projects. Some job opportunities for graduates include freelancing or working as a producer, reporter or editor.

Adobe Photoshop is often covered as photojournalists use such software to edit their pictures and prepare them for use on the Web and in print publications. Other course topics encountered in a related program include sound, website design, layout and design, photojournalism ethics, documentary development, broadcast news and journalism business practices.

Overview of Photojournalism Courses

Degree programs related to photojournalism may include some of the courses that are explained below.

Introductory Photography Course

Basic courses in photography introduce students to the fundamentals of taking professional photographs. Participants take pictures of people and buildings in different lighting situations. They also develop the photos themselves. Techniques for taking black-and-white and color photos are explored. Many programs still primarily use film in the introductory courses, but even those programs incorporate some experimentation with digital cameras.

Beginning Photojournalism Course

Students taking this course gain experience photographing people and events in natural lighting situations. They also practice setting up newspapers' or magazines' page layouts and choosing the photos that best fit the headlines and illustrate the stories. Students taking this class are expected to hand in photos to accompany story headlines or articles. They might also take still photos for feature stories and develop their own captions.

Photojournalism Techniques Course

In this intermediate photojournalism course, students learn how to develop pictures so they come out bright and clear. They take photos in low-light situations to learn how to adjust camera settings to compensate for the lack of light. As in beginning photojournalism classes, students take pictures for a wide variety of stories. Some professors may require that students take pictures at a sporting event to practice movement pictures. Other applications include taking pictures at concerts or of the cafeteria food.

Storytelling Through Photography Course

Advanced photojournalism courses, such as this, rely solely on photographs to tell a story. Students are required to spend a large amount of time with a story in order to accurately photograph what's happening and get enough photos to illustrate a story without words. As with a documentary film, students explore and capture the elements of various situations and use the images to convey meaning. They are also required to find the best way to lay out the photos to further illustrate the story.

Photoshop Course

Everyone takes less-than-amazing pictures sometimes. Through this Adobe Photoshop course, students learn how to edit their pictures to make people look better and prepare the photos for print or Web publication. Students learn techniques for layering photos, to make them richer, and ways to eliminate distracting elements from a photo, such as the flash of another camera in the middle of an otherwise-perfect shot.

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