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Monday, September 15, 2014

NOLA 2014

Photo Slideshow Assignment

Razor at Ground Zero
Each student will establish an account on the photo-sharing website Picasa for the Web.  This account should then be linked to your Blogger and other Google accounts. After establishing your account use a digital camera to take photos with a common theme or of an ongoing or breaking news event. Upload 6-12 photos to your Picasa account, write appropriate extended cutlines for each photo, map each photo and then create a photo slideshow. Upload your slideshow to your blog with an appropriate headline. The photos and cutlines should tell your story without the need for additional text. The deadline for this assignment is Monday, September 22nd at 5 pm.

The photo slideshow below is composed of photos I took on a road trip to Memphis, Nashville and Clarksdale.

Step by step instructions on how to set up a photo slideshow using Picasa on the Web.

  1. Log into all your Google accounts.
  2. Either insert the cable supplied with your camera to the USB port on your computer or insert your SD disc into your computer. 
  3. Open the photo in PhotoShop, click on the Crop tool.
  4. For the purposes of this slides show make each photo horizontal For a horizontal photo, set the width in the top control bar to 900px (not inches) and the height to 600px. 
  5. Set the resolution to 72dpi
  6. Crop the image.
  7. Use the Save for Web option under the File menu.  Select .jpg as the format and save your file
  8. Second Option: Open up Photo Gallery on your computer and import the photos you choose or drag and drop the photos from your SD disc onto a disc on your computer. You may use Photo Gallery to crop and adjust the images. Every image needs to be downsized. To do this hit the Properties/ Resize button and resize each image to small.
  9. Once you have collected all your photos open Picasa on the Web. You may have to type in while logged into your Google account to get to the proper area of Google. The photo section of Google+ is not what you want. Once you get to Picasa on the Web hit the upload button and upload your photos to a new folder.
  10. Give the folder a name and give each photo a caption. Make sure the album is available to the public.
  11. Hit photo locations and drag each photo onto a location on Google maps.
  12. Hit “link to this album” button on the right and then hit the Embed Slideshow button.  Choose the size of your slideshow and check the show captions box. Copy the HTML code out of the yellow box.
  13. Go to your blog and hit new post and then the HTML button. Paste the raw code in the window and then hit the compose button. The slideshow should appear.  

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Rule of Thirds

Before you start working on your first photo assignment you should be familiar with the rule of thirds. The basic principle behind the rule of thirds is to imagine breaking an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so that you have 9 parts. With this grid in mind the ‘rule of thirds’ now identifies four important parts of the image that you should consider placing points of interest in as you frame your image.It also gives you four ‘lines’ that are also useful positions for elements in your photo.

To the left is a photo I took in New Orleans. You can see that the main point of interest occurs at one of the intersections on the grid.

The theory is that if you place points of interest in the intersections or along the lines that your photo becomes more balanced and will enable a viewer of the image to interact with it more naturally. Studies have shown that when viewing images that people’s eyes usually go to one of the intersection points most naturally rather than the center of the shot – using the rule of thirds works with this natural way of viewing an image rather than working against it. It is easy in Photo Gallery to check if your photo is following the rule of thirds by hitting the crop button that will place a grid like this on your photo. Then you can adjust the image correctly by cropping out portions of the photo you don't want. Here is another webpage that goes into a more detailed explanation of the rule of thirds and gives you more examples.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Capturing Photos for Backpack Journalists

Monday we are going to be talking about shooting photos with a basic point and shoot digital camera. Here is a link to an article with some advice on how to use these kinds of cameras for mobile journalism. The camera that I have purchased for class is a Canon PowerShot ELPH 110HS. Here is a link to a getting started guide for the camera and here is a link to the entire camera manual. Take a look at the article and the manuals and we will talk about them on Monday. By the way you will have to purchase a SD digital memory card for class. I would suggest you get one that holds at least 8 GBs. You can buy them at the bookstore but they will be cheaper if you go to Best Buy or even Rite Aid or you can buy one online. You will need the memory card next week to complete the photo assignment.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Links to class blogs-Fall 2014

I would suggest you keep track of what everyone else in the class is doing. I have supplied links to the blogs of everyone in the class so you can find them easily.

Linking Exercise

Your editor has asked you to write a brief  backgrounder presenting the contrasting points of view about a controversial topic. He/she wants you to write a 300-500 word synopsis which includes at least 6 links in the text which represent background, context or some other interesting information he/she should know.  Please post your synopsis on your blog site by 5pm on September 15th. Then post links on the class Facebook page and on Twitter with the appropriate hashtag.  Be prepared to talk about the links you chose and the topic in general on Monday night.

Laura-Should people remain virgins until they are married?
Bonni-Does access to condoms prevent teen pregnancy?
Jennifer- Should we remove the Electoral College system in presidential elections?
Ryan D.-Should we ban drug testing in the workplace?
Autumn-Should gambling be made illegal everywhere in the US?
Ryan H.-Should we legalize physician-assisted suicide?
Rachel- Should we ban and make illegal the possession of all handguns?
Miles-Should men get paternity leave from work?
Bridget-Should animals be used for research?
Karleigh-Should we get rid of all affirmative action legislation?
Jillian-Should governments censor material on the world wide web?
Janelle-Should cigarette smoking be banned?
Zach-Should creationism be taught in schools?

Here is an example from a previous class for you to peruse.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Blogging, Online Sources and Linking

As promised, here are your viewing and reading assignments for next Monday.

First, take a look at this video about mobile journalism. It reiterates a lot of what we already discussed but I thought you might like to see another point of view.


For Monday I would like you to read these brief articles related to writing blogs, evaluating online sources and the use of linking in your blog posts.

Here is a blog post with some informal advice about writing good blog posts.  10 Tips for Writing a Blog Posts

Here is a pdf with a convenient check list for evaluating online sources that you might use. We will talk more about online research and online sources in class. Evaluating Online Sources

Here are some brief articles about the use of linking. Read them and come to class with an opinion about the use of linking in online journalism. Here are the links:  Why we link: a brief rundownIs linking to news journalism?What Every journalist needs to know about linking.