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Visual Journalism: Looking at the other in the age of selfie

Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent

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Overview

This is a course on photography in the digital era. The fact that most of us have some sort of device that captures images in very high quality has empowered us to be able to document our own world. Paradoxically, with the surge of social media, most of us consume photography in extraordinary proportions on a daily basis, but the content on those photographs are often in a highly curated version of people’s “glamorous” lives.

How do you turn your mind and camera away from the “selfie” mode? How do you focus on telling other people’s stories?

By studying the humanistic tradition towards photography with deep roots in the early 20th century, students will document the history of photojournalism and understand how this universal language speaks for itself despite all the technological aspects.

 

Syllabus

Introduction Module: Course Introduction

In the introductory module, you will get an overview of the course structure and meet the instructor.

 

Module 1: The History and ethics of photojournalism and documentary photography

This module will cover:

History of “Humanistic photography”

Great Depression, Spanish Civil War and WWII and role of photography

The golden years of photography in the print media

Ethical standards in the journalistic world

Evolution of the perceptions of photographic reality

Guest Speaker: James Wellford – National Geographic Magazine

 

Module 2: Self portrait vs. Selfie

This module will cover:

The drive to use your own body to tell a story

Looking at the inner world vs. global issues

Developing portrait skills

Guest Speaker: Diana Markosian – Magnum photographer

 

Module 3: The importance of strong visuals and the photobook as an object

This module will cover:

The documentary project from idea to the book/exhibition

Photographic skills in unknown territories

The importance of photobooks as a definitive media of communication

Guest Speaker: Stephen Ferry – American photographer based in Colombia

 

Module 4: Using social network platforms to create outreach

This module will cover:

How to increase your audience on traditional and social media

Creating meaningful work that avoids creating visual noise

How to survive as a photojournalist

Engage with a complete stranger and photograph them

Guest Speaker: Adriana Zehbrauskas – Brazilian photographer based in Mexico

 

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