Monday, October 15, 2012

Feature photography and training with 'dummies'

Instructor James W. Kwasniak DDS scrutinizes student Linda Vaughn's infant CPR technique. (Photos by PHO245/Jen Hannum)
Desirae McDonald gives compressions to simulated choking infant.
   Capturing moments that occur as people go about their routine activities is known as feature photography. 
   For me, this semester means capturing slices of everyday life in the Center for Emergency Preparedness at Owens Community College. I covered  the Healthcare Provider CPR class lead by Peggy Wammes and James w. Kwasniak DDS. The students watched informative videos and then performed the demonstrated techniques on life -size infant dummies. As the students worked with their babies, they simulated the entire process of what they would do if they encountered an unresponsive or choking infant. 
   I learned a few interesting things sitting in on this class. Did you know it's common for babies to choke while eating at a table, and that the rescuer should remember to back away from the table before administering the Heimlich maneuver. This prevents the baby's head from slamming on the table due to the rescuer's blows. Also, it’s more common to encounter an infant not breathing than one whose heart has stopped. 
   Feature photography, although a bit of a challenge in stepping out of my personal comfort zone, is really an exciting type of photography.
Peggy Wammes helps Amanda Skomer with infant CPR as fellow students Margaret Ingram and Kelly Abbott observe.

Kelly Abbott administers compressions to infant "dummy".

Monday, October 8, 2012

Reciprocity is a lesson in camera control

Take note of  the blurry background in this image of a moving vehicle. This effect is achieved by using a slow shutter speed and panning my camera with movement of the vehicle.  (PHO245/Jen Hannum)
The shallow background was achieved by opening my aperture to f/2.8,
which makes the flower the focal point. (PHO245/Jen Hannum)
    I learned a lot about cameras and how they work while studying camera operations in my photojournalism class this week
   Did you know that a fixed lens isn’t defined by whether the lens zooms in or out? It is actually a lens that stays at its minimum aperture (preferably 2.8 or wider) no matter the focal length.
Dividing an image in thirds horizontally and vertically and putting center
of interest at an intersecting point is Rule of Thirds. (PHO245/Jen Hannum)
   We also touched on basic compositional elements, as well as a reminder of how to control our shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to achieve creative control of our images.  Those three controls used together to manipulate light is called reciprocity,which is the process of setting all of the controls on my camera to capture an image with my desired creative outcome, which should be determined in my head before I even put that camera to my face.
   Camera operation is really all about knowing my camera and how to achieve the look I desire in my images not letting the camera decide for me.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Caption writing for photojournalists using AP Style

   Captions are an important part of photojournalism. It’s right there in the word, photoJOURNALISM. A caption is the text accompanying a photo that describes the who, what, when, where, why, and sometimes how about that photo.
   There is also a very specific way to write captions. The AP Stylebook is a tool, used like a dictionary, to look up how to write everything in that specific way. The purpose is to provide a consistent way for photojournalists to give information to those viewing our images.
   It is important that captions are clear, concise, and accurate. There isn’t room to write more information than necessary. Writing AP Style not only helps provide an industry standard, but also helps us give viewers the necessary information to interpret our images.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Knowing the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

Flyer that my Intro to Photojournalism class posted on campus
last week at Owens to celebrate our freedoms.

   Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
   I am pretty sure I have never read the First Amendment in its entirety before taking this Intro to Photojournalism class.
   I was shocked to learn what is and is not included and protected in the First Amendment. I erroneously believed the right to bare arms was a First Amendment right, as did others in my class.
   The 5 rights protected by the First Amendment are separation of church and state, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, right to assemble, and the right to petition.
   The most important of these to a photojournalist is the freedom of the press. It allows for all aspects of all newsworthy situations to be reported. Thus giving people all the information they need to make informed decisions on their own. Knowledge is power, and knowing my rights has made me a better citizen and hopefully a better photojournalist.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

The trend of cell phone photography

Recent picture of sunset taken with my iPhone.
The lesson learned is zooming with camera results
in loss of image quality and size.
   Cell phone photography is one of the leading trends in photography right now.  When you think of the biggest camera manufacturers you probably think of Canon or Nikon, but surprisingly in 2010 Nokia was the leading digital camera manufacturer simply because nearly all cell phones have a camera.
One of the reasons for the trend is because people almost always have their phone with them.  This makes taking a picture more convenient than ever.  Also, since cell phones are everywhere, they have become almost invisible, so getting that candid image has become so unobtrusive that it’s hardly noticed.
   Probably the most important reason that cell phone photography is so popular right now is that image quality is actually quite good. There are so many apps available to enhance your cell phone camera.
   I am looking forward to using my cell phone camera more often.  I am particularly excited about iPhoneography, especially since Apple is expected to announce a new iPhone this week.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Learning about the history of photojournalism

   I found the history of news photography, or “photojournalism” as it came to be called in 1928, very interesting. Image capture has changed a lot since 1877, when photographers used glass slides as film and replicated drawings of those negatives were engraved in zinc plates for the printing press.
   Also, I was surprised to learn that photojournalists’ images even played major roles in our history. For example, disturbing images of children working in terrible conditions helped institute child labor laws.
   Photojournalism was and still is a necessary part of news because it is easy for people to believe that a story is being exaggerated, but as I have always heard, “A picture is worth a thousand words.

My first blog post

   My name is Jennifer Hannum.  I am excited to start a new blog that will be used for my photojournalism class at Owens Community College.  Please join me in this new adventure as I continue to update my blog with whatever new and cool things we are covering in class.