Thursday, February 8, 2018

Owens Visual Storytelling students collaborate on OCCR station jingle

   As the faculty adviser to the Owens Outlook online student newspaper for half a decade, I've experienced a regeneration or two. But we keep getting back on our feet.
   So it's with excitement that I announce we are in yet another rejuvenation, but I'm confident this one is the beginning of a golden era for students who will walk through the Outlook Student Media Center door for years to come.
   Back in Room 156 (a great space we used to share with student government, then were moved out to two other locations) in the Fine & Performing Arts Center on the Perrysburg Owens Community College campus, we now have a media center manager, Rob Thomas, and an OCCR radio manager, Herbey Adkinson. These two gentlemen will help keep the center going.
   The biggest change is that the Owens Outlook is now sharing space with the OCCR station, and eventually with the new television component. This is possible because of the new Broadcast and TV Technology majors.
   As part of this new collaboration, we are rebranding, which is why these students in the video were recording a new jingle for our show, Voices of Storytelling podcast, which debuts on the OCCR station next Thursday between the 2-3 p.m. hour. It will be a weekly 15-minute podcast, recorded and produced the Visual Storytelling students.
   There is much to do: rewrite the student media policy manual; redo the student staff application; rebrand the media center and its components; recruit, recruit, recruit; train, train, train. Then what we do best - write, photograph and broadcast! 
   So stay tuned for what's to come, and listen to that jingle on our OCCR station!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Best Practice: Posting images to your social media accounts

   Congratulations! Many of you have recently created your first social media accounts, establishing yourselves as published visual storytellers.
   You will be required to regularly post on social media for three primary reasons: 
  • Create a visual portfolio
  • Build a following
  • Earn a grade (I grade off of your SM posts) 

   Throughout the semester on this blog I’ll be posting Best Practices sheets, which are guidelines and tips to help you accomplish your assignments faster and easier. 
   However, I want to stress here that there are many ways to get things done, so my way isn’t necessarily the best way. Ultimately, do what works best for you.
   The first Best Practices tip is a series of steps to help guide you when posting a photo(s) to your Instagram and Twitter accounts:
  1. Select your chosen photo in Photo Mechanic (Be picky! Quality over quantity, always)
  2. Write the AP style caption in Photo Mechanic. Include #hashtags and photo credit
  3. Edit the photo in Photoshop (simple crop and correction of color/exposure issues)
  4. Post the photo to your blog. It will retain the caption
  5. To post on Instagram and Twitter, follow these steps:
  • Copy the caption and email the photo and caption to yourself
  • Open email. Select all and copy.
  • Save Image(s)
  • Go to Instagram on your phone and click the + option
  • Select the photo. You can choose a filter as long it doesn’t change the content of the image
  • Paste the caption in the text area
  • Add required and appropriate #hashtags
  • Share to Twitter (and Facebook). This way you don’t have to go to Twitter and do it all over again

Friday, January 5, 2018

Welcome to a learning space maintained for my photojournalism students

Covering an Obama campaign rally.
   This blog is especially beneficial to my students in the Visual Storytelling (Owens Community College), Digital Photojournalism (Wayne State University) and Teaching Multimedia (Kent State University) classes.
   Because I am teaching all three courses this semester, there will be mixture of content. Some posts will be for all classes, and some will be class specific. I will indicate those posts that are specific, but it won't hurt to read all posts. After all, every lesson offers something you might want to learn!
   I strongly suggest thoroughly scrolling through this blog in the next few weeks to become familiar with the content posted in past semesters.
   There is also a search bar that's pretty handy when you want to look for something specific, like shutter speed and f/stop controls and social media tools. Another cool feature is the archive box in the upper right corner. When we get to a certain lesson, I change the featured archived story to coincide with that lesson, like my Camtasia Studio video tutorials I created just for the Teaching Multimedia students! This way I don't have to rewrite a blog post. Why reinvent the wheel?
   Please check out this website at least once a week. But don't worry, if I want you to read a current post that corresponds with a particular lesson, I'll provide the link in that assignment module.
   Thank you for caring about journalism, and read on!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Storify Lesson: What is Photojournalism?

   Welcome to King's Klass Blog, a supplemental space for instruction throughout the semester.
   Whether you are in the WSU Digital Photojournalism, OCC Visual Storytelling or KSU Teaching Multimedia courses, you will find useful information that relates directly to your courses, so bookmark this blog and view it often.
   This Storify lesson is your first tutorial of the semester. I hope you enjoy it!
(This lesson stops after the 'what is a beat' content. It actually goes a little further, so click on the link to view the whole lesson. I'll be covering this in class, as well)

Friday, September 22, 2017

In Pictures: WSU and Owens students learn about motion, depth of field

Owens Community College students  learn how to properly hold a camera. (Photo by Hanssel Martinez-Guerra)

Talking about the relationship between shutter speed and motion. (Photo by Hanssel Martinez-Guerra)
Wayne State University students learn about shooting for shallow and wide depth of field during class.
The Wayne State University Digital Photojournalism class of Fall 2017.  

Monday, September 4, 2017

Changes are aplenty for the Owens Outlook online student newspaper

    Last semester the Owens Outlook online student newspaper was dormant.
    That happened because my Visual Storytelling class (which is basically the student newspaper staff) was cancelled due to low enrollment. Since I wasn't teaching at all on campus (the first time that’s happened for me at Owens in 12 years),  the Owens Outlook didn’t have an adviser (I was the adviser), and without an adviser (or the Visual Storytelling class) there was no newspaper.
   Thus, the Owens Outlook website was frozen in time. The last article posted dates back to Dec. 7, 2016, and it's still there.  
   Now I’m back, with a small class of six. But there are a few changes to report.
1. I am no longer the adviser to the Owens Outlook. In fact, there won’t be a primary academic adviser at this point. The responsibility for student media will be shared, though I have no clue of the details.
Our first published photo this semester from Visual Storytelling student
Cameron Reef. Each student will now be able to upload their stories and
photos onto the backend of the website. 
2. The Owens Outlook office is being moved from its current space, Room 156 in the SHAC, to across the hall, in the Block Student Government and News Center. Yes, you read that right. That office used to house both the student newspaper staff and the student government, and there is a huge banner sign saying the Block Student Government and News Center above the office door to prove it. That phrase “sleeping the enemy” comes to mind, though the student government is certainly not our enemy…. but you get the point.
   When I became the new adviser to the Outlook about four years ago, I fought like hell to break us up. So we were moved into a spacious office in the Law Enforcement building across the street. Loved the office but hated the location ... for two reasons: Again, we shared space with an entity we report on; and we were detached from the Center for Fine & Performing Arts building, where the Visual Storytelling classroom is located. 
   Then a year ago we were moved into the former Student Activities office across the hall from the Block news center. Now we are currently moving back into our original office in Room 156, but student government is now gone, and broadcaster technology majors are moving in with us. The Outlook office has gone full circle.
3. The man who has spearheaded the new Broadcast Technology major, Dr. Michael Sander, was then the chair of the fine and performing arts department. This summer he became the interim dean for the School of Liberal Arts.
   He recently told me that he plans to remain in charge of the Outlook Student Media Center. He has his ideas of how he wants the media center to run, but I don't know what those ideas are yet. This semester could include a few game changers. But one thing is for sure, Sander is committed to keeping the Owens Outlook alive, and I am very relieved about that.
   I was also relieved that he decided to retain the Outlook name for the media center, considering the Outlook has been a part of campus student-produced news coverage for decades, and now will remain so. Yes, changes are certain, and I hope that's a good thing.
   So, with my little staff of six Visual Storytelling students and broadcast majors to help produce the content on the Owens Outlook student newspaper, we will soon be back in business.
   However, we can’t do it without the assistant of Katie Buzdor, the former longtime student editor-in-chief. Katie has graciously agreed to train the student staff on the backend of the website, as well as be an editor in some capacity. We need to soak up as much information from her as possible this semester since it’s her last … she graduates in December!
   We will all figure out how to handle the production of the newspaper moving forward, so stay tuned.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Taking the Wayne State COM 2280 Digital Photojournalism course?

Then read this Q & A ...
Q:  Why do I have to take this course? I’m a journalist/PR specialist, not a photojournalist.
A:  This course is necessary because at some point in your career you probably will be asked to take your own photos. Unfortunately, staff photojournalism jobs are dwindling each year, leaving journalists to pick up the slack with point and shoot cameras and cell phones. Despite their lack of photography experience, journalists are being tasked (and sometimes forced) to produce their own images. The only way to combat poor photo quality and legal/ethical issues is to offer courses like COM 2280, which is designed to prepare you for the inevitable.
Winter 2017 COM 2280 class
Also, even if you never take another photo for your job, this class will help you understand the photographers you will work with, for, or who will work for you.

Q: How hard is this course?
A:  Moderately difficult. This course is designed to give you basic photojournalism skills to prepare you to work in 21st Century journalism newsrooms and public relations offices. It is a practical-skills driven course, meaning you will practice what you learn. 

You will be introduced to camera operations, and a few of the industry standard software used in the field, like Photo Mechanic, Photoshop and Adobe Premiere CC. So yes, expect a steep learning curve on a few assignments and exercises.
   The two most important tips I can give you are to pay attention and keep up. Please be fully engaged in every lesson, even if you’ve already been exposed to photography and some of the digital editing tools. After all, practice makes perfect (I never say perfect in this course) precision. Once you think you know it all, you stop learning and improving.

Q: How can I get an A?
A: I understand most students expect an A in every class they take. That’s human nature. But it’s not realistic. If you don’t earn an A, don’t fret. Remember that you are learning the building blocks of a very technical profession. Practice and opportunity in the field are what truly matters, not an A in a single class. Trust me, editors don't care much what your grades are when hiring; what matters is your portfolio of work and social media presence.
That said, here are several ways that will NOT earn you an A:
·       Tell me you need an A because you have a perfect GPA so far. If you want an A, you have to earn it with great attendance; zero missed assignments; good class participation; and a willingness to climb out of your comfort zone.
These are what I look for when determining good grades:
·       Nearly perfect attendance
·       No more than one missed assignment and zero missed quizzes
·       Willingness to help your classmates
·       No fear of asking questions when you don’t understand something
·       Pay attention to the little details, like spelling, AP styles, blog design, etc.
·       Redo less-than-stellar assignments
·       A good attitude

Warning: It is possible to get a D or flunk this course. Believe it or not, one or two students flunk every semester; not because their work sucks, but because they give up! It's true! They simply stop showing up, or stop shooting. Seriously, all you have to do is miss a lot of classes and homework assignments to earn Ds and Fs. 
Of course, I don’t like dishing out Cs and below, but I won’t give credit where it’s not due. It’s only fair to those students who worked hard throughout the course.

Good luck this semester!