Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Photography for Writers

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term1 2007

Course Code: COMM5415

Course Title: Refine writing and editing techniques - Photography for Writers

School: 345T Creative Media

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5181 - Diploma of Professional Writing and Editing

Course Contact : Brendan Lee

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 4368 Brendan Lee

Course Contact

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Don Porter – Mobile: 041 850 4004

Nominal Hours: 85

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites

At RMIT Refine Writing and Editing – Photography is delivered and assessed along with the following competencies.
•CUVCOR04A - Originate concept for own work and conduct critical discourse
•CUVCOR13A - Research and critically analyse history and theory to inform artistic practice
•CUECOR01B - Manage own work and learning
•CUSADM03A - Manage a project
•CUVDES05A - Interpret and respond to a brief 

Through the development of these competencies, you gain the skills needed to manage your work and learning while responding to a range of project briefs. You research the work of other writers and photographers and apply your findings to your own work through the development of a concept into a finished work.

Course Description

This unit covers the knowledge and skills required to work with text and digital photography. You learn about the photographic industry while using industry standard software to manipulate and enhance text and photographic images for a variety of purposes and in a range of contexts.

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

VBP553 Refine writing and editing techniques - Photography for Writers

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, you will be able to take photographs and manipulate them in order to support a variety of written text.

Details of Learning Activities

This two semester subject introduces the student to photography and the photographic industry through a study of digital photography.
The process is studied with particular reference to the MacIntosh computer and the Adobe Photoshop program.
This will enable students to increase their knowledge of photography and its place in the publication process and industry.
It aims to equip students with skills and confidence in photography to be able to negotiate with photographers whilst using the Photoshop program to manipuvate and inhance images for a variety of photographic areas and uses. It also includes a research component on an aspect of the photographic ondustry or process which is due in three weeks before the end of the year.
Classes will involve computer laboratory based lectures, workshops and excursions.

Teaching Schedule

Week 1
Introduction to Digital Photography
Outline of course
Scanning from analogue source
What is a Digital Image

Task 1
What to look for in an analogue photograph.
What “tools” to use to vary and enhance your image.
Sizing - Image
Sizing - Canvas
Colour Mode
Brightness / Contrast
Colour Balance
Un-sharp Mask
Take supplied Image, Scan, increase image canvas 2 cm to the right and clone in image to fit, use cloning tool to retouch imperfections.

History Link
Preparation of images for graphics and print
Henry  Fox Talbot, Ansel Adams and Eugene Smith

Week 2
Digital Photography
What’s so different?
A run down on what is so different between the Brownie Box Camera and a Digital Camera.
What are all the camera features?
How do I use the camera?
What Resolution to shoot on?
How do I download my images?
How do I process my images?
(Basic Manipulation – Brightness / Contrast, Un-sharp Masking, Sizing and Resolution.)
Can I improve my images?
(Colour Balance, Curves, Mode Changes)
So what’s so different?
How to use the camera

Task 2
Working in groups, take one hour in the precincts of the building and take at least two images each. Return to lab to download images and manipulate with basic manipulation.

Introduction to Research Project:

Week 3
Daylight to Dark
The influence of the Renaissance
The Reflector
The Tripod
The Portrait / the Product
Intro to PowerPoint
Selecting one image from each student prepare a PowerPoint presentation of today’s shoot

Task 3
Using daylight, take a side lit portrait using card “fill ins”

History Link
Henri Cartier Bresson,

Week 4
What you see could be what was there
Stopping action
Producing movement
In the camera
In the computer
Looking at Photoshop

Task 4
Producing Blur in the computer’s Filter Files

Week 5
The Close-Up
From Copying to Forget-Me-Nots
How to use the close up facility of the digital camera.
How to combine sharpness from foreground to background
(Integrated Image)

Task 5
Using a studio light and a reflector, photograph a product that can be combined with an “outside” background

Week 6
The Camera and how to use it
Digital Photography is not all that different to traditional photography.
The creative element of Looking and Seeing still apply.
All digital cameras have the same basic functions and features. Like all cameras these can be in different positions and have varying effects on the finished image.

History Link
Women Photographers 1
Imogen Cunningham
Margaret Bourke-White

Week 7
Designing with Photography
The design process and how to use it

History Link
Women Photographers 2
Annie Leibovitz
Mary Ellen Mark
Sarah Moon

Week 8
Transposing Design to Artwork
Introduction to InDesign

History Link

Week 9
Chasing Shadows
Using shapes in photographs
Varying your angle of view
Adding Drama to your subject
Photoshop Image – Adjustments – Brightness/Contrast

History Link
Max Dupain

Week 10
The Flexible Ozzie
An Australian view

History Link
Athol Smith
Rennie Ellis

Week 11
Fashion and Art

History Link
Helmut Newton
Sarah Moon

Week 12
The Photojournalist
What is it?
Introduction of
Major Assessment Item
“My Street”
Photographs and Words

History Link
Time Life and National Geographic

Week 13
A World at War
How it works

History Link
Photography in conflict
Robert Capa
W Eugene Smith

Week 14
Nature and landscape
What is the “essence” of a “Subject”

Weeks 15-18
Working on Major assessment Item

Week 19
Intro to Semester’s Program:
Manipulation to perfection
Research Project

Week 20
Making your Picture better

Week 21
Planning the Illustrative Image:
Following the Romanticists

Week 22
Working to a Theme:
For publication or exhibition

Week 23
One–day exercise around Melbourne:
Saturday or Sunday
Developing a Theme as a group
The class time for this week will concern the selection of 10 images from your shoot,
Their manipulation and preparation into a PowerPoint presentation

Week 24
The Business of Photography:
Business Practice from the start
From extra money to the whole thing.

Week 25
Promotion of the Business
Types and Styles of Photography as a Business
Presentations Used by Photographers in the Advertising a Business
General or Specialist.

Week 26
Intro to Major assessment Item
Presentation of Thematic Images:
The Exhibition
The Specialist Book
The Promotion Package

Week 27
Making the selection
Selecting photos from a shoot.
Do they tell the “Story”?

Weeks 28-31
Project work continues

Week 32
Presentation of Research Project

Week 33-36
Working on Major assessment Item

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts

Peach Pit Books – Photoshop


Other Resources


Overview of Assessment

Assessment for this course is ongoing throughout the semester. Your knowledge and understanding of course content is assessed through participation in class exercises, oral presentations and through the completion of practical and written projects.

Assessment Tasks

Semester 1

Assessment Item 1
Product Photograph Assignment
Using daylight or artificial light select and set-up an “object” and photograph it on a blank background. After making the standard image enhances integrate the image in an appropriate “commercial” background

Assessment Item 2
Portraiture Assignment
Personality and Promotional Photography
Using daylight or artificial light, set-up and photograph either an individual or group of people for a photograph to be used on the cover of a CD. Take careful note of the background and allow areas in your composition for heading and body copy to work “with” the pic.

Assessment Item 3
Landscape Photography Assignment
Within the limits of your cameras, you need to incorporate both a living creature and its surroundings.
To ensure the combining of these two elements it maybe necessary to combine two images by Image Integration or by using Paths and layering images.

Assessment Item 4
Illustrative Photography Assignment
Contrived image to a set subject or period

Assessment Item 5
Sports Photography Assignment
Working within the limitations of your camera, capture the “essence” of a chosen sport through action, movement, or style.

Assessment Item 6
Photojournalism Assignment
Produce two double page spreads of photos and copy under the topic of “My Street”.
Numbers of images – at least eight (8)
Final presentation – Photos prepared and presented as high resolution TIF or EPS files, in a layout of two double page spreads in Quark Xpress. The two spreads are then to be converted to Acrobat files for transmission.
The copy is to be about your concept of your street. The magazines that may take up your material will be general interest magazines with a leaning towards the “quirky” side of neighbourhood living.

Semester Two

Assessment Item 1
Manipulation to perfection
Preparing the image you envisaged not what you photographed.
Selection one of your photographs use the various Image Manipulation tools in Photoshop and enhance, or introduce, a greater visually emotional effect in that image. This can be produced in Black and White or Colour.

Assessment Item 2
Painting or Photograph:
The Planning of an Illustrative Image
Researching the way an artist prepares for a painting, prepare a concept image in sketch form.
This form of preparation has been used in photography from the Romanticists, the Dadaists, to modern Advertising and Fine Art exhibition photographers.

Assessment Item 3
PowerPoint Presentation
Working from the images taken on the weekend shoot prepare a PowerPoint Presentation featuring ten selected images

Assessment Item 4
Promotional Device for a Photographic Business
Prepare a concept for a Promotional “Package” for a Photography business

Assessment Item 5
Presentation of Images
The idea of this Major Assessment Item is present a Thematic Selection of Images of your own choosing and combine them in one of a variety of forms presentation.
Exhibition, Book, Web, PowerPoint, etc

Assessment Item 6
Research Project  
This is a year-long activity, it is to be of the student’s own selection based on any Photographic related subject. It can be about the Art or the business of photography. It can be about traditional, or digital, photography. It can be about the processes involved, or the people, or a synthesis of any.
The process should include published materials and where possible interviews with photographers and others individuals involved in related areas such as pictorial agents, gallery owners, art directors, graphic designers, publishers, etc.
The final project should be in the form of an essay of 1500 to 2000 words, fully referenced. 

Assessment Matrix

Not Applicable

Other Information


Course Overview: Access Course Overview