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Photojournalism Practice I BPH302

Course CodeBPH302
Fee CodeS1
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment
Study and Work in Photojournalism -Distance Education Course

Course Aim 
To improve your understanding of ethical and social issues involved with photojournalism and develop your ability to take photographs to specification, submitting those images for publication in a periodical (ie. newspaper, magazine or e-zine). 

• Knowledge and experience in photography
• Medium level computer skills, or higher.

Course Content
This course takes you through the processes of taking photos for a specific publication, submitting work for publication, and meeting the requirements of an editor and publisher.
1.  A Short History of Photojournalism
2.  Ethics and Photojournalism
3.  What Should I Photograph?
4.  How Should I Photograph It?
5.  Photo Stories / Editing Images
6.  Publishing Opportunities
7. Working to Specification  / Problem Based Learning
8. Publishing Using Online Management Systems
9.  Taking Photos and Submitting Images
10.  Writing Articles and Captions to Accompany Your Image
11.  Revising Submitted Work

Under guidance of a mentor (a photography/ journalism tutor), you will learn to produce images to specific criteria and upload them to an online student magazine.

You will come away with at least one published photo story and possibly an accompanying article.  

No matter what you want to photograph, you will find this a great learning experience.

With so many would-be photographers around, publishers can afford to be very choosy.  Most will only accept work from photographers who have already been published, but getting that first work published can be a daunting and difficult task. Many very good photographers just never get published at all. 

This module provides our students with just what they need: an opportunity to get work published.

On graduation, you will have at least one photograph published (ideally more) in an online publication that you can show to potential employers, which will increase your chances of being employed or published in future.

An average student can successfully complete this course in 100 hours.

If you pace yourself and spend that amount of time, you will probably be working to an expected level.  You may spend more or less time, as this is a general guideline only.


For portraits use a tripod to get the best pictures. The tripod eliminates camera shake.
When the camera is on a tripod, you can set it in position then examine every tiny part of the photo, at leisure, making sure you have exactly what you want within the photo, and being certain that there is nothing undesirable in the photo. Very often, changing the direction of the camera just slightly can be the difference between a good photo and an outstanding photo. A tripod gives you time to reflect on what you are taking before you actually shoot. 


A variety of LENSES will give you far greater flexibility and opportunity.

Most photographers consider 50 or 55mm lenses as standard on SLR 35mm cameras.  The main advantage of the faster lenses is speed  this refers to its widest aperture  the wider the aperture, the faster the lens and the more useful it is in low light conditions.

Wide angle lenses (between 28 and 44mm) can be used in a similar way to standard lenses, however as the focal length becomes shorter, the angle of view becomes wider. The most important use of wide angle lenses is in portraiture, where it can create a dramatic effect of presence when used within a confined space  where you just can't move far enough away from the subject to get a full length shot. In the outdoors, a wide angle lens is useful for fixing the subject firmly in the surroundings by showing quite a bit of the background surroundings.

The telephoto lens is often known as the portrait lens. This is useful for isolating a subject within a small room, or making the subject seem closer. Zoom lenses have a major advantage that they allow you to adjust the components which are within a photograph without moving from where you are standing.

It is better to have the flexibility to choose the lens to shoot the picture you want. With a variety of lenses, you can achieve a range of different photos, shot from the same position. Set up your tripod then look at the picture location through different lenses before you actually shoot.
You might not shoot through them all, but if you can look at the picture through a variety of "eyes" (so to speak) you will be able to shoot the best picture with the best lens for that situation.

Don't fall into the trap of developing favourite lenses. There are always situations where one particular lens just does not work well at all.


Often you can be misled when photographing people. A light meter can read off the background light rather than the subject, this is the most common problem. Although less common, a dark background can also mislead the camera. To overcome these problems, you should move your light meter close to the subject and take the reading from there. If you can't get close to the subject, take a reading off a grey piece of card, held in the same light intensity as the light on the subject.

You might change the exposure to achieve special affects at times. By increasing exposure slightly, you can achieve a dreamy affect on a photograph of a girl (for instance). If a camera is automatic, you can still adjust aperture  to increase exposure one stop, set the ASA or ISO rating on the camera at half the film's actual ISO (or ASA) rating. Professional photographers tend to try to use the highest possible f stop, to achieve as sharp a picture as possible. If you are using the greatest aperture, then a tripod is useful. The larger the f stop is, the smaller the aperture will be, so you will need a longer exposure. Often you will compromise here.

Experiment and compare your results with photos taken by professionals.

Learn To Work an Angle
Professional photographers take hundreds of images of the same thing using different camera angles and exposures, lenses and lighting techniques to have a range of images to choose from. It is important to have lots of different images to edit down. The impact of a photo essay is in the chosen sizes, positioning and order of the photos. If using film, the planning of your essay can be easier using contact sheets or slides on a light box, and if using digital you have the convenience of image-management software such as Extensis Portfolio or FotoStation.  Storing your images on the computer means you can view all the images at once at a small size.  You can then easily see which images you still need to complete your story. 
The angle used can have a great impact on the artistic nature of the photograph and the image taken. - The photographer Bill Brant is also known for his ground breaking work in nudes in the 1940’s and1950’s. He used a wide-angle lens to create distortions of the human form.  This created a new way of looking at the nude even though his critics at the time thought the images were ugly and of no merit.
Harmony refers to the way different parts of the image fit together. Harmony is usually the objective, but not always in all parts of the design. A photo with harmony has a relaxing affect on the viewer.
Images that have an unusual or steep slope or line can challenge harmony. A person in an extreme difficult angled pose may not be as harmonious as a person comfortably sitting on a chair. A harmonious image will have an instant pleasant effect on the viewer where an unharmonious picture may have an unsettling effect.
The overall colour can also be affected by the angle. The colour in the photo sets the mood of the image and is often thought to be out of our control, which is not accurate. As a photographer, we can manipulate the affect of colour by our choice of lighting. By carefully selecting your camera angle and lighting you can accentuate some colours and subdue others. Soft diffused light created by overcast skies for example, reduces contrast and softens colour to create a more unified picture.  This lighting is particularly flattering for people photography because it eliminates harsh shadow and softens facial features. For example, the sun’s rays angle obliquely across a scene which may be used to sidelight a subject, or backlight with the use of fill flash.  The colour of the light becomes warmer, from yellowish, to golden, then reddish and violet blue at twilight.  Seasons also change the quality of light.  (This is not so relevant if you live near the equator, as the length of the sun’s rays doesn’t change greatly from season to season).  Winter light, because of the low angle of the sun can emphasize shapes and texture; yet can produce soft hues due to a less intense sun.

Meet some of our academics

Rosemary Davies Journalist, Editor, Broadcaster, Teacher and Consultant for over 30 years. Rosemary is former gardening editor for the Weekly Times (a Weekly Farming Newspaper in Australia); and author of six books in her own right. She has written articles for many magazines across Australia, and has since 2008 worked as a tutor and freelance writer with ACS; contributing to books a range of genres.
John Mason John Mason is one of Australia's most prolific writers. He saw his first work published when at secondary school, where he worked on the school magazine. In 1973 he was writing a weekly column for his local newspaper and by 1975 he was a regular contributor to Australia's national magazine "Your Garden". John was engaged by Victoria's Dept of Youth, Sport and Recreation to write a book on Fun and Fitness Trails in 1978. In 1981 he saw two more books published (one in America, another in Australia), and commenced writing regularly for the Self Sufficiency Magazine, Grass Roots. John is a long term member of the Australian Society of Authors, the Garden Media Guild (UK) and the Horticultural Media Association (Australia). He has written or contributed to over 100 books, many published by international publishers and published more than 2,000 articles across a range of genres (Gardening, Education, Business, Farming, Fitness). In addition, John has contributed to and overseen the development of more than 600 distance education courses which encompass around 20 million words. He has been an avid photographer for 40 years, building a collection of over 100,000 images, which are used to illustrate his work. His marine animal photos are even used by Legoland in England, on their Atlantis ride! Writer, Manager, Teacher and Businessman with over 40 years interenational experience covering Education, Publishing, Leisure Management, Education, and Horticulture. He has extensive experience both as a public servant, and as a small business owner. John is a well respected member of many professional associations, and author of over seventy books and of over two thousand magazine articles.
Barbara SeguelTeacher and Researcher, Marine Scientist, Tourism and Outdoor recreation guide, Health and Safety Coordinator & Production Manager for Fisheries, National Park Staff/Farmer, Laboratory technical aide, Zoo, Wildlife and Marine Park assistant. Barbara has worked in Hawaii, Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Barbara has a B.Sc. Marine (Academic degree) and M.Sc Aquaculture Engineering.
Christine ToddUniversity lecturer, businesswoman, photographer, consultant and sustainability expert; with over 40 years industry experience B.A., M.Plan.Prac., M.A.(Social). An expert in planning, with years of practical experience in permaculture.

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