My goal for this practicum was to better my photography skills. I wanted to become a better photographer and help build my experience and portfolio. The reason I wanted to do this with photography is, it’s my passion. I picked up my father’s Olympus OM-10 about three years ago and fell in love with it. From there, I taught myself photography from the Internet and YouTube. Now, as this semester is coming to an end, I have realized I might want to be a “professional” photographer or in the photography field. So, I ran with it.
I thought I achieved my goal of becoming a better photographer. After reflecting on this semester, I can see my work improved. I remember a couple times, I would look down at my camera and was surprised sometimes. I also gained quite a bit of experience and portfolio work. During this semester, I was able to add portfolio work from working at The Clarion Call as well as personal and paid work. At The Clarion Call, I acted as photography editor. I have been photography editor for three years now, so I knew what I was doing. During the week, I would go to events and take pictures. On Wednesdays, was when I edited the pictures and formatted them for print as well as online.
Another way I achieved my goals was through the internet and YouTube. I wanted to use these as tools to learn more about photography and better my photography skills. I learned photography on the internet and YouTube, so I know what great of resources they were. I used these tools to watch behind the scenes photo shoots, photography podcasts, and gear reviews.
However, I did not achieve my goal of gaining experience through The Film Photography Club. I had started this idea along with Dr. Scott Kuehn last semester. It was part of my leadership communication class. We had planned to start it this semester. But Dr. Kuehn has some health issues and one other person and I showed up at the meeting. Then, it went dead. This would have been a great opportunity to gain a lot of knowledge and experience. The other goal I didn’t complete was the 270 hours. In the beginning of the semester, I thought it my head I would work on it a couple hours a day and I would be complete all the hours. After about three quarters of the way through, I realized I don’t think I will be able to complete all 270 hours.
The “company” I worked with was, The Clarion Call. The Call is the Clarion University student newspaper. Founded in 1913, it is Clarion’s longest running RSO. The Clarion Call runs 12 issues per semester but now runs 10 issues (two online only) due to budget cuts. They still print issues while creating more online content, following the “online” trend.
The Call has a staff of 12 student employees along with one faculty advisor. The staff consists of the editor in chief (manager), editors for each section, business manager, advertising manager, managing editor, and the circulation manager. Editors for each section include sports, arts and entertainment, features, news, graphics, classifieds (managing editor), and photography. Each week these editors assign writers/photographers to events around campus. The writers/photographers then document the event. Every Wednesday, we all come in put together pages, edit writing/photos, and send to be printed. The advertising manager, business manager, and the circulation manager do not put The Call together but help it run. The advertising manager runs the advertisements for The Call. The business manager does all the “business”, which includes paying bills and managing the money. Last but not least, the circulation manager. They distribute The Call to the town of Clarion as well as on campus every Thursday.
The majority of my time was spent either taking pictures or editing pictures. Almost every week I was shooting at least one photo assignment. I would go to the event and document the event with photos and occasionally video (if it was requested). Then, I would copy the photos to the computer to be edited. The other part of my time was editing. This occurred throughout the week if I had time, if not I did it Wednesday. When I got to my desk on Wednesday, I would make sure everyone turned in there photos. From there, I would get photo sizes from the editors of all the sections. Then, I would pick the best photo based on if it was in focus, exposure, composition, and cropping. I open the photo in Photoshop, making minor adjustments to the exposure, contrast, and cropping. Next, I save the photo for online and then print. Finally, I give the photos to the editors to put in the paper and make any adjustments as needed.
Daily logs will be dropped off at your office.
*On the page titled portfolio under the practicum tab are my images. Also during this practicum, I created some blogs and Instagram posts. Blogs can be found under the blog tab (obviously). All my social media lings are on the left toolbar.
After putting together my portfolio for this project, a couple things came to mind. One being, I see improvement. Looking at the pictures from this project to the pictures that have been on my website, I think I improved and still improving. Another thing that came to mind was my cropping. This semester we had a new advisor, Mr. Michael Hissam. Since Mr. Hissam has been in the communication field for a lot years, he has taught me quite a lot about cropping. When I am taking pictures, I get in close more and look closely at my edges. I think this has helped me with my photos because I'm focusing more on the subject and their story rather than other distractions.
I am proud of my portfolio. There has been a couple times where I was surprised on the photo I took. What I have come to notice as well is to keep shooting. If I keep shooting, it becomes like muscle memory and I can focus on the subject and picture rather than the technical stuff. You can see that in my portfolio. The two sources my photos came from were personal work and The Clarion Call. The personal work included paid photo shoots as well as just walking around and taking pictures. This gave me the freedom to go out and shoot what I wanted as well as a structured publication.
Overall, I thought this practicum was very beneficial for me. It allowed me to get out and shoot. Before, I didn't have that determination or drive to constantly do something photography related. However, this class has enabled me to do that. I was able to focus on learning and then practicing my photography. I even won 3rd place news photo in Society of Collegiate Journalists annual national contest this semester.
There is one thing that did upset me tho, the hours. When I first started this project, I thought this would be easy and I would just do 2-3 hours every day. However, about half way through I realized, this is going to take a lot more than 2-3 hours a week. I understand that it needs to be equal hours to the internship but 270 hours and also being a full time student is hard. Finding enough hours to do school work, do the practicum hours, and relax. If I were to do this again, I would split it up over two semesters. That way I can evenly distribute my time between school and practicum.