Composition review

Here is a great little video about many of the composition techniques discussed in class.


Photo Quiz (guide)

Quiz 1: Intro to Visual Communication and Photography

25 points (mix of multiple choice, fill in the blank and short answer)

What is visual communication?

  • Why do we study it?
  • Why is it important?
  • What are the different purposes of visual communication?
  • What is collective memory theory and how is it related to visual communication?

Introduction to Photography

  • Composition concepts and techniques (lecture notes & review video)
  • Tips for taking good photos in general (lecture)
  • Tips for taking better photos with you phones (lecture)
  • Exposure

Ethics & photography in communication fields.

  • Lecture (we had a lot of good discussion about ethical situations)
  • Be able to list a few ethical decisions about photos you might have to make.
  • Be able to describe why there are different guidelines in journalism, PR & advertising
  • In doubt? Look up and read the NPPA code of ethics


  • Read through the tutorials
  • Be able to identify the tools used in the Photoshop tutorials / class demonstrations
  • Know the quick keys for: undo, copy, paste, deselect

Understanding exposure

Recent alum offers advice on iPhone camera apps

10418522_556319467813296_5627379934561813532_nJake Trease graduated from Wichita State in December 2015. He was a journalism major, worked for The Sunflower and was a 2015 Flint Hills Media Project team member. As a regular contributor to iPhone Photography School (.com), he writes about apps, tips and techniques to make your photos as good as you can get from a phone camera. Check out this article —  The 4 Best Camera Apps for Mobile Photography — written by Jake.


Try this online camera simulator

Please spend a little time with the handout given in class and this cool camera simulator. Experiment with different aperture/shutter speed/ISO combinations that all give you a proper exposure, but change things like how the aperture changes the depth of field (how sharp or blurred the background is) and whether you’ve stopped or blurred the action (movement of the pinwheel) with different shutter speeds. Find it here:

Resume Examples

Keep learning more about Photoshop

A couple weeks ago, I had a business student follow me to my office, telling me he’d been trying to track me down since last semester. (Since I generally spend 10 hours a day in Elliott Hall, I find that difficult to believe, but I went along with it.) He said he wants to learn how to use Photoshop, and people kept telling him he should come to me. He said he believes he’s missing out on some job opportunities because they list Photoshop and the Creative Suite as preferred skills.

My point is, I wish we could spend a couple more weeks just on Photoshop, but that’s just not in the cards in this class. So I hope you’ll keep practicing. There are tons of good tutorials and videos online for Photoshop. I like the ones offered through Adobe and also, a really good online software training site. Some videos there are free, but you have to pay for a subscription to access the entire library. Just check out the free stuff.

For example, here’s a tutorial about photo retouching — specifically the content aware tool.

Here’s a video demo of using the Quick Selection tool to change the color of a selected area.

Time to get Adobe Creative Cloud

The Adobe creative applications have long been industry standards in graphic design and communications fields. It’s not uncommon for communication jobs (especially in PR, but also in publications, advertising and marketing) to list proficiency in Photoshop and InDesign as part of required or preferred skills in job descriptions.

We’re jumping into Adobe Photoshop this week, so it’s time to get a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud or download the trial version. Either way, you’ll need to create an Adobe ID.

Then you can sign up for the 30-day trial of Adobe Creative Cloud. Once you’ve signed up for that, you’ll have access to download the trial versions of individual applications. Start with just Photoshop for now.