Two Haunting Images, Why?

This security-camera still taken moments before the murder of Brandon Woodard shows Mr. Woodard in the foreground and the gunman walking up behind him and pulling a gun from his jacket pocket.

Tragedy on the NYC Subway. DOOMED -Pushed on the subway track, this man is about to die. RIP. New York Post cover for Tuesday, December 4, 2012.

The two photos, taken a week apart, though hardly identical, have much in common: a man seconds away from sudden public death, the instrument of his demise closing in on him. But the photos have been received very differently.

The New York Post was widely criticized for publishing a picture of a man about to be crushed by a subway train — and we were criticized for rerunning it in a piece about The Post’s cover. Yet very few eyelashes were batted about the widespread publication Tuesday of a chilling photo of Brandon Woodard texting obliviously on a Midtown street as a man drawing a gun from his pocket prepared to murder him.

Why the disparate responses?
....read more NY Times
More discussion NPPA

R. Umar Abbasi, a freelance photographer for the New York Post, talks about the controversial photo with the Today Show


WELCOME -Spring 2013

Photojournalism (CCOM: 329 01)

Mondays 6:00 pm - 9:15 pm. 
We meet in the MAC lab C-111.

This is the official blog for the course, feel free to make yourself at home and take a look around. We will being using this blog as an information center all semester. The column on left should provide all the vital information. Be sure to book mark it, this is the web address: http://ramapophotoj.blogspot.com/. You can learn more about me. And you can peruse the lessons of past semesters if care.


  1. Intro to PJ
  2. Weekly Slideshow -MSNBC
  3. Blog
  4. SLICE -connect 
  5. Syllabus
  6.  Student info sheets
  7. You/Me
  8. Photoshop basics
  9. Captions
  10. Submitting to DROP folder
  11. Assignment #01 Self Portrait 
  12. Controversial photos comparison  See here
  13. What it feels like to be photographed at a moment of grief.
Below is my contact info.
Thomas E. Franklin
Adjunct Professor / Photojournalism Ramapo College

Assignment #01 SELF PORTRAIT


(Due 2/4/13)

The Ultimate Field Guide to Photography
by National Geographic
“Intro,” and “Buying a digital camera” pages 1-24, 44-49
“Essential Basics; Camera’s & Lenses” pages 34-75

Read and all documents in the IMPORTANT DOC’S folder.

“Make a self-portrait”
(Due 2/4/13)
Make a series of self-portrait photos.
Photo should be a reflection of who you are, an example of self-expression.
Make a self-portrait photo that communicates something about you.
Shoot more than one idea/take.

This photo should NOT be a random snapshot, head-shot, mug shot, old photo from the past, or hastily executed snap. This shoot should include forethought and planning.
Be creative.

Use self-timer, and tripod if necessary.
Figure out how to use your self-timer. DO NOT have someone else take the photo.

* IMPORTANT: Students must complete:

1. Shoot 25-50 photos total
2. Select (1) image for submission; caption, crop, tone etc.
3. Be sure to include a caption.
4.SLUG PHOTO AS FOLLOWS: yourlastname_ selfportrait.JPG
5. Submit image to DROP folder.
6. Bring all the images you shoot for this assignment to class.
7. Bring camera connection cable or card reader, to transfer images onto computer. 

Photojournalism (CCOM: 329 01)

School of Contemporary Arts
Course Information
COMM 329-01: Photojournalism
Thomas Franklin, Adjunct Prof.
4 credits Email: tfrankli@ramapo.edu

Class Mtg: RM H-123 MONDAY 6:00PM – 9:15PM
College Web address: http://www.ramapo.edu Contemporary Arts: Berrie Center 237
College Closings Phone No.: (201) 236-2902 CA Phone: (201) 684-7368

Course Description
In this course students will be introduced to the contemporary practices of photojournalism, and explore the aesthetic, technical, cultural, and historical forces that have shaped its evolution as a form of visual communication.

Students will first learn how real photojournalists work, and they will be expected to work in a similar fashion. They will be given selected weekly assignments in which they must produce good story telling images. They will learn how to develop a story idea, cover events, and produce images like a professional.

This course will be conducted in a manner similar to the real working world of professional photojournalism. Students will be responsible for taking pictures with their own cameras and producing their own developed negatives or digital images.
They will learn how to edit their own photographs and how to scan and prepare selected images in Adobe Photoshop.
The emphasis of this course will be on picture taking not picture developing.
-This is NOT a darkroom class or a basic photography class.
-All film and print developing will be done outside of class.
-It is suggested that each student have some basic photography experience.
(a basic understanding of exposure and camera operation is required)
-Suggested pre-requisites include Basic Photography, either at college or high school level, and either Fundamentals of Mass Communications or Writing for the Media.

Course Objectives
After this course, students will meet the following goals:
1. To better understand how to tell stories with pictures
2. To learn basic camera technique
3. Learn about the history of photojournalism and the impact photographs have on society
4. Digital photo imaging methods and evaluation of pictorial communication effects
5. How photographs are used in today’s modern digital world
6. Learn Adobe PhotoShop Basics
7. Legal and ethical rights and responsibilities of a photojournalist
8. Writing captions and text to accompany photographs.
9. Develop a portfolio of quality photojournalistic work
10. To better understand how photographs visually communicate

Other Information:
“In accordance with College policy, I will use the Ramapo College email address tfrankli@ramapo.edu to communicate with you about all course-related matters.”
A valid email address is required for this course. Please make sure instructor has correct student email address, preferably a Ramapo.edu address.

This course is conducted almost entirely in a digital format. Students will use the SLICE server as the means of accessing course materials and assignments during the semester. This can be accessed by logging onto: afp://slice.ramapo.edu with a Ramapo email account username and password. All assigned material will be submitted to the designated DROP FOLDER, on the server. Each student will have 1GB of free hard drive space on SLICE, where digital images and other course materials can be stored in their personal folders on slice. There will be two important class folders for this course on SLICE:
CLASS FOLDER is where all WORD documents can be found, containing; assignments, instructional documents, reading material, etc. Only the instructor and the students in this course will be able access this folder and its contents.
DROP FOLDER is where students drop submitted assignment photos.
Only the instructor has access to this folder. Once a file is placed into the DROP FOLDER, students will no longer have access to it. So when submitting folders to the DROP folder, students must make sure they have saved a copy for themselves in case there is a problem or if a file is missing.

Each lesson will be conducted using a Power Point Presentation. These PPP’s are accessible in the CLASS FOLDER and should be reviewed with regularity through the semester.

All assignments will be given via WORD documents found in the FRANKLIN CLASS folder on the SLICE SERVER. This is an eco-friendly course; There will be little use of printed material during the semester, meaning; NO WASTEFUL USE OF COPIER PAPER.

This course is conducted in a Apple (MAC) computer lab. All students are required to be familiar with MAC computers and the OS X operating system. If you have never used a MAC, or OS X, get to know how to use the MAC by consult one of the MAC lab tech’s on staff in the MAC lounge, or TOM DOYLE for instruction.

If you need help with the computers in the lab, the Academic Help Desk is here. (mac or PC). Ask for one-on-one training if needed.
You can contact us at extension 6600 or at fac_help@ramapo.edu.
The Macintosh Help Desk is also here. You can contact us at extension 7355 or e-mail us at maclab@ramapo.edu.

Specific reading assignments will be given each week, from one or more of the following text required books.

Required Text:
National Geographic Ultimate Field Guide to Photography
by National Geographic
An introduction to taking photographs, basic equipment (cameras, lenses, and other gear), film, light, composition, exposure metering, electronic flash, subjects for 35mm photography, special situations (underwater and aerial photography), and computer imaging. Aimed at photographers looking for practical advice from the pros.
Publisher: National Geographic Society     ISBN: 978-0-7922-6209-1

The Associated Press Guide to Photojournalism
Brian Horton
An insiders guide to the field of photojournalism, with many great examples, techniques, and insights. Includes interviews and writings from top photojournalists in the field.

Recomended Text:
Visual Journalism. A Guide for New Media Professionals
Christopher R. Harris and Paul Martin Lester
Provides on the digital convergence in the growing visual communication field, with real-world experiences and visual illustrations. This book places special emphasis on new media and the modern applications for the new media professional.

Selected Readings
Most readings will be available through the web; others may be added depending on interest and direction of class.
Photojournalism: The Professional’s Approach Fourth Edition
Ken Kobre and Betsy Brill. Focal Press/Elsevier.

Photoshop. Visual Quick Start Guide.
Peachpit Press.

Web Sites & Blogs
The following sites show current examples of photojournalism & multimedia on the web.


All students must have their own working 35mm SLR camera or digital camera, and it must be brought to class each week unless instructor indicates otherwise. A camera can be borrowed or shared for the semester, but be prepared to use it every week.
-SLR camera or a high-end digital camera are recommended.
-Camera must have a flash (external flash is preferred)

- color OR B/W negative film, as needed (20-25 rolls est.)
-basic darkroom supplies, as needed; developing materials reels, paper, etc)
-negative preservers (example: Print File Archival Preservers style #:35-7B)
-loupe, a film-editing magnifier
-media card(s) (compact flash, mini-compact flash, smart media, etc)
CD’s & DVD’S –as needed for backup.


1. Attendance and Participation (10% of course grade)
Class attendance is required and will be noted each week. No more than two absences will be allowed. On the third absence, students must withdraw from the course or receive a failing grade at the instructor’s discretion. Do not be late, as classes will start promptly. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to obtain assignments, notes, handouts, etc., from other students. Attendance on test days is mandatory.
-NOTE: -Two late arrivals or early departures will equal one absence.
-Perfect attendance will be awarded with extra credit!
-Students should check email frequently to check for any class cancellations.
Class Participation:
The course will be a lively one, with lots of great photos to look at each week and talk about. This requires that everyone contribute and express their opinions. A critique will take place each week, all students work will be displayed and discussed. All students are expected to comment and offer opinions. All differing opinions and thoughts are encouraged and expected. This is how real newsrooms and edit boards are conducted.
**NO CELL PHONE USE, TEXTING, FACEBOOK, etc. duing class time.

2. Weekly Assignments (25% of course grade):
Students will be given an assignment to photograph every week.
Be prepared to make photographs every week, some assignments may require shooting more than once per week. Students are required to come to class with fully developed images, as specified with each assignment. DO NOT wait until the start of class to submit assignment photos.
-All assignments will be submitted in the form of a digital file, placed into a “drop folder” on the SLICE SERVER. This will be discussed and demonstrated at length in class.
If using film, students will be required to scan images, either prints or negatives, and create digital files. This will be discussed and demonstrated at length in class
-Deadlines must be met and assignments must be completed, just like the working world of a photojournalist. If you miss a class you are still responsible for completing the assignment on time. Otherwise submit it when completed and it will be graded, but with penalty.
-All photographs submitted for this course MUST have been made during the assigned week, meaning: do not submit previously taken photographs. This is unacceptable and student will be severely penalized. This is not the purpose of the course.
-All photographs must be made by the student during the assigned period of time.
-Each assignment is worth 10pts. (ex. 9/10)
-1 point. Is subtracted for each week it is late.
NOTE: Photojournalists are given deadlines everyday. Making deadline is the most basic function of a working journalist; this will be heavily emphasized and noted.

3.Exam (25% of course grade):
There will be a written exam at the 3/4 point of the semester. It will include; all material covered in class, the Power Point Presentations, the required reading, and assignments. Make-up exams only with a doctor’s note or other documentation of emergency. Attendance on test days is mandatory.

4. Paper (15% of course grade):
Each student will be required to a Paper. SUBJECT TBA.

5. Final Project (25% of course grade):
All students will be required to complete a 4-5 week long Photo Essay/Soundslide of their choosing. A Final Project is given instead of a Final Exam.
Each student must select a story idea or subject, and then make a written proposal to the instructor, which will be evaluated and graded. The proposal must be well thought-out and supported, but mostly it must be an interesting and sound subject. A backup story idea must be developed as well.
Once a subject is approved, students must work on their story incrementally, bringing to class each week a new set of images. Once a body of work is achieved, a set of images will be selected with the instructor. Audio will be recorded or selected, and a Soundslide will be created. The material covered during the semester will be applied and used in completing this project. The final project


-points will be subtracted if student does not participate in class by offering constructive comments and opinions.
-only two absences allowed, without permission from instructor.
-DETERMINATION: grade will be based on participation determined by instructor. (1-10)

(10 points for each assignment)
-there will 10 assignments, each worth 10 points
-each assignment will be graded on scale of 1-10 max
-DETERMINATION: total points X 25% = grade
(ex: 95pts X 25% = 24 total points)

-exam will be graded on a scale of 1-100 max
-DETERMINATION: total points X 25% = grade
(ex: 90pts X 25% = 23 total points)
-will be graded on scale of 1-15 max
-DETERMINATION: grade will be based on how well requirements are completed.

(25 points for how well photo essay/soundslide is completed)
DETERMINATION: grade will be based on how well project is completed. (1-25)

All points earned will be compiled at conclusion of semester.
Grading Scale
A = 100-93% A- = 92-90%
B+ = 89-87% B = 86-83%
B- = 82-80% C+ = 79-77%
C = 76-73% C- = 72-70%
D+ = 69-67% D = 66-63%
D- = 62-60% F = 59-0%

Overall Grading Scale:
* A range:
Student demonstrated superior analytical abilities in all her/his assignments. Student carefully read all relevant material and provided both a clear understanding of what s/he has read and provided insightful analyses and thoughtful critiques. Moreover, the topic under study was explored fully.
* B range
Student demonstrated an above average analytical ability. Student was able to provide a clear understanding of the material and some insights and critiques. The topic under study was explored fairly thoroughly.
* C range
Student could demonstrate average analytical ability. Student was unable to provide a clear understanding of the material and offered few insights and critiques. The topic under study was not explored fully.
* D range
Student completed assignments but could not provide any analytical ability. Student was unable to provide a clear understanding of the material and offered no insights and critiques. The topic was explored minimally.
* F range
Student did not complete assignments.

General Education Program Course
This course is designed to meet the requirements of the Gen Ed category for Topics in the Arts and Humanities.

Writing Intensive (WI) Course
Writing will be integrated into the life of this course. You will receive comments, direction, and support as you work on strengthening your writing skills. Each photo assignment will receive written comments in the FILE INFO field of the digital image, this is in addition to a weekly critique of each assignment. Your photographs will be evaluated and returned in a timely fashion, allowing you to incorporate my comments into your future work. For help outside the classroom, please see me before class, as I am at my desk 90 minutes before each session. Or a private session can be scheduled at another time.

Criteria for Evaluation of Photographs
-Ability to demonstrate a clear understanding of the assignment subject matter and its specific criteria.
-Ability to use and understand theoretical material discussed in class and outside sources, to illustrate and execute each exercise.
-Relevance, appropriateness and clarity of photographs.
-Ability to demonstrate the topic to the field of photojournalism.
-Appropriate organization of images so that material is appropriately referenced, and submitted.
-Ability to write clearly, precisely and in grammatically appropriate English, in all captions and reports.

Cell phones and Computers
Kindly turnoff your cell phone ringers during class session, and refrain from email, phone conversations, and text usage during class. Please be considerate and respectful of others.
If it is an emergency, please excuse yourself and take it out into the hallway.

(CEC) course enrichment component
COMM 329-01: Photojournalism will include a minimum of five (5) hours of unmonitored appropriate experience outside the classroom. Students will meet this requirement by completing a shooting assignment each week.

Students with Disabilities
If you need course adaptation or accommodations because of a documented disability, please make an appointment before class.

Please note: Students must be registered with the Office of Specialized Services (OSS) to receive accommodations. As you develop or revise your course syllabus, consider ways to make your course material accessible to students with disabilities. For additional information, contact the Office of Specialized Services (OSS) at x7514 or email at oss@ramapo.edu.