First Day as Professor Leary

photo by: Dorie Griggs

Friday, August 17, 2018, was my first-day teaching Intro to Photojournalism at The Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

The night before, Dorie, my wife, thought as much as we always take pictures of the kids on their first day, she wanted to do the same with me this year. #ThingEmptyNestersDo

For us, this turned out to be our viral photo. We have never had 383 likes on an image.

[Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 200, ƒ/5, 1/110]

The end goal of this class is for the students to learn how to communicate visually, control a camera, compose an image and capture a moment that others will understand. That last part? That’s the hard part!

One of the critical parts of the class is teaching ethics and specifically the ethics of photojournalism. We use the NPPA Code of Ethics.

What is remarkable about teaching at UGA is that the National Press Photographers Association headquarters is at the Henry W. Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Mark Johnson and Andrea Briscoe are in Mark’s office enjoying some time together. [Fuji X-E3, 18-55mm, ISO 1600, ƒ/5, 1/10]

On December 19, 2014, it was announced that NPPA relocated its headquarters to UGA. Mark Johnson was the initiative’s leader in bringing the NPPA to UGA. Mark sold the idea to both the Grady School and NPPA. It was his enthusiasm that created a partnership that was a win-win opportunity.

Mark is the one who asked me to teach at UGA.

So on Friday, I had two JOUR 3330: Introduction to Photojournalism classes to teach, back to back. The class size is limited to 20, and I had 17 in one class and 18 in the other.

Being nervous that first day, I packed too much into that first class. I think in the following courses, I will be more relaxed, and the pacing of the content will be better for the students and me.

I am having lots of fun looking for content to share in the class.

This is one of the videos I came across that does a great job of teaching depth-of-field by explaining how it works.

This week we will be getting a little history of photojournalism. Here is a video about Eugene Smith I will be showing, and then we will discuss it in the class.

I love preparing for class and looking forward to helping another crop of students become passionate about visual storytelling.