Back to Course Listings

COMM 230: Visual Communication: Storytelling through Photography

Important Note: This course cannot be taken concurrently with ART 215: Photography: Portfolio of Perugia. This course was formerly JCPH 230.

Course Storytelling 3Description
A photograph has the ability to convey emotion, mood, narrative, ideas, and messages – all of which are important elements of storytelling. You can easily take photographs, but not all photographs tell rich stories. How can we create engaging and compelling stories with a set of photographs? How has it been done by other photographers, past and present? What stories are we interested in telling? What will we include and what will we leave out? You will choose and plan a “story” to research and explore through the photographic medium. We will have a website/blog that we will use to publish our work and storytelling adventures. You will learn basic concepts, processes and techniques, including camera usage, exposure controls, and optimizing digital photographs. In addition, we will publish our photographs and storytelling adventures on our dedicated website on the Umbra Eye.

Course Objectives
In this course, you will:

  • develop an understanding of photographic language;
  • acquire a more critical eye in evaluating and reading photographic images;
  • gain proficiency in shooting, editing and optimizing digital photographs;
  • develop a deeper understanding of the concept of storytelling and the power of narrative through the photographic medium;
  • critically examine the digital landscape of communication technologies as emergent narrative forms and genres for storytelling;
  • develop skills in using technology to communicate stories with photographs;
  • create personal stories and publish them online on a dedicated website/blog; and
  • instill a sense of responsibility for what you choose to photograph and present.

Storytelling 1Course Materials

  • Text:  Storytellers: A Photographer’s Guide to Developing Themes and Creating Stories with Pictures by Jerod Foster
  • Digital Camera: point and shoot, iPhone, GoPro, or single lens reflex cameras

Prerequisite: None. No previous photographic experience is required. No special camera equipment needed, point-and-shoot cameras and iPhones are welcome.