NUI Galway Through A Different Lens2015/2016 Projects
The goal of this project is to improve the quality of photographs used in NUI Galway publications, press releases and on the website by running training courses for amateur staff photographers.
College websites, in particular, often feature stale stock photography, which is a pity in such a photogenic campus. A series of training workshops will be run to give amateur staff photographers a grounding in both technical skills and creative composition. Process and terminology will be demystified to give staff the confidence and skills to take a good photo. The project team aim to work with the Marketing Office to produce a short pack – online, but in a printable PDF – that will cover the basics of photography and also tips on how to showcase NUI Galway events creatively. This would also include guidelines (correct dimensions for College webpage banners, for example) on how to process imagery for use on the web and for print.
The first workshop on Friday, 15 January 2016 will be a hands-on guide to your camera’s modes and settings. We’ll cover the basics in a fun, lecture-light environment and take practice photos along the way.
The second workshop on Friday, 12 February will focus on event photography and using a flash. NUIG staff are regularly asked to provide images for promotional purposes, internal publications and the web. This workshop will help staff take better quality, more interesting photos of guest speakers and formal portrait shots.
The third workshop on Friday, 4 March will be (weather permitting) a photo walk around our beautiful campus. We’ll help you replace stale stock photography on the web or bland handbook covers.
All workshops take place in THB-G010 Moore Institute Seminar Room, James Hardiman Building. Registration is via an EventBrite link circulated via staff email in the new year.
Project Team & Links
Since the introductory meeting in November, we’ve been quite busy. The Moore Institute Seminar Room in the James Hardiman Building was booked for the workshops and an EventBrite page was set up for event management. We circulated information for these three dates via a mailing list that Valerie Leahy maintained for the ‘Capture your Campus’ project and via John Caulfield in the Marketing Office, who included our workshops under the ‘Staff Benefit of the Week’ in the Dialann email of 8 January. We reached our capacity of 40 (and filled a waiting list) rapidly, with 318 visits to our EventBrite page to date. In advance of the workshop, PhotoSoc prepared PowerPoint slides while handouts were designed and printed by PrintThat.
The first workshop took place on Friday, 15 January. 40 members of staff from a wide range of schools and disciplines attended the workshop, which was presented by Bjorn Carlsson and Michael Gibbons from PhotoSoc. This took the form of a hands-on guide to camera modes and settings, with frequent exercises and a question-and-answer period at the end. Feedback has been extremely positive. We are now working on preparing material for the second workshop, which is already nearly booked out. We are also amending the plan for the third workshop, a photo walk around campus, to include Sharon Flynn’s suggestion whereby photographs of the campus are uploaded to Wikimedia Commons.
Since the previous project update, we’ve run our second workshop on Friday, 12 February. This was presented by Bjorn Carlsson from PhotoSoc with a guest professional photographer, Tom Flanagan. The theme of this workshop was event photography, particularly with the use of flash guns. Few members of staff had first-hand experience of using professional flash setups and it surprised many that the equipment required was relatively affordable and easy to setup. Participants used flashguns and softbox umbrellas provided by PhotoSoc, and discovered the effects of multiple flashes, the positioning and power settings of off-camera flashes. They also learnt about the impact of light and shadow on portrait photography in particular.
We’re currently preparing handouts for the third workshop this coming Friday, March 4. It’s a different format to previous workshops where participants will take a photo walk around the south campus taking architectural shots of the Quadrangle and other buildings, panoramas and nature shots along the river. The handouts will contain instructions for staff on how they can join PhotoSoc, an invitation to submit photos to the previous EXPLORE project ‘Capture your Campus’ and a guide on how to upload photographs of the campus to Wikimedia Commons (which currently has only 30 photographs of the entire campus).