Photojournalism & Documentary Photography
About the Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme
Applications are currently closed. Please contact email@example.com for more information.
The Photojournalism and Documentary Photography Programme (PDP) was established in 2005, with the aim of broadening the availability of photography training for aspiring photojournalists in South Africa, the sub-region – and further afield on the continent*. Students from other parts of the world who have a proven interest in exploring and documenting African issues may also apply for the PDP. In keeping with the ethos of the Market Photo Workshop, there is a particular emphasis on recruiting learners from disadvantaged communities and from sectors of the media that may have limited exposure to important debates on photography (notably media in outlying and rural areas).
The PDP combines instruction in technical and conceptual issues with projects that enable students to sharpen their critical, research and interpersonal skills. Teaching is conducted in a context of ongoing debate about what it means to be a photojournalist at a time when social networking, citizen journalism and other threats to print media have made traditional forms of photo-reportage all but obsolete.
The programme comprises four semesters, with the third term largely devoted to internships in which students gain work experience at news organisations in Johannesburg and elsewhere. Training encompasses five core modules and a range of ancillary subjects, designed to complement learning in photography with an appreciation of journalistic ethics, professional practice and related issues.
Core modules are as follows:
- Technical and Digital Practice
During an intensive period of training at the start of the PDP and through refresher courses conducted later in the year, students are drilled in camera techniques and the fundamentals of Photoshop, Lightroom and other computer programmes that they will use throughout the year. Emphasis is placed on helping students to develop effective systems for digital assets management.
- Photojournalism (including a multimedia component)
Students are taught about how to approach breaking and general news events, and to tackle other assignments typically given to staff photographers and freelance photojournalists: sports coverage, portraits, feature images and photographic illustrations for articles.
- Documentary photography
This course enables students to embark on extended assignments that are approached from various perspectives, and which test the ability of students to research issues in depth so as to produce informed and considered bodies of work.
- Visual Culture and Literacy
During this module, students learn how and why images have the effects that they do, and how interpretation of visuals is influenced by the background, knowledge and value system of an individual. Learners are guided in developing the vocabulary required to comment on images from a variety of sources (news outlets, advertisers etc), and in bringing an analytical eye to their own work.
- Media Practice
Increasingly, photojournalists are being asked to move beyond captions to produce texts for blogs, multimedia presentations on the web and for articles. This course helps photographers gain confidence with the written word through introducing them to the basic principles of news and feature writing. The module also encompasses analysis and discussion of key trends within the media sphere and the critically-important issue of press freedom.
Important information for applicants:
The PDP welcomes applicants from a broad range of backgrounds, including:
- Practising photojournalists and documentary photographers who would like to hone their skills
- Persons with recognised prior learning in photography who wish to advance in the fields of photojournalism and documentary photography
- Graduates in media studies or related fields
- Passionate people with a talent for photography
- Persons applying for the PDP should have demonstrable prior knowledge of photography from at least an intermediate level, and a reasonable command of English
- Entry-level professional cameras and other equipment can be rented from the Market Photo Workshop by students who do not have access to these resources. Learners are required to pay deposits for each piece of equipment that they book out, and their use of equipment is closely monitored
Time frames and costs:
- The PDP is a year-long course, beginning mid-January and ending mid-December
- The course runs full-time from Mondays to Fridays, 09h00 to 17h00
- Fees for the 2013 PDP have been set at R30 000
- Bursaries may be made available to candidates who can clearly demonstrate financial need. Recipients of financial aid are required to do bursary duties that may require their presence at the school after hours and over weekends
Equipment rental fees (in the form of refundable deposits) are currently set as follows:
- Digital camera: R450
- Tripod: R100
- Voice recorder: R150
- Contact person for additional information on the PDP: Patricia Kyungu (PatriciaK@marketphotoworkshop.co.za)
* The PDP was initiated through the generous sponsorship of Getty Images. Most funding for the programme is currently provided by the agency and the Open Society Foundation for South Africa. Canon South Africa is a valued partner in subsidising camera costs for the course.