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CDG218 Visual Literacy In Business

CDG218 Visual Literacy In Business

Week 3 (Sep 08 – Sep 14)



Due Date


Grading Percent

Photography and Composition Day 3
(1st post)

Motion Pictures Day 3
(1st post)

Visual Communication Today Day 7 Journal

Using Photographs from the Web Day 7 Assignment


Note: The online classroom is designed to time students out after 90 minutes of inactivity. Because of this, we strongly suggest that you compose your work in a word processing program and copy and paste it into the discussion post when you are ready to submit it.

Learning Outcomes

This week students will: 

  1. Apply principles of photography and composition toward the analysis of a photograph.
  2. Describe the role of motion pictures in visual communication
  3. Analyze the use of visuals in today’s media.
  4. Discuss ethical considerations in photography and motion pictures


Now, more than ever, people are able to document their lives through photography. It seems almost everyone has either a digital camera or a smart phone, making photography easier than ever before. But, are all photographs created equal? Are there any strategies we can use in our photographs to amplify their impact? We will examine this in our Photography and Composition discussion this week. We will also evaluate the use of motion pictures in communicating a message – particularly through the use of documentaries.

In addition to our discussions, we will reflect on the visuals we see every day, and how effective they are in communicating their intended message. Finally, we will examine the legal and ethical implications of misusing photographs and other visual media on the Web.



Required Resources

Read the following chapters in Visual literacy: learning to see:

  • Chapter 5: Photography
  • Chapter 6: Visual Storytelling Through Motion Pictures




  • Copyright Basics  (



Recommended Resources




To participate in the following discussions, go to this week’s Discussion link in the left navigation.

Photography and Composition
When considering magazines like National Geographic, or social media like Pinterest, it becomes evident that photography plays an instrumental role in visual communication. However, creating an impactful photograph is not always easy.

Your textbook explains the importance of design and composition in successful photography. For this discussion, locate a photograph (either on the Web or in print) that strategically uses at least three elements of design (e.g., balance, color, asymmetry, etc.). Then, paste a link to the photograph (or, if it is in print, upload a scanned copy to the discussion forum or the web), and explain which elements are utilized, and how they affect the overall impact and message of the photograph.

Possible Resources




Link to Photo:

I chose photograph of Svartifoss, Iceland, taken by Giacomo Ciangottini, and displayed on the Photo of the Day section of the National Geographic website.

This photograph utilizes asymmetry (particularly, the rule of thirds) with the waterfall on the left. This asymmetry is balanced by the dark section of rock in the upper right corner of the image. The photograph also utilizes line, in that the waterfall, the lines in the cliff, and the slope of the area around the lake all work together to guide the eye from the upper left, directly down the photograph, and toward the bottom right. Finally, its use of color conveys an overall impression of a natural, albeit, majestic scene.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers with feedback on their analysis of the photograph they selected. Do you see the same design elements they did? Do you agree with their interpretation of how these elements impact the overall photograph? Can you find any additional design elements they did not address in their post?

*Note: If you select a photo from National Geographic’s Photo of the Day, be sure the URL contains the photo’s name (particularly if you are selecting “today’s” photo). For example, notice the URL in the sample above contains “svartifoss-waterfall-iceland” at the end. You may need to click on the actual photo to ensure you have the correct URL. 

Motion Pictures 
Like photographs, motion pictures are a significant medium for visual communication.

Watch at least three of the documentary trailers (Recommended:  iTunes Movie Trailers: Documentary. (

Based on one of the trailers, what do you think is the intended message of the documentary? What are motion pictures able to do that photos and still images cannot, and how does that impact the message being communicated? Can you think of any ethical concerns or controversial issues related to the use of motion pictures as a communication medium? Explain.

Guided Response: Respond to at least two of your peers with feedback on their analysis. How did their analysis compare to yours? Do you agree with the ethical concerns they’ve raised? Why or why not?



To complete the following journal entry, go to this week’s Journal link in the left navigation.





Visual Communication Today

Visual communication is just about everywhere we look. Reflect on the visuals you’ve seen in your daily life over the past couple weeks, and the messages they’ve communicated (e.g., TV commercials, billboards, magazine ads, web ads, websites, product packaging, photographs, etc.). Do any stand out in your mind? If so, why do you think they were so effective in getting your attention? Are there any trends you are noticing specifically in today’s media?

This journal entry should allow you to thoroughly reflect upon what you have learned thus far in class, and provides you an opportunity to relate this learning to your professional and/or personal experiences. Your journal entry may be written in a more informal style, with a focus on clearly conveying your ideas. APA formatting elements are not required for your journal entry, but you are expected to adhere to conventional rules of grammar, sentence structure, spelling, and punctuation.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.







To complete the following assignment, go to this week’s Assignment link in the left navigation.

Using Photographs from the Web

Today more than ever, photographs and other visual media are at our fingertips. Whether it’s through Google Images or Flickr, we have endless visual media available for us to use. Or, do we?

Watch the video Copyright Basics  (

Submit a two- to three-page paper (not including the title and reference pages) describing the benefits and challenges associated with having so many visuals available to us today. Describe the ethical and legal implications of using photos and other visual media and describe how these issues can be avoided.

Your paper must be formatted according to APA style as outlined in the approved APA style guide, and you must cite at least two scholarly sources, in addition to the textbook.

Carefully review the Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate your assignment.




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