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This past Thursday, Bay Area News Group photographer Karl Mondon visited Ginny Prior’s American Journalism class at Saint Mary’s College of California. During his visit, Mondon, a seasoned photographer with over twenty-five years of experience, showed the class important techniques in shooting news photographs. Additionally, Mondon was able to share some of his past experiences in photo and video.

During the tutorial and demonstration portion of the visit, Mondon and the class ventured outside in the gloomy November weather, as gusts of wind sent scarves and bundles of hair dancing into the air. He took many shots of Beau Levesque, one of the journalism students, and explained what angles were most flattering for women (from above) and men (from below). Additionally, he had the rest of the class gather around him in order to better frame the shot.

Mondon continued his tutorial by having the class gather in various locations, from the parking lot to the library. At the end of the tour, Mondon was able to take photos of the students running from the rain, which turned from a light drizzle into a steady beating of drops.

While Mondon is best known for his photo work, he also has a good handle on video. During the indoor portion of the visit, the photographer showcased his work at the 2012 London Olympics. However, he covered the less-known sport of race-walking. He explained that he was only able to cover a few events “because my name isn’t NBC.” Along the same lines, Mondon was clear that many times he didn’t get to pick his assignments – though his gig with the World Series Champs San Francisco Giants was not too shabby. Many students reacted to his photographs with various head nods, mouthings of “wow,” and raised eyebrows – which served as a true testament to his ability as a photographer. Reactions are key in a good photograph, and judging by ways that people were affected, it seems that Mondon was effective.

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