ASSIGNMENT 8 : Final Printed Portfolio
Printing is a important aspect of photography and brings the digital into the material world. A lot can change between the screen and the paper and learning to anticipate those changes are a life long lesson. For this assignment you will take you first shot at trying to produce a print version of your digital images and the challenge will be getting the correct image resolution, value and color.
- Select 5 – 8 photos that you have taken so far this course. These could be photos you submitted as your final images for any assignment, but they could also be other images. Look for images that have high resolution and are of good quality. [A 300 dpi image 5″ x 7.5″ = 1500 x 2250 pixels; A 300 dpi image 8″ x 12″ = 2400 x 3600 pixels.]
- Print a contact sheet of your selected images. This sheet will give you a small preview of your images will print at with the editing as is. You may find from this sheet that you want to adjust and/or edit some of the images. Each page you print costs $1 and can only be paid for will your gull card. To put money on your gull card visit the SU gull card website.
- Print 5 – 8 photos at least 5″ in the smallest dimension. You may print larger, any size that fits on an 8.5″ x 11″ sheet of paper. Write your name and a title for each image either on the back of the print or on a separate piece of paper you will hand in with the prints.
ASSIGNMENT 7 : Under the Influence
All professional photographers have their short list of the artists that have influenced their work and provided inspiration. We all stand on the shoulders of the great creatives that have come before, and this assignment is about finding whose shoulders you want to stand on. Picasso once said, “Good artists copy and great artists steal.” So as you make your choice and form your plan, don’t try to just replicate an existing photo, but truly steal the founding ideas, strategies and techniques and make them your own. To be able to do this you will need a good understanding of the work you are stealing.
- Photo Research 7 (part 1) : Select a photographer and a specific photo or body of work they have done. For this assignment the training wheels are off and you can select a photographer from any time and any place, not just our approved course blogs. The photographer must be either historically important or a contemporary successful professional. Your selections are DUE Monday, July 28 at 10am. You will post your photographer and selected series/photo to the course blog with a one paragraph description of who this photographer is, what the work is, and why you chose it.
- Shoot 50 photos using the techniques, ideas, subject matter, and/or strategies you will be stealing from your chosen photographer. A draft contact sheet of at least 25 photos is DUE Monday, July 28 at 10am. A final draft with the full 50 photographs will be DUE Tuesday, July 29 at 10am.
- Photo Research 7 (part 2) : Now that you have you photographer and specific work(s) selected you will be deepening your research. You will access all available resources to learn more about this artist’s techniques and ideas. Your source(s) can be a book, internet article or interview, magazine article, documentary film, or even a personal interview with the photographer. You will study this resource and from it create a 250-500 word summary of what you learned and post that to the blog. You will also share these insights with the class. DUE Wednesday, July 30 at 10am.
- Post your final image and statement : From your 50 photos you will choose one top image and edit that for your final work. You will post this final image along with your original unedited image and a 250 word or less statement about this work. (You should have lots of fodder for your statement for this assignment with all the research you have done in preparation.) DUE Wednesday, July 30 at 10am.
ASSIGNMENT 6 : Portraiture and Light
People are certainly one of the most interesting and most challenging subjects to photograph. For this assignment, you’ll be using all of the skills you’ve learned during the course to take some stunning portraits. You will need to think about lighting, backgrounds, depth of field, composition, and color. You can also (tastefully) touch up each photo in Lightroom. By now these skills should come quite naturally to you, so you can focus your creative effort on capturing something truly unique or special about your portrait subject.
If you find yourself without anyone willing to model for you this week, you can take a self-portrait for any of the requirements. This is an interesting type of photograph in its own right, and adds a degree of difficulty.
- This time there are five requirements that you will meet by taking at least 100 photographs. As you shoot be conscious of your choice of camera settings and compositional elements and be prepared to discuss these in class.
- Requirement 1: Indoor Traditional Portrait
Take a portrait of someone using a traditional portrait lighting setup as described in lectures (a key light, a fill light, and possibly a background light and accent/rim light).
- Requirement 2: Indoor Natural Light Portrait
Take a portrait of someone indoors using only non-electric sources of light (a fireplace, candles, the sun, etc). You might want to arrange someone near a window. Think about the light in the same way as for the traditional portrait lighting, and comment on how you created a fill light, how you created a key light, etc.
- Requirement 3: Outdoor Available Light Portrait
Take a portrait of someone outdoors under available lighting only. Comment on what serves as the fill light and key light. If you like, you can also make this one a candid shot, in which the subject is not aware you’re taking a photo (or at least appears to not be aware).
- Requirement 4: Flash + Ambient
Take a portrait which uses a combination of your camera’s flash and ambient illumination. Again, comment on what serves as the key light and what serves as the fill light. Remember, you need not point the flash right at the subject – with a small hand-held mirror or white card you can bounce any camera’s flash elsewhere.
- Requirement 5: Self Portrait
Take a portrait where you are both the subject and the photographer (i.e. a self portrait). We suggest using a tripod or ledge to stabilize your camera, maybe in conjunction with the camera’s self-timer (or a remote shutter). It’s okay to use a mirror if it is used artistically, but please avoid holding the camera at arm’s length; this isn’t Facebook! Your head must be included in the photo. Pay careful attention to lighting and composition.
- Post your contact sheet of 100 photos to the blog. DUE Thursday, July 24
- Edit your five best photos in Lightroom and upload these to the blog.
DUE Monday, July 28
PHOTO RESEARCH 6 : Portraiture
Following the theme of the Portraiture assignment, for your photo research look for a portrait photograph is beautiful, interesting, or unusual; or all three! When you find a photo that you are drawn to write 1 paragraph about it to add to your blog post. In that paragraph explain why you were drawn to the photo, how the image is unexpected/beautiful and what photographic techniques may have been used to achieve it.
DUE Thursday July 24
ASSIGNMENT 5 : Landscape and Nature
The difference between a mundane landscape and a great landscape is often composition. Pay attention to lines, framing, suggestive forms, diagonals, S-curves, balance, rhythm and texture. Lighting will also play a large role in your photographs for this assignment. You will find that morning and evening lighting brings out rich colors and delicate shadows in your photographic subjects, whereas mid-day lighting is generally harsh and direct. For a more dramatic photograph try positioning yourself so that the sun provides side-lighting, or even back-lighting. Getting the correct exposure is more challenging in these situations, but the results are well worth it!
You might use this assignment as a reason to head to the beach or into the forest. Remember though that nature is all around and you don’t need to go far to meet the requirements of this assignment.
- As usual, there are four requirements that you will meet by taking at least 100 photographs. As you shoot be conscious of your choice of camera settings and compositional elements and be prepared to discuss these in class.
- Requirement 1: Use an S-Curve
S-Curves can be used in photographs for a variety of purposes. They can lead the viewer’s eye to the subject, convey a sense of depth (eg a road winding into the distance), or they can be flat compositional elements that create a balanced scene. At least one of your photos should use an S-Curve for one of these purposes. (Note that the S-curve we refer to here is not the same thing as an S-curve you might use when editing in Lightroom to enhance contrast.)
- Requirement 2: Tiny Nature
For at least one of your photos get close to nature and photograph something on the small scale. Be very aware of your depth of field and you amy want to use your “macro” setting if you are working with a more automatic camera. Focus and detail will be especially important for this requirement.
- Requirement 3: Texture
Take at least one shot in which the main, or even sole compositional element is a natural texture. Use a small aperture to get everything in focus. Interesting natural textures include grass, rock, sand, and clouds. Use Photoshop to take advantage of the full tonal range available to you, from black to white. You’ll find that textures under grazing light appear richer, which leads us to the next requirement…
- Requirement 4: The Golden Hour
Landscape photography is best done in the golden hour. This is the hour after dawn or the hour before sunset when the light is a rich golden color and strikes the earth at a grazing angle, emphasizing details. At least one of your photographs this week must be of a landscape taken during the golden hour. Dawn is definitely preferable, as the air is much clearer, but if your sleep schedule makes dawn either too late or too early, sunset is also acceptable. Sunset is currently approximately 8:30pm, and dawn is approximately 6am. You should thus be planning to take photos from 7:30-8:30pm, or 6-7am.
- Post your contact sheet of 100 photos to the blog. DUE Monday, July 21
- Edit your five best photos in Lightroom and upload these to the blog.
DUE Tuesday, July 22
PHOTO RESEARCH 5 : Landscape and Nature
Following the theme of the Landscape and Nature assignment, for your photo research look for a photograph that features the natural world in an interesting or unusual way. When you find a photo that you are drawn to write 1 paragraph about it to add to your blog post. In that paragraph explain why you were drawn to the photo, how the image is unexpected and what photographic techniques may have been used to achieve it.
ASSIGNMENT 4 : Night Colors
Taking photographs at night, or in low-light presents unique challenges. However, with a steady place to rest the camera (which need not be a tripod), and a long exposure, the light gathering ability of your camera can greatly exceed the human eye, allowing you to capture a shot of something you could not normally see, such as a forest at night, a faraway galaxy, or even a rainbow cast by moonlight.
- Take some photos that meet the requirements listed below. Each photograph you take should meet at least one of the requirements below, and you should take approximately 25 photos for each requirement, though you may take more of some than others you need to have at least some that fit each requirement. You should shoot at least 100 photos for the assignment. Remember to use the rules of composition, bracketing, and shoot things that you find exciting.
- Requirement 1: Shot in the Dark (outdoors) Head outside, find somewhere stable to rest your camera, and photograph a picturesque natural night scene. We want to see absolutely no motion blur due to camera movement in your shot. You may wish to use the self-timer mode on your camera to avoid the problem of moving the camera when you press the shutter button. As this is a night scene, try to set a long exposure time, such as one or two seconds. You can use a small artifical light to illuminate a subject, or let a distant street lamp or car headlight bring light into your shot. Do not “overlight” these shots.
- Requirement 2: Shot in the Dark (indoors) In a darkened room, create a lowlight situation – this could be with a dim lamp, iPhone screen light, flashlight, light coming in from a window, etc. As always think about directional light.
- Requirement 3: Painting with Light Take a long-exposure photo in which you use a light source as if it were a painter’s brush. You should move the light around to create the scene you want over the course of the exposure. You can do this by making a moving light source, or by pointing the light at the parts of the scene you wish to be illuminated over the course of the exposure. For example, you may want to walk around in your scene during the exposure with a hand-held camera flash, firing it in places you would like to be illuminated. In general, you may use any light source you have available to you: bike lights, LEDs, candles, flashlights, or even your cell phone screen will all cast light into the scene in different ways. Be creative!
- Requirement 4: Color as a Subject Take photos that focus on color either as accent, monochromatic, highly saturated, or neutralized.Color as accent- Think about balancing intensity/saturation with neutral colors. Remember, a small highly saturated area will balance a large, neutral area. Ex. An orange construction cone composed against a large area of grey pavement.
Monochromatic- Fill the frame with variations of one color. Find something that has different values and shades of the same color. The colors can also move into analogous colors as well, as long as they are similar. Look for value contrasts, etc, within this shot.
Highly Saturated- A whole lotta color. Compose an image that is filled from edge to edge with bright intense color. To successfully compose you will need to focus on the formal elements (line, shape, texture, etc) in order to create a more interesting and dynamic photograph.Neutralized- The opposite of highly saturated. Fill the frame with tans, browns, grays, off-whites, etc. Try to avoid any bright saturated colors. You still need to consider value and light as aspects of your photo. Tone it down.
- Post your contact sheet of 100 photos to the blog. DUE Thursday, July 17
- Edit your five best photos in Lightroom and upload these to the blog.
DUE Friday, July 18
PHOTO RESEARCH 4 : Night Color
Following the theme of the Night Color assignment, for your photo research look for a photograph that features either a night scene or an interesting color scheme. When you find a photo that you are drawn to that shows night or color as you haven’t seen it before, write 1 paragraph about it to add to your blog post. In that paragraph explain why you were drawn to the photo, how the image is unexpected and what photographic techniques may have been used to achieve it.
DUE Thursday, July 17
ASSIGNMENT 3 : ARCHITECTURES
Good photography often shows us the familiar in an unfamiliar way. Capturing a compelling image of Architecture can be a hard task since we are all used to living with built spaces. For this assignment you’ll be looking at the spaces where people live and work and trying to fit them into a frame. Your photos must include some kind of architecture, however you can interpret that term broadly.
Architecture is typically more geometric than natural scenes, so you will need to think about the geometry of your scene. Consider repeating elements, size relationships as they change under perspective, the lines induced by vanishing points, and the texture and weathering of man-made objects. One way to surprise people with architecture and interior photography is by using clever composition to highlight the geometric aspects of structures that are subliminal or even overlooked. Forced perspective is another great way to surprise the viewer. The requirements this week will help you play with geometry and think about the practical concerns of people who need to represent an interior space in a photograph.
By now you should have a good handle on the controls of your camera, so put your extra effort this week into making your photos visually compelling. Go beyond simply meeting the letter of the requirements and try out some of the rules of composition that you read about for the first assignment, and if you need some more help or ideas check out these 25 tips.
- Take some photos that meet the requirements listed below. Each photograph you take should meet at least one of the requirements below, and you should take approximately 20 photos for each requirement, though you may take more of some than others you need to have at least some that fit each requirement. You should shoot at least 100 photos for the assignment. Remember to use the rules of composition, bracketing, and shoot things that you find exciting.
◦ Requirement 1: Vertical Vanishing Point. In at least one of your photos, vertical lines in the world (e.g. corners of buildings) must visibly converge to a vanishing point either within or nearly within your frame. To do this, look up and use a wide field of view (a short focal length).
◦ Requirement 2: No vertical vanishing point. In at least one of your photos, vertical lines in the world must appear parallel in your photograph. You can do this by looking straight ahead when you take the picture and fixing the composition by cropping later.
◦ Requirement 3: Frame your shot. At least one of your photos should be shot through a door, window, archway, or other physical man-made frame. The frame should be visible in the photograph, but is not necessarily the subject. The frame need not be rectangular.
◦ Requirement 4: Repeating patterns. Find some interesting repeating patterns in a building or other man-made architectural object and use them as the focus of a photograph. Try to be creative here — don’t just take a random photo that happens to have some repeating elements. Instead, make the repeating elements the obvious theme of the image. So the repeating patterns shouldn’t be so obscure that the viewer would need to read your comments in order to ascertain the repeating theme of the photo.
◦ Requirement 5: Minimalism. Minimalist art and design strives for purity of form and typically has clean lines, simple shapes, and lacks decoration. To fulfill this requirement you can choose to photograph a structure that is minimal, or you can use perspective and cropping to produce a minimal image. Less is more.
- Post your contact sheet of 100 photos to the blog. DUE Tuesday, July 15
- Edit your five best photos in Lightroom and upload these to the blog. DUE Wednesday, July 16
PHOTO RESEARCH 3 : ARCHITECTURES
Following the theme of the Architectures assignment, for your photo research look for a photograph that shows a building, interior, or human-made structure in an unexpected way. When you find a photo that you are drawn to that shows a design element as you haven’t seen it before, write 1 paragraph about it to add to your blog post. In that paragraph explain why you were drawn to the photo, how the image is unexpected and what photographic techniques may have been used to achieve it.
DUE Tuesday, July 15
ASSIGNMENT 2 : SEEING DESIGN
For this assignment you will take photographs of things that you have never “seen” before. Perhaps you’ll notice an interesting light reflection from the TETC onto the grass, or an imperfection in the sidewalk that looks suspiciously like a face, or a tree by that has interesting knots, etc. Try not to take familiar images like the ones you would see in a promotional brochure. The goal of this assignment is to get you to “tune-in” to what is around you and try to take a closer look. Don’t forget to “work the shot”.
You will be creating compositions that explore the elements of design. The elements of design include line, shape, texture, value, and color. You will be seeking out these elements as you capture new things that you see.
- Take some photos that meet the requirements listed below. Each photograph you take should meet at least one of the requirements below, and you should take approximately 20 photos for each requirement, though you may take more of some than others you need to have at least some that fit each requirement. You should shoot at least 100 photos for the assignment. Remember to work to see things you haven’t noticed before while looking for each of the following elements.
◦ Requirement 1: Line. Lines can be found anywhere, and linear objects, shadows as well as edges of things can make them.
◦ Requirement 2: Shape. Shapes can come in both positive and negative form. A shape could be made by a thing in itself or by multiple things coming together to form a visual shape that is not really there.
◦ Requirement 3: Texture. Visual textures are often created by contrast in value or color. Keep this in mind when looking for textures to shoot.
◦ Requirement 4: Value. This means lights and darks. Your photos don’t necessarily need to be black and white or monochrome, but they should feature lights and or darks as the main focus of the image.
◦ Requirement 5: Color. Highlight color in some way, either by isolating certain colors, or playing with compliments, or some other approach you can come up with. Color can be the most difficult thing to get right, so you might need to spend more shots on this requirement.
- Post your contact sheet of 100 photos to the blog. DUE Friday, July 11
- Edit your five best photos in Lightroom and upload these to the blog. DUE Monday, July 14
PHOTO RESEARCH 2 : DESIGN ELEMENTS
Following the theme of your “seeing design” assignment, for your photo research look for a photograph that shows an element of design (line, shape, texture, color, and value) in an unexpected way. When you find a photo that you are drawn to that shows a design element as you haven’t seen it before, write 1 paragraph about it to add to your blog post. In that paragraph explain why you were drawn to the photo, what the design element is and what was unusual about how that element was photographed.
DUE Friday, July 11
ASSIGNMENT 1 : bad photos
Cameras in automatic mode try to take care of the technical aspect of photography for you, and just let you frame the scene and shoot. They will attempt to make sure the scene is not too dark, not too bright, not blurry, and so on. These goals don’t always match up with the photographer’s intent. For this first assignment, you’ll be playing with the settings on your camera to produce photos you can’t easily produce in automatic mode. You’ll be taking photos that your camera might consider “bad” in some technical way, but are nonetheless interesting to look at, and even artistic.
- Take some photos that meet the requirements listed below. Each photograph you take should meet at least one of the requirements below, and you should take approximately 20 photos for each requirement, though you may take more of some than others you need to have at least some that fit each requirement. You should shoot at least 100 photos for the assignment. Note that these general rules apply to this assignment and all subsequent photo assignments in this course. Now, for Assignment 1 specifically: remember, even though the photos you take are supposed to be technically “bad” in some sense, we want you to create things that are interesting to look at. The “badness” should be intentional for an artistic purpose.
◦ Requirement 1: Bad Exposure. That is, most of the image should be either very close to black (underexposed) or close to flat white due to oversaturation (overexposed).
◦ Requirement 2: Blur. The main subject of at least one photograph should be motion-blurred, either due to movement of the subject or movement of the camera.
◦ Requirement 3: Focus. It’s hard to take a good looking photo where nothing is in focus – be creative!
◦ Requirement 4: White Balance. You should use the wrong white balance setting for some intentional effect, or trick your camera into capturing a tinted image. The white balance setting on a camera tells the camera what color it should expect the scene illumination to be, for example daylight (which is bluish) or indoor incandescent (which is reddish). Most cameras have an “auto white balance (AWB)” setting, and manual settings for these other illumination types. You don’t need to understand white balance in detail to fulfill this requirement. It’s a subject we’ll cover in detail later in the course.
◦ Requirement 5: Composition. At least one photo should be poorly composed. Read this article about the rules of composition and intentionally break a few: http://www.photographymad.com/pages/view/10-top-photography-composition-rules . If you’re not sure what to do you may want to consider an exactly centered subject that produces an oddly symmetric photo, a confusion between the subject and a background object, or a horizon that isn’t level.
>>>As you are shooting, make a point to pay attention to what settings produce what results. You may want to keep a small notebook with you to record which settings produce which results.<<<
- Post your contact sheet of 100 photos to the blog.
DUE Wednesday, July 9
- Edit your five best photos in Lightroom and upload these to the blog. DUE Thursday July 10
PHOTO RESEARCH 1 : bad photos
Following the theme of your first assignment, for your first photo research look for a photograph that uses “bad” technique for artistic or journalistic effect. When you find a photo that you are drawn to that fits the bill, write 1 paragraph about it to add to your blog post. In that paragraph explain why you were drawn to the photo, what the “bad” qualities are and how those qualities enhance the photo. Your photo must come from one of the approve blogs, so cite your source in the post.
DUE Wednesday, July 9