PROJECT 4: CONCEPTUAL PORTRAITURE

 

Final Project: Conceptual Portraiture

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OBJECTIVE: To conceptualize and execute an entire project utilizing all the ideas and techniques learned throughout the semester.  To be able to articulate the relationship between the formal and conceptual decisions that are made in the creation of images.

FINAL PROJECT:
For your final project you will be creating an untraditional portrait of a person.  You must know and have an established relationship to this person (family member, partner, friend, mentor, employer, etc.).  You will create a triptych (three separate images) that allows the viewer to understand both specific and abstract qualities of this person.

The three photographic components of the assignment are:

  • PHOTO ONE: You will need to pick a place that relays emotive information regarding your sitter.
  • PHOTO TWO: You will need to pick a thing that relays emotive information regarding your sitter.
  • PHOTO THREE: A portrait of your person without shooting their face.

This project has several steps so it is important to be focused, organized, exercise excellent time management, and stay enthusiastic! You will need your plastic presentation binder and when you are completed it will look like the one in the slide show below….you will have your written statement, your Photography Development Template, your contact sheets, your three printed photographs and a disc that has your 3 final images (at 300ppi) and your written statement on it.

DIRECTIONS IN PDF FORMAT: 

project-4-conceptual-portraiture

TEMPLATE FOR PHOTO DEVELOPMENT


Example of What Your Final Portfolio Should Look Like:

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Past Student Work Gallery:

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Introduction to Project- Look at contemporary photographic examples as homework and complete the prepatory writing segment of this project.

Look at the below artists:

David Hilliard
Tina Barney
Nan Golden                                                                                                                        

Rineke Dijkstra

Anton Corbijn
Alec Soth
Roni Horn

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TIMELINE + PROJECT DETAILS: 

WEEK ONE: APRIL 10

Introduction to Project- Look at contemporary photographic examples as homework and complete the prepatory writing segment of this project.

HOMEWORK:

Part 1: Preparatory Writing:

To start the assignment you must decide on the person that you would like to photograph. Your next step will be to type the answers to the following questions and put them into a plastic presentation binder (get one of these for next week).

  1. What is the name of the person you are photographing?
  2. What is your relationship to the person you are photographing?
  3. The reason you want to photograph this person is…
  4. A place that you associate with this person is… because…
  5. How are you going to use your photographic skill sets to try to capture the concepts/ideas listed above? Please list specific ideas/examples.
  6. A thing that describes this person is… because……
  7. How are you going to use your photographic skill sets to try to capture the concepts/ideas listed above? Please list specific ideas/examples.
  8. Once the above elements are completed you can begin to take photographs. The more thoughtful your written statement + Photography Development Template are the easier it will be when you are actually shooting. If you have thought through what and how you want to photograph something, the more likely it is that your images will communicate content in the way you want them too.

Part 2: Photographic Templates:

Only after your writing is complete do I want you to begin to develop your specific images using the Photography Development Template. When you have completed your first draft of the Photography Development Template please put that into your plastic presentation folder also.

For each photographic image please use a minimum of one Photography Development Template (this means that next week you will have at least three templates completed, if not more.)

Bring your writing and templates into class in two weeks (No class Nov 22) 


WEEK 2: APRIL 17

Group Sessions:

Students will be grouped in pairs and each person will have 10-15 minutes to introduce their project ideas and get feedback from their peers. After both students have had an opportunity to give and receive peer-to-peer feedback, new pairs will be created and the process will be repeated.

Independent Sessions:

Independent work time will occur after the group sessions while the instructor will come by and give one-on-one feedback to each student.

HOMEWORK:

Start the photography portion of the final by working on your “place” + “thing’ photograph. Remember you will need to photograph the place in a way in which you feel is representative of your person and the emotional connection they (or you) have to that place, not a documentary representation of the place.

When developing your “thing” image, remember to photograph it in a way in which you feel is conceptually/emotionally representative of the person, not a literal representation.

You must photograph a minimum of 75-100 images for each photograph. You may of course shoot much more than that, which I highly recommend.


WEEK 3: APRIL 24

In-Class: Informal Critique of student’s progress in class.

Part 1: Bring your shot images for the “place” and the “thing” to class and be ready to go.

Do this as soon as you come into class:

  1. Upload and archive all your images.
  2. Create a set of contact sheets with every image you shot for this assignment. Do not edit out your mistakes, crop, or adjust any of the images.
  3. Order the proof sheets in the order you shot each image.
  4. Print out the contact sheets and circle (with a visible marker or pen) the images you think are strongest and put them into your plastic presentation binder.

HOMEWORK:

Now photograph the person. No direct images of the face.

You must photograph a minimum of 75 – 100 shots for this photograph. You may of course shoot much more than that, which I highly recommend.

  1. Upload and archive all your images.
  2. Create a set of contact sheets with every image you shot for this assignment. Do not edit out your mistakes, crop, or adjust any of the images.
  3. Order the proof sheets in the order you shot each image.
  4. On the contact sheets circle the images you think are strongest and put them into your plastic presentation binder.
  5. Select your three strongest images and print your three-image piece for critique. Image size and all presentational decisions should support your conceptual framework. In addition, to the three prints, an additional print should be made – and it should contain all three images on one page (think about what we did for the “Depth of Field Assignment” and create this, without the captions).
  6. Be prepared to present and speak about your work next week during our final critiques. Any projects not completed at the beginning of class will receive an F. You may not be printing when class starts.

You should bring to class with you a binder with plastic sleeves, and the following components of this project printed out inside of it (in this order).

  1. The cover should be the triptych on one page. 
  2. Next should follow each image (3 in total). First should be the portrait of the person without showing their face, second should be the “place”, and third should be the “thing”
  3. Your Photography Development Templates (drawings)
  4. Your marked Contact Sheets
  5. An extra plastic sleeve for your Visual Essay (to be turned in next week). 
  6. An extra sleeve for your disk. 

WEEK 4: MAY 1

In-class Final Critique of all student work. Late arrivals to class will have points deducted off their project. One point per one minute late.

In class we will go over the Visual Analysis Essay. The essay is due before our final on December 21 at 1:00 pm. Bring your essay both printed out and on a disk, labeled with your name. On the disk should also be your triptych and three JPEG images at 300 ppi.

Homework: 

Visual Analysis Essay: Due before our final on December 20 at 1:00 pm. Printed out and on a disk, labeled with your name. In addition, on the disk should be a copy of your triptych and three JPEG images.

VISUAL ANALYSIS ESSAY:

Please write a minimum of five paragraphs visually analyzing your conceptual portrait triptych. (1 opening, 1 paragraph per photo + a closing paragraph).

The paragraphs pertaining to your individual photos will demonstrate your understanding of the relationship between your intentionality (content/ideas) and your technical decisions (form).

Start with concise descriptions using the technical language that we have learned throughout the semester. Remember, slowing down to really describe your photographs is difficult. Assume nothing – walk the reader of the essay through your photos using language. I have as of yet to read a description in which I thought the writer over-described their image. (you are describing to a person without sight…).

After you have thoroughly described your image please write about the meaning of your photos and how the technical decisions you addressed above reinforce your ideas. This should be a considered statement about your intentionality.

Your closing paragraph should discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your final project. Did you think it was a successful project? Why or why not? Give specific details – do not generalize. What was the strongest aspect of your final triptych? Did you experience any “lucky accidents”? What was the weakest aspect of your final images? If you could go back and redo some aspect of your project, what would it be?

Technical & conceptual topics you must address:

  • Composition — Rule of Thirds, Focal Point (Scale, Color Isolation), Negative and Positive Space, Foreground, Middle ground, Background
  • The Design Elements – Line, Shape, Texture and Pattern
  • Shutter Speed
  • Depth of Field
  • Perspective of the Photographer
  • Light and the Quality of Light
  • Subject

Visual Analysis Essay: Due before our final exam next week. Essay should be printed out and on a disk, labeled with your name. In addition, on the disk should be a copy of your triptych and three JPEG images.