March 27

Depth of Field Continuation: Parts 5, 6 and 7, Quiz & Photographic Series 


Depth of Field Final Steps (5, 6, 7): Last week you were given the assignment, Same Space, Different Perspective. In order to complete this assignment, the first 30 minutes of class you are required to finish the remaining steps:

PART FIVE | Contact Sheets: Make a Contact Sheet using your three images. As soon as you get to class begin to work on this. You will have the first 30 minutes to create a contact sheet and the critique will occur at approximately 1:40 pm. Using your three strongest images make one contact sheet (use Bridge– Output). After your contact sheet is completed and you feel the images are appropriately scaled, open it up in Photoshop and use the type tool to type your (already composed) captions next to each image. You’re your contact sheet as a JPEG!!! It will likely open up into Photoshop as a Photoshop file. Save as a JPEG. Between 1:30 and 1:40 your job is to get your 3 photographs as well as your contact sheet with captions on the instructor’s computer.

PART SIX | Critique:  At this point in the semester, if you are not prepared for a critique, your grade is going to suffer. This includes the entire assignment – from shooting, to editing and putting your photographs in files, writing captions, and overall, being distracted from the critique by your own work, or lack of completed work.

PART SEVEN | Self-Assessment: This will happen after the critique). Take some time toevaluate your artistic decisions and and thoughts around this project. As always, you will be required to turn the form in at the end of class.

Project 3  | Photographic Series:  

Dorothea Lange


Photographic Series: A photographic series is a group of images related by some aspect held in common (ex. a certain mood, subject matter, technique, function or purpose).

Project 3 of this course requires you to develop a conceptually driven photographic series in either black and white or color (do not mix the two). Your project can be one of two things: Thematic or Narrative.

Thematic: addresses a topic or issue                                                                                                             Narrative: tells a story, usually in chronological order

This assignment begins (and ends) with a concept. It is your task to define the concept visually and develop it into an interesting “series” of images. A minimum of 10 photographs is required for this project. A maximum of 20 can be turned in. Please avoid overly simplistic subject matter. Your series could be a group of related environmental portraits, landscapes, self-portraits, night photography, etc.—basically this assignment is wide open in terms of subject content, however you must stick to ONE THEME OR NARRATIVE.

This project needs to be made up well thought out photographs that also make use of design elements such as line, color, pattern, texture, and light that we have discussed throughout this semester. Your project should have a title. All images should be properly exposed, processed and tonally corrected for final presentation. Consider innovative subject matter photographed in a dynamic composition using creative use of depth-of-field and shutter speed techniques.

Please remember that the photographs that you submit for your project must be taken by you specifically for this project, between now and the end of the semester. DO NOT reuse old photographs that you may have lying around, even if they perfectly fit your project!

The grading criteria will consist of:

o How well your photographs communicate your idea(s)

o Technique: camera use – depth of field, shutter speed, exposure and

development of the negatives

o Aesthetics: composition, framing, vantage point, etc.

o Presentation of project

o Participation / explanation in the critique.

Deadline: This Project is due on Monday, November 23 at 1:00 PM. Be on time for

class and be ready to present your work in a group critique.

Powerpoint Introduction to Project: Photo Series Project 3

PDF of Instructions: project-3-photographic-series

Brainstorming Session Form: Brainstorming Session

The Brown Sisters, Nicholas Nixon

The Brown Sisters, Nicholas Nixon

Some Ideas to Get Your Brain Moving:

That idea may sound a little morbid, but graveyards can be a wonderful place to photograph. Often, they are beautiful areas, surrounded by nature. They are peaceful places to spend time, which allows you to connect with your inner creativity. You can also take along a close-up lens, and photograph the writing on the tombstones, or just the textures. Some of the old stones have wonderful, rough textures that may make good images in their own right, or they can be composited with another image in Photoshop.

You can often find mannequins in store windows. If you are lucky, you can catch store displays in the middle of being set up. Keep your eyes open; there are many fun and intriguing photography project ideas here once you’re on the lookout.

Nature Reclaiming
The idea here is to shoot man-made objects or environments that nature is reclaiming. Old cars, or abandoned buildings with vegetation growing throughout, essentially engulfing the landscape.

Find yourself a beautiful landscape nearby, and return to it many times to photograph it under different lighting conditions: morning light, evening light, mist, or rain – each one will produce very a different image. Keep an eye on the weather. Storms can produce some dramatic light. Have your camera nearby so you don’t miss out.


Give people a glimpse at the artist behind the camera and take a self-portrait. You can do a classic camera-in-hand mirror snap, or get creative and put your camera on a tripod, set a timer, and run in a wheat field. There are so many options for creative shots and the best thing about you being the model is you can take your shot whenever you like and take as long as you want snapping it!

Go on a photographic journey

Plan a weekend vacation, or even a day trip, around where you can go take great photographs. A pasture filled with cows? Excellent. A hiking trip up a mountain, with beautiful city views? Even better. An old-school diner with handmade milkshakes? Spectacular.

How do things change over time? How quickly do they change? Find something in the class or outside that you expect to change. It could be a caterpillar, a flower bud, or a tree. Figure out how quickly it is going to change, then take pictures at regular intervals to show this change.

Imitation – Learning From the Best
It’s standard practice for art students to imitate the works of past masters. Doing the same in photography is often tricky, because photos rely on a moment that comes and goes in a fraction of a second. But you can engineer things to a certain extent, or simply imitate a famous posed series of portraits or a project at large.

This will really test your photography composition skills and ability to capture a desired mood through lighting etc.

Some great photographers (Google them):
Henri Cartier Bresson
Nicholas Nixon (see selects from his 40-year project The Brown Sisters above or in its entirety here.
Andrew Moore
Mary Ellen Mark

Sally Mann
Elliot Erwitt

There are SO many great photographers out there. If you are confused about which direction to go in, thematically – come talk to me! If a question or thought strikes you after class, email me!