Multimedia 124 Digital Photography Production
Keith Hanz, Instructor
Section # 3627 Spring 04
Comprehensive Project Outline
This is a comprehensive list and description, including instructions and procedural and creative suggestions, of the project work required in this course. All projects must be created with your own source material whether it is captured with a digital camera or scanned from your own traditional photography (with limited, common sense exception, of course). Some of the following projects are to be accomplished over an extended period of time. I give you this detailed overview of the project requirements so you can prepare your ideas early, allowing them to evolve with quality and revision in mind. All concepts should be incubated by building rough low-resolution digital mock-ups or through sketching (That is to say; thoroughly planned). You are encouraged to revise and improve your work as your skills develop through out the term. This is why there is only one due date for all the work in this class, - the final exam session. These projects are designed to bolster your digital portfolio with projects that prove your photographic, image correction, optimization, compositing, and follow-up processing skills as well as your creative acumen.
Camera Functionality Exercises - Project # 1
First produce 5 engaging images utilizing the Macro (very close-up setting, up to 1:1 image magnification ratio) and discover the realm of the minute. Macro photography is not Close-up photography. Consider Macro photography to be even closer than Close-up. Think of the textures in fabric, hair, or soil, or photograph minute objects as close as you camera will allow. Look for the tulip icon that usually designates the macro setting. (You will be capturing five total images)
Next, capture 3 different interesting subjects at BOTH full-wide angle and full-telephoto focal length settings. Compose your subjects with the SAME subject-matter image size to illustrate the distortion of perspective at differing optical focal lengths. You will be forced to physically change your location between “Wide” and “Telephoto” shots in order maintain the same image size in the frame. Look for the emphasis of space, depth, and bending vertical lines set at full wide angle, or the flattening of the spatial relationships set at full telephoto. (You will be capturing six total images)
Next, experiment with your flash unit’s power capability (measured by Guide number) by capturing the same subject at four successive distances to discover the effective range of the camera’s strobe. Your camera to subject distance should be 2, 5, 10, 20 feet. Do this with a portrait and one additional subject. Expect a dramatic fall-off of light as the flash to subject distance increases. (You will be capturing eight total images). If your camera allows you to select ISO settings, choose ISO 100 without any flash exposure compensation.
Lastly, capture 6 subtle or dramatic action shots by attempting to pan the camera with the main subjects movement, or using a slow (1/30th sec or slower) shutter speed to allow subject movement, or using a very fast (1/500th sec. or faster) shutter speed to freeze obviously dynamic movement. (You will be capturing six total images)
25 total images for project #1 are required.
Photoshop Exercises – Project #2
Choose only three of the five following digital effects to produce a digital work of photographic art in Photoshop.
A. Creatively portray a stroboscopic effect using Photoshop. This implies motion by reiterating the image elements, changing opacity settings and intervals, and controlling depth-of-field blurring etc. Imaging, for example, human hands molding a celestial image of the earth.
B. Distort or seamlessly compile a captured image to humorous proportions. Juxtapose scaled or transformed proportions in P/S. Imagine, for example, very large people driving extremely small cars on a tight rope.
C. Convert source images to the bitmapped mode in P/S and produce a carefully abstracted high-contrast pattern. First, convert color mode to Grayscale Mode then experiment with bitmap mode settings to discover pattern and contrast possibilities with only black or white pixels. Imagine, for example, a straight digital capture that would read well as an abstracted pattern or texture in the highest of contrasts – a tiled roof, or a jumble of cat eyes.
D. Produce a fractured composition of a coarsely tiled image with elements captured with the digital camera. The facets do not need to be joined seamlessly. You may take several digital captures and bring them together in a new image, or take a high resolution capture and sub-divide elemental shapes into an image of new composition. Imagine, for example, a landscape where a portion of the scene turns into puzzle pieces.
E. Imply volume and three-dimensions with a digitally captured segment of a poured stream of liquid or a painted brush stroke. Strive to make the stream of liquid or brush stroke defy gravity and reason and place the new form in a considered space, setting or background. Capture your source material by carefully simplifying the backgrounds so you can extract the stream of liquid from its surrounding pixels with greater efficiency. This challenge is for more advanced and experienced P/S users. Imagine, for example, flowing water altered to look like fire bending in a helical path.
Surrational Juxtaposition – Project #3
Create a “Surrational” image utilizing the digital light room. In the tradition of a Scott Mutter dark room composite, produce a digital composite that juxtaposes differing objects, locales or meanings to make a personal, humorous, or political statement. Consider the Grayscale or Duotone modes to emulate the rich dynamic range of silver gelatin art photography prints (Black & White). Think of the word: “Surrational” as a combination of the words: “irrational” and “surreal”. Think, for example, of the branch of a withered tree in natural setting smoothly transitioning into the arm of a person reaching out.
Reflective Composite and Lighting – Project #4
Compile at least two digital still elements to produce a fictitious reflective surface. The reflection may be irrational yet must appear truly reflective. Experiment with opacity settings and blending modes to help meld the separate pixels into a believable reflection. Be diligent in warping or layering separate source material, and be aware of camera angle and lighting conditions. Think, for example, of car traveling on a street made to look wet through digital manipulation.
Secondly, Produce two identical images with dramatically different lighting schemes. This can be accomplished in the camera at different times or by altering the lighting characteristics of a single photograph in Photoshop. Think, for example, of a scenic image photographed at both sunrise and sunset. On the other hand, you can alter the lighting characteristics of a single image by using adjustment tools in photoshop to change color casts or contrast.
Digital Mosaic – Project #5
Produce a mosaic style composite whereby an over-all object or composition is built of scores if not hundreds or even thousands of smaller images arranged as building blocks. You can build a grid of mosaic image building blocks very quickly by copying and pasting a successively larger grid of “image pieces” together. For example, twenty scaled-down images can become hundreds with just a few copy and paste commands. The bitmapped pattern mode, Blending mode palette, and Toning tools are all possible avenues toward melding the grid with the larger image placed on top. With this tile-composited imagery you should adjust the tiles to help resolve the larger image placed on a separate layer over them. This exercise is only an approximation of the “Silvers’” style mosaic technique. We do not own the proprietary software that produces this effect, but, so what, the software technique is a superficial cliché. We can imply it with far greater creativity and conceptual impact in P/S. Imagine a human eye made of - and melded with - thousands of tiled images of skyscapes. You should consider creative solutions for producing the mosaic grid. Force yourself to go beyond your first couple of ideas. Let your first thoughts be a departure point that may evolve into a more engaging result.
Team-designed Hybrid Advertisement – Project #6
In collaborative teams of two, create a digital hybrid image that advertises a real or fictitious product or promotion. A hybrid image in the realm of the “light room” combines digital camera capture with scanned traditional silver halide photography (Digital camera and prints or scanned transparencies, slides). Carefully and creatively design typography into your image in order to sell or promote something. This project can only be produced in collaboration with a classmate. You should work together contributing to the fruition of the design equally. Prepare for this hybrid advertisement by paying attention to quality ads in print or on TV – ads that you find compelling. Communication Arts is a resource containing a wealth of first-rate graphic, photographic and web design.
Image Restoration/Distressing – Project #7
Take an aged and fatigued portrait and restore it digitally. Then take a new or pristine image and distress it digitally. Submit before and after layers for the two parts of this challenge. In this project you will be color-correcting and repairing physical and temporal damage to the original. Remember to zoom in and treat the problem as if it is a reservoir of pixels from which the image can be rebuilt. Use a comprehensive strategy for the image restoration. You will scan the original for the restoration. Consider carefully the subject matter you choose to distress in the second part of this project. If you intend the contemporary image to look old, photographing a modern vehicle might be the right choice, or is it?
Word Themes – Project #8
Create ten digital photographs that visually define ten different words or themes of your choosing. Five images should be premeditated or planned and five should be accidental or unplanned. You will look for or set-up subject matter that portrays the meanings of the word themes you decide to portray. These can be straight digital photographs, or elements brought together from your digitally captured archive or both. The challenge is to produce the meaning of the word or theme you choose in a conceptual photograph. The written word may not be a part of the image unless it is so cleverly utilized that you make me forget this rule. Imagine the word “time” digitally or actually etched in the surface of weathered rock, or a crumbling home in close proximity to well-maintained dwellings.
Ten Best Captures – Project #9
Present to the class your ten best digital photographs from this term’s library of images. The digital photographs you choose as you best work may not be images used for other projects for this class. They must be new, original, and diverse subject matter. These should not be manipulated or printed, but they must be digitally corrected and optimized – straight raw-data captures are not sufficient. Turn in copies of these ten with all your correction layers intact. Here you are choosing to show-case the most engaging and well-exposed photography you have produced this term as well as your capability to color correct them with image adjustment tools.
Digital Painting “Open Content” – Project #10 - Final Exam
Show-case your skills and impress me creatively. Produce a light-room work of art that you would present to a Design Studio in a portfolio review, or would be proud to exhibit in a gallery setting. You may prepare this project for printed output for extra credit. Extra credit means your poorest project will be tossed out of the grading consideration and replaced by the print. I will retain these prints for future display, so make copies for your own collection. As you would with any of this term’s work, you can and should prepare for this piece early in the term. This project should be thought of as that digital work of art that you have always wanted to produce, but never had the time to do so. Now you have permission to experiment and let the concept and the image evolve and improve over time. “Open content” means the subject matter is entirely of your choosing.
Michael Kenna paraphrasing Ansel Adams:
Often times that which is behind your camera is more interesting than what you’re focusing on in front of it.
Instructor’s advise to students:
Life is a blur for a photographer who never implements camera stabilization techniques.
immersion and tenacity always out-performs talent
If you should ever miss class, It’s a good idea not to ask the instructor if anything important was covered during your absence.
Please do not misplace this outline as it will not be available to you in printed form again.