Assignment #3 – Portraiture

Due: Wednesday, 4/26

I’m human, you’re human, we are all human. Yay people!

Now that you have a sense of how to use the studio to create light and make photographs of objects, it’s time to move on to photographing humans. I’m sure you know some already, and being that you are a photographer I’m sure you have noticed somebody who you would like to photograph. Here is your chance. This assignment has two related parts. You will make two different types of portraits. Choose a subject who will be willing to be photographed twice.

The first portrait you will make using available light. This may be a very natural looking image, or it may be dramatic and dynamic. Your subject, lighting and technique can be sophisticated and interesting, but this image should not look like it was made in a studio, but in a real space under real light. You may choose to create some of the light in the scene through reflection or use of lighting equipment, but the lighting should not play such a large role that it calls attention to itself  – let your subject and your technique do that.

The second portrait will be of the same person, but created in studio. Make use of standard portrait lighting techniques, but explore, experiment and build on those to create a look which is appropriate for your subject and style. Pay careful attention to lighting ratio and color as well.

You will turn in:

Your raw photos (at least 72 frames)
Your working images as PSD files
Your final jpegs (2)

You will be graded on the following:

20pts. Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept

20pts – Use of sophisticated portrait lighting at a professional level

20pts – Technical excellence in terms of sharpness, exposure and color balance

20pts – Capturing a compelling or dramatic expression and pose

20pts – Post processing to enhance the image at a professional level

Work will be shown in a critique on 4/26. All students must attend the critique.

Assignment #2 – Studio Product Photography

Due: Wednesday, March 29th

We are working our way up to studio portraiture, but our last stop before we arrive there is to create some product photography. This niche presents challenges of its own both in terms of sophistication of lighting and authentic staging and composition.

Your assignment is to choose a new product worthy of your attention, and to make two distinct photographs at a professional level. One will be a simple yet beautifully crafted “Amazon.com” style product photo showing the entire object on a white surface and background. Lighting must feel clean and stylish while holding onto a conventional clarity.

The second photo you will make is of the same product, but this time crafted as a “Hero” shot – a photograph worthy of being featured as an advertisement image. Instead of being simple and clear, this image should be more complex and should show the product in a suitable environment. This could still be simple and abstract with emphasis on the product, or it could be more elaborate such as a still life, featuring the item amongst tones, textures and colors which match the spirit of the product. Lighting on this image should also be sophisticated, but you have the opportunity to experiment and create something that connects emotionally with the viewer.

Shoot at least 72 photos for this assignment.

You will turn in:

Your raw photos
Your working images as PSD files
Your final jpegs

Your grade will be based on the following:

25pts. Fulfillment of the assignment in both form and concept

25pts. Use and control of light to create clarity and mood

25pts. Craftsmanship and professional level work product.

25pts. Ability to create pleasing compositions

Work will be turned in on the day the assignment is due, and all students must attend the critique.

Notes from 3/1

raw – 16bit
xmp sidecar file

PSD with layers, in 16bit

TIFF – Delivery format
JPEG – Delivery format
compressed (high/low)
8bit

Camera writes to SD card (a drive).
Download images to your hard drive through Adobe Bridge.
Use Bridge to make selections by clicking an image, pressing the spacebar to view in slideshow mode, and then pressing Command-1 to assign the image one star. Use Command-0 to revert to zero stars.
View your entire shoot and assign one star to “good” images.
Use the filters to hide zero star images.
Make another pass and assign two stars to your “selects.”
Use the filters to hide all but your two-star selects.
Select those and choose File>Open in Camera Raw to open up the Adobe Camera Raw dialog box.

Use Camera Raw to make basic adjustments to your images. When you are satisfied, you can either press ‘done’ to save your work as metadata alongside your raw images, you can click ‘open image’ to open the images in Photoshop using the settings in the link below the preview, or you can choose ‘save image’ to save the photos as PSDs. Working in 16bit and Adobe RGB color space is preferred.

Once images are open in Photoshop, you may ’select all’ and then copy and paste one image onto another. Repeat this step so that all three images are layered in one document. Adjust the opacity and blending modes of the top two images until you achieve the effect you are going for.

To save this image so that you may work on it later, choose File>Save As, and then choose to save as PSD in your working folder. To save a Jpeg version of this image for final delivery, choose to save as JPG format. This will flatten the image and save it as an 8bit jpeg.