Due Dates

Images and FINAL contact sheet (digital) in folder Due Monday, Sept 12
Prints Due Monday, Monday, Sep 19
Reading Due Wednesday Aug 24
Contact sheets Due for checkoff, Wednesday, Aug 31 (or sooner if you have images) and one with the final images, Sep 12
Backup Storage with File Structure Due Wednesday, Sep 7

Assignment Overview

In this assignment you will review the basic elements of photography by manipulating your images in-camera only (well, mostly). By doing this you will get a better understanding of the language of photography and you will start to understand the continuum of manipulation, be it in-camera or on the computer.

You will also learn how to organize your images and learn the basics of Adobe Bridge to create a contact sheet and to evaluate your images.

Bonus: Consider how the images go together and work with a concept that is evident in the work.


Reading 1
Light and Lens: Photography and the Digital Age , Robert Hirsch, Focal Press, 2008.
Adobe Acrobat .pdf format
Pp 77-81 (Start with The Lens System and Stop after Angle of View.
Pp 87 - 90 (start with the section on Shutter and stop BEFORE the section on Digital Camera Features).

The Elements of Photography , A. Belt, Focal Press, 2008.
Page 6-14 on framing

The Fundamentals of Creative Photography , D. Prakel, Ava Books, 2010.
Pages 22-25 DOF and shutter speed

“What Matters Now? Photography, Technology and the World” , in Aperture, #210, Spring 2013, pp14 – 15.


To review the technical basics of the camera side of photography
To learn the basics of photographic language
To learn how straight photography is still manipulated
To optionally mimic painterly functions digitally
To learn how to create a digital contact sheet and to organize your work using Adobe Bridge
To start the process of understanding good digital prints
To start the process of making expressive works within the discipline


Method for images

Create 6 images (2 of each basic element - see below), four prints, one storage backup disk and two contact sheets.

Use a digital single lens reflex camera (DSLR) to grasp the basics of photographic language by (mostly) in camera manipulation of framing, depth of field and shutter speed. Note that these three basic elements have many related aspects, such as dept of field with aperture and shutter speed with blur. You may touch on any of the aspects that you wish.

Most of you are used to manipulating on screen. For this assignment, you are to use the basics of photography IN THE CAMERA to manipulate the image, thus also manipulating (or directing) what you tell the viewer.

The Three Basic Elements (You will revisit these all semester!):

What is in the frame and not in the frame.
Also, Camera angle, the relationship of elements, picture plane, edges (not in reading), cropping

Depth of Field or DOF (aperture)(p 78 light and lens):
Which planes of the picture are in focus.
*f stops and how they change the depth of field (focus planes)
*focal length and DOF (wide angel = more DOF and telephoto = less DOF). Focal length is the distance in mm from the center of the lens to the sensor when an object is in focus at infinity.

See whole f Stops here

Shutter Speed (sharpness or blur):
How fast the shutter fires, which controls whether or not motion is stopped and how much light comes in. (freezing time, blurring time, overlapping time)

See whole-stop shutter speeds here

Your goal will be to shoot two pictures of each element that demonstrates not only the effect, but how it changes the language. Each element has many aspects, but you can apply it in any way you want.

Consider how the Pictorialist artists manipulated the photograph to the point of referencing, and in some cases simulating painting. Also consider how STRAIGHT photographers were just as manipulative in-camera and how it too is painterly. Think about how all the elements play off of eachother to set the viewer up for a language constrained to the frame you present.

OPTIONAL but strongly encouraged: Develop a concept behind your work and consider how the images can fit together as a whole.

Review the artists covered in class:

Framing examples:

What is not in the frame
Imogen Cunningham
Dorthea Lange
Dorthea Lange

Multiple Frames
Example one
Example two

Example one
Example two
Example three
Example four

Camera angle
Example one
Diane Arbus
Bruce Davidson
Gary Winogrand
Dorthea Lange

Relationship of elements
Gary Winogrand
Gary Winogrand
Gary Winogrand
Tina Barney

Picture plane (parallel, diagonal and overlapping)
David Beckerman overlapping
Paul Strand overlapping
Paul Strand overlapping
Loretta Lux diagonal and parallel
Loretta Lux diagonal and relation
Loretta Lux Parallel and...
Loretta Lux parallel, edges

Loretta Lux edges
Loretta Lux edges (parallel, space)
Loretta Lux edges (space)

Depth of Field or DOF (aperture) and focus Examples:


DOF example 1
DOF example 2
Cynthia Greg
Cynthia Greg
Phyllis Crowley
Phyllis Crowley
Phyllis Crowley

Gertrude Kasebier

Shutter Speed (sharpness or blur) Examples:

Blur and freeze example one
David Beckerman

Freezing Motion
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Eadweard Muybridge
Gary Winogrand
Gary Winogrand
Gary Winogrand also intersecting planes

Overlapping time
Emmet Gowin and Jane

View these famous photographers and see what elements you can identify:
Paul Strand
Edward Steichen
Loretta Lux
Imogen Cunningham
More Imogen Cunningham
Anne Brigman
Gertrude Kasebier

Method for contact sheets

Create 2 contact sheets: one full sheet of your culled original shots and one of just your final images. You will store the final sheet with the final images in your project folder. This final "contact sheet" is a good reference for quickly identifying a body of work. We will use the first sheet of all your images as a tool to evaluate the pictures to work with.

NOTE: Class discussion about the mass of images for one day of shooting and the roll of the old fashioned contact sheet.

Method for backup storage

Create backup storage - Large (pref a TB external drive), flash disk, or cloud storage (other than your bgsu account)
This storage is not only a backup, but it shows me that you have followed the organizational structure that you should use for each project.

Overall structure should be

First create a folder that is called "Series Name"

In that folder you will store:
1. A digital copy of your final images in contact sheet form
2. A digital copy of your culled raw images in contact sheet form

Plus three folders with the following names:
3. SeriesNameDateOrig
4. SeriesNameDateFinal
5. SeriesNameDateInProgress


Summary of things that you will create, show or turn in:

A contact sheet containing a subset of images that you culled from all the shots you took,
A small contact sheet with your final images,
Backup storage organized as described above,
Six final images
Four prints (See below)

Print your four best images using the MCaP in room 1026 Fine Arts Center. These will be due the class after critique.
NOTE: No sketches required for this assignment, but I suggest using your sketchbook as a way to communicate your ideas to me and for your own benefit.

Submission Requirements

Create a folder with your last name on it in the Assignment 1 folder:
Classes->ARTC4250_1-> Assignment 1->your name folder

Put both contact sheets in this folder.
Put all 6 final images in this folder.
Images should be 5MB or smaller (turn-in version only) and be in the jpeg format.

Bring prints, backup storage and the large contact sheet to class on the due dates.


You will be graded on these specific components:

Formal aesthetics (composition, color, etc.),
Content (Optional (bonus) for this assignment only),
Completion of all parts of the assignment
Technical mastery

See the canvas course shell for how this assignment is weighted in your overall grade.

Please note

Ask any questions in class or contact me by email or stop by office hours to clarify any questions you have about the assignment.