Reading Responses

Write a multi-paragraph response to each text.

Technical Requirements:
  • Each 'essay' must be no less than two paragraphs of four sentences each.
  • The first paragraph should summarize the primary points of the text and what you have learned. This might require you to write a longer paragraph.
  • The second paragraph should include any insights or thoughts you had in response to the content of the writing. DO NOT comment on your feelings about how it was written, but the material covered.
  • Because this is an ART class -- not an English class -- feel free to display these as you see fit, using your artistic knowledge and preferences. When I say you should write an 'essay,' I mean that very loosely. Don't just write words... make visual art out of these assignments.

Project 1: action!

Using a 35mm film camera, take a series of images that are carefully composed following the principles discussed in class. Use the entire 24-27 exposure roll and print a digital contact sheet, but make the 3 best photographs into prints. The final print size will be 11 x 17.

Objectives: Methodology

In this assignment you will review the basic elements of photography by manipulating your images in-camera only. 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 the basics of Bridge to create a contact sheet to evaluate your images. See the important technical details listed below.

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

Technical Requirements

Project 2: HDR and storytelling

In this assignment you will learn about High Dynamic Range (HDR) Imaging and apply it, along with digital manipulation (if you want) to tell a visual story.

Objectives: Methodology:

After class instruction in HDR photography, use a digital camera capable of bracketing, Photomatix and Photoshop to learn aspects of creating HDR photographs. Apply this technique to create a body of work that tells some sort of story. This is your chance to tell a story with images.

When we think of stories or narratives, we often think of books or some narration that exists over time, for example, movies, videos, or film. Consider a story contained in one single frame. What does time have to do with this kind of story, is time infinite? What about a story over three images, Must it be literal? What is a story? What are some of the differences between a story told over time, like animation or an interactive work, and a story told in an image? What are some of the challenges? How can you use color, shape, form, texture, and character lines to tell a story? It is up to you if a single image or a series of images will tell a story and if the narrative is linear on not. Think of these questions when you make this body of work.

HDR photography is an effect that too easily falls into heavy cliche. Your challenge is to understand how you can use it for the technical edge it gives you and to put it to use in service of your intention to tell a story. To understand what I mean by cliche HDR photography, do a google search on it. Stay away from this use.

Technical Requirements Artists to look at

Project 3: truth?

In this assignment, you will use your knowledge and control of the photographic techniques taught in class, along with skills discussed in ARTC2210, to generate an image which challenges the notion of photography as a truthful document.


Photo manipulation is all around us. As seen at sites like PS Disasters, digitally altering photographs is a deceptive and coy practice. Like magicians, it is the art of redirection -- making the viewers look at a particular focal subject and not notice the slight of hand you are performing.

For this assignment, you must create digitally enhanced images which questions the truth of the photographic object. To appropriately fulfill the requirements of this project, you will merge multiple images to create something fantastical, but realistic. Review the artists listed below for examples of this type of work.

The final product is successful when the audience questions whether your images was 'shopped' or simply an amazing studio setup.

Technical Requirements Example artists to look at

Project 4: the database

For this project, you are required to generate a webpage presentation of 42 completed digital photography images which explore different concepts in photography.


Below is a numbered list of specific challenges in photography along with example image links. As per the schedule, you will be required to generate 12 images for each set. These twelve should be divided into 3 unique image compositions taken 4 different times, using different settings and focus and vantage point. Thus you will have 12 images taken for this set.

You will bring in 12 finished images for each set according to the deadlines posted on the schedule. (You will usually be creating about 5 sets per week.) Then, in small groups listed below, you will critique each other's work in class. Through this process, you will select the 3 best images from each set and upload these to the class server into a subfolder with your user name inside the Project 4 folder.

You should NOT bring in 12 images per set where only 3 are good images. The aim of this assignment is to generate a large body of work and to make it difficult for your group members to select only 3 images.

At the end of the project, you will be instructed by the professor how to add these images into a web-based presentation, pre-generated for you.

These sets are arranged in ascending order of difficulty to photograph.

Note: sets identified with a double asterisk ** can be done with the use of a high quality cell phone camera. They do not require the use of a dslr, but it is recommended. If you do use a cell phone, make sure you are taking high resolution images.

Ordered sets
  1. Doors: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. **
    You might like to find an interesting door to photograph, or photograph a portrait subject standing in/against a doorway, or you might use an open doorway to frame a shot, or zoom in for a more abstract shot on a number or door knocker on a door….
    Feel free to take any approach you like!
  2. Abandoned: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 **
    Abandoned could be actual or symbolic. Just remember, whatever you choose, try to make it interesting. How does it hold my attention? It is one thing to take a shot of an abandoned piece of trash on the roadside and quite another to make me stare at it and wonder about it's story. Try to be really critical of your image. If the lighting was off, retake it. Check out abandoned buildings (be respectful of private property!), check around your yard and house, take time to brainstorm what "abandoned" can mean, is it just things or people as well?
  3. Love: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 **
    This isn't an image about something you love, but instead try to portray the emotion of love through a photographic still.
  4. Portrait with Props: examples 1, 2, 3, 4 **
    This is like a standard portrait photo, but you need to have the subject be the tension generated by the prop/object interacting with the person. Remember that in portraits, the important thing is to use good lighting. Review this manual for hints.
  5. Shallow Depth of Field: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    We want to see pictures with part of your shot in crystal clear focus and the rest thrown out of focus. You will want to shoot with wider open Aperture to get it.
  6. Color Contrast: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,
    Colors come in strong opposites. You need to make images where the contrasting colors engulf the entire frame. If you need help, reference a color wheel for strong complementary colors.
  7. Details: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Get close to your subject. The object of the challenge is to drill down a little to focus upon elements within a scene. This isn't the same as Macro photography (images of small things), but of expressing a story through the parts and details. NO FLOWERS!
  8. White/Overexposed: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6
    For these images, you will need to overexpose the entire image. Fill the frame with a good composition which uses faint lines to create a strong image. NO FLOWERS!
  9. Reflection without a Mirror: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    There are many ways to see a reflection, using a mirror happens to be only one of them. Water, windows, etc. all work for this.
  10. Photographer in the picture: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Your challenge is to take a photo with you the photographer in it somehow. You should not be the focus of the piece, but instead create a story about the moment. Perhaps capture your reflection, perhaps a part of your body, perhaps your shadow. The shadow itself tells a story of the moment the photo was taken – the size of the camera, the remote shutter release, the photographer's outfit etc. Be creative!
  11. Disorganized: examples 1, 2, 3, 4 **
    Also known as: messy, grungy, unkempt, discarded, chaotic, etc.
  12. Quiet: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
    Take a little time for yourself to forget the mad rush of school/work/play and photograph something that conveys a little peace and quiet. Don't be deceived: this is a VERY hard assignment. It is easy to make something dull, but make a photograph which shows peace and is interesting will be a difficult challenge.
  13. Silhouettes: examples 1, 2, 3, 4
    A silhouette is simply an outline of a form. Silhouettes are images that often have a lot of drama and visual punch – yet they require strong technical control of the camera. Think about lighting and exposure and focal depth to properly expose them.
  14. Dawn: examples 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7
    Like "Quiet", the difficult part of this challenge is to make the boring seem interesting. Don't point your camera at the sunrise and expect it to be a good picture. Consider what worked for the previous assignment and take a picture of the Dawn. You need to wake up early to make this shot.
Small Groups for critique:
  1. Hailey Bower, Lydia Plowman, Jacob Pocock
  2. Chris Madaras, Chelsea Maurer, Alex Schroeder, Casey Vernon
  3. Cynthia Hesson, Brittany Lehman, Zak Tietjen
  4. Austin Harrod, Alex Peck, Jeff Smith
  5. Seth Bowman, Sean Carver, Erika Castillo, Darrlysha Denton-Bell

Final Project

Revisit the strongest images you have made in class. Make 6 images which continue on that theme or concept. Make 3 prints of these images at minimum 11 x 14.

In this assignment you will use the camera of your choice and any level of digital manipulation (none to over the top) to create series of images that together express an idea or theme and that have a consistent formal quality. In other words, the works read in content and aesthetics as if they belong together and each image strengthens an underlying idea.

Write a proposal for your final project that will contain the following:
1) The idea or theme your work will address.
2) The formal approach you will take. For example, will you go for a blurry look? Will you manipulate your work?
3) What camera will you use?
4) How does your answer to #2 and #3 above support your content.
5) Optional: Will your printing or display be anything out of the ordinary?

Technical Requirements: