Blog From Mod 3, 2007|Online
Galleries | Readings |
” Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman -
About this online course experience:
This is the 10th year that online courses have been offered in the Art Department at Albertus Magnus College. The power of using online portfolios is now proven. The promise and potential of offering a course not bounded by time or space has amazing implications. In a traditional studio art course, there is a very high degree of interaction not only between the instructor and students, but just as importantly, between the students enrolled in the course. Art production is about learning craft, design, history, culture and self expression. Students synthesize these elements to create a portfolio of work that reflects not only their newly developed skills but also is tangible evidence of the more important appreciation of Art within the particular medium studied. There is much subtlety in the process.
The potential pitfalls of an online experience then are about the lack of your direct contact with the instructor and other students. To overcome this, we need to create a lively online community. To that end, I have created an online class blog here:mod3digitalphotography2015.blogspot.com/Your success in this course depends upon your active participation in this blog. Here you will post your images to share with the class. Use this site to react to other's work, write about your own ideas, and communicate to the rest of the class your successes and challenges faced in working through the assignments. To learn how to post to the class blog, see this. Also, watch the video tutorial I prepared for you on how to post to the blog.
As a studio art course, you will be assessed not by tests or writing papers
but mainly by your visual work leading to a final portfolio of images. Your
ability to grow in the medium, try on new ideas, learn to communicate using
the language of this medium, to appreciate ideas and trends in historical
as well as contemporary photographic art will all contribute to your grade.
To learn to shoot with digital cameras... and learn to maximize the quality of the output from them.
To appreciate more about the "Photographer's Art" through the study of historic and contemporary trends and to apply that appreciation to your own work.
To develop the habit of looking closely at the visible world around you in
order to represent it in terms of aesthetics and truth.
To begin to learn about the history and aesthetics of fine art photography and to apply that understanding to your completed assignments.
To understand the use of the primary editing tools found in Photoshop/Picasa software.
Download and install PhotoshopCC. Create a folder on your hard drive for each week's work. A one month free trial of the latest version of Photoshop CC is here If you have another version of Photoshop already, use that. You can actually get 2 months of Photoshop CC by signing up for a monthly subscription for the 2nd month then calling Adobe to cancel before your 3rd month. Any version of Photoshop from the last 10 years will be fine to use, depending on your operating system.
Post an image of yourself on the class blog and tell us something about yourself. Be creative!...shoot a self portrait using the self timer on your camera or more creatively, shoot a reflection of yourself in glass, mirrors, steel, shop windows... what can you imagine? Try using the search term "self portrait" in Google Images. Not to stress about this one though... have fun! E-mail me if you have any issues, problems, etc. Click the "Contact" button above.
Create your own Fotothing account to post your images to.
Read my article on pixels and resolution.
Read this discussion about the focal length of lenses
Watch this video I made on basic editing for light, contrast and color balance using a student image.
By the end of week 1, you are comfortable with using your camera, moving images around and posting and emailing them. All systems are working! Picasa or Photoshop is installed and working, you can open and edit your pictures, you know how to post to the class blog, upload to fotothing, link to me as a "friend" and communications with me and other members of the class are easy.
You have posted your fotothing.com address in the blog. I can't find you otherwise. In order to add you as a "friend" on fotothing, you need to post a picture to your new account.
You have posted a portrait and introduction of yourself to the class on the blog and have done all of the reading.
Read through my syllabus for the Introduction to Photography class offered in the day program as a darkroom course. Pay particular attention to the section entitled "The Classic Approach" Click through the many links regarding cameras, lenses, film, etc. to learn about technical issues in photography.
Introduction to Composition
We will learn to use line, mass, value (tone), contrast, color, and selection consciously in the creation of your images.
A big part of the photographer's art lies in one's ability to organize the visual chaos of the visible world. You learn to clarify, simplify and present your environment with intention and control. Here, we will learn to go way beyond "taking pictures", accepting whatever "comes out of the camera", and move to "making photographs" through your careful looking at your subject before shooting.
Reflect on the concept of selection and looking at the edge of the frame to consciously decide what to include and not incude in your image. Appreciate light and form and how that is central to your work for this class.
Video discussion of student work on this assignment. I discuss what I am looking for this week and go over the good, the dull and the ugly....about 13 min long....
Look at the work of Edward Weston. Consider this image:
Edward Weston used his 8"x10" camera to photograph this small green bell pepper set in a simple wooden bowel by window light. Notice how he moved in, and filled the frame with the form of the pepper. The simple elegance and direct presentation of the pepper has transformed it from a mere description of an ingredient in tonight's dinner to an image that is transcendent.
Read Photography—Not Pictorial, Edward Weston, Camera Craft, Vol. 37, No. 7, pp. 313-20, 1930
Browse through Weston's other natural forms.
Take a look at these classic Black and White images which of these ideas can you apply in your own work and editing?
Learn about lenses with this excellent article from B and H.
Photograph shapes, reflections, light and pattern in an urban or town environment paying particular attention to the shapes you select in the frame and the quality of light on the subject.
Avoid being far away or showing a whole building. Always shoot with natural light. Never use flash in this class... get in close, fill the frame.
Read about Paul Strand.... His work in New York City in the early 20th Century defined how photographers could use new ideas of modernism championed in painting to great effect.
Read The Art Motive in Photography, Paul Strand, The British Journal of Photography, Vol.70, pp. 612-15, 1923
You may work in black and white. Picasa makes it easy to convert and tone your images. Adjust the tones using Picasa's advanced editing tools.Submit your best two images on the class blog and post 6-10 or more to your fotothing album. (Links in academic expectations below).
Photoshop allows better control of where you edit for light... watch this short video on how to edit your images before posting...
Another Video I recorded June, 2013. Important to watch and incorporate into your work.
Assignment: By the Sea
Look at Weston's work at Point Lobos, California. What kind of light did he photograph under? How did he move in and compose what ever he was looking at? For each photograph, consider the point of view Weston and the camera position.
Weston got down, got close to these rock forms on the beach. I want you to do the same
You are to visit the beach, and look carefully at form, light, composition and line. Examine tidal pools, rock formations and sand patterns with the curiosity and freshness of a young child, say a toddler. Move in close, fill the frame. Submit your best two images on the class blog and post 6-10 or more to your online album. (Links in academic expectations below). If you live well inland and would prefer to visit a waterfall or brook with moving water, that would work too.
Shadows and Light
Consider this gallery of photographs by amateur Greek photographer, George Christakos. Notice how the photographs are about the quality of light... and shadow.
Or this series at Smashing Magazine... which ideas can you use?
Shadows take on a materiality that is just as strong as the architectural elements depicted, perhaps stronger. Use the widest focal length setting on your lens. Look for shadows as geometric form this week. Start around your home, downtown, or anywhere your travels take you. Look down, look up, fill the frame.
Light reflecting directly off water can be interesting... throw in dramatic clouds...perhaps at sunset... convert to black and white...
Chairs, railings, your back deck, light streaming in through windows casting shadows.... shadows made by people walking downtown...
Read this short Wikipedia entry on Minor White.
Read Equivalence: The Perennial Trend Minor White, PSA Journal, Vol. 29, No. 7, pp. 17-21, 1963
How can we use light as poetic metaphor?
Submit your best two images on the class blog and post 6-10 or more to your online album. (Links in academic expectations below).
"A very receptive state of mind... not unlike a sheet of film itself - seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second's exposure conceives a life in it". -Minor White
In Windowsill Daydreaming (left), Minor White has found a projection of light rather than shadow to photograph. Can you find a beam of light to photograph?
God is in the Details: Altered scale: Large images from tiny object(s) (The macro project)
Read The Photographer's Eye, John Szarkowski, Introduction to the Catalog of the Exhibition
Most of your digital cameras have the wonderful ability to get really close to things and keep it in sharp focus. This is called "Macro" photography. Find out how close your camera can get and shoot everything this week from this distance. My Nikon coolpix can get to within 3/4" of the subject and keep it really sharp. Each camera is different so look it up in your manual. Generally there is a "tulip" icon that you need to press or see in the lcd screen to know you are in macro mode. If you have a scanner at home, consider using it as you digital camera for the week. Scanners capture remarkable detail... better than digital cameras....
Browse through this gallery of amazing macro shots.
Diane Vetere has been published and shows internationally. Click "flowers" at the top of the page. She let her lilies die in the soft drink, Sprite, creating beautiful forms that she scanned and made large 24x24" prints.
Technique: When scanning a flower, leave the lid of the scanner up. Preview the bed of the scanner then select just the area you want. Only then click scan. Here is where you choose how large a scan you'd like. Since most of our work is posted online, this won't matter... If you'd like to make prints, go back and reread my article on resolution.
If you don't have access to a scanner take a look at:
picture a day from Belgium. Simple, do-able....
Submit your best two images on the class blog and post 6-10 or more to your online album. (Links in academic expectations below).
The Digital Portrait
I call this assignment "How to Fry an Egg".... Everyone thinks they know how to do it but when you come right down to it, there is a lot of technique involved and there is plenty of opportunity to mess it up.
Watch Video Introduction to the assignment.
25 Inspirational Natural Light Portraits Take a look at these...Which is your favorite? Why? Where did the photographer position themself relative to the light?
Browse these images: Where is the light coming from? Where is the photographer standing relative to the light source? Are most of the shots vertical? Where is the head placed in the frame? (hint: never centered)
Young Spanish photographer, Christine Hoch has a wonderful set of natural light portaits here on her Flickr site..
Here's what I'd like you to do... Find someone you know, love and trust. This can be a child, spouse, best friend, parent... you get the idea. Take them by window light. Watch the light on the face, wait for an open, truthful expression and create a simple but beautiful portrait. (No flash!). Use a piece of white cardboard, a sheet or other white object to reflect light back into the shadow side of the face. Take your time... there's no rush. If your model puts up a fuss, find someone else. Can you do it? This also works without a reflector, the shadow side of the face is just darker.
Use the Picasa or Photoshop tools to adjust light, contrast, grayscale (if you'd like). Hold the camera vertically, use the telephoto (zoom in) setting on your camera, steady your hand or use a tripod. Don't make your subject smile, just relaxed and truthful. No candids either....Crop the photo like this....
Post your best 2 images to the blog, tell us about them and add an additional 6 - 10 to your online gallery.
Another worthy window light portrait with no reflector. Notice what happens on the shadow side of the face with no white reflector. Notice also that the window itself is not included in the shot.
Okay... you can do your pet... but it's harder... look!
Listen to this wonderful NPR story on Alfred Sieglitz and Georgia O'Keefe Post to the class blog a short reaction piece in response.
Tips... No direct sunlight, simple background, quiet expression... take your time.Fill the frame. These portraits, if done well will be far better than most commercial work from low end Sears Portrait Studio images up to high end commercial photographers... Most commercial work is over produced and artificial. For your work to be good in this assignment, I am looking for a simple, true, honest and direct portrait... it doesn't get better than that.
Week 7 Virtual photography trip...The art of photography as you have seen by now includes the judicious selection of line, geometry, proportion and scale... Light is central but also design plays a big role. This project asks you to visit Paris, London or the Sistine Chapel. Zoom around... become the photographer and capture several images that show your sense of design and proportion... Edit in Photoshop for light, contrast and hue/saturation. Post your best 6-10 on fotothing and a few on the blog.
Tip: zoom in, expecially looking down... Here is a shot of Parisian roof tops from the Paris-26 gigapixels site:
Article about the London immersion
And the site: http://www.360cities.net/london-photo-en.html
Another (maybe better) London... http://btlondon2012.co.uk/pano.html
Sistine Chapel, The Vatican http://www.vatican.va/various/cappelle/sistina_vr/index.html
NYC at night http://www.airpano.ru/files/Millennium-UN-Plaza-Hotel-New-York-Night/2-2 ( you can turn off the Tom Jones music)
150 more linked here: http://www.airpano.com/List-Aerial-Panoramas.php
Zoom in, Zoom around. Find a compelling "shot"... use the snipping tool (windows) or if on a Mac the screen shot of the portion you want is done by pressing Command-Shift-4. A cross-hair cursor will appear and you can click and drag to select the area you wish to capture. When you release the mouse button, the screen shot will be automatically saved as a PNG file on your desktop.
Open Photoshop and then open your saved files... edit them for light, focal point, etc...
Just go shooting! Pick your favorite place to shoot or your favorite method from the possibilities presented here so far. Love the beach... show me more beach images using different light at different times of the day. Love macro work? Keep going.. research the topic more, push harder... explore macro on a rainy day, get in closer, etc... Keep posting to the class blog and to fotothing.
-A digital camera with usb cable to connect to computer usb port or a card reader, connected to your usb port (preferred).
-A reliable internet connection from home. A broadband connection is imperative
-A Pentium CPU with a dual or quad core cpu, windows computer running Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7 or Windows 8. Macs are fine too...You should have at least 2 gb of RAM. Your browser should be Chrome, Internet Explorer v. 8.0, 9.0 or Firefox. You will need to install the shockwave flash player plug-in available free here in order to view the video tutorials I have created for you. "Chromebooks" can't run Photoshop.
-Know how to install software, create online accounts, upload text and images, and how to save your work into folders on your computer and how to locate and browse to those folders to retrieve it. If you need help, email me and I can walk you through everything on the phone.
Tradition of Honor: As a member of the Albertus Magnus College Community, each student taking this course agrees to uphold the principles of honor set forth by this community, to defend these principles against abuse or misuse and to abide by the regulations of the College. In art work, that means you have taken all of your photographs and have not appropriated from online sources any of the images presented as your own. Work posted to the class blog or to your fotothing portfolio will be new work only, taken for this class. I look at the EXIF information on each image posted to Fotothing so be sure your camera's date is set correctly and that you upload your work from the computer you edited your images on... i.e., don't post to facebook then copy it from there to post to fotothing.
Tradition of Respect: In our class: 1) Everyone is allowed to feel they can work and learn in a safe and caring environment; 2) Everyone learns about, understands, appreciates, and respects varied races, classes, genders, physical and mental abilities, and sexualities; 3) Everyone matters; 4) All individuals are to be respected and treated with dignity and civility; and 5) Everyone shares the responsibility for making our class, and the College, a positive and better place to live, work, and learn.
Special Needs and Accommodations: Please advise the instructor of any special problems or needs at the beginning of the semester or mod. Those students seeking accommodation based on disabilities should provide a Faculty Contact Sheet obtained through the Academic Development Center in Aquinas Hall, (203) 773-8590.
Some Day class photo blogs:
Photography And The Art Of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop For Film And Digital Photography (Paperback) by Freeman Patterson "On those frosty mornings when I grab my camera and tripod, and head out into the meadow behind my house, I quickly forgot about me..."
The World Around You: A Visual Design Workshop For Film And Digital Photography
(Paperback) by Freeman Patterson "This book about observing and photographing
the world around you is a gift to you from my students - hundreds and hundreds
of photographers who..."
New Dimensions Student, Skye Cornell on the North Atlantic Coast, near Roundstone, Ireland. Irish Journal course, May,2000.
infrared quadtone print.
British Journal of Photography
PDN Photo District News
The Photo Review
Digital Photography Magazines
PC Photo Photography
M.C.Escher, Self Portrait...
although this is a lithograph,
I love Escher's inventive use of space.
Pepper, 1930 Edward Weston
Cole Weston print
Church Door, Hornitos, 1940
Edward Weston negative, Cole Weston print
Paul Strand, New York, 1917
6.75 x 8.5 inch photogravure
|Point Lobos, 1930 Edward Weston negative, Cole Weston print|
Minor White Pacific, Devil's Slide, California 1947
Snowshadow, Jerry Nevins
Ultra Chrome Print 11"X14"
|Minor White, "Windowsill Daydreaming” Appeared in Aperture 80, 1978.|
ADP Albertus student, RB Thomas, Botanicals 3
16 x 20 Chromogenic Print, 2005
Grey Lilly #1
Raul, school assignment...(not from me, jn)
Good job Raul....