Throughout the semester you are to use your camera phone to capture a series of five images based upon the theme for that particular week. After you have captured these images be sure to upload them to your Instagram account using the #advphoto2014 comment so that it can be shared with the class.
EXERCISE #1 DUE JANUARY 29th:
Framing refers to the technique of surrounding your main subject (partly or in full) with other compositional elements. Framing helps direct the viewer’s eye to an image’s center of interest. It also helps keep the eye from wandering outside an image’s border. Framing can be obvious or subtle. Some of the best examples of framing are those that are scarcely noticed.
Be careful not to allow an image’s framing elements to overwhelm its main subject. (An obvious exception is when framing elements themselves are meant to be the main subject.)
Framing elements should have contextual, conceptual or aesthetic relevance to the main subject. Use complementary connections to build on a theme; contrasting associations to impart overtones of tension, intrigue or humor.
Photograph any kind of outdoor market, from a large “street market” to a single vendor with a cart.
Goals to consider: Look for photo opportunities among the merchandise itself, and among the people selling it. Try to catch people in relation to merchandise, rather than just a straight portrait of someone who happens to be selling (or buying) something. Look for money or merchandise passing between people.
Tips: Notice the sizes and shapes of various vegetables, fruits or other merchandise, the way they are arranged, the patterns they create. Watch how the vendors interact with their customers. Are they bored? Energetic? Friendly? This is another broad category, so use your imagination. The corner grocer is okay, so is a street vendor, a yard or garage sale, a fish market, a supermarket, anywhere someone is offering a service for sale (a shoeshine stall, for example), a sidewalk art show, a newspaper stand or someone selling souvenir T-shirts from a cart. Once again, remember to ask permission.
EXERCISE #2 DUE FEBRUARY 24th:
Verbally, people sometimes repeat themselves to attract attention, emphasize a point, or to irritate others. Visual repetition can be used to achieve the very same results. Most people take a second look when they come across instances where objects are repeated in an intriguing or unlikely manner.
Thematically speaking, repetition can be incorporated into images to convey qualities of conformity, accord and harmony.
Photograph a variety of old objects, things that are worn from age or use-houses, tools, toys, furniture, etc.
Goals to consider: Show how the age of an object influences its character.
Tips: People in our society tend to think that a thing has to be new and glossy to be good. Few people appreciate things that have earned their character through age and lots of use. That’s what this project is about. Look for peeled paint, rust, broken glass, things that have been abandoned, used up, worn out. They have a statement of their own, a special mood. That mood may be sad (“This thing is all worn out”), or happy (“This thing has been useful for years”). Try to capture the object’s character. Notice how light and texture may help to portray that character. Possible subjects include old houses, cars, tools, bridges, train tracks, machinery, abandoned buildings, an old can, discarded toys, a chipped plate, teacup, fork. (Note: If you find something indoors that you want to photograph outdoors, be very careful that it does not look set up. Adjust the arrangement until it looks natural.)
EXERCISE #3 DUE MARCH 16TH:
Shadows happen all the time, whether it takes place Indoors, outdoors or in-between. But how many of us are really taking note of them- paying attention to the effect shadows have on the objects and scenes around us (as well as the fantastic assortment of shapes and forms of shadows themselves)?
A shadow, of course, provides another way of viewing an image. Like a silhouette, it is a perfect two-dimensional representation of the outline. The size and visibility of the subject’s shadow will depend on the angle of the available light.
The host of visual delights offered by street life make it well worth overcoming any shyness you might have about photographing people in public places. By remaining unobtrusive you can capture enchantingly natural poses, and even if you are spotted, direct confrontation between subject and camera can produce equally striking results. The beauty of camera phones can make it seem like you are texting or just simply holding the phone when you are capturing pictures of people in public places.
EXERCISE #4 DUE APRIL 13th:
Digital photography is an ideal medium for anyone who enjoys creating abstract visuals. Why? Because camera phones provide endless possibilities when it comes to the exploration of viewpoints, shooting variables and compositional options. Plus, digital images can be easily linked to a software environment where further effects can be applied and considered.
Let your personal tastes and ever evolving instincts for composition and aesthetics tell you what makes for a good abstract image. Take a look at other people’s non-realistic photos for inspiration and ideas. Investigate works of abstract painting, sculpture and design
Words can make excellent subject for photos. Words are not only infused with meaning of their own, they can also take on humorous or ironic thematic twists- depending on the context in which they are seen.
Signs speak and their visual voice is not only delivered through letters, numbers, words and symbols- it’s also conveyed through the style, design, colors and condition of the signs themselves.
Given this multi-level delivery of message and aesthetics, signs are especially valuable to photographers- not only as stand-alone subjects, but also for the conceptual and aesthetic boost they can lend to the scenes they inhibit.
EXERCISE #5 DUE MAY 12th:
Do a series of photographs in which the foreground fills the lower 2/ 3 of the frame.
Goals to consider: See what interesting effects you can achieve by intentionally “weighting” a photograph very strongly toward the top. It’s against the rules, but it can produce a great effect.
Tips: To work well, the foreground must be interesting. It may be very plain or highly patterned, but it should draw the viewer in. Bear in mind shadows and texture, reflections, contrasting values, etc. A wide-angle lens is helpful for an assignment like this, but not necessary. If the subject is fairly close to you, try positioning yourself so you can shoot down at it. This will enable you to expand the foreground. If the subject is fairly distant, you can achieve a similar effect by getting down low as well. As always, experiment
Reflections can be visually exciting and can be found on a variety of unexpected surfaces. With the sun shining on the subject, glass buildings and shop windows provide interesting reflections of city life and architecture. Calm water reflects the land and sky to create a perfect mirror image, whereas a slightly disturbed surface breaks up the picture in a way that is often very attractive.
A close look at any reflective surface – the chrome on a car, cutlery, puddles or a wet pavement – can lead to new picture ideas. Mirrors in all their shapes and guises offer many possibilities. Think of the convex mirrors in shops or on sharp bends in the road, wing mirrors or rear view mirrors in cars, or mirror sunglasses. You can even take your own mirror and position it to photograph a scene without people realizing what you’re up to.