Category Archives: Digital photo projects

A range of digital photography projects created for this course.

Forced Perspective Project

Unlike the human eye, the camera lens is unable to differentiate between the depths of different levels. As photographers, we can take advantage of this by creating optical illusions to trick the human mind by playing with depth perception. By careful placement of the objects in front of the camera and controlling what the lens is focused on; we can blur how the viewer identifies what is in the foreground, middleground, and background.

There are four main categories of forced perspective:

  1. Making the main subject larger
  2. Making the main subject smaller
  3. Merging subjects
  4. Bending gravity

Below are examples of each of these four main categories.

1. Main subject larger










2. Main subject smaller


3. Merging subjects

merging images








4. Bending gravity

















Enclosed is a link for further examples of forced gravity in photography, Flicker examples that you can contribute to as well, another powerpoint on examples are also here to help from slideshare.

Your goal is to create one example of each of the four main categories of forced photography.

Save a saved for web set of images and upload them onto your SAS blog for your final portfolio.

Below are examples of student work from this project:

Composite Portrait, High Dynamic Range, Panoramic Photograph

This project you will be experimenting with three different image capturing and editing techniques:

  • Composite Portraits
  • High Dynamic Range (HDR)
  • Panoramic Scene

The composite portrait is one picture that has multiple images of an individual in the scene:

Screen Shot 2013-10-10 at 12.39.17 PM

For this image, you need a model, location, and tripod to capture the scene. In order for this picture to work, the camera must not move, as well as, the objects in the scene. The figure in the scene is the only thing that should change while you capture several pictures during the shoot. Follow the instructions for editing this composite portrait.

The final size of this document has the largest dimension not exceed 23 Inches at 300 pixel/inch. For your blog posting, be sure to include the images that were used to create the final picture to allow the viewer an opportunity to see the process. Be sure to name the file: firstname_lastname_composite.

Below are some student examples:

High Dynamic Range (HDR) is a method that incorporates multiple images of the same scene with different exposure settings to capture a greater dynamic range between each image into one enhanced overall image. HDR images can represent more accurately the range of intensity levels found in real scenes, from direct sunlight to deep shadowed areas:

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 5.21.49 PM

 Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 7.34.34 PM

A tripod is required to capture a HDR image. You can allow your camera to take a overall exposure reading of the scene for the first picture. Then you take a picture using a +1 setting on your exposure compensation and take a third image using a -1 setting on your exposure compensation dial. By doing this you are capturing a picture to compensate for the bright areas in the picture, as well as, the dark areas in the picture. This will allow finer detail in both areas. Follow the instructions for editing this high dynamic range image.

The final size of this document has the largest dimension not exceed 23 Inches at 300 pixel/inch. For your blog posting, be sure to include the images that were used to create the final picture to allow the viewer an opportunity to see the process. Be sure to name the file: firstname_lastname_HDR_.

Below are some student examples:

Panoramic Photograph captures a wide, or tall, vista of a scene. In order to capture this scene a number of photographs need to be captured and then stitched together for the final image.

Screen Shot 2013-10-13 at 2.49.43 PM

It is ideal that a tripod is used when capturing the images, but hand holding the camera also works. When capturing a series of images be sure to photograph each image with about 20% of the next image overlapping the previous one. In addition, if you are capturing a landscape scene position your camera in a portrait format so that you have a larger area of capture from top to bottom since a percentage of the image will need to be cropped in the end. Follow the instructions for editing this panoramic photograph image.

 The final size of this document has the largest dimension not exceed 42 Inches at 300 pixel/inch. For your blog posting, be sure to include the images that were used to create the final picture to allow the viewer an opportunity to see the process. Be sure to name the file: firstname_lastname_panoramic_.

Below are some student examples:

Photographic Composite

This project of compositing, or combining images seamlessly together, can be taken in a multitude of directions. Below are some ideas to get you started in compositing a photograph:

  • Decide on a main subject and place that subject into a unique setting/background
  • Choose three very different spaces, one background, a different middle ground, and finally another type of foreground
  • Juxtapose two images and blend them together
  • Realize a dream you remember
  • Find a subject and download a range of brushes and paint in a scene
  • Use several of your favorite images and combine various blend modes, filters, and transform their sizes and shapes

Below are some examples of these types of examples:

To help you along with legally acquiring images to add to the bank of images over the semester and throughout your image collecting, use the site Creative Commons. To search for images to realize your ideas, navigate to the explore link and be sure to click on the  

In addition, you can also download a range of different types of photoshop brushes that you can then upload into the program and use. One such site is brusheezy. Just choose the type of brush you would like, download it and install it.

Enclosed are a number of techniques to help you realize your intent: Transform tools, Layer masks, Filter gallery, double exposure, Blending Modes

Posted into your blog post:

  • 4 composite images that are saved for web with a description each composite image. One image focuses on the use of the Fliters Gallery, One image focuses on the use of the Blend modes, One image focuses on the use of the Transformations tools, One image that focuses on the use of the brushes tool set.
  • Digital contact print of all images used
  • Images that are not yours are cited
  • Screenshot of one composite image before/after with layers panel with description of editing process
  • Challenges successes

Choose two images to be printed:

  • Print Document is 36” x 13” 200ppi
  • You can choose to decide on how many images to place on this document
  • Flattened image with name somewhere on the print document
  • Saved as .jpg labeled Name_composite (placed into drop box for me to print)

Portrait Project

Portrait photography is about capturing the unique qualities of your subject’s individual character. The best portraits carry and express a high level of attentiveness to the details of an individual’s posture and expression. It is the quality of detail and timing that makes portrait photography so compelling. There is an unspoken level of communication illustrated by the details of a good photograph. It is important to give yourself enough time to see these moments, to settle into composing the subject within the frame, and to stay with the subject for long enough to record their full range of expressions. Sometimes you can capture the character of your subject in a couple of shots, but you will probably need to take a succession of photographs over a period of time. It can take several shots before you begin to see the possibilities, and also before your subject relaxes and loses their initial self-consciousness. Very often you will find that the last images in a long series of shots capture the subject in their natural and expressive state. Always be ready for one more photograph!

Review the exploring props, masking identity, portrait/emotion, portrait/environment to assist you in this process. Additional background information on studio lighting can be found in the following links;multiple light portrait set-up, light sources for portraits. 

Before you photograph your ideas, complete some research upon this theme.

As a part of your research, post three images that use the portrait as the main subject by recognized professional photographer(s) onto your blog along with any information about the images.

Next, provide a plan of action to include:

  • Types of compositional devices you will be using to capture your images (rule-of-thirds, fill the frame, balance, lines, leading lines, symmetry, pattern, framing, point of perspective, follow the eye).
  • Who the subject(s) to your photo shoots will be. This can be the same person for the studio portrait and the environment pictures, or different people.

Consider the following when developing your ideas:

  • Portrait with props– What objects will be used, props/chair to be sat on, props to be worn, reveal the subject’s character, conceal the identity, props to be placed with the subject; surround, dominate, support, alter the portrait
  • Lighting– single light, front lighting, side lighting, high side lighting, top lighting, under lighting, back lighting, fill light, back drop lighting, spot light
  • Backdrop white, black, grey backdrop- Be sure to decide what your model(s) will be wearing to either contrast or blend in with the backdrop to suit your taste
  • Position frontal view, side view, three quarter view, back view, standing, sitting on a chair, sitting on the floor, reclining, laying
  • Detail Taking pictures of feet, toes, hands, fingers, legs, arms, torso- determine style of clothing, jewelry, shoes to be used for most interesting images
  • Camera position High/Low vantage point, eye level, at an angle, level
  • Multiple models It is advised that you use no more than two models for this project. The position of one model to the other, dominant model, one model out of focus, depth of field, overlapping figures in space The same ideas need to be considered with multiple models using detail
  • Mood- determine what mood to convey as clothing, lighting, and camera position is important

Below are several links to photographers to help you get started:







Below is a Pinterest board of additional portrait photography examples:

Follow Matthew’s board photography portraits on Pinterest.
If you would like to use the photo studio outside of class time, please sign up with me.

Enclosed are some further tips in capturing images of the portrait:

  • The best types of focal lengths to shoot with portraits are between 85mm to 100mm. Lenses with these focal lengths are often called portrait lenses. They let you shoot from a good working distance, about 3-4 m from your subject and still fill the frame with your subject.
  • Focus directly on the subject’s eyes- they should be tack sharp. Portraits generally look best when you position your camera at the subject’s eye level. Position the subject’s eyes in the frame one-third of the way down from the top. You can also zoom in close so your subject’s face fills the entire frame.
  • The background for shooting outdoors should not be brighter than the subject. Keep the background as simple as possible. Remember, the person is the dominant subject in the picture not the background. You can also try and throw the background out of focus by opening up on your aperture to create a shallow depth of field.
  • When you shoot outdoors in the middle of the day, move your subject into the shade, where the light is softer and the shadows are less prominent. So, search for a place with indirect sunlight to provide the most optimal detail on your subject.
  • If you shoot portraits at sunset, start by turning off your flash and aim at the sky. Then hold your shutter button down halfway down, hold it and recompose the shot by aiming at your subject, but now turn the flash on and reveal your subject with the light of the flash. This is called a fill flash.

Once you have taken the environment and studio pictures, be sure to create a digital contact print and add it to your blog post of images of inspiration and the plan of action. The digital contact print should be a minimum of 40 pictures captured.

Review the videos on how to use the basic clean up tools, whiten teeth,  using a curve adjustment to modify tone, enhancing the eyes, and portrait cleanup to help with your editing.

Use the following link to find images of inspiration with a quote of the day:

Have the following in your blog post for this project:

  • 1 image of inspiration for studio portraits to include description and citation of source (photographer’s blog post and/or artist name; name of work)
  • 1 image of inspiration for environmental portrait to include description and citation of source (photographer’s blog post and/or artist name; name of work)
  • 2 images of inspiration that represents a quote of the day
  • 20 image digital contact print of studio portrait images taken with description of top choices
  • 20 image digital contact print of environmental portrait images with description of top choices
  • 2 final studio portrait images each with a quote of the day edited and saved for web
  • 2 final environmental images each with a quote of the day edited and saved for web
  • Screenshots of editing techniques to one image
  • Summary of successes/challenges of the project. This can include experiences in capturing images with the camera and workflow/software editing techniques

You will be shooting two sets of images for this project. Two 7″ by 10″ 300pixel/inch images from a studio set-up. Two 7″ by 10″ 300 pixel/inch images. Place the documents in the drop folder with the following name convention: Last Name_studioportrait1.jpg

Be sure to name these documents firstname_lastname_studioportrait and firstname_lastname_environmentalportrait into the dropbox for printing. Please also provide a blog post of your final images and explain your process. The posting of your images can be included to your blog posting of your research conducted at the start of this project.

Islander Yearbook Project

This particular project is a request from a client (Islander/yearbook) to help provide insight to a school year here on campus.

Please take all images in the .RAW setting, it is also necessary that you provide a caption (explanation to what event/sport is taking place and who is in the picture). This caption can be submitted as a word document with your images. To help identify the caption with the image, name the image with the following name convention: yearbook1_yourname. You can then add the caption as the following: yearbook1-Michael Jordan scoring the final basket against United World College at the toilet bowl tournament. 

This project assignment is for you to submit a total of FOUR images edited to be posted on your blog. Edit each of the images using Camera RAW and Adobe Photoshop as you have been learning as the workflow from start to finish in the completion of editing a image, as well as, submit the original .RAW file together into the class dropbox.

The following link will provide you further guidance and suggestions to content taken for the yearbook: yearbook project ideas

In addition to the ideas below, images taken of sporting events are requested from the yearbook staff:


  • Student council spirit activities
  • Club events
  • Interesting assemblies
  • Pep rally
  • Student Forum
  • Class candids



    • JV Boys
    • JV Girls
    • Varsity Boys
    • Varsity Reserve Boys
    • Varsity Girls


    • JV Boys
    • JV Girls
    • Varsity Girls
    • Varsity Boys


    • Varsity Boys
    • Varsity Girls


    • Varsity Boys & Girls
    • Varsity Reserve Boys & Girls


  • Dance show
  • Break gigs
  • Rehearsals
  • Art projects

Here is a spreadsheet with Islander yearbook events that need to be covered, so review it and see how you can assist.

You can then turn in the work any time after you completed the shoot. This will help with deadlines for the yearbook staff. The final due date for this project is THURSDAY MARCH 19th. In addition to receiving a grade for a project in the class, you will also have the opportunity to have your work used in the publication of the yearbook.

If you are unable to choose one of the events listed, another option is to capture images of student life. Such things as candid photos in the moment before or after classes, or the non-planned activities that take place at SAS.

Compositional Device Project

This project you will be capturing a series of nine images of a theme of your own choice using the nine types of compositional devices discussed from the powerpoint presentation link.

Below are additional examples as to how these compositional devices work within the presentation of a image:

BALANCE: This can be a vertical balance (top and bottom) or horizontal balance (left to right)

FILL THE FRAME: Filling the frame with the subject

FOLLOW THE EYES: This can be from a person or statue

FRAMING: The use of other objects to surround the main subject

LEADING LINES: A literal or implied line is formed throughout your composition that helps the viewer move throughout your image

LINES: The use of diagonals, horizontal, vertical, or curved lines that dominate the image to harmonize with the main subject

POINT OF PERSPECTIVE: The vantage point the viewer takes on can be either high or low

RULE OF THIRDS: By aligning the main subject onto the thirds of your picture either vertically or horizontally forces you to take the main subject away from the corners and center

SYMMETRY AND PATTERN: By finding repeating structures or patterns within your image and harmonizing it with the main subject, or making it your main subject

By having a structure to composing your images, you now need to identify what you want to take pictures of. You may choose whatever theme that inspires you. Ideas to help you formulate a theme can be found under the RESOURCES section in the right panel and click on either PHOTO IDEAS, RSS FEEDS, BLOGS & SITES for added suggestions.

SInce we are returning from Interim trips from near and abroad, an obvious choice would be to use the destination from your trip as the theme to this project.

Please complete the following before you start taking pictures and make a blog post:

  • Your theme idea
  • A plan of action (how you are going to capture the images) -Describe the location, environment, camera settings, and props needed to capture the pictures
  • 3 images as inspiration to the theme (be sure to cite the sources). These images of inspiration can be based off your theme, techniques that were used, subject matter, lighting used, colors used, locations, or a feeling the images covey for you

This will be shared and discussed in class next lesson.

Start capturing images with your chosen theme and using the 9 compositional devices discussed above.

Requirements to be completed for this project:


  • A blog posting that explains your theme, plan of action, and images of inspiration
  • In the same blog post, digital contact prints of 30 images taken for the project with a description of images captured and final images identified
  • 9 images saved for web that demonstrated each of the 9 explained compositional devices (balance,fill the frame, lines, rule-of-thirds, leading lines, symmetry/pattern, framing, point of perspective, follow the eyes) of a theme of your choice
  • Post two comments to two other students blog postings and link it to the blog posting form in the shared folder in google drive
  • A detailed summary of the development of your theme, editing techniques used, how the effects were obtained, challenges and successes of the project (exemplary standard)


  • Each of the 9 images at at a size of 3″ x 5″ at a 300 resolution of a pixel/inch
  • Final document in .jpg form submitted into dropbox to be printed with all nine images at a size of 24″ x 11″ at a 300 resolution of a pixel/inch with your name  and the title of the project on the document

Aperture/ Shallow Depth of Field

Students experimented with aperture priority to open up their lens (large opening) to capture a small area in the image to be in focused (shallow depth of field), while the rest of the image was intentionally placed out of focus.