Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Assignment #25 - Great Portrait Tips & Let's JUMP!

Every year Notre Dame does a "jump" photo to use in the ad campaign.  Knowing exactly how to take the shot and what settings to use can be a bit tricky.  The same is true for taking fabulous portraits. 

This assignment is two-fold. 

Part 1: I want you to take a fantastic portrait shot of one (or more) person you know very well.  Think about the set up, the lighting, the composition, the mood of the final image you're after. 

Part 2: I want you to go outside and practice your hand at capturing an interesting jump image using first one person, then more than two.  Think about the location so you can capture the whole person (or people), and not have any loss of feet...

Post your best portrait and the technical information and your two best jump images, with technical information.

Due:  March 24, end of class.

Portrait Tips:

Quick Formula Rules:

Photographing one person, use the lowest aperture number your lens will allow, which is normally f/2.8.  Photographing two or three people, change your camera’s aperture setting to f/4.  Four or more people, set your camera at f/5.6 aperture.

The higher you set your aperture number, the more detail you’ll see in the photo. This isn’t always good for portrait photography. Wrinkles, pimples and other unwanted blemishes will suddenly appear multiplied.

Quick run down on those basic rules again:
One person, use the lowest aperture setting your lens will allow.
Two or three people, set an aperture number f/4.
Four or more / group shots, set f/5.6 aperture.


Camera settings for one person jumps:
When photographing one person jumping, always set your DSLR camera to shutter priority. This allows you to concentrate on the speed of the shot and the camera adjusts other settings to suit. The shutter speed is the most important setting for capturing the person nice and sharp. A speed of 1/400th of a second works every time.
Camera settings for groups of people jumping:
When photographing two or more people jumping, use aperture priority, yet still keep your attention on the shutter speed. Why aperture priority? There is no use photographing a group of jumpers if only one person is sharply focused. Set your aperture to f/5.6 following the rules on  aperture settings for portraits.  
A technique for groups:
Set your camera to aperture priority and choose an aperture of f/5.6. Before the group starts jumping, press your shutter button half way down while looking through the viewfinder and you’ll notice camera settings listed along the edges of the screen light up. Take note especially of the shutter speed. If the shutter speed is 1/400th of a second or faster then you are ready to shoot. If not, up your ISO to a higher number. Increase your ISO by 100 at a time and try again, adjusting from there until the shutter speed is showing as 1/400th of a second minimum.
Auto Focus:
Keep the focal switch on the side of your lens on AF. Obviously you won’t have time to manually focus.
Focal Points:
Set a middle single focal point. This set up will ensure you can easily find the focal point and focus on the person as they start their jump. If you are not sure what focal points are, then read this article on how to focus DSLR cameras.
Continuous Shooting:
Set your camera to continuous shooting, also called burst mode on some DSLR cameras.  Continuous shooting will allow you to take several shots or more per second. Your camera will keep shooting, as long as your finger holds down the shutter button. Note, cameras do limit how many you can take in any one burst until it needs to clear its cache. So if you hold your finger down on the shutter and it suddenly stops shooting, this is perfectly normal. That is your camera telling you it needs to catch up!
If the person is jumping up and down in the same spot, what you can do is pre-focus before they leap. It’s important that they don’t change their distance from you when they jump. i.e don’t jump forward or back. For these types of shots,  sometimes press your shutter button half way down to pre-focus, then ask them to jump as you press the rest of the shutter and take several burst shots.
Should you move the camera up and down with the jumper?

Until you perfect the technique it’s best to keep your camera steady in one place. Therefore don’t zoom in too far that you cut the persons head off when they are at the top of their jump. Once you have perfected these camera settings and technique, you can then try panning up and down with the person to show motion in the background.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Assignment #24 - TED!

Good question - how does photography connect us?  David Griffin, the photo director for National Geographic, knows the power of photography to connect us to our world.

Your assignment:  Watch the TED Talk, on your blog, post a summary of the talk, critiquing it as to its relevance, in your opinion.  How has this talk potentially altered your views of photography? Your application to the art?

Your post should include at least three intelligent paragraphs.

Due:  March 20, end of class.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Assignment #22 - A Triptych that tells a Story

What is this?

What is the story of this triptych?

A triptych is three of something - usually "like" things put together that tell a story.  Your assignment is to make a photographic story with three images only.  Think of what your concept is first, what are you going to try to say with visuals only?  You might think of an actual story you know and try to recreate it in three frames:  What would Little Red Riding Hood look like in three frames?  The Three Little Pigs?

1.  On your blog, post your story concept in approximately one paragraph.  
2.  Shoot as many images as you think you need, then pare down to three you will use.
3.  If it helps, write the story line under each of your images for clarity.
4.  Use Photoshop, Lightroom, whatever you need.
5.  Shoot in manual and post the technical information for each image.

Due date:  March 13, end of class 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Assignment # 21 - Me, myself, and I

What would it look like if you could talk to yourself?  

You know yourself better than anyone, so in this assignment you will be capturing several images of yourself in the same location, then will put them together in Photoshop to make it look as if you are relating to yourself. One of the photographs will be the base image.  Position the others to create a final image for the assignment.

Writing Critique: Post the final image, titled "Me, Myself, and I" and write both your inspiration for the final image and a paragraph on the final meaning of the photograph.

Due date:  March 7, end of class