Portraits: Yearbook, plus more

2020 has caused a lot of changes and now the yearbook is another one of these changes. We have to take our own yearbook photos. We have experimented with lighting in an earlier project, now we are going to practice using traditional lighting techniques. The goal is for you to have your yearbook photo at the end of this project.

Day 1: Learning and Prepping

Below is a video that you need to watch that show 5 of the most popular lighting techniques:

Click here if YouTube link isn’t working.

Collect materials from your home: Lights, sheet, pillow cases, foil, poster board, etc.

Here is a list of interesting ideas that can be used for this project as well. Click here for their list.

Day 2: Coming Soon!

Portraits: Masked Up!

This project will be used as an introduction to portraits. We will be focusing on headshots to help keep this simple. We have used different types of lighting in a previous project and there is an expectation that you will use some of that practice in this project as well. I will include the “9 Lighting Hacks” video below. In fact, you should use at least one of the hacks used in the video just to get some practice and have some fun.

Tips and Requirements:

  1. You will need 4 photos. Not 4 different people, although that would be better, but 4 photos. You must be one of the “models”.
  2. Think about your backgrounds. Keep them simple and not distracting.
  3. Feeling/mood/vibe. Capture your subjects personality. I know they are masked, but there’s still ways to show personality. Use the eyes, the angle, an expression. Is their mask wild and crazy, make them match their mask.
  4. Lighting. Find smooth, even lighting so your model doesn’t end up with shadows on their face. Near a window is good, but not in direct sunlight. Don’t forget to include one of the 9 lighting hacks from below.
  5. Cropping. This is a headshot. Photos should be cropped in closely to the models face. Chest up, no hands.
  6. Mix it up. This is practice. Do not shoot all 4 of your pictures in the same place. Try different places inside and outside of your home.

For more headshot tips and ideas click here.

Lighting Practice

This week you are going to be experimenting with light. Lighting can very quickly change the mood or tone of an image. This is a quick project that will give you the chance to demonstrate the ways that light can be used in photography.

You need:

+ Subject- The object you are taking photos of.

+ External light- flashlight, cell phone light, table light, etc.

+ Camera – phone, tablet, point and shoot, DSLR, etc.

+ Items from the Light Hacks video below. Required to watch and include one of the “hacks”.

+ A place to shoot. Make sure we will be able to see the difference when you add light to your subject.

Here is my video for this project. It includes my 4 examples.

Click here if the YouTube link doesn’t work for you.

Click here if the YouTube link doesn’t work for you.

COVID Quarantine Color Hunt

It’s time to get our photography skills going. The purpose of this first project is to get you looking around where you are everyday. Like the title implies, you are going to be going on a color hunt. If we were in the classroom under normal circumstances you would be looking around LPMS for colors that match crayons. Yup, crayons. Because we are doing online learning and you all are in different places, you will have some options for this project. MY (don’t copy them) examples are below. You can hunt for the colors of the rainbow. Remember ROY G. BIV. You can also hunt for a color gradient, different shades of the color. The third option you have is to match 7 colored pencils, crayons, or markers with colors around you.

Here are the colors of the rainbow for reference.

I want you to think about lighting, camera angles, and finding creative items that show the colors you are looking for. We will have projects that will target camera angles and lighting later this semester.

How do you turn in your images? You have a couple of options. You can put them all in a Google folder and turn in your photo link through Canvas or you can upload all 7 images in Canvas. If you make a Google folder, you will get to keep your photos after this class is over. You can also use apps on your phone to create a collage of your photos.

Make sure you join into our second class session so you can see how to turn in your work. I will record it with Zoom. PLEASE do not turn anything in until we meet on Thursday or Friday!

Below are my examples for this project.

7 Crayons

Black and White Collection

Taking photos in color is probably the only way you’ve ever taken photos. For this project, we are going to switch it up. We will be shooting black and white photos. We are going to be dividing up 6 categories over 2 weeks. Each category will need to have 2 photos for each for a total of 12 photos over the 2 weeks. There are some new things you need to think about when you are shooting in black and white. The categories you will be shooting pictures in are; lines, texture, portrait, shadow, nature and man made. I would consider this project a scavenger hunt.

This is also our first project where editing is expected. If you are using your phone, then you have everything you need without the need to download any new apps. Of course, you can use your favorite app for editing. If you are using a computer or camera for photos you can use websites like polarr to edit your photos.

The videos below will give you some tips for shooting black and white and teach you how to edit photos in your phone.

+ What did you have to do in this project? (Include the categories.)

+ How did you take your pictures? In B&W or color and edit later?

+ What did you do differently? Shooting? Planning?

+ What did you enjoy about taking photos in black and white?

+ What did you find frustrating? What was the hardest category to capture? Why?

+ Add your photos to Google Drive and post a live link on your website.

+ Choose your favorite 2 photos and post them on your site and label them with the category they are representing.

Photo Stacking: Action

Stacking photos is a technique that can be used to create an “impossible” shot or a way to show a sequence of events. We will be using it to show a sequence of events. This requires planning and the use of Photoshop. Photos used below are from my friend John Burns.

Cliff jump photos to edit can be found here and the basketball photos to stack can be found here.

This is a new post….

+ What did you have to do?

+ Explain the process of capturing your shot.

+ Explain the process of editing your final stack.

+ Share the link to the YouTube video above so others can watch it.

+ Include both of your stacks in your post. Make sure they are as large as possible in your post.

Website Building

Building a professional web presence in an important part of being a photographer. During this semester you will be managing and building a website that can be used for getting in to high school classes. Your assignments will be posted to your website along with a short written piece describing the process you used during each project to produce your final photos.

Site must include:

+ Opening page: Header image (your image)

+ Page title (must include name)

+ Photo of you

+ Quick Bio

+ 2nd Page (favorite apps for pictures include logos)

See my site here.

Macro Portraits (playing with Legos)

Posts should include:

+ Explanation of the project

+ What skills do you use from previous projects?

+ What parts of the project challenged you?

+ If you had to take 5 more pictures what would you like to photograph? Scenes, places, characters?

+ Include all of your photos in your post. In the captions, explain or give a clue about the story in your photo. All photos must be ready for publishing in a gallery or professional environment. Cropped, color correct, edited. If is isn’t fantastic, don’t post it.

+ Category “Lego Stories”






Framing your Subject

This project, hopefully, will continue to help you with composition. You’ve seen the rule of thirds, now let’s talk about using the environment you are taking photos in to help you frame your subject. Our school, even the inside, is a great place for this project. This a great project to show off your creativity. Just because you found something to frame your subject doesn’t mean that you will succeed with this project. Your subject is also part of this photo, make sure you have them involved in the shot (pose, activity, expression). I have been using the Lightroom CC App on my phone a lot lately for editing my photos. It has just about everything that Photoshop has. Below is the icon you will find in your App Store. VSCO is also a great app for this project, especially for those of you that don’t have portrait mode on your phones.

Don’t understand the project? Check this out!

He has 4.43 subscribers, he’s creative, and I think you can learn something from him. I have. You can find his other videos here: https://www.youtube.com/user/petermckinnon24 .

Here are some examples of photos to give you some ideas. The ones below are mine.

Here are a few more that I found on the web.

  • Here is what is needed in your post:
  • 6 edited photos using different “frames”
  • Clear explanation of the project.
  • Compare this composition project to the Rule of Thirds.
  • Post must include your favorite photo with your logo. Explain why it’s your favorite and how it meets the requirements of this project.
  • What are the challenges you face when using this type of composition technique?
  • Link to Google Drive folder

Set in the Street: Assignment

“Set in the Street” is a photography project that is inspired by New York based photographer Justin Bettman.  The idea behind “Set in the Street” is to create a photography set in a public space that doesn’t really have anything to do with the set that is being used for the project.  In the fall of 2018 the set was inspired by the work of Carrie Mae Weems and her Kitchen Table Project.  You can see the previous posts and “sets” we have built in this class by clicking on the category Set in the Street.

The Fall of 2018 Set in the Street for Arts Night December 12, 2018.
A birthday party (and actually Emely’s birthday) using our street and using the photographs of Carrie Mae Weems as inspiration.

Your assignment:

+Plan, assemble props, and take photographs using our “Set in the Street”

+ Edit 4 photos using the color values found in the photos by Carrie Mae Weems

+ Add the vignette look to your photos using the elliptical marquee tool in PhotoShop

Your post should include:

+ Introduction to the project

+ Explanation of the photographers used for this project.  Their names must be included as live links to their websites like mine above.

+ What PhotoShop tools did you use to edit your photos?

Answer the following:  If you had to choose a place to tell your family’s story, where would you take your photos?  What photos would we see? (even better, include a picture of this place)

+ 1 edited photo, 1 “zoomed out” photo (you can use mine here)

+ Post needs to be in the category Set in the Street