Monday, March 30, 2009

Week 2

Students in Digital II, you need to commit to an in depth project this week.... Run the idea by me by posting your idea to this blog and include an image, either of one of yours or one by someone else that illustrates the concept you will be working on....  Check the syllabus for a long list of ideas but you are not limited to those alone....

Photo I folks... Now begins the work of getting out there to shoot.... This week I am asking you to take a walk in a built environment... you home town or another.... Fill the frame with design and light... avoid including sky unless it is compelling and avoid photographing buildings that are far away.... move in close... look for light, and turn off your flash....  Here is the syllabus entry for this week....

Week 2

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.

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.

Assignment: Downtown

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

Browse through my portfolio of images from my "Connecticut Towns" project, particularly Stonington and Noank

You may work in black and white. Picasa3 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).

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