Robin Michals | COMD 1340 Photography 1

Week 14 – Digital Darkroom: Local Corrections

Review Global Corrections

Global corrections adjust the entire file. In the Lightroom, it includes the controls under Light, Color and Effects. In Lightroom classic, this includes everything in the basic panel: White balance, Tone and Presence.

Download and tone both files. Put the corrected versions in an album on Flickr.

Local corrections

After you make global corrections, sometimes you will want to make corrections to part of your image. Generally, the brightest part of the image commands the most attention. Sometimes that is not where you want your viewer to look first so shifting the exposure of parts of your image can create the image you want.


Lightroom masking allows you to select part of the scene and correct it. It can select “the subject” or specific people. It can select the sky. You can manually select areas with the brush or object tool.

Example 1

This is an image I shot at the Dance Bloc Festival of The Dynamite Experience.

Image one is the file as shot.

Image two uses a subject mask.

Image three uses a second mask created with the brush to reduce the brightness of the crouching figure.

Example 2

Use masks to make local corrections on the files below.

Lab exercises

Adjust the 6 photos above.

Working with your partner, you both adjust one of their photos and compare the results. Then you both adjust one of your photos and compare the results.

Put your results, a total of 8 photos, in an album on Flickr for today’s lab credit.


Final Project – 20 pts

Due May 21:

3 albums each of a minimum of 40 photos

1 album of the 10 best photos adjusted in Lightroom

a 3-5 min presentation of the final project – projected from the album on Flickr.

Presentation Guidelines

  1. Start by introducing yourself and your project. Then outline the big picture with a few sentences sentence such as, ” I photographed variations on the theme of windows. Most of the photos were taken in downtown Brooklyn.
  2. If you are showing 10 images, you have about 30 seconds to describe each photo. Tell us what your intention was, what interested you about the photo we are looking at, and give us information we may need to know to understand the photo. Tell us what makes it visually interesting ie the use of shallow depth of field or some other feature.
  3. How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.
  4. Do not tell us about what you did to the photo in Lightroom.

Late coursework will NOT be accepted after today May 14 at midnight. Final projects will not be accepted after May 21.

Week 13 – Outdoor Portraits

Next week

On May 13, class will start with a quiz. Topics include: shutter speed, aperture, depth of field, perspective, portrait lighting styles, light roles: main, fill, separation or background.



Reminder: Focus

When shooting a portrait, the subject’s eyes must be in focus. Full stop. Period.

Considerations for any portrait:

  1. Use a vertical orientation.

2. Focus on the model’s eyes.

3. Keep the background clean and without distraction.

Considerations for outdoor portraits

  1. Work with the model in shade or place the model with the sun BEHIND their head.
  2. Do not use direct sunlight on the model’s face.

3. Use a reflector or flash as the main light.

On-camera Flash

You can dial the flash down and use it directly to raise the light on the subject’s face or bounce it off a reflector.

Ambient Light-the existing light that you cannot control

Fill Flash-brightens shadows

Built-in flash-part of the camera and throws light about 6 to 10 feet

External flash-added to the camera on the hot shoe and can throw light 15 to 20 feet 

ETTL (Evaluative-Through The Lens) is a Canon EOS flash exposure system that uses a brief pre-flash before the main flash in order to obtain a more correct exposure.

Use M or manual.

1/1 is full power. If you are pointing the flash right at the model, try 1/64 and adjust from there.

Use Zoom to spread or focus the light. Wide angle numbers (smaller numbers) spread the light. Higher numbers focus the light.

High speed sync-allows the camera to be set at shutter speeds higher than the camera sync speed 

Lab 12

Outdoor Portraits


Final Project

Week 12 – Painting with Light

Painting with light is drawing with light over the course of a long exposure.

Inspiration: Atton Conrad

Sprint Campaign: 

Tripod use

  • Spread the legs out and make sure the tripod is stable. Use the height from the legs before using the neck of the tripod. Put one leg forward and the two legs on your side.
  • Put the plate on the camera and make sure that the lens arrow is pointing towards the lens. Insert the plate into the locking mechanism and make sure that the camera is secure.
  • Use the camera timer and DO NOT TOUCH the camera or the tripod during the exposure.

Considerations for painting with light: 

1. Use a tripod 

2. Use Manual as the shooting mode.

3. Set the ISO to 100

4. Set the aperture to f/11 as a starting point to get a wide range of depth of field. 

5. Set the shutter speed to 2″ as a starting point.

6. Use manual focus. Make sure the subject is in focus. To do this shine a light on the subject and use auto focus. Then flip the lens back to MF. Remember that if the distance of the subject to the camera changes, you need to refocus!

Mixing Strobe Lights or Flash with Painting with Light 

The aperture controls the exposure of whatever is lit by the strobe lights. 

The shutter speed controls the illumination of the background. 


Lab 11: Painting with Light


Final Project

Week 11 – Portraits with two and three lights

For the next class

On April 16th, if you have a flash light bring it in. You can also use your phone but you might want to have a charger so you aren’t left with a dead phone for the rest of the day.

Review Portrait Lighting Styles


Mamadi Doumbouya

Focal Length

The focal length of a lens is defined as the distance in mm from the optical center of the lens to the the sensor when the lens is focused on infinity. This varies on the camera and the lens.

Focal length controls: Magnification and angle of view

Focal length is described as short, normal ie close to human vision, or long.

When working with a crop-frame sensor, approximately 65 mm will be the most flattering to your subject.


  There are three basic types of lights (these are the physical lights not portrait lighting styles):

  1. The Main or Key Light-This light provides the brightest illumination and casts the shadows

2. The Fill Light-this light brightens the shadows. It can be a reflector or an actual light.

This video shows how to use a reflector as the fill light.

3. The Separation Light or Background Light-creates separation between the subject and the background. This light can be aimed at the background or it can be aimed at the subject. If the later, it would be called a hair light. If accenting the edge of the face or shoulders, this light would be called a rim light or a kicker.

3-point Lighting

– standard lighting for portraits, video and film, uses all three: a main light, a fill light and a background light.

Lab Exercise

Lab 10: Two and Three Light Portraits


HW 9: Window Light Portraits

Week 10 – Portrait Lighting Styles


Shutter Speed and Depth of Field


Test Yourself: Which Faces Were Made by A.I.?

Portrait Poses

There are three basic positions for someone’s head and face in a portrait.

  1. Front view or face forward
  2. 3/4 view
  3. Profile

Portrait Lighting Styles

There are a 5 basic lighting styles for portrait photography. Each style is defined by how light falls on the face.

When the subject’s whole face is towards the camera, there are three basic lighting styles.

  1. Rembrandt Light – the model is face forward, main light is at 45 degrees and casts a light on the opposite side of the face to form a triangle on the cheek.

Rembrandt Lighting
Michael B. Jordan. Photographer: Peggy Sirota

2. Butterfly Light, Clamshell or beauty or glamour light-model is face forward, front light.

Tyra Banks. Photographer: Matthew Jordan Smith

3. Split Light-model is face forward, the main light is at 90 degrees to the camera and falls on one side of the face. 

Lewis Wickes Hine (U.S.A., 1874–1940), One of the spinners in Whitnel Cotton Mfg. Co. N.C. December 1908.

When the subject is in 3/4 view, there are two basic lighting styles.

4. Broad Light-light falls on the side of the face with the visible ear. Good for controlling the reflections on glasses.

Danny Devito. Photographer: Gregory Heisler.

5. Short Light-the light falls on the side of the face with the features. (Not on the side with the visible ear.)

Aretha Franklin. Photographer: Matthew Jordan Smith

Both of these are examples of short light. Here the light is slightly behind the subject.

Chadwick Boseman. Photographer: Caitlin Cronenburg

Left: Photographer-Yousef Karsh, Winston Churchill, 1941

Right: Photographer-Nadav Kandar, Donald Trump, 2016

Yousef Karsh

Nadav Kandar


Lab 9: Portrait Lighting Styles

Homework Assignment

HW 8: Final Project Statement and Mood Board

Week 9 – Depth of Field, Aperture, and Perspective

CUNY Photo Challenge

Submit your best image before March 28th.

Depth of Field

Depth of Field-The distance between the nearest and farthest points that appear in acceptably sharp focus in a photograph. Depth of field can be shallow or extensive. While the term includes the word depth, depth of field refers to focus.

Shallow Depth of Field

Shallow depth of field is commonly used in portrait photography to separate the subject from the background and in food photography.

Extensive Depth of Field

Extensive depth of field is often used in landscape photography and photojournalism.

The depiction of space

Perspective-the representation of a 3-dimensional space on a 2-dimensional surface by converging lines, diminishing scale and/or atmospheric perspective.

Canyon, Broadway and Exchange Place. 1936.
Photographer: Berenice Abbott

Sometimes photos combine perspective and shallow depth of field.

Photographer: Michael Kenna

How to control depth of field (with a camera)

These four factors control depth of field:

  • lens aperture 
  • focal length
  • camera-to-subject distance
  • sensor size.


Aperture is the size of the opening that allows light to hit the camera’s sensor when the photograph is taken. 

  1. Aperture values are expressed in numbers called f-stops. A smaller f-stop number means more light is coming into the camera and will create shallow depth of field. A larger f-stop number will let less light into the camera and create extensive depth of field.
  2. The full stops for aperture are: F2, f28, f4, f5.6, f8, f11, f16, f22, f3

Focal Length  is the distance from where the light converges in the lens to the sensor. If it is a short distance then the lens is a wide angle lens and shows a lot of the scene. If it is a long distance, the lens is a telephoto lens and it magnifies the scene. Wide angle lenses create extensive depth of field while telephoto lenses create shallow depth of field.

Camera-to-subject distance is how far the subject is from the camera. If everything is far from the camera, it is easier to achieve extensive depth of field. If the main subject is very close to the camera and the background elements are far from the camera, it is easier to achieve shallow depth of field.

It is the small size of the sensor that makes cameraphones so good at achieving extensive depth of field. It is also the main reason it is so hard to get your cameraphone to achieve shallow depth of field.Sensor size-the smaller the sensor the easier it is to achieve extensive depth of field. Bigger sensors allow for shallow depth of field.

 Bokeh-Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke (ボケ), which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji, the “blur quality.” Bokeh is pronounced BOH-Kə or BOH-kay. 

 — From

Lab Exercises

Lab 8: Brooklyn Botanic Garden


HW 7:Space and Focus

Week 8 – Shutter Speed: Freezing and Blurring Motion


Shutter Speed

Shutter Speed is the length of time that the sensor is exposed to light to create the photograph. It is measured in seconds or fractions of a second.

The full stops for shutter speed are: 30”, 15”, 8”, 4”, 2”, 1”, . sec, ., 1/8, 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000, 1/8000

Doubling the time, doubles the amount of light that reaches the sensor.

When shooting with a cameraphone and the Lightroom Photoshop app, you can set the shutter speed of your cameraphone between 1/10,000 and 1/4 sec.

A good rule of thumb when shooting with a camera is: Any shutter speeds slower then 1/60 require the use of a tripod. When shooting with a cameraphone, you will need a tripod to shoot at 1/15 or slower.


Capturing Motion

Your choice of shutter speed will change the way motion is captured in the photograph.

Frozen Motion-Motion is stopped and captured in the frame with a fast shutter speed.

World Sports Photography Awards Aquatic winners

World Sports Photography Awards Basketball

Maria Baranova: Performance

How to freeze motion:

  • Use a shutter speed of 1/ 500, 1/1000 or faster.
  • Use the AF mode – AI Servo.

Auto Focus

AF Area Selection Mode: facial recognition, single point Spot AF, Single Point AF, AF Point Expansion, Zone AF, Large Zone AF.

One Shot is for still subjects. AI Servo is for moving subjects.


The exact moment that you take the picture is as important as how long the shutter speed is. This is often called:

The Decisive Moment: A term coined by Cartier Bresson- “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.”

Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris. 1932
Photographer: Henri Cartier-Bresson

Drive Mode

For really fast motion, try a burst mode either high or low continuous. continouso

Blurred motion

Moving elements blur with a longer shutter speed.


Lee-Ann Olwage, The Big Forget

Matthew Pillsbury, Sanctuary

How to blur motion:

  • Use a slower shutter speed – 1/4 sec to 30″ or even longer
  • Direction-if the subject moves parallel to the picture plane there is more visible movement than if the subject moves toward or away from the camera.
  • Focal length-a subject will appear blurrier when photographed with a telephoto lens than when photographed with a wide-angle lens.

Lab Exercise

Freezing and blurring motion

Homework Assignment

Freezing Motion

Week 7 – Midterm – Critique Guidelines

Critique Etiquette

  1. Respect the presenter. Give them your full attention.
  2. Ask questions about your colleague’s photography. This is not the time to ask questions about your personal concerns.
  3. Start with the positive when you comment on your colleague’s works. Use the terms below that we have learned this semester.
  4. Be generous. Offer your thoughts. Your opinion and judgements are important. Do not leave the work of giving feedback to the others in the class.


Framing: How the frame brings together the elements inside the rectangle juxtaposing them, creating relationships between them

Types of shots: how much information is in the frame

  • a long shot
  • a medium shot
  • a close up
  • an extreme close up.

Frame within a frame – use elements in the frame to enclose the main subject and draw attention to it. A frame within a frame can be a window or door or it can be items in the foreground such as branches.

Angle of View:  describes the camera position in relationship to the subject. The angle of view may be: 

  • a worm’s-eye view
  • a low-angle
  • eye-level
  • a high-angle
  • a bird’s-eye or aerial or overhead view
  • an oblique angle.

Rule of Thirds – Instead of placing the main subject in the center of the frame, divide the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically and place the main subject at one of these intersections.

Symmetry-fold the image in half and the two sides are equivalent

Fill the Frame –  (get closer) – do not leave empty areas that do not add to the composition and plan to crop in later.

Diagonals – Sloping lines

Leading Lines – lines in the photograph that lead the eye to the main subject

Perspective-the creation of the feeling of a 3D space on a 2D surface usually with converging lines or diminishing scale

Patterns – repeated elements. Break the pattern for visual interest

Figure to Ground -the relationship between the subject and the background sometimes described as negative and positive space.

Diffused light – light that comes from many directions and creates soft shadows

Direct light– light that come from one direction and creates hard shadows

Contrast: The measure of difference between bright areas (highlights) and dark areas (shadows) in a photo

High contrast : Large difference between highlights and shadows. Mostly lights and darks without many mid tones        

Low contrast :  Little difference between lights and darks. Mostly mid tones.

High Key– most tones are light

Low Key – most tones are dark

Frozen Motion-Motion is stopped and captured in the frame with a fast shutter speed.

Blurred motion-moving elements blur with a longer shutter speed.

The Decisive Moment: A term coined by Cartier Bresson- “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as the precise organization of forms which gives that event its proper expression.”


HW 5: Reflections


March 19th – Shutter Speed-Weather permitting we will be outside in McLaughlin Park for 45 min. Be prepared to spend time outside.

March 26 – Aperture – Trip to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden

April 2 – Portraits-Studio work in V111

Week 6 – Digital Darkroom – Global Corrections


Aspect Ratio-the proportion of the width of the image to the height of a 2D image

Clipping-the intensity of the light falls outside of what can be recorded by the camera and there is a loss of detail.

Color Profile-the data for a digital device, such as a printer or monitor, which describes its gamut, or range of colors. Used to match the gamut from one device to another.

Exif Data-information stored by the camera in the file.

Gamut-range of colors

Histogram- a graphic representation of the tones in an image. A spike of data on the left side indicates underexposure, on the right overexposure.

Neutral Value-RGB values are equal or gray

Non-destructive Editing-adjust the image without overwriting the original image data. Instructions are written to a sidecar file that tells the software how to interpret the image.

White Balance-the setting that adjusts for the color temperature of the light and that will make a white object appear white or a gray object a neutral value

Global Corrections

Global corrections adjust the entire file. In the Lightroom CC, it includes the controls under Light, Color and Effects. In Lightroom classic, this includes everything in the basic panel: White balance, Tone and Presence.

Exposure Choices

Both exposures are “right.” It depends on the feeling and mood you want to create.

When to Use Auto

Auto is a great feature of Lightroom. If the tones in an image will more or less average out to a medium gray, Auto will give you a good result. If the tones in the image do not average out to a medium gray, Auto is useless.

Using the Histogram

Example file:

The histogram is a graphic representation of the tones in the photograph. It is a guide to exposure decisions. Most images look best when there is a full range of tones from black to white in the image. But there are no iron clad rules.

To access the histogram in Lightroom, from the keyboard select: Command 0

Or get it from the three dots on the right menu bar.

From the top of the histogram, there is a triangular button. Toggle it to turn on/off show clipping.

To maximize the the tonal range, adjust a photo to have some tones that are totally black and totally white but only a few so that you don’t lose detail in either the shadows or the highlights.

Looking at the histogram, we can see that there is not a true black or white. To raise the contrast of the image and use the full tonal range, use the following adjustments:

  • Select show clipping on the top left of the histogram. Adjust the blacks slider to the left until you see bright blue flecks on your image.
  • Select show clipping on the top right of the histogram. Adjust the whites slider to the right until you see bright red flecks on your image.

Most images improve with:

  • shadows slider to +50 add detail to the dark areas
  • the highlights slider brought to the left to bring detail into the highlights.

In this photo of the pier in Coney Island, the histogram shows that is underexposed. But we also know that it is an evening scene and that there is nothing in the photo that should be bright white.

Lightroom Workflow:

  1. Optics: enable lens correction. If there is architecture or a strong horizon line, geometry>upright>auto
  2. Crop.
  3. Color. Adjust the white balance if necessary.
  4. Light
    a. Exposure slider-use to adjust the overall tonality
    b. Set black point using show clipping
    c. Set white point using show clipping
    d. Use shadows slider to brighten mid tones.
  5. Effects – Adjust clarity (mid tone contrast)
  6. App: color – Adjust vibrance and or saturation
  7. Detail panel – Sharpen-amount at least 50

Lightroom CC Resource

Lightroom Classic Resource

A few tips for Lightroom Mobile:

  1. To access the histogram, tap on the image with two fingers. If you can’t really see the histogram background, brighten the display.
  2. To see the image before your corrections, press on the image.

Lab Exercises

Global Corrections


Midterm Project

Week 5 – Exposure

CUNY Photo Challenge

Submit today to the CUNY Photo Challenge. Send me the screen shot from your submission for 1 pt of extra credit.

Quiz 1

Next week, March 5th, the class will start with a quiz. it will have three questions on the following topics all from the OpenLab topics pages: Exposure, Light-quality and direction, contrast, studio basics: continuous lights vs strobes, Flood lights vs spot lights, composition including angles of view, framing, rule of thirds, leading lines, a frame within a frame, symmetry, figure to ground and a compare and contrast of two photos that will be graded on your use of the vocabulary from the class.


Light Quality

Light is either direct or diffused.

Direct light: the light strikes the subject from one angle and creates sharp shadows. Sunlight is an example of direct light.

Graduation, New York. 1949
Photographer: Roy DeCarava

Diffused Light: the light hits the subject from many angles and creates soft shadows. The light is diffused on an overcast day or in the shade.

Mother and daughter pausing in the ruins, which was still their home. Claremont Parkway. 1976-82.
Photographer: Mel Rosenthal

Measuring the Light

Exposure is the amount of light that comes into the camera to create the photograph.

Exposure is made up of three components:

  1. ISO-Sensitivity to light.
  2. Shutter Speed-the length of time that the camera’s shutter is open during the exposure.
  3. Aperture-how wide the cameras lens opens to allow the light to come in.

All three are measured in stops. the different between one full stop and the next is it either doubles or reduces by 1/2 the amount of light. This is true of ISO, shutter speed and aperture.

How your Camera Meter Works

Acronym: TTL – Through the Lens

The meter in your camera is a reflected-light meter.

A reflected light meter averages the tones in the scene and selects the aperture and shutter speed values that will make the whole scene medium gray.

Watch from :45 to 1:34 for an explanation of how your camera meter works.

What your camera meter "sees"
What your camera meter “sees” From Photography, 10th Edition, Stone, London, Upton, P. 70


There are certain predictable situations that will fool your meter.

  1. Backlight – a common example is a person against a window or against the sky. Add exposure to get the right exposure for the main subject and allow the background to be overexposed.

2. Landscapes with sky. The sky is brighter than the ground and to get a good exposure of the land portion of your photo, often you need to over expose the sky.

3. Snow

A quick way to control exposure

With a camera: Use Exposure Compensation set to plus to increase the light and set to minus to decrease the light.

Exposure compensation scale
Exposure compensation scale set here to minus 1.3

Exposure Compensation-a way to force the camera to make an exposure either lighter or darker than the meter reading. Good for backlight or extremes of light and dark.

With a cameraphone: Touch the area where the main subject is and then drag the little sun icon up or down to increase or decrease the overall exposure.

Using Exposure for Creative Effect

Sometimes, you don’t want the tones in your image to average out to a medium gray. You want to tones to be low key-mostly dark or high key-mostly light.

Red Jackson at a window
Red Jackson. 1948.
Photographer: Gordon Parks
Eleanor, Chicago. 1947.
Photographer: Harry Callahan

Lab Exercises

Lab 5: Street Photography

Homework Due Next Class

Midterm Project

Upcoming Schedule

March 5 – Quiz 1, Global corrections in Lightroom

March 12- Midterm Presentations

March 17 – Shutter Speed

Week 4 – Light

Light Quality

Direct light or hard light – the rays of light are nearly parallel and strike the subject from one direction creating hard edged dark shadows with little detail.
Examples: a spotlight, sun on a clear day, or a bare flash

Diffused light or soft light– the rays of light are scattered and coming from many directions. It appears even and produces indistinct shadows. Examples: overcast daylight, a light covered with tracing paper or other translucent material.

Direct Light and Direction

Front light comes from in front of subject from the camera position and the shadows fall behind the subject not concealing any details.

Side Light comes from 90 degrees to the camera. it adds dimension and texture to the subject.

Backlight comes from behind the subject towards the camera.



Lab 4: Continuous lights in the Studio


HW 4: Something Near and Something Far

Class Schedule

Feb 27th: Field Trip to the Oculus and Brookfield Place

March 5: Quiz 1, Lightroom: Global Corrections, Midterm support

March 12: Midterm Presentations

Week 3: Light – Quality and Direction


Today’s class will take place via Zoom. Check blackboard or your City Tech email for the invitation.

Lighting Quality

Diffused– light hits the subject from all directions and the shadows are soft as in an overcast or snowy day

Direct– light hits the subject from one angle and the shadows are crisp with sharp edges as in sunlight

Lighting Direction

Front light – light comes from near the camera position.

Side light – light comes from 90 degrees to the camera position.

Back light – light comes from behind the subject and aims towards the camera.


Contrast: The measure of difference between bright areas (highlights) and dark areas (shadows) in a photo

High contrast : Large difference between highlights and shadows. Mostly lights and darks without many mid tones

Low contrast :  Little difference between lights and darks. Mostly mid tones.              



Lab 3: Light

Stuffed Animals

HW 3: The Powers of Ten

Homework 3

Week 2 – Composition: The Frame

The Frame

Cropping: how much information is in the frame

  • a long shot

Toktogul Reservoir, Kyrgyzstan. 2021. Photographer: Anush Babajanyan

  • a medium shot

Photographer: Ralph Pace

  • a close up

Fashion Week, New York. 2023. Photographer: Dina Livitsky

  • an extreme close up

Photographer: Aaron Siskind

Angle of View:  describes the camera position in relationship to the subject. The angle of view may be:

  • a worm’s-eye view

Photographer: Lindsey Perez

  • a low-angle
  • eye-level

Photo by Mel D. Cole

  • a high-angle
  • a bird’s-eye or aerial or overhead view
  • oblique angle
Tram on Sukharevsky Boulevard, 1928. Alexander Rodchenko.

Angle of View Examples By Alexander Rodchenko

Lab: Week 2 – Composition

HW 2: Hula Hoops

Week 1 – Photographic Composition

For Next Week

Bring a shoe to photograph. it can be anything from an old flip flop to the latest Jordans.

Compositional Principals

  1. Rule of Thirds – Instead of placing the main subject in the center of the frame, divide the frame into thirds horizontally and vertically and place the main subject at one of these intersections.

Graduation, 1949. Harlem, NY. Photographer: Roy De Carava

Dehli, India. Photographer: Rohit Vohra

2. Leading Lines – lines in the photograph that lead the eye to the main subject

Whitnel Cotton Mfg. Co. N.C. December 1908. Photographer: Lewis Hine

3. Diagonals – Sloping lines

Thailand, Bangkok. 2005. Photographer: Steve McCurry

4. Frame within a frame

Photographer: Eugene Smith

5. Figure to Ground -the relationship between the subject and the background sometimes described as negative and positive space.

Delhi, India. Photographer: Rohit Vohra

6. Fill the Frame – get closer. Never plan to crop later.

Mother. 1924. Photographer: Alexander Rodchenko

7. Patterns – repeated elements. Break the pattern for visual interest

Bed-Stuy. Photographer: George Steinmetz

8. Symmetry – If you fold the image in half the two haves are very similar and have equal visual weight.

From “A House is not a Home”, Photographer: Laila Annmarie Stevens


In-class Lab Exercise

Lab 1 – Composition


HW1 – Composition

Homework 1

Thomas Holton’s “Playing on the Roof,” part of “The Lams of Ludlow” collection, captures how vibrant Chinatown is and how Immersed the neighborhood’s are and there cultural richness, Holton delves into the lives of its residents, uncovering insights into human connections. The photograph shows familial warmth and vulnerability, showcasing Holton’s skillful use of formal elements like framing and figure-ground contrast, leading lines to create a compelling visual narrative. Through this image, Holton invites viewers to experience the inviting atmosphere and rich tapestry of human connections within Chinatown. Holton’s intimate exploration of Chinatown is palpable in this picture because he skillfully utilizes the elements to draw viewers into the scene. The door frame acts as a focal point, guiding attention towards the little girl, while the contrast between her and the background adds depth and visual interest. The lines of the stairs further emphasize her presence, creating a composition that reflects Holton’s deep connection to the neighborhood and its inhabitants. Through this image, he invites us to share in the warmth and humanity he found within the streets of Chinatown.

HW 8

Setting out on a quest to photographically capture the essence of nature is an incredibly rewarding undertaking. I’m excited to translate the natural world’s unquestionable tranquility and beauty into visual art because it speaks to the soul.

I approach taking pictures of nature with respect and reverence. I consider myself to be a modest observer who aims to capture the wonders of nature without interfering with or disturbing it. Every moment presents an opportunity to capture something truly magical, whether it’s the captivating dance of light and shadow in a forest, the majestic sweep of a mountain range, or the intricate detail of a flower petal.

To properly capture the breathtaking beauty of nature, I’ll have to fully immerse myself in it. This entails straying from the usual route, investigating isolated wilderness regions, and appreciating the elements in all of their untamed, raw beauty. I’ll look for moments of transcendence and record them with my lens, whether they are in the tranquility of a misty morning or the vibrant colors of a setting sun.

Technical skill will be crucial for this project since, in order to produce photographs that accurately capture the spirit of nature, I’ll need to become an expert in exposure, lighting, and composition. I aim to produce technically accurate and emotionally impactful images, whether I’m using a macro lens to bring out the fine details of a tiny insect or a wide-angle lens to capture expansive vistas.

My ultimate objective in photography, however, goes beyond the technical aspects and is to establish a strong bond with nature and spread that bond to others. My goal is for my images to evoke awe, wonder, and a sense of responsibility for the priceless ecosystems that support life on Earth. I want to remind people how important it is to preserve and protect or natural heritage so that future generations can continue to enjoy it by showcasing the beauty of nature in all its forms.





HW 1

The photograph is a powerful portrayal of a homeless man, and it appears that the photographer’s intention was to shed light on the man’s life. The image is filled with hope despite the harsh realities it depicts.

Fill the Frame: The man’s body fills the entire frame, allowing viewers to see all the details very clearly. This technique draws attention to the subject and eliminates distractions, providing a sense of intimacy and detail.

Dominant Eye: One of the man’s eyes is covered by his hair, but the other eye is very firm and strong. This is the dominant eye in the photograph. The dominant eye guides the viewer’s gaze and can convey a lot of emotion, in this case, the man’s resilience and determination.

Patterns and Repetition: The chains around the man’s neck repeat like a pattern, symbolizing the shackles in his life. Patterns and repetition can create rhythm and structure in a photograph, making it more visually appealing.

Contrast: The man is wearing shabby dark clothes, and the surrounding environment is also very dark. This forms a strong contrast with the colorful flowers, the only other color in the photo. Contrast can help to highlight the main subject and evoke emotions.

Symmetry: Although not immediately obvious, there is symmetry in this photo. The man is sitting along the center line of the photo, creating a balance. Symmetry can make a photo more harmonious and pleasing to the eye.

In conclusion, this photograph is a great example of how different components and compositions of photography can be used to tell a story and evoke emotions. The photographer has skillfully used these elements to portray the life of the homeless man and to evoke feelings of hope and resilience. It’s a testament to the power of photography to shed light on different aspects of human life and society.

For my final project I’m gonna embark on a journey through the diverse sections of Forest Park i’m gonna document its beauty and significance through photography. From the Carousel to the woodlands, each area offers a unique perspective on this iconic park. my Images aim to showcase the rich tapestry of experiences, from the whimsical charm of the Carousel to the serene majesty of the forest trails. i also aim to capture pictures of people and wildlife.


Photo: Frank Lee Ruggles


Photo: J. Funk


Photo: Kamchatka

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