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Robin Michals | COMD 1340 Photography 1

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

Inspiration

Mamadi Doumbouya

https://www.mamadi.co

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/21/reader-center/mamadi-doumbouya-photo-portrait-talk.html

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.

Lights

  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

Homework

HW 9: Window Light Portraits

Week 10 – Portrait Lighting Styles

Review

Shutter Speed and Depth of Field

Perspective

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

https://karsh.org/overview/portraits/#thumbnails

Nadav Kandar

https://www.nadavkander.com/portraits/portraits/single

Lab

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

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 http://www.nikonusa.com/en/learn-and-explore/article/h0ndz86v/bokeh-for-beginners.html

Lab Exercises

Lab 8: Brooklyn Botanic Garden

Homework

HW 7:Space and Focus

Week 8 – Shutter Speed: Freezing and Blurring Motion

Inspiration

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.

Resource

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.

Timing

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.

Inspiration:

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.

Vocabulary

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.”

Homework

HW 5: Reflections

Schedule:

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

Terms

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

Homework

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.

Review

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

Challenges

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.

Inspiration

Labs

Lab 4: Continuous lights in the Studio

Homework

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

Online

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

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.              

Inspiration

View:

http://filippodrudi.com/project-thefork.html

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

Resource

In-class Lab Exercise

Lab 1 – Composition

Homework

HW1 – Composition

Final Project Statement

I plan to capture the different street photography for my final project.
that involves capturing candid moments of everyday life in public places, typically in urban environments. It often focuses on people, architecture, and the details of city life. Times Square in New York City is one of the most diverse tourist destinations in the world. Visitors from all walks of life, ethnicities, and cultures can be found exploring the bustling streets, enjoying the vibrant lights, and taking in the multitude of attractions. The diversity of tourists in Times Square reflects the global appeal of the city itself, drawing people from every corner of the globe. You can encounter tourists from Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, and beyond, each bringing their unique perspectives and experiences to the iconic location. This diversity adds to the richness of the Times Square experience, making it a truly global melting pot of cultures and backgrounds.

During my spring break, I am going to spend some time shooting photos around the area of Times Square. I will try to spend more time shooting photos in the city while at the same time doing videography as my current hobby, where I shoot videos of my dance crew friends covering a song. I mostly shoot videography almost every week in my life and we do this for fun the videos that I shoot are uploaded onto YouTube.

Flowers and plants

Theme for my project is going to be flowers and their environment  and the way I’m going to do this is by going to the botanical garden and capturing photos of different plants and flowers from similar environments. The first step is that by visiting different exhibits and capturing photos of each in their own climate I will be able to see a common mood. I want to be able to capture the mood of each of the plants and flowers. I want to be able to show if there’s a similarity between the physical appearance of the plant and environment. The way I’m also going to do this is by capturing similar plants but in different climates and conditions. The way I’m going to do this is by capturing close ups of each of the flowers. I also want to get medium shots and long shots. The purpose of this is to focus on each of them. Also to bring out the details with the close ups. In the long shots my main objective is to show how most of the plants interact in the same environment or conditions to be exact. I will shoot inside these exhibits but also I am going to be outside focusing on different species of plants. The reason for this is to also show the change in climate since its spring. This will be the best time to be able to capture these species of plants at their peak. I’m also going to try and go on rainy days to see how they differ in appearance and what it evokes. I’m also going to try and play with the aperture to bring out the detail and the feeling of texture more vividly in each of the close ups. Also we are exposed to different species of plants but we don’t know much about them so I hope to learn alot about each species of plants.

Final Project Statement

I am intrigued by the emotional roller coaster individuals embody through life changing experiences. This idea presented itself to me as I’m in my own journey to detect my emotions so I may articulate them to another person or for my personal growth. I plan to capture these intimate moments with different close people in my life. I will ignite a conversation and ask them to express themselves. During these conversations, I may ask the subject if I could start taking pictures. I will also ask them to take their portraits beofre and after the conversation is done. I hope to translate these emotions through photographs. To do so, I will experiment with lighting and angles to try to mimic the mood if necessary. I may ask the subject to be seated in a designated area or we may be in a busy street. I want them to feel comfortable and at ease in front of the camera.

I am looking for raw emotions. This doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be dark, on the contrary when going through difficult times or any life altering decisions whether we made them ourselves or life has done it for us, the outcome may be alleviating. We as humans may look back at them and smile, laugh, feel a sense of relief, calmness and gratitude after it has all been said and done.

I’ve been inspired by the photographer Brandon Stanton who has been taking photos of people in the streets of New York City for years. He has shared long captions to accompany the emotions we are seeing. Each person tells a personal story.

I’ve always loved candid photos but during this project I hope to make it more intentional. This may feel more like a therapy session than a portrait being taken. But that is what I enjoy, having conversations that stay with me. It doesn’t have to have some form of a great epiphany but it’s what I long for.

Final Project Statement

For my final project, I want to explore the various bookstores across New York City. I always found bookstores to be an intimate setting where people can come and be part of a community just through their love of books. Cafes can be cozy but they don’t have the serenity you would find in a bookstore. I want to capture this peacefulness that exists within a large, bustling city. Through book displays, storefronts, and the people within, I will explore how this sanctuary of books promotes the sharing of stories and knowledge in a safe and cozy environment. I will emphasis different depths of field and perspectives to focus on small intimate details in some photos and wide angles for creating an atmosphere in others. I will also make use of foreground vs background to achieve this. I will mostly be shooting during the weekend as that’s when I have the most time to explore various bookstores, but I also want to shoot during some weekdays when the bookstore is less populated so I can focus on individuals and displays without the crowds.

Final Project Statement

The photography session in the library will revolve around the theme of exploring the passage of time, the accumulation of knowledge, and the quiet beauty found within the walls of a library, the story will follow a protagonist as they embark on a journey through the library.

The subject matter will include the protagonist navigating through the library’s aisles, browsing books, and getting lost in a good book. Additionally, the session will capture the architectural details of the library, shelves, and the play of light filtering through windows.

To capture the peaceful and calm ambiance of the library, the session should ideally occur during off-peak hours when fewer visitors are there.  Late nights or early mornings could be the ideal frame of opportunity. Add some natural light, use a shallow depth of field, and experiment with long-exposure photography. 

Photographers of inspiration:

Henri Cartier-Bresson

Dorothea Lange

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