Robin Michals | COMD 1340 Photography 1

Category: Course Activities (Page 1 of 9)

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 color correct 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 allows you to select part of the scene and mask it so you can work on only that part of the image. It can select

  • the subject
  • the sky
  • the background
  • specific people
  • with the object tool for things with hard edges
  • with the brush
  • with a gradient

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

The important thing in this photo by Bryan Rodriguez is the face of the card player. However the cards are brighter and demanded too much attention. Using the adjustment brush, I darkened the cards. Creating a second adjustment, I lightened the face of the card player a little more. The goal was to bring more attention to the person’s face and less to the overly bright cards.

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. Send your corrected photo and your partners corrected to the group.


Final Project – 20 pts

Due May 22:

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 15 at midnight. Final projects will not be accepted after May 22.

Lab 12 – Outdoor portraits

Take portraits in three ways:

  1. Start with a reflector. Have your model stand with the sun to their back. The sun is the separation light and will create a lovely rim light around the subject. Use the reflector to reflect light back into their face. Hold the reflector higher for a more pleasing result.

2. Then with the subject still with their back to the sun, use flash to brighten the model’s face. Use the flash on camera at a relatively low setting such as 1/64. You don’t want to cast any shadows on the face just brighten it.

3. Bounce the flash off the reflector onto the subject’s face. You will need to raise the power of the flash.

Use the shooting mode manual and the widest aperture (smallest number) for shallow depth of field. You may need to use a fast shutter speed to compensate. When using flash, make sure to set it to High Speed Sync (HSS) in order to be able to use a shutter speed faster than the sync speed.

Make sure to photograph everyone in your group, not just one person. Put your 20 best outdoor portraits in an album on Flickr and send the best two to the class .

Week 13 – Outdoor Portraits

Next week

On May 15, 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.

Outdoor Portrait Examples


Considerations for any portrait:

  1. Use a vertical orientation.

2. Focus on the model’s eyes.

3. Keep the background clean and without distraction.

4. Use one of the 5 basic portrait lighting styles: Rembrandt, Split, Butterfly, Braod, Short

5. Use a flattering focal length. Approx 65 mm on our class cameras and other cropped sensor cameras. 85 mm on a full frame camera.

Considerations for outdoor portraits

  1. Work with the model in shade or place the model with the sun BEHIND their head. The sun will essentially be the separation or background light.
  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. If you are bouncing the flash, raise the power to 1/8 or 1/4.

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

Late coursework will be accepted until 11:59pm on May 15.

Final Project

20 pts. The goal of the Final Project is to create a series of 10 related images on a theme. The images should show your range as a photographer. Depending on the project, each image should be visually engaging and contribute to your story in a unique way.

You may choose to do either:

A series of portraits (not 10 pictures of 1 person but 10 pictures of 10 people) OR

A portrait of a neighborhood

OR another theme that you are passionate about: dogs, skateboarders, basketball players, street fashion to name a few possibilities.

Deliverables and dates:

Due April 24: a 300 word final project statement posted to Openlab with “a mood board”

Due May 8: Shoot 1 – minimum of 40 images in an album on Flickr

Due May 15: Shoot 2 – minimum of 40 images in an album on Flickr

Due May 22: Shoot 3 -minimum of 40 images in an album on Flickr PLUS

  • final 10 images selected, adjusted in Lightroom, and posted to an album on Flickr
  • a presentation to the class of the final images.

Total = 4 albums: 1 for each of three shoots, 1 with the final edited images

All late coursework other than the final project must be submitted by no later than 11:59 pm on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

Final Projects will not be accepted after May 22.

Lab 11 – Painting with Light

Working with a light or lights, draw an image over time in the frame. Experiment with thin and thick lines, abstraction, words, and images.

Using a speedlite, add a person to your shot. Fire the flash and then with a long exposure keep drawing into the shot. The more the subject and the light painting interact, the more successful your photos will be.

Upload a minimum of 20 images to Flickr. Send your best two to the class group.

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