COMD 3330 HE 10

Professor Michals

Week 14: 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, Exposure, Tone and Presence.

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.

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.

The main tools for local adjustments are the adjustment brush, the radial filter and the graduated filter.

Lab exercises

Review Global Corrections

Local Corrections


Final Project

This is the rubric.

Deliverables, due next week, Dec. 14th:

  1. Final project statement and mood board

2. 3 albums each of a minimum of 30 photos

3. 1 album of the 10 best photos of the 90 total, adjusted in Lightroom

4. 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. Give us the big picture in a few short sentences 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. Practice your presentation.
  4. Try making a simple notecard for each image that lists the one or two points you want to make about that image.
  5. Do not tell us about what you did to the photo in Lightroom or what would have made the photo better..

Quiz 2

4 pts. Please put your answers in a text file, convert to PDF, and email it to me:

Due: Nov 30, 7 pm.

Each question is worth 1 pt. Please respond in full sentences.

(1) What is the lighting style that is used in this photo of Baby Keem? How can you tell?

(2) Describe the role of wide angle distortion in this photo of Hoyeon Jung from Squid Game.

(3) In both food and portrait photography, it is common to use a main light and a fill light. Describe the role of each of these lights.

(4) Compare and contrast these two author portraits. Make a minimum of four points of comparison about the lighting and composition of the photos using professional vocabulary.

Week 13: Glass and Direct Reflection

Managing Reflection

The subject’s material can transmit, absorb or reflect the light that hits it.

Types of reflections:

  1. Diffuse reflections-the material reflects the light equally in all directions. Neither the angle nor the size of the light source changes the appearance of a diffuse reflection. The distance of the light to the subject will make the subject look brighter.  An example of a material that creates diffuse reflection is paper.
  2. Direct reflections are a mirror image of the light that produces them. If a direct reflection is seen is determined by the angles between the light source, the subject, and the camera. Brightly polished metal or glass are both examples of materials that create direct reflection.


To manage reflections on metal, either light it and let it go dark or fill the surface with light so the whole thing is reflecting the light.


Glass produces direct reflection but it is also transparent. One needs to bring out the edges to see the shape of the glass. So there are two problems when photographing glass:

Controlling the direct reflection 

Bringing out the edges by reflecting onto them so they are visible.

Lighting diagram from Light, Science and Magic


Photographing Glass


Final Project

Next week

Class is online. Everyone is welcome to come in to the classroom as I will be there.

Week 12: Food Photography Basics

Food Photography

Food photography is a genre of commercial photography that makes food look appetizing for the camera. It is not just photographs of food. It has its own vocabulary and conventions.


Other Inspiration

  • Jennifer Causey
  • Kana Okada
  • Marcus Nilsson
  • Quentin Bacon

Food Photography Basics

Angle of View:

The two main angles of view used in food photography are: overhead and three-quarter view which is between eye level and overhead.

Depth of Field

If a three-quarter view is used, often shallow depth of field is also used to bring attention to the food itself.

Light Quality

Direct light-all comes from one direction and makes clear crisp shadows. Sunlight is an example of direct or hard light.

Diffused light– comes from many directions and makes soft shadows. The light on a cloudy day is an example of diffused or soft light.

In food photography, there is a main light. It is usually a side or a back light.

The main light casts the shadows.

The fill light brightens shadows. Often instead of a second light or the fill, we use a reflector opposite the main light to bounce the light into the shadows.


The distance between the light source and the subject will allow you to control how it looks. This is such an important factor because of the Inverse Square Law.

The Inverse Square Law states that the intensity of the illumination changes in inverse proportion to the square of the distance from the source.

Translation: The light’s brightness drops much faster closer to the light source than further away.

Generally, when working with a clamp light as the main light, set the main light a bit further from the subject to spread out the light. Hold or fasten the diffuser in front of the light. The farther in front of the light the diffusion is set, the softer the light will be.

Set up the white reflector as close to the food as possible and not have it in the frame.


Watch 1:14 to 6:00 on lighting

Quiz Questions

  1. What is the role of the main light?
  2. What is the role of the fill light?
  3. What is the function of a diffusion panel? How does how you position it change how much it diffuses the light?
  4. What is the function of a reflector? How does how you position it change how much it reflects the light?

Lab Exercises

Onions and garlic


Final Project

Quiz 2

There will be a quiz next week on November 29.

The topics will be on portrait and food photography: the lighting patterns of portrait photography-Rembrandt, split, butterfly, broad and short light, three-point lighting, fill light, wide angle distortion, the conventions of food photography.

Week 11 – Portraits III

3-point Lighting

– standard lighting for portraits, video and film

Main light-is the brightest light and creates the shadows

Fill light-brightens the shadows

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.

Natural vs idealized

Compare the work of Dawoud Bey with Peter Hurley


Working within a Style


Using Brand Style

Week 10 – Portraits: Posing, Focal Length and Fill light


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.

Wide Angle Distortion-created when using a wide-angle lens AND the camera is very close to the subject. The object close to the lens appears abnormally large relative to more distant objects, and distant objects appear abnormally small and hence more distant – distances are extended. 

Focal length and proximity to the camera affect how a person’s face looks in a photograph. A wide focal length and proximity between the subject and the camera create wide angle distortion and will distort a person’s features.

Photographer: Chip Simons

Think about selfie sticks. What are they for but to get the camera away from your face? This makes the photograph look more complimentary to the subject. This is really important with a cameraphone because it has a wide angle lens. The center of the lens and the sensor cannot be very far apart given the thin design of cellphones.

When shooting with a crop-frame sensor such as a Canon 60d, approximately 65 mm will be the most flattering to your subject.

When shooting with a full-frame sensor, 85 mm is generally thought to be the most flattering focal length for portraits.

Posing your model

Some basic tips for standing poses:

Ask your model to:

1.Shift weight to create contraposto-weight on one leg so the body makes a subtle curve.

2. Lean forward

3. Put their weight on their back leg – shoulder goes back

4. Cross arms

5. Lower chin (push forehead forward)

The single most useful pose suggestion that you can make to your model is to lower their chin. Peter Hurley explains his approach to this in the video below.

Watch .55 to 7.40

The Fill Light

The fill light brightens the shadows. It can be an actual light or you can use a reflector. This video shows how to use a reflector as the fill light.


Portraits-Two lights and more


HW 7: Environmental Portraits

Week 9: Portrait Photography

Portrait Poses

  1. Front view
  2. 3/4 view
  3. Profile

Focal Length

For the most complimentary portrait, use approx 65 mm with the class cameras.

85 mm for a full frame sensor.


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

Generally, portraits are shot with shallow depth of field to separate the subject from the background.

Portrait Lighting Styles

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

  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. Broad Light-model’s face in 3/4 view-light falls on the side of the face with the visible ear. Good for controlling the reflections on glasses.

Danny Devito. Photographer: Gregory Heisler.

3. Short Light-model’s face is in 3/4 view, 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.

Chadwick Boseman. Photographer: Caitlin Cronenburg

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

Tyra Banks. Photographer: Matthew Jordan Smith

5. 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.

Quiz Questions

1. Identify the 2 basic portrait lighting styles for a portrait shot in a 3/4 view.

2. Identify the 3 basic portrait lighting styles for a portrait shot in a front view.


Portrait Lighting Styles


HW 7: Portraits

Week 8: Midterm

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.
  5. Conversely, please do not speak over your classmates.

Critique Guidelines

The midterm project is to make a statement about an issue by referencing a famous image. During the critique, please offer your colleagues insight into:

  • Does the image communicate a clear statement about the topic?
  • Is the reference to the famous image obvious?
  • How is the image visually engaging? Be specific and use the terms below.


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.

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

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

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.

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

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

Lighting Direction – front, side, back, top under

CUNY Photo Challenge – deadline Oct 28th

Enter your best photo taken in the class to date.

Read the criteria of the judges and select the image you think best fits what they are looking for.

You will need to include a title, a brief description which could include the class and assignment or not and location.

Forward the submission email for 1 pt credit.



Next week, Nov. 2, class will be held in V-111.

Week 7: Digital Darkroom – Global Corrections

Guest Speaker

Malik Dupree


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.

Using the Histogram

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

Midterm Critique

Global Corrections


Midterm Project


Oct 26th – Online class. You are also welcome to come into the classroom! Midterm presentations.

We will use the rest of the class period for each student to select, edit and submit their single best photo from the semester to the CUNY Photo Challenge.

Nov 2 – In-person class – Studio Portraits

Week 6: Lighting Direction

Lighting Quality

Diffused– light hits the subject from all directions and the shadows are soft

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

Lighting Direction

Front light – light comes from near the camera position.

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

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

Other terms to know

Ambient Light-The light that is already there sometimes called available light

Continuous Lights-Always on, may be incandescent, halogen, fluorescent, LED



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.              


In studio photography, we put modifiers on the flash heads to change the quality of the lights. Two basic categories of modifiers are:

  1. Softboxes- these spread and diffuse the light. The light hits the subject from many directions making the shadows softer.
  2. Grids – these concentrate and focus the light. The light hits the subject from one direction making the light harsher and the shadows sharper.

Quiz Questions

  • Identify lighting direction in a photograph: front, side, back
  • Identify light contrast: high or low

Lab Exercises

Lighting Direction and Quality

Midterm Project

Make It Quote

Quiz 1

4 pts. Please put your answers in a text file, convert to PDF, and email it to me:

Make sure to read each question carefully and answer it completely in full sentences.

Each question is worth 1 pt.

  1. Compare and contrast how angle of view is used in these two photos of the Manhattan Bridge. How does the choice of angle of view contribute to the mood of the photo?

2. Define depth of field. What is the difference between depth of field and perspective? Compare and contrast how depth of field was used in these two photos of a road.

3. When does a photographer need to use a tripod?

4. Compare and contrast these two photographs in a paragraph essay. Four points of comparison using the four most relevant different terms from this list: rule of thirds, diagonal lines, leading lines, pattern, symmetry, figure to ground, contrast of light and dark, a frame within a frame, depth of field, angle of view.

Week 5: Motion


Review 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 sec.

The general rule for getting a sharp image is that the shutter speed should be 1/focal length. So a sports photographer using a 500 mm lens should use a shutter speed of 1/500.

Image Stabilization can reduce blurriness when photographing a still subject in low light.

Turn off IS when mounting the camera on a tripod or photographing a moving subject..

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.

Strobe Lights


Strobes have two bulbs:

  • the modeling light which helps you see where the light will fall
  • the flash that fires when you press the shutter release

A trigger on the camera uses radio waves to tell the receiver to fire the light. The power pack stores the power used to make the exposure.

Strobe Lights or Flash-The exposure triangle does not hold because the shutter speed is effectively replaced by the flash duration. We adjust the exposure primarily with the aperture or the ISO.

Flash duration

Flash duration is how long the flash of light is that takes the picture. It is the amount of time that the flash head goes from on to off.

If you want to freeze motion with available light, it is the shutter speed that will do it.

If you want to freeze motion with flash or studio strobes it is the flash duration that counts.

The higher the power that you use,  the slower the flash duration.

With our Dynalight strobes this is about 1/700th of a second at full power.

Sync Speed

Sync Speed-is the fastest shutter speed for which the shutter curtains are completely open at the time of exposure (or when the flash fires). For shutter speeds above sync speed, the shutter curtains are no longer fully open and so you will see the shutter itself in the photo as a black area. the sync speed for our class cameras is 1/200 sec.

Blurring motion

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

How to blur motion:

  • Use a tripod.
  • 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.

Quiz Questions

  • Define shutter speed.
  • Set shutter speed to freeze motion in a photograph
  • Set shutter speed to blur motion in a photograph.
  • Define flash duration and understand its importance to capturing motion.
  • Know when to use a tripod.

Lab Exercises

Freezing and Blurring Motion

Homework Assignment

Midterm Project

Class Schedule

Oct 12 – Lighting Direction – Please bring in a small stuffed animal to work with. Try to bring in a toy that is made out of cloth and not plastic as it will be less reflective. So a stuffed animal rather than an action figure.

Quiz 1 – 4 pts. – Review weeks 1 – 5, Composition and framing, depth of field, motion, tripod use, strobes basics. There will be 3 technical questions with a right or wrong answer and a compare and contrast of two photos graded on correct use of vocabulary.

Oct 19th – class will be online.

Class topic: Digital Darkroom with Lightroom. Everyone should check that you have access to Lightroom from home this week.

Guest Speaker: Malik Dupree

Oct 26th – Class will be online. Midterm presentations.

Nov 1 – In-person class. Studio work.

Week 4 – Painting with Light

Painting with light – Use a long exposure to draw an image with light over time in the frame.

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. 


Strobes have two bulbs:

  • the modeling light which helps you see where the light will fall
  • the flash bulb that fires when you press the shutter release

A trigger on the camera uses radio waves to tell the receiver to fire the light. The power pack stores the power used to make the exposure.


Painting Emotions with Light


HW 4 – Freezing Motion

Week 3: Depth of Field


Angle of view

From America at Hunger’s Edge, The New York Times, September 2, 2020

Photos by Brenda Ann Kenneally

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.

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.

How to control depth of field

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, f32
  3. Cameraphones have a fixed aperture.

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.

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

Quiz Questions

  1. Compare perspective and depth of field. Summarize the difference between them.
  2. Explain how do you control depth of field with a camera vs with a cameraphone.
  3. When working with a cameraphone, what is the difference between optical shallow depth of field or depth of field created in the camera and the appearance of shallow depth of field created with software?

Lab Exercises

Depth of Field


Near and Far

Week 2: The Frame

The Frame: A Review

Cropping: how much information is in the frame

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

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
  • oblique angle

Tram on Sukharevsky Boulevard, 1928. Alexander Rodchenko.

Quiz Questions

  • Identify the angle of view used in a photo
  • Select the angle of view to create the mood you want in a photo

Lab Exercises

Angle of View



Angle of View

Week 1 – Composition Review

Needed for this class

  • a camera or cameraphone
  • an account on openLab and membership in our class
  • an account on Flickr and membership in the class group

Composition Review

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.

Diagonal Lines – lines that reach towards opposite corners of the photo

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

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

Symmetry – If you fold the image in half the two haves are very similar and have equal visual weight. Or make it asymmetrical to add tension to the composition.

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

Contrast of Light and Dark – The darks are close to black and the lights are close to white with few mid-tones.

A Frame within a Frame

Lab Exercise

Composition Review


HW 1: Gordon Parks

HW3: Near and Far

4 pts. Due September 28th.

Work outside during the day.

For cameras and cameraphones

Take 30 photos in which there is something in the foreground and something in the background, something near the camera and something far from the camera. Use perspective to create a strong sense of dept.

Put the 30 photos on an album in Flickr. Send your best two to the class group.

Due: September 28, 2:30 pm


Use shallow depth of field to make either the foreground or the background out of focus. Sometimes focus on the object closest to the camera and sometimes to the object farthest from the camera.

To achieve shallow depth of field, use the Av shooting mode and set the aperture to the widest- lowest number – setting. Zoom in and get close to the subject in the foreground.


You can either create a series of closeups that have shallow depth of field or use software such as Focos to simulate shallow depth of field.

Camera Phones and Depth of Field

Camera phones have a fixed aperture. For example, the aperture of the iPhone 7 is f1.8. This is one of the things that makes cameraphones so good in low light. You might think this wide open aperture would make it easy to get shallow depth of field with a cameraphone. However, the other factors involved make it quite challenging to achieve shallow depth of field with a cameraphone.

When you look at a phone, you can see the challenge for focal length. Focal length is the distance between where the light converges in the lens and the sensor and there just isn’t that much space. Even for cameraphones, we use the size of 35 mm film as the standard when discussing focal length. So the iPhone 11 has three lenses that are the 35 mm equivalent of 13mm, 26mm and 52mm. Earlier phones with one camera have one focal length. If working with a camera phone with more than one lenses, use the telephoto choice to create shallow depth of field.

Camera to subject distance is the factor that gives you the most control of depth of field when working with a camera phone. To create shallow depth of field bring the camera as close as possible to the subject. Allow for some actual space behind the subject

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.

Depth of field created by software

To solve this problem, cameraphones use software. You may have Portrait Mode on your phone or you can download any number of Apps including Focos which I used for this example. I think this is pretty typical. Overall, the software did a good job of softening the background but it could not tell that the ear on the left should be sharp.

HW 8 Photographic Style

The photo I chose to. recreate was the one from Season 2 of the show Sex Education. The photos from this season were shot to look like they were posing to be painted. In this photo the character, Ola, is holding a whole bunch of oranges. In this photo, Ola’s head is is titled a bit to the right and it was shot using Rembrandt light. I had my model do the same head tilt like she did so I can do the Rembrandt light. I didn’t have anything to imitate the dark colored background so I used something in the same color family.

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