Digital Photography Class Blog

New Project: Found Alphabet

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We are now embarking on our Final Project, a Found Alphabet project. Below is the assignment handout and a few examples, but keep in mid some of the rules and changes that we made to the project:


  • Your project must have 8 letters minimum, but it does not have to be in 2 words like many of the examples I showed you.
  • All of the letters must support and be incorporated into the visual theme of the word(s) that you chose
  • The really big thing to keep in mind here is the issue of foreground/background separation.  You have got to create contrast somehow so that the letters stand out against the background.  This is the place where most of these photographs will fail.  If you can’t see the letter easily, it becomes very hard to read the word.  You, as the photographer, control this through your use of color, line, depth-of-field, contrast, etc., to create emphasis on the letter.
  • You will also have to photograph your concept/theme/place in one single photograph that will be a background image behind your letters.


Here is the handout from yesterday:


And here are a few examples from previous years, even though they aren’t exactly like what we will be doing:


Human Condition Evaluation

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Here is a copy of the Human Condition’s Project Evaluation. Remember, this is due tomorrow (Friday)!

“The Human Condition” Project

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Attached below are the handouts for The Human Condition project. Also, I am posting two examples for you to see.

Expressive Portrait Assignment

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So, the last few days we have been looking at great examples of portraits by Sebastiao Salgado, Steve McCurry, Annie Lebovitz, Gordon Parks, and Richard Avedon. Now it’s your turn! So take some amazing Expressive Portraits this week. Remember, 90 shots minimum, due on the Wednesday we come back. Also remember – no children or pets! And extra credit points for subjects over the age of 50… :)

And here are some examples of previous students’ work for inspiration:

The Story Behind Steve McCurry’s Photographs

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When I was browsing through CNN’s website and found the story on Joe Rosenthal’s image from Iwo Jima, I also came across this story about Steve McCurry as well, which I thought very appropriate:

Screen Shot 2015-03-24 at 3.22.49 PM

Great Story About the Story Behind an Iconic Photograph

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I saw this on CNN today and thought it an awesome story. It talks about how Joe Rosenthal took the very famous photo on the top of Iwo Jima, and how people thought it was a setup, even though it wasn’t. But the most important part of the story, for me, is that when he thought he had missed the photo, he kept going, and because of that, he got the great opportunity to make what is arguably one of the most famous photos of all time:


Evaluation for Project #1

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Here is a copy of the evaluation for Project #1, just in case you lose it, or something like that:

And remember, this is due on Tuesday, March 10th!

New Assignment: Winter’s Last Breath

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This weekend you are photographing the last few days of our pristine, beautiful winter. You need to shot a minimum of 90 photographs that illustrate snow and ice and Rochester. The examples below are copies of what we looked at in class for reference. Remember, be safe, and keep those camera batteries warm! All photos are due by Wednesday, and I will be checking that for points.

Enjoy shooting!

Using Layer Masks with Adjustment Layers to Make “Local” changes to Your Images

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Once you get started using adjustment layers, you may want to apply one to a very specific portion of your image. You do this by applying the adjustment layer to your image, and then you can use a layer mask to control where those changes do and don’t happen. It’s very powerful, and tons of fun! (Or at least, I think so…)

Using Adjustment Layers in Photoshop

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Once you have made all the adjustments you can in Camera Raw, it’s time to take that one, best image, and open it in Photoshop for some more editing possibilities. Watch the demo to see an introduction to Adjustment Layers. This demo goes over how to use them for global changes, but there will be another demo to show you how to take these adjustment layers and use them in specific portions of your image.

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