Photo 120: October 30th... Last chance for late work

Hello everyone,

Giving you all a heads up that Wednesday October 30th will be the last day to turn in any late or makeup work from assignments 1 through 4. Makeups will not be allowed for those assignments after October 30th.

Important! Classes are canceled tomorrow 10/9/19

Hello Everyone,

Due to PG&E's planned power outages, the 3700 building may be without power tomorrow, so our class will be canceled. Most of the campus should still have power, so this cancellation notice only pertains to this class in particular. Other classes may not be canceled so you will want to checkin with your other instructors and/or the school itself.



Photo 120: Shooting Assignment 4... Time and Light

This assignment is an exercise of how to see light and how that light changes throughout the day. Things that you should be looking for are, direction, hardness, softness, mood and color. Try to think about how the image changes as the light changes.

 There will be two parts to this assignment with 12 images due for each part (for a total of 24 images). 

 Part A: Outdoor

Select an outdoor scene you can easily return to (not your house or street). Think about the way you want to frame your scene, and keep your view/framing as consistent as possible for each image. Photograph the same scene at various times throughout the day – morning, midday, evening, and times in between (this doesn’t have to be on the same day). Use only a Daylight White Balance for this part of the assignment. The only exception is anything at or after 7pm with lots of artificial lights. You can use a Tungsten/Incandescent White Balance.

 Part B: Indoor 

Photograph an indoor spaces observing and recording the varied lighting conditions. This space should have some sort of natural light coming from at least one window. If your space has one window, make sure that this window does not face to the north. It is okay for the lights of this indoor scene to turn on during the evening and night. Use of a tripod is highly recommended. Consider the composition and framing of each scene you are photographing. Use Daylight White Balance until the indoor lights are brighter than the light coming from outside. At this point switch your White Balance to the appropriate light source (Tungsten or Florescent), or use Auto White Balance.

 Shoot a minimum of 12 images per scene. The recommended times are the following:

7am, 7:30am, 8am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, 6:30pm, and 7pm

The framing for each scene (indoor and outdoor) should be consistent. A tripod is highly recommended.

 If you shoot the images out of order, re-order the images by the time of day.

 Export a Smart Catalog with collections showcasing each part of the assignment: Outdoor and Indoor.

This assignment is due Wednesday October 16th at the beginning of class.

IMPORTANT! Monday 9/30 for all classes

For this coming Monday, September 30th, there will be no class as I have been called in for Jury Duty. Unfortunately, this completely slipped my mind and my number has been called up. An email has been sent out, so I hope you all check this blog and/or your school email accounts.


Photo 120: Shooting Assignment 3... Color

This assignment is an exercise of color and seeing color. For this assignment, I want you to shoot at least 50 different images. From these images, I want to see the following:

Four different images showing strong complementary color contrasts.

Four different images showing warm color.

Four different images showing cool color. 

Thoughts on this assignment for you: 

You are free to use any camera or smartphone for this assignment.

None of these images should be manipulated to change the color after the image has been shot.

Pay attention to the color of the light that you are shooting under and what color balance you are using under that light.

Proper exposure is critical to color. This may be a challenge if using a stock smartphone photo app.

There are no restrictions on subject, but your goal should be to make interesting photographs.

Students will export a Smart Catalog with three different collections each containing the three parts of the assignment.

Minimum 50 images shot.
12 total images to present in class.

This assignment is due October 2nd.

Photo 150, 151, 152: Assignment 2 and 3

For this next assignment, I want you all to practice some of the masking and selection techniques that were covered in the Creative Live video. You can use any image taken within this calendar year for this exercise. You can demonstrate different techniques on the same images as long as you have them separated into different groupings in the layers palette in photoshop. When you turn in your image, please make sure it is resized to 1500px on the long edge unflattened. This will reduce the file size, but will still allow us to see your work. This exercise is due Monday September 23rd.

For Assignment number 3, I want you to be thinking ahead to your final portfolio website and to produce an image for your portfolio. This is an open assignment where you can photograph what ever you want. However, you should take into account what kind of image you want to create and any sort of production needs that you may have. Items like styling, art direction, lighting, composition are examples that you should be thinking about when photographing for your portfolio. This image is due Wednesday October 2nd. You can choose to display this image via print or on the digital display. However, I would love to post prints of this assignment onto the gallery wall in the Arts Building.

Photo 120: Assignment 2 Depth of Field

When light passes through your lens, it’s funneled (so to speak) through the lens via the aperture. When the light passes through a lens with a wide open (F/2.8 for example), it scatters across the sensor plane in a circular fashion. So, areas that the lens is not focused on will appear blurry due to the light not being funneled through the lens in a linear fashion. (For techies out there, this area of out of focus on the sensor plane is called the circle of confusion). Because of this effect of the lens and aperture, when you have a point of focus with lots of areas around that point being blurry, we describe that as an image with shallow depth-of-field.

As we stop our aperture down (making it a smaller diameter), the light is funneled into the camera in a more linear fashion and the circles of confusion are smaller. As this occurs, more items around point of focus will appear sharper. This effect continues as we stop our lens down further and further (down to f/11 and continuing to f/22). With these smaller apertures, we will gain more and more areas of focus. Another way to describe this is to have an image with a long or deep depth-of-field.

Other factors that effect depth-of-field are the focal length of the lens, and the distance you are to the subject. Lenses with a longer focal length will inherently have a shallower depth of field while shorter focal length lenses will have a longer depth-of-field.

 Another factor is your own camera distance to the subject. As you move in closer to the subject, the depth-of-field will decrease. This is because as you move in closer, the ratio between you and the subject, and the subject and the background changes. In other words, as you get closer to your subject, your image will have a blurrier background even when using the same aperture. 

Due for this assignment are the following:

Shallow Depth of Field
Make a minimum of 5 images illustrating shallow depth-of-field

Deep Depth of Field
Make a minimum of 5 more images (different from any of the previous images) illustrating a deep depth-of-field. 

Comparing Deep and Shallow Depth of Field 
Photograph a minimum of five different scenes with both a shallow and deep depth-of-fields. Between the two images, you should clearly see a difference in the area of focus when you take the first “shallow” image and the second “deep” image. Make sure that the focus is on the same spot on both images. Also make sure that the exposure between the two image are similar (equivalent). 10 images are due for this last part of the assignment.

Students will export a Smart Catalog with three different collections showcasing the different parts of the assignment: Shallow, Deep and Side by side. 20 images due in total.

 This assignment is due 9/18/19


Photo 152: Assignment 1... Luminosity Painting and Saturation Painting

For your first assignment in this class, I want you to create a photo that will hopefully relate to your final portfolio. Then, I want you to experiment with Luminosity Painting and Saturation Painting. Each one of these techniques can be on a separate layers over one image.

For Luminosity Painting, this is a non-destructive technique that allows you to lighten and/or darken areas of an image. First, create a new layer via the dropdown menu: Layer>New Layer. Then, make sure you select the Overlay Mode and click “Fill with 50% Grey”. You will have a grey layer over your image that will have no effect. Then, paint black on that layer to darken areas and white to lighten. You can change the opacity of the brush to increase or decrease the effect.

For Saturation Painting, create a new layer and change its blend mode to Saturation. Then use a bright red brush on the layer to selectively increase saturation. Once again, you can change the opacity of the brush in increase or decrease the effect. You can also use a grey brush to decrease saturation.

Both of these tools are considered non-destructive because they don’t touch the original pixels of the image below.

When turning in your image, make sure it is a layered PSD file with an images size of 1200 pixels on the long edge. Make sure you use the Save-As feature so that you don’t save this smaller file over your original. Then make sure the file is labeled with your last name, then assignment 1. For example: dejauregui-assignment1.psd

This image is due 9/11

Photo 151: Assignment 1... Lightroom/ACR image adjustments

For your first assignment in this class, I want you to create a photo that will hopefully relate to your final portfolio. Then, I want you to familiarize yourself with the basic processing tools available in Lightroom/ACR. Submit one photograph unprocessed, then process the image three different ways experimenting with the tools available to you.

On Wednesday 9/4, I will demonstrate virtual copies so that you can understand how you can keep multiple versions of the same image and will also show the export dialog box. Wednesday will be a partial lab day for me to help you with what ever you need for the class. I would like to have this assignment completed by 9/11.

Photo 150: Camera basics (Due 9/4)

For this first assignment in Photo 150, I realize that many of you have some level of shooting experience, but I need to make sure that you are all on the same page. I want all of you to run through the following exposure and white balance exercises:

1. Demonstrate a bracket of five images (-2, -1, Normal, +1, +2)

2. Demonstrate equivalent exposures (5 images).

3. Shoot an example of shallow depth of field.

4. Shoot an example of deep depth of field.

5. Shoot an image under artificial lights using a tungsten white balance.

13 or so images are due for this first assignment.

Further discussion of this assignment will happen in class Monday August 26th.

A Lightroom Smart Catalog will be due on September 4th.

Photo 120: Shooting Assignment 1... Exposure (Due 9/4)

Exposure is the process of allowing light into the camera to capture an image. Too much light and the image will be too bright and/or washed out. We describe this as over exposed. Too little light and the image will be too dark and will lack sufficient information. We describe this as under exposed. An image that is neither too light nor too dark with all of the needed information for the image is described as properly exposed. This first assignment is to demonstrate how your camera sees light and to learn the basic properties of how to achieve a good exposure when taking pictures.

On Monday August 26th, we will do this first assignment together as a class. We will be meeting in front of the library. A camera with full manual controls is required for this assignment. Below are the required shooting parts of this assignment:

1: A landscape image demonstrating a bracket of 5 images (hint: you will only change the shutter speed).

2. The same landscape demonstrating equivalent exposures (hint: you will change both the aperture and shutter speed).

3. A bracket of 5 images photographing a person wearing a dark shirt against a white wall (same hint as #1).

4. A series of images demonstrating equivalent exposures using ISOs 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600. For this image, you need an area of light and deep shadows. If you camera can go higher in ISO, then keep going up (hint, as you change ISO, you may find that you need to eventually change both the shutter and the aperture settings).

Once we have these 20 images, we will meet in class on Wednesday to discuss what we have learned and to demonstrate importing pictures into Lightroom.

For this assignment a Lightroom Smart Catalog is due on Wednesday September 4th.

First non-shooting/writing assignment (All Classes)

Getting to know you

Due Wednesday, August 21st

 To start this semester, I want to learn more about you and the kind of photography that you are interested in. To start, let me know the following things about you:

1.    That is your favorite type of photography? What sort of images appeal to you?

2.    Where to you find yourself appreciating photography the most? Magazines, catalogs, books, or social media?

3.    What brings you to this class? What are you hoping to learn?

4.    Besides photography, do you view other types of art or media (TV, Movies, Magazines, Social Media, Galleries)? If so, what are your favorite things to view?

5.    If you can think ahead, where would you like your photography to be at the end of this semester and in two years from now? What kind of images would you hope to produce?

6.    Thinking back to question 5, look for a photographer whose work you admire. Bring a sample of that photographers work (book, printout, magazine, etc.) and write a one page report on what you like about this photographer’s work and how you would like to see your work move into a similar direction.

7.    Finally, go out and take some photos after you have answered the questions above and written about your chosen photographer. It is okay if the work you shoot isn’t directly related or similar to the photographer’s work. However, do try to think about that photographer and imagine how they may approach what ever you are taking photos of. Bring one digital file to class on a jump drive or hard drive. 

Welcome Fall 2019 Students: Phot120, Phot150, Phot151, & Phot152

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to my blog where I will be posting assignments for my classes. Here you will find your assignments and to the right links to your syllabus and to a PDF that I need for all of you to fill out for all of your non writing assignments.

This semester, I am teaching the Intro to Photography Class (120) and the Digital Photography Classes (150, 151, and 152). When I post an assignment, the title of the assignments will have the course listed in the blog title. I think it is good to have exposure to all of my classes, but please pay attention to the postings to make sure they pertain to you and your class.

An important note is that there is no class on Monday August 19th. I will be on a photoshoot that day.

I am looking forward to meeting and to getting to know all of you this coming semester. My goal is for all of us to become better images makers. :)



Second Writing Assignment and your Final

For your second (and final) writing assignment, I want you to find yourself in a situation of creativity or inspiration over spring break. Then I want you to write a haiku. Now, I know this is not a writing nor poetry class. Rather, I want you to use the haiku poem format as a means to be observant. You should also know that the rhyming format of a haiku that you were probably taught in school is an urban legend, so your haikus do not need to rhyme. Instead, think of this haiku as a way to write three lines of observation. Here is a link discussing haiku. Once you have written your haiku, I want you to hand a copy to me on Monday 4/22. These need to be written or printed out. Emails will not be accepted.

For your class final, I want you to illustrate your haiku photographically with a triptych. One print per line of the haiku poem for a total of three prints. This is a very open shooting assignment and you can explore your poem however you want within the photography medium. While I will be collecting the haiku as mentioned above on April 22nd, we will not be looking at the poems themselves until the final where they will be displayed along with your three prints. Note that everything should tie-in together as one final piece, the haiku and the three prints. Also, the prints should be all new images specifically shot for your haiku poem. The use of existing negatives is not acceptable.

Our final is on May 22nd. Do note that there is no lab time on Monday May 20th. That means that all darkroom work at NVC for this semester must be completed by May 17th. However after our critique of assignment 6 on April 24th, the rest of the class will be all lab time for your to work on your project.

Assignment 6: Print Bleaching

Assignment 6 is a printing/non-shooting assignment; however, students are always welcome and encouraged to take more pictures. :)

For this assignment, I want students to experiment with print bleaching. This is when you apply a bleaching agent to a print to lighten the whole print, or selected areas of the print. This is another form of contrast control. I suggest you pick an image and make five to six prints of that image. You should try to make the best possible prints, but a few different exposure variations is okay. You will want to keep one print off to the side for reference and to compare to your final bleached print.

Couple of tips and notes for this process:
• experiment with bleaching the whole print and selective bleaching.
• if you over bleach and area, you can wash and then re-develop it to bring the bleached areas back.
• if you bleach an area a lot, a color shift may occur.
• once you complete the bleaching process, you need to re-wash, re-fix, and final wash the print again to make this process permanent and light stable. Failure to do this will cause the print to discolor or to slowly continue bleaching over time.

My hope is that students will already have their prints done before we leave for spring break. This way we can concentrate on bleaching the Monday that we get back and present our work on the 24th.

One bleached print and one normal reference print will be due on April 24th.



Assignment 5: Creative Use of a Mirror

For our 5th assignment, I want to challenge the class by creating an image creatively using a mirror. Your image and use of the mirror should be well thought out. Having some sense of narrative to the image is a plus. The mirror must be seen in the image. Also, this must be a mirror that they can manipulate or control. Found mirrors or reflections is not the idea for this assignment. Beyond that, I want students to have creative reign over the image that they produce. The one thing that I do not what to see is a photographer selfie of the student taking a pic of themselves with a camera in hand in a mirror. That is too easy. I am not saying that a creative self portrait is not allowed… that would be awesome.

Below are some creative examples that I found online, but as always, feel free to push the assignment beyond the examples shown.

This assignment is due April 10th.


Assignment 4 (All classes): Long Exposure Photography

With this assignment, students will explore lowlight/night photography or daytime long exposures using Neutral Density Filters .

Part A: Shooting
Students will be experimenting a lot with various exposures. Failure is to be expected, but also hopeful surprises. Students will be asked to photograph long exposure scenes with existing light whether during the day or night. Take your time.

One challenge of long exposures is the failure of Reciprocity. When a film gets exposed to low levels of light that require a long exposure, the sensitivity of the film drops. For example, through the meter, or on paper, you may determine an exposure setting, but following that setting may result in an underexposed negative. It this case, you would need to add additional exposure beyond what you and your camera have determined. This phenomenon, commonly known as Reciprocity Failure, varies between different film stocks. Below is a chart from the Ilford website, but this should only be considered advice and may or may not give the best results for a particular image and lighting scenario. Students may want to bracket their shots to ensure a good printing negative.

Part B: Processing the film
After students have shot their rolls of long exposure images, they will need to process their film. Because of the potential exposure challenges of night photography and the possibility of high contrast situations (where street lights may be involved), students may want to consider and alternative processing technique for their film. Using higher dilutions of their developer along with longer development times could yield a better negative for printing. These processing techniques may be a good idea for daytime long exposures as well in case of over exposure. A class discussion will cover these options.

Due in Class
For class critique, students need to bring in their proof sheet(s) and one enlargement. This assignment will be due on March 27th.

Some helpful tips below.
Metering for a night photo is a challenge. Many times your light meters in your camera will not even register a setting. One thing that you can try to figure out your Measured exposure (before Reciprocity Failure) is to set your camera to ISO 1600 or 3200 (depending on how far your camera goes) and set your lens to its widest aperture. See if you get any sort of reading. If you do, use your knowledge of equivalent exposures to figure out what your meter would say if set to your given ISO for your film.

For example, if you are able to set your camera to ISO 3200 and at f/2.0 you were able to measure a meter reading at one second, you can extrapolate your exposure using equivalent exposures:

 ISO 3200         f/2.0 @ 1 second

ISO 1600         f/2.0 @ 2 seconds

ISO 800           f/2.0 @ 4 seconds

ISO 400           f/2.0 @ 8 seconds

ISO 400           f/2.8 @ 16 seconds

ISO 400           f/4.0 @ 32 seconds

 So, as you can see from the chart above, we were able to determine a measured exposure of f/4 @ 32 seconds for our hypothetical night scene. My recommendation to you is to take that image, and then do at least two more frames with more exposure. Use the chart below and/or use a google search to help you determine additional exposure times compensating for any Reciprocity Failure. You can also use a digital camera to help determine your night scene exposure, but remember that digital doesn’t suffer from Reciprocity Failure like film, so make sure you add exposure time to your film images.

Basic Reciprocity Chart:

Old Safeway // Hasselblad H2 // 50mm Wide-angle lens // Illford Delta 400 film

Old Safeway // Hasselblad H2 // 50mm Wide-angle lens // Illford Delta 400 film

Assignment Sheet for all future assignments

Hello Everyone,

The mentioned assignment sheet has been added to the sidebar. I don’t require you to print out that exact sheet, but you need to turn in an 8.5x11 paper with your thoughts using that sheet as a template. This is expected with all assignments for the rest of the class.

Assignment 3 for 123: Intro to the Zone System

This assignment is a basic introduction into Zone System techniques using a 4x5 camera.

The Zone System is a process where a photographer pre-visualizes the scene/subject matter before the camera and makes a conscience decision on exposure and future development technics prior to taking the photograph. This system allows the photographer to create a negative that easier to print for their final artistic vision. 

For this assignment photograph a landscape with either a high-contrast scene, or one that is very low contrast. First, meter and process a sheet a film like you normally would have. Then, using a spot meter, take meter readings of different areas of the scene. Mark down the meter readings on a small sketch or around some sort of instant image. Metering the shadow detail determine your film exposure. Look at the spot meter readings for your highlight detail. If the highlight detail is too far above the determined shadow exposure, under develop the film to reduce the contrast of the scene. If the highlight detail is too close to the established exposure reading, consider adding development to increase exposure.

Below is a chart illustrating the Zone System and what each zone represents in terms of detail on paper. Remember that shadow with detail is Zone 3. Zone 8 is good white detail. it is between these areas that we are trying to make a negative easily printable onto paper.

Due in class on March 20th is a proof sheet with each negative and then the best possible print you can achieve with your Zone System negative.