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.


Assignment 3 for 122: Split Filter Printing

Split filter printing is a printing technique with variable contrast paper that allows you to utilize both a low contrast and high contrast printing filter on a single image. This can be particularly useful when printing high contrast negatives. 

For this assignment, choose a negative that may be a slight challenge to print. Then make your best print using a contrast filter between #2 to #3. Feel free to dodge and burn if need be.

Once you have that basic print. See what kind of print that you can make using split filter techniques. Usually you will double expose the image with a high contrast filter like a #4 or #5 and a low contrast filter like a #00. Depending on your negative, you may need to dodge or burn the individual contrast filters when you expose them to your paper.

Due in class on March 20th are your basic and split filter prints.

Assignment 3 for Phot 121: Black and White Contrast Filters for Printing

When making a Black and White print, contrast control is one of the creative controls that you have during the printing process. This can be achieved through exposure and processing (similarly to push or pull processing of film), the use of graded papers, or (in our case) the use of variable contrast filters with VC paper. This assignment is an exercise in the use of these filters and the creative control that you can achieve with your black and white prints.

For this assignment, no shooting is required. You may use any image that you have shot on a past assignment except for images shown for critique. However, the image needs to be a landscape with a good horizon line throughout the image.

Once you have chosen a negative to print, start with the #2 filter and determine the best possible exposure time you can for your print. When you go to make your print, I want to you divide the image into thirds and do a -1 dark exposure on the left of the print, a normal exposure in the middle, and then a +1 exposure on the right. Once you have made the #2 filter print, repeat the process (including the various exposures) using: 00, 1, 3, 4, and 5 filters. In the end, you should have 6 prints representing each of the bold numbers in the printing filter pack and each print will have the three different exposures. A digital photo illustration is below to show you how your prints should look.

This assignment will be due March 20th.


Important Class Note

Hello everyone,

Because of President’s Day, we lost a day of lab prior to this upcoming assignment. I am pushing back the due date for the second assignment to March 6th. Also, because of the rain these past few weeks and this week coming, I am going to have lab this Wednesday as well. So lab all this week (2/25 and 2/27). Our next classroom meeting will be March 6th when we turn in Assignment 3. Please do your best not to be late.



Assignment 2 for Phot 123: f/8 on a Continuous Plane of Focus

Using at least the front standard (and possibly the rear standard where the film plane is), try to create an infinite plane of focus through a scene. The goal is to be able to get two non-parallel objects in focus without stopping down past f/8. 

Then, without changing any of the camera movements, take the same image again at f/32. Make sure to adjust your shutter speed accordingly!

One print from each scenario is due on 2/27/19

Assignment 2 for Phot 122: Slow Film/Fast Film

Film comes in various different film speeds. Chances are, you have been using mostly medium speed films (ISO 400). With this assignment, I want you to experiment with a very slow speed film, and a very fast speed film. The purpose of this assignment is to introduce you to the other film possibilities available to you.

 For this assignment shoot one roll of Ilford Pan F film and one roll of Ilford Delta 3200. These are the slowest speed and fastest speed films in the Ilford lineup. You can photograph what ever you want. A wide range of subject matters is encouraged. Be prepared with a tripod if you happen to loose light when using the Pan F film. If you can, try to revisit images with the two different films so that you can compare the results. If you happen to have one of the Autofocus Mamiya cameras, you can checkout an extra film back to compare the films back to back. Just don’t forget to change your exposure settings with the different films.

Note, Pan F is labeled as an ISO 50 film, but I personally find the film is better exposed at ISO 32. Delta 3200 is actually an ISO 1000 speed film that is often pushed to 3200. I want you to shoot the film at 3200. Due note as well that each film will have very different developing times.

 For class critique choose one frame from each roll to print.

 Due on 2/27/19 are two 8x10 prints from each roll and the proof sheets will be due with this assignment.

Assignment 2 for Phot 121: Depth of Field

This Assignment is to illustrate the effects of the aperture on your image. 

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 film 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:

 Part A: Shoot at least one roll of film showcasing a shallow depth-of-field

 Part B: Shoot at least one roll of film showcasing a deep depth-of-field

Due on 2/27/19 are all the proof sheets and two 8x10 enlargements. One 8x10 print with a shallow depth-of-field image, and one 8x10 print with a deep depth-of-field images. 

Below is a chart to help illustrate apertures and depth of field and also fast and slow shutter speeds.


Spring 2019 Lab Times

Here are the Open Lab Hours for Spring 2019. Please remember to be aware of your time in the lab and leave enough time to clean up after yourselves before Kelly has to leave.


Assignment 1 for Phot 123: f/8 with a creative tilt or swing.

For this first assignment with the 4x5, I want you to compose a picture. Any picture that you want to take is fine for this assignment (still life, landscape, portrait, etc).  After you have taken the photo, play with moving the front standard swinging to one side, or tilting it up or down. Make sure the image with the swing or tilt is using a f/8 aperture setting. Don’t forget to re-focus. Be creative and explore how you can change the image by changing the plane of focus. 

A minium of 4 sheets of film (two different images) are required, but 8 sheets is preferred (basically two proof sheets), and two prints from one setup. A normal print and the same setup with a tilt or swing. 8x10 prints are okay, but 11x14 prints will really showcase the beauty of the 4x5 negative. This assignment is due February 13th.

The image below is from a photographer named Keith Carter. He uses a special medium format camera, however the tilt effect is similar.


Assignment 1 for Phot 122: B&W Contrast Filters

Placing different color filters over the lens of your camera while shooting black and white film can have an amazing effect on your image. Black and White film is overly sensitive to the blue wave-lengths of light and so things that are blue tend to over expose a little and thus may look a bit lighter in your final image/print. Using different color filters can lighten and darken colored objects within a scene. This assignment is to show you the effects of different filters and to show you what you can creatively do with those filters.

• For this assignment photograph three (6x6 cameras) to four (645 cameras) different landscape images with a blue sky and hopefully some clouds. 
• You will take four identical frames of each landscape. Each frame should be taken in the follow order: without a filter, with a yellow filter, with a green filter, and with a red filter.
• Do not take photos of sunsets or backlit objects. Have the sun behind you or to the side of you.
• The density of the color filters will lessen the amount of light coming into your lens and have an effect on your exposure. This is called a filter factor. You will need to adjust the camera to insure a proper exposure for each filter/frame.

Your proof sheet and one landscape (8x10 prints of all four frames) are due February 13th. Note: dodging and burning for your prints are encouraged; however, any print enhancements should be applied the same way on all four prints.

Palm Springs, 2011. Hasselblad H2, 80mm lens, Orange Filter