Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Photo 2 Lesson 7

Night 7: Field Trip at Legislative Building

For tonight's field trip we discussed:
  • Making the longest exposure possible so that we you can play around with a couple of special techniques including:
    • How to paint with light with a flashlight.
    • How to paint with light with an on camera flash.
    • Zoom effect (long exposure zoom lens during exposure).
    • Ghostly effect (having a subject stay in frame for approx 1/2 the total exposure time).
We then talked about some other photo ideas. Then the students were given assignment #7:

Assignment #7: The Leg

Take advantage of this wonderful building to explore line, shape and form, the building blocks of composition. Remember there is not much light here so a tripod will probably be required for most shots. Here are some ideas to challenge you:

  • Architectural Abstracts: This is a good place to start your assignment. Keep things nice and simple at first. Look for visual contrasts. Look for patterns. Consider using a longer focal length at first to keep the images simple. Try minimum depth of field to emphasize or separate your subject from your background.
  • Shadow Patterns: Film and digital sensors see shadows deeper than the human eye; if you see shadow it will usually show darker in the image. Try using the shadow as a subject all by itself, or perhaps use a small part of the actual object that is casting the shadow to give a connection or reference to the viewer.
  • Angles: There are lots of straight lines in this incredible building, try skewing them. Use wider lenses to create converging lines and interesting perspectives. Twist the camera, look up, look down, just don’t look straight. You may want to use lots of depth of field to accentuate the lines and movement within the frame.
  • Ghostly Motion: Here is where you want to take advantage of long shutter speeds and a tripod. Make sure that you are able to make the histogram happy. There are many moving things in the building (including yourself). While making exposures have some one walk slowly through your frame or have that person sit in one spot for 1/2 of the total exposure and then leave the frame or move to another area within the frame for the second 1/2 of the exposure. These shots can add a very different feel and dynamic to a scene.
  • Painting with Flash: With an on camera flash and a long exposure on a tripod, use the flash within the scene to brighten areas of the frame (like a person in the shadows or to highlight a sign). You will need to experiment with your flash's output power to create different brightness within the scene.
  • Zoom effect: For this one you will want long exposures again. Set your camera up on a tripod with a zoom lens at the widest or most telephoto setting. Start you long exposure and slowly zoom your lens from one extreme to the other and see what you get. Vary how fast you zoom and which end of the zoom range you start at.

The key here is to enjoy and experiment. Think of this opportunity to consider ideas and concepts that you may use on your next trip with interesting buildings and exhibits.

Pick your favorite 10 frames from the evening and bring them with you to your next class on a flash drive.

*Don't forget to bring in your assignment from lesson 6 (Flash) to the next class. Print at least 4 4x6 prints of the flash assignment.

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