Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dan Eldon Project

Research Dan Eldon (links on right) or Sabrina Ward Harrison. Do a page on either in your RWB.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Ansel Adams

You are going to study the work of Ansel Adams, a landscape photographer. Study the way he filled his picture frame, the contrast, texture, and subject placement in his work. Why did he do that?

Homework:1. Take your entire roll of film, which will be around 12 frames. Remember to bracket (adjust aperture/shutter by one stop up & one stop down). You should have 3-4 different scenes. Be ready to develop your film on the Monday after Thanksgiving. Do not forget your rules of composition when taking these photographs, be prepared to defend your compositions.2. Create a page in your workbook about the life of Ansel Adams. What did he do that was significant? (do not worry about things like exact dates, we are looking for the "essence" of the person).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Some pointers on using that "antique" manual camera

The day is here! You are in Fine Art Photography.
In order to be successful in this course, you will need a basic understanding of a camera (traditional 35mm) and how it works.
This is a great site to see if you're confused (and don't be hard on yourself-- this can be confusing stuff!)

common camera features
Exposure Controls

When you take a picture, you "expose" the film to light. The two parts which work together to control your exposure are the APERTURE and SHUTTER.


The aperture is an opening that changes in size to admit more or less light (similar to the iris of an eye). The numbers on the aperture control are called F-stops and referred to as F16, F11, F8, and so on. The aperture control may look something like this:

Here's how it works:
The larger the F-stop number, the smaller the opening.
Each number higher lets in half as much light as one number lower.
For example, F5.6 admits twice as much light as F8, while F11 lets in only half as much.

The aperture doesn't work alone, however. The shutter speed is responsible for exposure, too. It controls the amount of time light is allowed to reach the film.


The shutter is a device that opens and closes at varying speeds to determine the amount of time the light entering the aperture is allowed to reach the film.

Shutter speed is measured in fractions of a second. 125 means 1/125 of a second, 60 means 1/60. Typical shutter speeds range from 1 second to 1/1000. A shutter speed setting for a bright, sunny day - using an aperture of F11 - might be 1/125 second. A cloudy day might use 1/60 second with the same aperture, exposing the film to light for a longer period of time.

The settings for a good exposure are determined by a light meter. (Most 35mm cameras have a built-in light meter that shows you the appropriate settings, or automatically controls them.)

Aperture and shutter settings work together. Because the shutter (like the aperture) approximately halves or doubles the light reaching the film with each change in setting, a number of different combinations of settings can result in the same exposure.


Here's a little introduction to composing photos

Guidelines for Better Photographic Composition: Introduction

Cabin in Alps

Have you ever wondered why some pictures are more appealing than others . . . .

Art Museum

. . . why some are left hanging in galleries for months or even years to be enjoyed by thousands?

Man in rowboat on lake

Have you ever wondered why some photographers consistently win the praises of judges and critics?

Kitten hiding in plant leaves

One of the main reasons why some pictures are more outstanding than others is because of their strong composition. That's what this program is all about. We're going to consider how composition can improve your photographs.

Greek Temple

Good composition is a subject with a history of its own. The Greeks and Romans were practicing it 2,000 years before photography! It's obvious in their architecture.

Detail of building

And today, composition continues as an important part of contemporary architecture. One definition for photographic composition is simple: the pleasing selection and arrangement of subjects within the picture area.


Some arrangements are made by placing figures or objects in certain positions. Others are made by choosing a point of view. You can shift your camera very slightly and make quite a change in composition.
Some snapshots may turn out to have good composition, but most good pictures are created. How do you create a picture? First learn the guidelines for good composition.

Snapshot of mountain lake

After you've learned the guidelines, you'll realize that well-composed pictures often take careful planning and sometimes patient waiting.
You'll find that the composition guidelines will become part of your thinking when you're looking for pictures, and soon they will become second nature to you.