Monday, January 21, 2013

PH 612 - The Nature of Photography - Assignments

Weekly assignments for The Nature of Photography course in the first semester. Assignments given out are due for submission the next week. Photographs are to be printed typically on an A4 size photo-paper. But you can choose to get a smaller or larger print if you desire.

Everyone puts their work on the wall, to get critiqued by the instructor and by the students. Receiving feedback from the instructor, Jim Sienkiewicz a fine art photographer, is a highly constructive process. Other students in the class participate in the critique session too, which gives you great insights into how your photograph can be perceived and interpreted in ways you hadn't anticipated.

Assignment 1: A photograph on any subject matter
The first assignment was a fairly laxed one. Just get a photograph you made.

One of the early photographs I had made since I move to San Francisco. A fascination for urban landscapes clubbed with a need to explore the city more made me go after this vantage.

This one was shot for being a postcard pic.

Assignment 2: Positive and Negative Spaces
An image showing strong separation of positive/negative spaces

Photograph was taken while walking across the golden gate bridge. The negative space is the bright sky on which the silhouette of the plane framed by the steel ropes of the bridge form the subject.

Assignment 3: Time
One of the 3 depictive levels of time: Frozen, Extrusive time or Still life

A bus speeds inside the Stockton tunnel. I had chosen to create an image which showcases extrusive time ( aka long esposure, slow shutter speed etc.). The tunnel, the lights hanging of the celing, the steel railings and even the separator paint on the road, all lead you to the one singular point of exit. Light at the end of the tunnel? Redemption, eh?

Assignment 4: Plasticity
Plasticity can be described as one or a combination of the following visual effects in a photograph
- compression/lack of depth. Objetcs in the foreground and background seem to interact
- colors play a certain push and pull feel. colder tones seem to recede, warmer tones push out
- groupings within the image seem to continually shift.

One of the harder assignments. I was going for the third effect described above. Continually changing grouping of elements within the photograph. Though not entirely successful, I did what I could.

Assignment 5: Mental Modelling.
An image which represents your aesthetics/values/subject matter/personal life.

Having been drawn toward structure, symmetry and architecture, I created a photograph which represented the same. The Palace of Fine Arts, located in the Marina district of San Francisco.

This one was shot for being a postcard picture too.

Assignment 6: Unity
A photograph showing unity in one of the following forms: Intellectual unity, Lack of Intellectual Unity, Chaotic Unity. To attain it one could employ: Pictorial Gestalt, Proximity, Similarity, Repetition.

A diptych of foliage over distinctly unique ground, chaotic repetition and texture.

Assignment 7: Rhythm
A photography with a strong sense of movement and repetition.

One of the many buildings in downtown San Francisco. The windows and fire ladder give the sense of motion and repetition.

Assignment 8: Texture and Pattern
A photograph employing a strong sense of texture or pattern.

A sinister looking tree in the Golden Gate Park. Predominantly texture and heavy emotional content.

Assignment 9: Lines
The assignment is to either showcase psychic lines or lost and found contours.

Assignment 10: Balance
Bring a photograph which displays asymmetrical balance.

And I heard, bring a photo that shows lack of balance. A failure as a submission for the assignment, but still a good picture in my opinion.

Assignment 11: Abstraction
A photograph with organic or geometrical abstraction

A fire ladder running across the back of a structure. Photographed away from any recognizable surroundings, plus the hard contrast pushes it closer to geometrical abstraction.

Assignment 12: Contrast in color or black&white

Assignment 13: Contrast in scale
Instead of a submission for the assignment, I when ahead with a photograph for the finals.

The work that is expected of this course is to contain two elements - visuals and narrative. Visuals would be everything technical about the photograph - from composition to print quality. Narrative usually deals with the emotional content or the story/message involved.

The critique I generally received on the work I put forward was that it focuses more on the visuals and lacks depth and narrative. Darn!

Related Posts
First Semester @ AAU
PH 612 - The Nature of Photography
PH 612 - The Nature of Photography - Finals

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