Thursday, February 27, 2014

Friday, February 28th

9 am Class Roll taken.

1. Go over Alphabet pictures, make sure everyone knows how to layer, merge and crop.
2. Upload alphabet to your blog site.

Our next four assignments will be using this technique. It is important we take the time and make sure everyone understands how to complete this task. If you don't understand layering, merging and cropping it will be hard to complete these next assignments.

10 am
3. David Hockney Lecture

11 am
Clinging Vine by Ginger Cook
4. Review criteria for Mid-Term Assignment

Remainder of class is reserved to work with you in Photoshop. If you have started shooting for the composition assignment for Mid-Term, I will help you learn to improve your images in Photoshop. This is your time with your instructor. Plan on using me! I'll be glad to go over images of your classmate and help improve them in Photoshop as well.

Let me know how I can best assist you for the mid-term

Monday, February 24, 2014

Simulation of Controls

Below is the website David showed on Friday where you can go and play with aperture and shutter speed.  His suggestion was to experiement with the controls and begin to see what happens when you change the settings.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Grading Criteria for Assignment #4

I am in the process of grading Assignment #4, Portrait of a Classmate. This will be the first numerical grade for the semester.  Up to this point, all assignments have been pass/fail.  If you attempted the assignment you received a 100.  If you did not turn in an assignment on time then a 0 was received.  Your graded assignment will be turned back to you on Friday, February 28th.

Below is the grading criteria that will be used for all graded assignments this semester in PHO 111.

“100-90”= Outstanding Work. The solution of the assignment reflects considerable understanding of the problem and showed outstanding skill level. The assignment has been both fully developed and well communicated. There is a clear concept that has enhanced the overall assignment. The full potential has been explored and the student has gone remarkably above and beyond the basic requirements and limits of the assignment. Student has shown notable verbal skills and diligent class and lab participation.

 “89-85”= Very Good Work. The solution of the assignment has exceeded all stated requirements, and shows above-average depth of understanding and skill. The student demonstrates more than adequate clarity of idea, execution, and presentation, including very good craft. The student has clear verbal skills and good class and lab participation.

  “84-80”= Competent Work. The assignment has been solved adequately. The solution shows a basic depth of understanding and development. There is a command of the materials, idea, and principles. The student has covered the basic requirements of the assignment. Camera/ computer skills are simply adequate. Student shows good verbal skills and class and lab participation.

  “80-70”= Average Work. Completed the assignment but showed an extreme weakness in solution to the problem/assignment lacking depth, understanding, and innovation. Craft is weak. Appropriate computer/camera skills have not been demonstrated. Student has class and lab participation.

 “69 & below”= Poor Work. An extremely weak solution to the problem lacking depth, understanding, and innovation is demonstrated. Craft is weak. Appropriate skill level has not been demonstrated. Student class and lab participation is weak or not at all.

 “F”= Unacceptable Work or Work Not Submitted. Student has had little or no class or lab participation.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Assignment # 5: 2 sets of the Alphabet

Alphabet by Ginger Cook, PHO 111, 2009
Our next assignment is alphabet photography. Your challenge is to begin seeing lines and shapes in the world around you.

By Friday, the 28th of February, you will need to have 2 sets of images taken of the letters of the alphabet.

1 set of the alphabet must be taken of shapes objects resembling letters of the alphabet but not of the actual letters.

The second set of the alphabet can be your choice.  Put together 26 images of shapes of your choice in any fashion.

Steps to the process:

1.  Take images of the alphabet with your camera.

2.  Download the images onto the desktop.

3.  Open each image and resize it the same for all 26 letters in Photoshop or Lightroom.  Make sure the color correction on all images are somewhat similar. 

4. After you have created each letter of the alphabet, open a new blank page in Photoshop.  You might want to size it 100 inches by 100 inches.

5.  Drag each of the letters onto the white blank page.

6.  Place the letters onto the blank page in any fashion you wish.

7.  After all the letters have been placed, go into Layers and flatten the image.

8.  After you have flattened the image, use the crop tool take away any extra white space left on the page.

9.  Save as a tiff.

10.  Resize for the web so that you can upload the entire alphabet onto your blog.

If you have trouble moving the images onto the black page, bring all your cropped and corrected 26 letters to class next Friday.  I will help you move them onto the page, flatten, crop and size for the web.


You might want to google alphabet photography or alphabet art to get some ideas.

Elizabeth Mellott Photography Exhibit

Identity, 2012, Accordion  Book
Solo Exhibit: Elizabeth Mellott, Remnant

If you have a few moments extra during the day, spend some time at the TAMU-C University Gallery located in the Department of Art Building. 

The work of photographer, bookmaker and multi-media artist, Elizabeth Mellott's Remnant show is in the gallery.  The show will be up until March 24th and the gallery is open M-F from 1-5 pm.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Class on Friday, February 21

Lecture:  How to use controls on a camera

Go downtown to shoot the alphabet. We will meet at the parking area of downtown.

Oral critique of two 8x12 printed images. 

Begin learning how to layer the letters of the alphabet in Photoshop.  This layering exercise will be used in your next couple of assignments.  It is pretty easy to do but very important you learn the basic steps in order to complete the next assignments.

Bring your cameras, card reader and thumb/external hard drive to class. If you think you might want to use the school's camera, you will need to bring a SD card.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Mid Term Assignment Due March 7th

Due: 10 printed images on Friday 7 March at 9 am.

What: Shoot 10 different images using 10 different compositional tools. Print ten (10) 8x12 images.

Things to consider: There are lots of students from all the other photography and VisCom classes printing their assignments for mid-term. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to shoot and print.

Between now and mid-term please feel free to ask questions, show me your work for comments, help and explanation of particular compositional tools. Feel free to email me with your questions @

Ten Deadly Sins in Composition

1. Subject in the middle.
2. Horizon in the middle.
3. Crooked horizontal lines.
4. Distracting elements.
5. Inappropriate light.
6. Camera movement during exposure.
7. Inappropriate focus.
8. Inappropriate depth of field.
9. Confusing subject.
10. Lack of emotional impact.


Compositional Tools for photographers

Below is the list of compositional tools you can choose from in order to create 10 final 8x12 images for the mid-term assignment:

1. Rule of Thirds
2. Filling th Frame
3. Framing
4. Dirty Framing
5. Silhoutte
6. Tunnel
7. Texture
8. Pattern
9. Leading Lines
10. Reflection
11. Shadows
12. Depth of Field (DOF)
13. Curved Lines (S Curve)
14. Meandering Lines
15. Diagonal Lines
16. Balance (Symetrical and Asymebrical)
17. Geometric Shapes
18. Fibonacci Ratio
19. Dynamic Symetry
20. Negative/Positive Space
21. Perspective
22. Sense of Scale
23. Rule of Odds
24. Stop Motion
25. Show Motion
26. Pan Motion
27. Cruciform
28. Sun Flare/ Star Burst

Assignment #4: Printed images of Classmate

Due: 2 very well printed images on Friday 21 February, 2014 at 9 am.

What: Pick the best portrait images of the person from our class that you photographed. Print at least 2 (two) 8x12 images . Two prints is the minimum, but you can print more. You might want to print a smaller image to give as a gift to your classmate for helping you out on the assignment.

The final images will be graded on the quality of the print, use of Photoshop to correct problems, elements of natural lighting, use of compositional tools and how well you captured your classmate's personality.

Remember there are no late assignments accepted or extra credit assignments provided in this class.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Class on Friday Feb 14th

Since we didn't have class last week Friday's class is going to be challenging.

Here is the plan:

9-9:50 Meet in Wathena Mac Lab in Room #207 for a demonstration on Lightroom.

10-11 Demonstration on how to print images in print lab in Wathena.

11:15 - 12 Meet back in our classroom in Journalism for short verbal critique on our images of classmates. Feedback will be given on which images to print.
Written critique for in class assignment.

12:15 -1 Lecture on Composition. Assignment will be given for Mid-term project.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Assignment # 4 Comment on Classmate's Blogs

Update:  Since so many people are having difficulty commenting on other people's blogs, we will adjust and do a written critique in class on Friday.  Please don't worry about not being able to get on everyone's blog.  

Since we can not do a critique in class today, please go to each of your classmate's blogs and critique their images.  Use your critique words and tell which image you think is the strongest and which is the weakest.  Everyone will print two of the images next week and it really helps to get feedback on which ones are the strongest in other people's eyes.  Go to the  blog list posted earlier on the class blog to find the websites.  I also want you to comment on your own post.  Tell me which image you think is the strongest and the weakest.

Hope you stay warm,


Class Canceled for Friday 7 Feb 2014

I am on campus but I just heard classes have been canceled for today. So I guess we will meet again on Friday, 14 of February. Hope you have a great weekend.

Stay warm,


Thursday, February 6, 2014

See you at 10 am on Friday

Class will be postponed until 10 am on Friday. Hope your portrait sessions went . I'm looking forward to seeing your images.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Wouldn't it be great....

Wouldn't it be great if you entered a portrait you took in this class and you won?

We're on a mission to discover a full range of great 21st century photo portraits.
We are open to everything.
All points of view. All levels of expertise.
All corners of the world. All ideas of portraiture.
to see more go to:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Self Portrait Class Favorite

Karen Havins' self portrait image of how she sees herself was chosen by the class as the image that best fulfulled the class self portrait assignment.  After Karen talked about and explained this image, there was a hush in the classroom.  Her talk was heartfelt and compelling. 

Here is a link to her blog:

Congratulations Karen on your image being chosen by a group of your peers.

Assignment #3: Portrait of Others

The class will be dividing into groups of two to three people. We are going to take a few minutes in class for you to have a chance to 'interview' one another and exchange contact information. Get to know the members of your group and think about how you would like to create a portrait of them.   Set a time and place to take the portrait.

Spend some time thinking about and creating an interesting shot that tells us something about your subject. 

The final images will be graded on the elements of natural lighting, use of compositional tools and how well you captured your classmate's personality. Good luck! 

Post your favorite 5 images on your blog before 9. am.

Due:      Friday, February 7, 2014 at 9 a.m.

What: Bring the files of all your portrait of others images on your hard drive to class. The more images you have the better. We will be using these files for the lab exercise in Photoshop, to begin printing and for your Blog. Since we will be learning how to print your images, if you don't have your images to work with you won't be able to print your images while the lab monitor and I are there to help you.

Remember, your metadata will need to state the images were taken between January, 31, 2014 and the February 7, 2013.

If you have the images posted on the blog by 9am you will receive a 100. If you do not have the images posted on the blog by 9am you will receive a 0.

Remember there are no late assignments accepted or extra credit assignments provided in this class.

Portrait Artists for inspiration

It’s one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it’s another thing to make a portrait of who they are. – Paul Caponigro

W. Eugene Smith

Diane Arbus

Irving Penn of Pablo Picasso

Nan Goldin

Annie Leibovitz
David LaChapelle
Mary Ellen Mark

Ralph Gibson

Corrine Day

Horst P. Horst

It is more important to click with people than to click the shutter. – Alfred Eisenstaedt

Tips for taking a good portrait

1. Alter Your Perspective

2. Play with Eye Contact

3. Break the Rules of Composition

4. Experiment with Lighting (the most flattering light for most portraits is soft and off-camera)

5. Move Your Subject Out of their Comfort Zone

6. Shoot Candidly, Don't Pose your Subject

7. Introduce a Prop, Let them do Something with their Hands or Body

8. Focus Upon One Body Part – Get Close Up

9. Obscure Part of your Subject

10. Take a Series of Shots

11.  Show the subject and also their surroundings

12.  Capture their spirit, try to show something you remember about that person

13.  Give your subjects some room if you are not doing a close up

14.  Avoid tangents

15.  Avoid cutting off hands and legs at the knees

16.  Remember the rule of thirds!

17.  Expression.  Capture their Expression.

18.  Take A LOT of shots!  Often the best shot comes when you both are exhausted.