Sunday, September 25, 2011

Photography Class-Assignment (Angela) Jean (now with bonus update!)

Remember how I told you I had plans? Well, one of my plans was to get better at taking pictures. As I've mentioned before, I have always loved photography, and now that I have all this free time (cough) I decided it was time to improve my skills.
I am fortunate to live in a town with a college that has an excellent reputation for art and design, so I took at look at the course calendar and registered for two courses this term. One of them is Basic Digital Photography. Our instructor is Joseph Marranca and I can honestly say that after only 4 classes I have learned quite a bit. 

Tomorrow's assignment is to submit 6 images demonstrating 'depth of field' and motion in digital photography. I'll spare you my written essay....the internets say it much better than I....but I will share my images with you, as well as the camera settings. What I found most challenging about this assignment was shooting photos with these specific purposes in mind. Normally I concern myself only with composition and light, but I am now forced to pay attention to all the settings and adjust everything manually. My little brain has had to work very hard.

Depth of Field

Image 1 (shallow depth of field)

File name:          11-Sept 20-Mimi tomatoes
Aperture:            f4.5
Shutter Speed: 1/100
ISO:                        400
Other Details:   This image was shot outside in early evening. The shallow depth of field allows the tomatoes in the bowl to be in focus while the dress in the background is blurred.

Image 2 (very shallow depth of field)

File name:          11-Sept 20-Otis Cars
Aperture:            f2.8
Shutter Speed: 1/5
ISO:                        400
Other Details:   This image was shot indoors with the camera placed on the floor to keep it steady due to the very slow shutter speed. This image has a very shallow depth of field. As a result only the front row of toy cars (and the carpet fibres!) are in focus. The rest of the image is blurred.

Image 3 (deep depth of field)

File name:          11-Sept 25-shoreline
Aperture:            f5
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO:                        100
Other Details:   This image was shot outside (obviously) at 3pm. Although the aperture has not increased significantly from the first image, this photo has a greater depth of field because the focal point is at a much greater distance from the camera.

Image 1 (blur)

File name:          11-Sept 24-blur
Aperture:            f10
Shutter Speed: 1/15
ISO:                        100
Other Details:   In this image, my daughter was running along the sidewalk. Because of the slow shutter speed, her image is blurred beyond recognition. My husband in the background remained still so his image was not blurred. I compensated for the slow shutter speed by raising the fstop to f10 so that the image would not be over-exposed.

Image 2
File name:          11-Sept 24-freeze
Aperture:            f1.8
Shutter Speed: 1/640
ISO:                        100
Other Details:   In this image, I increased the shutter speed to freeze my daughter and her friend as they marched in front of me. To compensate for the very fast shutter speed, I lowered the aperture to ensure proper exposure.

Image 3

File name:          11-Sept 25-geese
Aperture:            f6.3
Shutter Speed: 1/800
ISO:                        200
Other Details:   The fast shutter speed in this image captured the geese in flight and kept their wings sharp and in focus. It was kind of a happy accident. I was out there trying to get my deep depth of field shot! 

What makes me the most nervous is that these images are critiqued and graded in front of the whole class, and while I find that prospect very frightening, I'm also quite excited to see my classmates' work. Class is tomorrow night. I'll let you know how it goes.

Post mortem: Well, I wish I could say I received valuable feedback on my assignment but I didn't. Reviewing 20+ assignments of 6 images each in a 3 hour class was a little ambitious, I'm afraid. The instructor spent too much time on the first 6 or so assignments and the remainder were squished into the last 30 minutes. Mine were presented in the last 3 minutes of class while everyone was packing up their bags.
I just received this email in my inbox:
     Hi Angela,
     Your (sic) got 75% on your assignment, well done, keep shooting.
Um. Thanks?


  1. This is a great post! From your Facebook pics, I think you are already a very good photographer, but there is so much to think about, isn't there? I've always wanted to take a photography class. Good luck with it. I'm looking forward to more updates!

  2. Refund.

    Jk but seriously, after all that thougtful work and effort you'd think you'd get a tad more feedback.