Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday is work day

I want you guys to have some images from this project for the next Lightroom demo, so let’s make Monday a work day.  Instead of going to class, go out and do some shooting.  Try to fit in a couple visits to your site this week.  I’ll have a demo to give on Wednesday. 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Exposure Compensation

Bracketing your exposures with the Exposure Compensation Feature

While Exposure can be adjusted manually via the Shutter Speed and Aperture, there’s alsoExposureCompensation, which is represented by a +/- icon on the camera. Exposure Compensation is a hasty way to adjust the shutter and aperture ratio without having to delve into manual mode. Exposure Compensation is usually set in EV units, which is usually equal to one exposure step (stop). Have you ever looked into an electric viewfinder or gazed at an LCD screen that displayed an image with blown highlights or dark shadows, despite the camera’s predefined exposure settings? Exposure Compensation will come to the rescue by subduing those highlights or brightening those shadows. It actually compensates for the camera’s inability to choose the proper exposure due to its metering system. (!))

Look at a great tutorial here, that talks about the subject.

The Photograher's Ephemeris App

The Photographer's Ephemeris (TPE) is a tool to help you plan outdoor photography in natural light, especially landscape and urban scenes. It is a map-centric sun and moon calculator: see how the light will fall on the land, day or night, for any location on earth.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Landscape Artists

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ideas already taken

Caitlin - Glen Hotel
Tori - Granbury Historic Railroad Depot
Faith - Chalk Mountain
Andrew - Granbury Square
Ty - Old Brazos Bridge
Kelsey - Selden
Mckenzie - Hico
Taylor - Granbury
Tara - Old Rock Church, Cransfill Gap
Rebecca - Ranger
Francisco - Thurbur
Joshua - Thurbur
Matt fort Belknap
Sydney - Clifton
Sterling - Hico
Nicole - Alexander
Rebecca - Ranger
Patrick - Stephenville Square

no more Granbury ideas unless you have something really specific.

Project 3 Story of the Landscape

For this assignment you will serve as photojournalist and artist.  I (your instructor) will be the photo editor, and you will be the photojournalist working on the  assignment entitled "The Cross Timbers outside Stephenville”.

What/How do I turn this in?

Part 1: Seek approval of your idea through me in class, no more than 2 people are allowed per location. Turn in a one page abstract of where you will be shooting to your instructor via email before the beginning of class Friday, Sept. the 15th.  Must be at least one page and include the basic historical importance of the area and how you plan to describe that through images.  (50 points)
Part 2: You will turn in 10 images (minimum) to flickr in a set entitled "project 3" by the end of the day Monday, Sept 25th. (100 points)
Part 3: You will do a 10 minute presentation of your work in class on Wednesday Sept 27th based off the subject you choose.  Your presentation should include a Powerpoint slideshow along with relevant historical data to supplement your images.  You will be graded based off the quality of your presentation's research and the engagement level you have with the work.  You are required to have at least two CREDITED sources in your presentation, be it a book, magazine, website, or interview.  (50 points)

Why are we doing this?

I want you to think about the details in your photographs that tell the story, that imply the narrative of a place. Photographers must know their subject before and after they shoot it, and sometimes it requires research, and knowledge of a place. Even historians are constructing a narrative with words of a place. Maybe it is about the history of a place, maybe it is more your own personal encounter with history that is the true story. What information can you put in your photograph that makes more than just a random field, or barn? Think about the details that set the scene of the story you want to tell. If there is an interesting event going on there, Like the Commanche Pow Wow, than document that.  

Possible locations

Who was George Bernard Erath? What is up with those wind turbines popping up in the Northwest? Every actually stop at a Texas roadside marker? Where did people see the aliens? How did people migrate here? Where does the railroad go and how was it used? Why is Thurber a ghost town? Where is the chalk on Chalk Mountain? Why is there a headless woman haunting Alexander, TX? What's the hub boob about the strip club in Proctor? Where is the biggest rocking chair in the United States? What do people do on a Saturday night in Morgan Mill? Who is Dale and how can you tell he is bluffing in poker in Bluff Dale? Where does the roller derby team play? What goes on in Comanche, Deleon, etc...etc...

Locations that are not allowed
Anything in the central Tarleton campus that has to do with Tarleton
The Baker Hotel (unless you can get in)
Dublin Bottling Works

Cross Timbers Area

Erath, Hamilton, Comanche, Bosque, Somerville, Hood, Palo Pinto, Eastland Counties

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Exposure Basics

You can find more online

Photocaddy app for android
or for Iphone

Web App for exposure basics

Project 2 Exposure Checklist

Take a series of photos.... Make sure to follow the steps below. For the content, I want you to consider documenting your "home" or something like the 100 yard radius around your current home base.  Choose carefully and think creatively, as you have to stick to some rules here.

1. Everything in the picture in focus (deep depth of field)
2. Sharp focus on the subject, but everything else out of focus (shallow depth of field)
3. Bokeh - In at least one photo, nothing at all should be in focus. It's hard to take a good looking photo where nothing is in focus - be creative!
4. Stop action (fast shutter speed) The main subject should be frozen in time, be creative in finding a solution.  
5. Blurred motion (slow shutter speed) The main subject of at least one photograph should be motion-blurred, either due to movement of the subject or movement of the camera.
6. Long exposure (more than one second, maybe low light)
7. Backlit subject (silhouette)
8.  At least one photo must be poorly exposed. That is, most of the image should be either very close to black (underexposed) or close to flat white due to oversaturation (overexposed)

at least 8 images due Monday September 11th, beginning of class

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Photo Composition Tips

Assignment 1 A Day in the Life

Show a series of photographs (at least ten) that illustrate the day in the life of a subject of your choice.  Your subject could be you or include a model.  You must, through a series of photographs, illustrate a narrative that the viewer can identify as a whole day, so make sure to illustrate that in your work.  

The point of this assignment is to strengthen your compositional skills.  Utilize a strong focal point in each of your shots. Each one of your photographs must include the following strategies:

Direct Light Source (front, side, and back)
Unexpected or unnatural viewpoint Dutch Tilt
Creative use of Color
Use the wrong white balance setting
one image must be a selfie

When is it Due?

Due 50 pictures by the end of the day September 6th (Wednesday)

(photo by James Day)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Class Syllabus - Fall 2017

“The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. “
Dorthea Lange


This class will introduce students to digital photography techniques and concepts. Technically, students will learn the proper use of digital cameras, basic and advanced techniques in Adobe Creative Cloud, and professional photographic printing.  Concurrently, students will gain an understanding of the cultural, conceptual and creative ramifications of digital imaging. 

While photography should be fun, it takes time to master the skills. It also takes times and effort to be out shooting with your camera to find the good shots. For that reason, this class requires a substantial amount of OUTSIDE time to be used for assignments. There is an enormous amount of information to learn about camera technique and design software.  The class will move quickly early on to cover all this information.  The culmination of this course is the final project presentation at the end of the semester. 


You will practice image composition by shooting 50 plus images a week, and will catalog those images.  
You will become technically proficient with the workings of your camera.
You will become proficient with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop on the Mac.
You will learn about the history of photography as an art, be able to exam and critique the work of yourself and others, and you will learn how to effectively communicate your ideas both visually and verbally.


Class time will involve:
a combination of lectures and discussions on pertinent issues within the medium
application demos and technical instruction
introduction to other photographers that significantly connect to class projects
field trips and on-location camera exercises
work time for projects
critiques of projects

Outside of class, homework will be mostly centered around shooting images for homework assignments.  The best way to improve in this medium is to shoot as much and as often as possible.  You are expected to work around 2 hours a week outside of class.


Text: There is no textbook.  Any required reading will be posted on the blog. However if you prefer to have a take home textbook, I recommend:  A Short Course in Digital Photography by Barbara London and Jim Stone and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classroom in a Book by John Evans. Http:// is a great site for adobe tutorials. A subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud is not required but recommended.
A working digital camera (A digital SLR with removable lenses, manual settings, and shoots in an uncompressed digital format will give you the most versatility and you will be able to get better results easier.  You may use a point and shoot, but you are expected to understand the limitations of what your camera can do.  Please no phone cameras for everyday use.)
Memory card for camera, at least 8 gig
USB drive ALWAYS back-up your work, you may save things to your lab computer, however it is a public lab so anything is possible, and hard drive crashes are not a viable excuse for late work. 
Final Project Printing – to be announced

The estimated cost for this course will be around 50 - 100 dollars.


Schedule Subject to Change

Week 1 intro to camera function and digital processing, another point of view project
Week 2 – composition, digital photo editing, manual camera settings, lighting life project
Week 3 – pixels and digital output, photography history 101, archival techniques
Week 4 – landscape photography, advanced digital output home project
Week 5 – long exposure photography, night time project
Week 6 – narrative storytelling, photoshop compositing, narrative tableau project
Week 7 -  advanced photoshop compositions, large format printing
Week 8 – photojournalism 101, research strategies, photojournalism project 
Week 9 – preparing images for the web, photojournalism project presentations
Week 10 – abstract for final project, intro to studio lighting
Week 11 – studio (people,still life) shooting, studio project
Week 12 – mimic a famous photographer - research/assignment, mimic project
Week 13 advanced photo techniques, final project
Week 14 final project display (book, website presentation)


1.) Blog: All assignments and required source material will be posted online. Specific Xeroxed articles, tutorials and other online source material will be assigned and posted on the blog as the course progresses. 

2.) Attendance: mandatory at all class sessions. Class moves fast and it is extremely difficult to catch up unless you take responsibility and look up anything you missed. More than three absences (excused or unexcused, they are all the same) lower your final grade 1 grade down each absence. Come prepared for work in class or you will receive an absence. Since most class material is covered at the beginning of class, being notably tardy also counts as an absence. Checking Facebook during class lectures or videos will make you absent for the day.  

3) Projects: There will be seven or eight key assignments in this course. Every week there will be deadlines for those assignments. They are always due at the beginning of class on the deadline date.  Late assignments will not be accepted without approval from the instructor.  

4.) Critiques: Students are expected to participate in class critiques of works, both completed and in progress. As the term evolves, we will orient towards weekly progress critiques. Talking about your work and others is a crucial aspect of assessing whether your images communicates effectively.  

5.) Grading: each project is worth 100 points and will be graded by:
• FOLLOWING DIRECTIONS– 34%- does the project match the online description?
Did the photographer take enough images, are they presented correctly and on time? 
• CREATIVITY – 33%- originality of thought and expression.
Does the artwork show innovation and uniqueness? Did the artist solve the given assignment problem in an expected or unexpected way? 
• CRAFTSMANSHIP -– 33%- attention to detail.
Does the artist skillfully manipulate the images so they look their best? Are all details carefully finished and/or intentional-looking? 

6.) Equipment check out: A student may check out equipment that is available by the Fine Arts department.  You assume responsibility for the item and you are required to return it before the next scheduled class.  Some of the items we have are:  Nikon D5000 Digital SLR Camera, Canon Digital Rebel SLR Cameras, Portable Studio Lighting Kit, Strobe Flashes, Tripods, Video Cameras, and more.  

7.) Lab Etiquette: Always back up your work. Data loss—from a lost, fried and/or stolen hard drive, or satanic software - cannot be used as an excuse for late or missing work. 
Students are not permitted to use the internet or any mobile devices during lectures or student presentations. Cell Phones must be turned off unless instructed otherwise. 


Cheating, plagiarism (submitting another person’s materials or ideas as one’s own), or doing work for another person who will receive academic credit are all impermissible. Turning in work made before this class, or from other classes, is also a violation of academic honesty. Disciplinary action may be taken beyond the Department of Fine Arts.  All work turned in for this class must have been made during this class!


It is the policy of Tarleton State University to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (HYPERLINK "" other applicable laws. If you are a student with a disability seeking accommodations for this course, please contact Trina Geye, Director of Student Disability Services, at 254.968.9400 or HYPERLINK "" Student Disability Services is located in Math 201. More information can be found at HYPERLINK "" or in the University Catalog.


Please note that some of the photographs we might look at during this course may include nudity, be graphically violent or be politically provocative. Some individuals may find these images disturbing or even offensive. Such works are included because they presented important challenges to artistic traditions and conventions, to social mores, to standards of beauty and taste, and ultimately, to the definition and history of photography itself. Students will not be required to subscribe to any particular theory of the purpose and meaning of photography, nor will they be required to like all of the images shown. However, if you choose to take this course, you will be expected to understand the issues involved and why they are important. Critical thinking in all areas is something I believe in. I want students to be exposed to good work, I want my students to be able to grapple with difficult ideas, and I want them to develop their own sensitivities and skills. If you have any special concerns, please discuss them with me.

{ANY QUESTIONS????!!!!????}

As you've probably guessed, you will have to spend plenty of time in and outside of class shooting, editing, and printing. You should therefore photograph subjects that you consider important or have strong feelings towards. Your projects shouldn’t feel like busy work. Please do not become discouraged if you do not quickly grasp the ideas and techniques discussed in class - photography is a difficult and complex subject that is hard for many people. Making good art always takes longer than you think! Trust the process.

Apply yourself, work hard, develop your skills and exhibit individual growth and you will do very well in this class. I am here to help you succeed, so do not be afraid to ask any questions. I will always try my best to make myself available to interested students. Have fun, keep positive and be creative!

-Chris Ireland