Friday, October 6, 2017

Project 4 Self Portrait in Different Personas

The point of this assignment is to explore lighting through the art of portraiture. You will take some photos that illustrate your idea of what your created "self" could be. You will take a couple portraits of yourself in a persona of your choosing. Something that is either different than you or an extreme extension of what you would consider to be "you".

The assignment comes in two parts:

  1. Out of class assignment (3 final photos): environmental portrait.  Light source must not be overhead.  Use a direct light source.  
  2. In class assignment (1 final photo): portrait taken with the studio strobe lights in the Digital Media Studies Lab in the Grant Building.  Meet in the normal computer lab (Art 110) first, and we will walk over.  We will be using the green screen and putting in different backgrounds in photoshop when we meet as a class on 10/23.  Bring your camera. 

What is due and when?

4 final and edited photos of the assignment to be posted on flickr by the end of class Friday 10/27. 


Part two of this assignment will be done in class on Wednesday 10/11, Monday 10/16, or Wednesday 10/18 depending on which group you are in. Will split in groups for the inclass assignment, one group working in the studio while the others are give the day off to work on the second part. Groups will be announced in class 10/6. You will be working with Mr. Ireland and the studio lights. Come prepared with costumes and props, and bring your camera.  

Why am I making you do this?

Practically, so you learn how to use our lights and create interesting portraits. Whether for the sake of illustrating a point, concept, or for fun, artists have often photographed themselves in different guises and personas in an attempt to tap into the archetypal schizophrenia of the ego and the fantasy land where creativity resides. Your end goal is to transform yourself into a being which is mundane, glamorous, or otherworldly -- to tow the line of familiarity and fiction.


  • Use a tripod for indoor shots.  
  • Subject should be directly engaged with the viewer/audience—meaning that, in most cases, the main subject is looking directly at the camera. No casual snapshots or man-on-the-street photos where the subject is not aware you are taking their picture.
  • Remove distracting elements whenever possible—declutter whenever possible.
  • Try to pre-visualize the images taking into consideration the way environment, light, pose, clothing, formal considerations, and other factors contribute to the construction of individual identity.
  • Try to think beyond cliche identity
 troupes such as cowboy, jock, college guy/gal, punk, etc.   

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