CS178 Assignment 5 - Still Life
Vanity. Photo by Andrew Adams.
Until now most of your photos have been a kind of found art – the photograph captures something beautiful already existing in the world. This is not to say there's no creativity involved. Your interpretation of the scene, as expressed by your composition and your creative control over the camera, has been what makes the captured scene "art".
This week we'll extend your creative control beyond the camera to the scene itself. In still life photography you arrange the scene, choose the background, and alter the lighting however you want. You should take time to arrange each shot just how you like it. There are plenty of second chances to get the shot right in still life photography.
This week there are four requirements that should be met by taking 5-10 photographs. The key difference between this week and previous weeks is in the selection of the scene. This week, only photograph objects you have arranged and lit yourself. Additionally, this week you should use your comments to justify your choice of background, arrangement of the objects in the scene, and your choice of lighting, in addition to justifying your choice of camera settings (ie focus, shutter speed, aperture, etc).
Before you begin, you may find it helpful to read the final section of your course reader, "The Case of the Disappearing Glass," which describes how your lighting interacts with glass objects to achieve varying degrees of reflectivity and transparency. Consider these lighting effects carefully, and see if you can use them to create a dramatic effect!
These two requirements apply to every photo you take this week.
The first three requirements can each be satisfied with one or more photographs. Requirement 4 requires that you post two photos.
Upload your photos and add comments.Upload your photos using the Picasa account you created in the first week to a public Picasa album titled "CS178 Assignment 5 - Still Life". Add comments below each photo.
As a reminder, we will penalize photographs with insufficient comments. You should write at least two paragraphs (ie two picasa comments) below each of your photos explaining how you arranged the scene, how you took the photo, what relevant camera settings you used and why, any image processing done to the photograph afterwards, and most importantly, which requirement the photo covers (all of your photographs should satisfy general requirements A and B).
Example SolutionAs usual, we've posted an example solution to this assignment to let you know what we expect. For additional inspiration, you may want to peruse the best CS178 photographs (as selected by the TA's and instructor) from 2009 and 2010. However, you do not need to meet the assignment requirements in the same way as these solutions do - in fact, you should challenge yourself to come up with creative, unique compositions. There are plenty of possibilities out there. Surprise us!
Please remember that the photographs that you submit for each assignment must be taken by you specifically for this course. Do not reuse old photographs that you may have laying around, even if they perfectly meet one of the requirements!
If you have questions or comments about the photos we used in the example solution, feel free to add them as comments below the corresponding photograph in Picasa Web, or to email us.
We will assign grades based on whether you met the requirements of the assignment. For each requirement, you'll be given a check for meeting the requirement, check-minus for not quite meeting the requirement, or check-plus if you do something spectacular that makes your grader's jaw drop.
Due Date11:59PM, Sunday, May 8th, 2011
Assignments are generally due on Sunday at midnight at the end of the week in which they're assigned. This leaves you free to start thinking about the next assignment during your next section. Sometimes lateness is unavoidable. In such circumstances, be sure to read the lateness policy from the course outline, or contact your TA.
© 2009-2011 Marc Levoy, Andrew Adams, and Jesse Levinson