A studio-lit portrait of Andrew. Photo by Elena Adams.
People are certainly one of the most interesting and
most challenging subjects to photograph. For this last
assignment, you'll be using all of the skills you've
learned during the course to take some stunning
portraits. You will need to think about lighting,
backgrounds, depth of field, composition, and color. You
can also (tastefully) touch up each photo in Photoshop. By
now these skills should come quite naturally to you, so
you can focus your creative effort on capturing something
truly unique or special about your portrait subject.
If you find yourself without anyone willing to model
for you this week, you can take a self-portrait for any of
the requirements. This is an interesting type of
photograph in its own right, and adds a degree of
Like last week, there are also a set of exam-style
questions at the end of this assignment. Although we will
not grade these, they will exercise your understanding of
photographic lighting and help you to prepare for the
final exam. The answers to these questions will be posted
on Sunday, May 29th after the assigment is due.
This week there are five photographic requirements.
Requirements 1 through 4 must be met by taking pictures
of human beings. (Sorry, no portraits of pets, stuffed
animals, etc. this week!) Requirement 5 can be met
using any subject of your choosing.
Requirement 1: Indoor Traditional
Portrait Take a portrait of someone using a
traditional portait lighting setup as described in
lectures (a key light, a fill light, and possibly a
background light and accent/rim light). Unless you
have some fancy lighting gear of your own, you should
take this picture during your regular section meeting
where we will set up a full studio lighting kit.
Requirement 2: Indoor Natural Light
Portrait Take a portrait of someone indoors
using only non-electric sources of light (a fireplace,
candles, the sun, etc). You might want to arrange
someone near a window. Think about the light in the
same way as for the studio lighting, and comment on
how you created a fill light, how you created a key
Requirement 3: Outdoor Available Light
Portrait Take a portrait of someone outdoors
under available lighting only. Comment on what serves
as the fill light and key light. If you like, you can
also make this one a candid shot, in which the subject
is not aware you're taking a photo (or at least
appears to not be aware).
Requirement 4: Flash + Ambient Take a
portrait which uses a combination of your camera's
flash and ambient illumination. Again, comment on what
serves as the key light and what serves as the fill
light. Remember, you need not point the flash right at
the subject - with a small hand-held mirror or white
card you can bounce any camera's flash elsewhere.
Requirement 5: Non-photorealistic
Photograph This requirement is unrelated to
portraiture, but we thought it would be fun now that
you are all experts at image editing. Use a single
photograph or combination of photographs to create a
single, non-photorealistic image in Photoshop. This
requirement is wide open to your creative
interpretation, but result must look substantially
non-realistic in some way. As a hint: you may want to
try taking photographs under multiple different
lighting conditions (e.g. at different times of day &
night, or flash/no flash with unusual processing); or
you may try stitching together pictures of your
subject from multiple viewpoints. You may find some
inspiration in the artwork
or the photographic works
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 8 - Portraiture". Write at
least two short 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.
As usual, we've posted an
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)
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.
11:59PM, Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Please Note: We will accept no late assignments or replacement photos after
midnight on Sunday June 5. Be sure to read the lateness policy from
outline, or contact your TA if you have any questions.
Practice technical questions
These questions are for your own educational benefit; you do not need
to submit your answers. After the assignment is due we
will select the correct answers in bold.