Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lifestyle: Telling The Story - Week 4

Week 4 Assignment

Part One: Thematic and Conceptual Shooting

Much of our approach thus far in the course has been on creating photo essays (a series of photos that tell the story.) This week we want to focus on telling a story in a single image and intentionally creating a “message” with the image.  Theme/concept helps us explore what our photo is ABOUT.
In the conceptual shooting tutorial we walk through a process of shooting with theme.
1.  Identify your concept/theme.  (what your photo story is about)
2.  Identify a scene.  If you don’t already have a specific scene in mind you can use the recommendations for developing a story board to create some ideas.
3.  Shoot intentionally with your storytelling skills!  (Keep in mind all that we have learned in the course about point of view, less is more, good composition, conflict, etc.)  Can you create a strong message and story in one image?
4.  Post your thematic/conceptual photo.
Need some ideas?  If you’re stumped, consider some of the following to generate some thoughts:  emotions: love, humor, adventure, imagination, determination.  props/activities: dance practice, dress-ups, dating, school/study, exercise. Concepts: parenting, discipline, work, play, shopping, food, treats, celebration…

Part Two: Getting in your pictures

Post one self portrait image.  Set the timer, use a remote, or hand the camera to someone else.  This exercise accomplishes two important things.  1.  We want to develop the habit of making sure that we record ourselves in the story of our life, and 2.  We typically need to visualize the photo we want before we take it since we’ll be in it.  Its a great exercise in taking a shot in our mind and making it happen.

I have thoroughly enjoyed this class.  I have learned so much.  I will continue to practice the concepts I've learned in my photography.  Composing posts for my family blog is one of my favorite things to do.  I'm not promising that all of my images will be perfect storytelling images, but I feel that in  time, I will learn to slow down and strive to capture the decisive moments.  I think the biggest thing that I've learned in this class is to change the perspective when photographing.  Perspective makes all the difference.  A big thank you to my wonderful photography teacher, Brooke Snow, and to all of my classmates for your time in critiquing my images in this class and for your kind words.    

Part 1:  Thematic and Conceptual Shooting
Determination is the concept I was going for in this picture.  My baby girl has finally outgrown her army crawling phase and is now crawling like a big girl.  I'm glad I chose to frame my fast crawler in the doorway.  I must admit that it was just a happy accident that the horizontal lines in the bottom portion of the door act as leading lines to her eyes.  My baby looks so proud and confident captured here in mid-crawl... a definite decisive moment.  I chose to make this picture black and white so the viewer will notice her expression immediately and not be distracted by the baby's colorful clothes and surroundings.
Determination               ISO: 100 | 1/250 sec. | f/5.0 | 55-250mm
* (Brooke's review: You have a really great conceptual image!  Perspective is excellent- you're down at the same level as her -this is really powerful for this image because we're focusing on her crawling and we are seeing the same point of view as she is in this scene.  Excellent job on choosing your point of view.  Excellent composition as well.  You've got her framed in the light and simple doorway in the background.  We are drawn to areas of contrast.  And because of the nice simple doorway in the background, she really pops out with her dark hair and eyes.  The composition here is awesome.  You have nice leading lines towards her and you've caught a great decisive moment where she is in mid-crawl which is great for what you're trying to portray in this image.  You also have a really great sense of symmetry.  Sometimes we can use these doorways to provide a sense of framing but it is important to keep in mind a sense of balance.  This is when centering the subject makes a powerful image and provides dynamic balance -your image has the pull of leading lines and perfect symmetry on each side.  You've left enough of the rock wall showing to provide symmetry, which is hard to do.  Putting this image into black and white was a powerful choice in editing because it draws the viewer into her particular expression on her face.  Had this image been in color, the bright colored clothing and the colorful rock wall would have taken the viewers eyes awhile to process the pattern and texture.  So by putting this image into black and white, you've made it simpler for the viewer to enjoy and focus in on what is happening in this scene.)

Part 2: Getting in your pictures
I set the camera to the proper settings and then handed the camera to my husband.  He stood on our back patio steps and captured this picture when I looked up at him.  Looking closer at this picture, I now realize that I have a merger coming out of the left side of my head.  Also, I was wondering if having part of my arm showing is distracting?  Should I crop the picture in closer, or just leave it alone?  I think I could have prevented these issues if I would have turned my body so that my back was flat against the siding of the house and looked up at the camera.  Do you have any other suggestions to make this a stronger picture?

ISO:100 | 1/250 sec. | f/5.0 | 55-250mm
* (Brooke's review:  Lovely self portrait, Lisa.  You always have a great smile and are fun to interact with.  This is a great shot taken by your husband.  You have catch lights in your eyes.  You talked about a merger, but I don't see that area as a merger.  You may think it is a merger because of the contrast of light and dark.  You have a lighter wall against a darker ground, both having different texture, but it works/looks great.  The arm doesn't bother me at all but you can crop it out if you'd like, which is actually something you may need to do if you want to print this in an 8x10" size.  Great shot, shooting from up above is always a flattering angle.)


Amy said...

Both are great pictures. I would love to take that class.

Jody Savage said...

another great week for you - you captured your daughter beautifully and good job to your husband! my sister and husband both took pictures that were really unusable so you did fantastic!

Tracy said...

I love both photos! The expression on your daughter's face is priceless - what a great photo to have years from now. My "babies" are all big now, and I wish I'd taken this class then! I also really love your photo - and wish I looked that good close-up :o) I also really love the use of black and white in both of these to make you focus on the subject. Beautiful!

Kat G. said...

Lisa fantastic image of your adorable daughter! I really love the low perspective, the contrast of her little body and the big door behind her. It also makes me think of learning, wandering... Great portrait too! Hopefully one day I can ease up in front of the camera.

The Berkley's said...

Oh my goodness lisa I went back and looked at a lot of your pictures and you are getting so good! I love them and I am impressed how much time and energy you put into a dream! Way to go! You inspire me!

Meredith M. A Photography Blog said...

Hi Lisa, I found your blog b/c I am thinking about taking Brooke Snow's Storytelling class. Your work is great, by the way! :) I'm curious, what was the structure of the class? How many tutorials are there to watch/read? Did you feel like you got a solid amount of content for the cost? I have a little budget for workshops so I want to be sure I spend wisely. Thank you so much!