Photo Communication Handout
Marvin Bartel, inst.
1991, 93, 95, 96, 97, 1998 Ó
making the exposures   |   processing film   |   making prints

REVIEW this sheet with each assignment you do. Some test items may come from this sheet.
These are some technical ways to improve your work. For a discussion of composition, see chapter 15, "Seeing Photographs," in the text.

 I. Do the prints deal with your theme or assignment consistently?

II. Camera work

    A. Aiming and framing
      1. Focus sharp on critical parts 

      2. Filled the frame (stood close enough), size 

      3. Absence of blur from camera motion 

      4. Vertical/horizontal format selection 

      5. Placement in frame 

      6. Point of view and background inclusions                       top of page

      7. No distracting mergers (ambiguous or inappropriate juxtapositions)

    B. Lighting
      1. Light quantity (correct exposure) 

      2. Light quality (appropriate tonal modeling)

    C. Depth of field (uses selective focus or maximum focus appropriately)

    D. Written records of the above

III. Film Handling and Processing   top of page
    A. Free from light or chemistry damage

    B. Free from handling damage, dust, fingerprints, etc

    C. Negative density (no clear and/or blocked areas)

    D. Negative contrast (full range of film's latitude used)

    E. Written records of time/temperature or other variations

IV. Printing contacts and prints                   top of page
    A. Clean and sharp
      1. No dust or retouched 

      2. Neatly trimmed or bordered 

      3. No discoloration or stain

      4. Enlarger focused carefully on all parts of the print

    B. Printing exposure (darkness/lightness)
      1. Believable, realistic or effectively abstract 

      2. Consistent in the series (they could be published together) 

      3. Contrast range

a.  Includes all tones (black-black to white-white)

b.  Blacks include textural information (not totally flat black)

c.  Whites include textural information (not totally flat white)

c.  Believable, realistic or effectively abstracted 

c. Consistent in a series

4. Appropriate burning and/dodging 

5. Appropriate cropping for improved composition

a. Size and scale effects 

b. Absence of distracting edge mergers 

c. Balance and directional placement

D. Written records and test strip information are to be kept during printing. 

Copyright notice: Goshen College students are authorized to print a copy for their own use. NO part of this document is may be published, NO class use (other than at Goshen College), and NO reproduction electronically or otherwise is permitted without the authorization by the author.  For permission and authorization, please contact: marvinpb@goshen.edu                        top of page

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updated 8-99