Art 315: Photography students are encouraged
to review this assignment and continue their study of the zone system.
Product photographs and still life setups allow for complete control
of all factors within the limits of equipment and materials used. Arrangement
and lighting, often outside the photographer's control, can be totally
managed in a still life setup.
You may print this assignment in the darkroom or using a laser printer.
Print and mount for exhibition fully enhanced and retouched. Make at least
one final print. Save zone system records of metering and processing. Also
turn in negs, trial prints, enhancement records, printing records, and
Study product and still life photos, drawings and paintings noting the variety of purposes and styles used. Artists such as Paul Cezanne and Henri Matisse provide models from art history. Audrey Flack is one of many contemporary still life painters.
Review the relevant information in the London/Upton text. Read the chapter on tone control (zone system) and lighting, "Editorial and Advertising Photography," in Langford, Master Guild to Photo-Photography. Also look for still life photos.
See the bookshelf in room 22. Please leave the books in the Visual
Arts building and return them to the shelf as soon as you have finished
Tailor the subject matter to your personal photography and educational goals. Communications majors might make an editorial or advertising photo. A nursing student could produce a composition promoting some aspect of health care or a comment about drug addiction. A religion major might set up a liturgical or alter piece. A theater student might photograph a scale model of a set. An education student might set up a visual aide to help teach a concept. An architectural student might photograph a scale model in order to facilitate a perspective presentation drawing. Art students might be inspired by the stylistic and subject matter content prevalent in artwork produced for other classes.
Avoid making a
photograph to promote products or causes inconsistent with your own values.
Give some thought to the implied intention of the photograph. Why will
the viewer think you selected the subjects and the style you did?
You may use any area in the Visual Arts building, but you must tidy
up and replace anything you moved in order to do the setup. We have one
infinity table with background paper in Rm. 20 specifically for this assignment.
Try not to damage the paper and keep it clean. For very small set ups we
have a copy stand in Rm. 20 which may be used for its lights by adding
your own background paper. You may also work elsewhere if you have a place.
If you borrow lights, sign them out. Take them just before needed and return
them immediately when finished not to exceed 12 hours.
Avoid clutter, or is there a reason to have clutter? An empty background may be best. Most compositions are more dynamic if the main object is off center. Study the balance. Can over-lapping tie things together?
How can you divide space in order to create a pleasant variety of spaces both positive and negative? Are you look-looking at the negative spaces between objects? What is the effect of diagonals, curves, repeats, verticals, and horizontals? Could you use the rule of thirds or the golden mean?
White or light areas often tend to come forward. Tonal contrast between object and background can emphasize depth effects. Does any one thing stick out like a sore thumb because of its shape, texture, size, tone, or other visual characteristic? Do you want a closed composition with background space around your objects, or do you want an open composition where things are moving out the sides of your frame?
See Chapter the chapter in the text on Seeing Photographs and/or
Langford's fine coverage of photographic composition to see if you have
overlooked any helpful ideas.
Unless you feel a particular need to produce a grainy rendition,
use T-max 100. A 10-exposure film should be more than adequate to bracket
If your metering suggests a 10 second exposure, expose it 15 and 20 seconds to make up for reciprocity failure (also decrease processing time 10% to reduce contrast from the longer exposure). If the metering suggests an exposure time of 100 seconds use 200 seconds (also decrease processing time 20% to reduce contrast from the longer exposure).
At 68 degrees it takes about 25% more time to increase the contrast by one stop and 20% less time to decrease the contrast by one stop with D-76 developer. Remember normal (N) contrast is 4 intervals (stops) between darkest and lightest textural information. These examples are estimates.
Examples to reduce negative contrast:
N - 1 STOP would require 8 minutes if the normal time were 10
N - 2 STOPS would require 6 minutes if normal time is 10
Examples for more contrast:
N + 1 STOP would require 12.5 minutes if normal time is 10
N + 2 STOPS would require 15 minutes if normal time is 10
KEEP A GOOD EXPOSURE RECORD
EXPERIMENT WITH YOUR OWN IDEAS - ENJOY