Lesson 1: Assignment

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    My first ever submission for something like this – ever. Hope I have the right idea, I’m very excited about this course, bu t a bit nervous, thank you for providing it 🙂

    Duncan Rawlinson

    (your assignment is in the wrong place, I will move it soon)


    Welcome to the PhotographyIcon.com forum! You’ve made your first submission so job well done! You’re on your way to becoming a better photographer already.

    My name is Duncan Rawlinson and I’ll be walking your through the course and critiquing your assignments.

    Did you confirm your subscription to the newsletter? If not check your email and click the link in the mail to confirm. It’s just a way to keep in touch with students and let them know about course updates etc. You can also follow this photography school on Twitter: http://twitter.com/photographyicon

    The first lesson reads as follows:

    Lesson 1: Beast to Beauty

    We want you to find something particularly boring in your home. It could be a doorknob, a remote control, a garbage can, a plain couch, tiles or anything else which you would rarely notice around your home. Something totally forgettable and uninteresting.

    Now what we want you to do is to take 2 pictures of the object. Take one picture of it as you normally see it. Stand back and take the picture of the object with disregard for its relation to other things or any interesting elements within the object itself.

    Now, I want you to get close to the object and see it with fresh eyes. How can you make this object interesting? What if you changed the lighting? What if you added something to it? What if you zoomed in? What if you blurred your camera to make it more abstract? What if you put it in close relation to something else to make it more interesting? These are all just ideas, but the possibilities are endless. Now Take a second picture and turn this ordinary object into something much more visually pleasing.

    Now what we want you to do is upload these pictures to our online student workspace.

    It always amazes me how students are able to come up with mundane and boring objects! A watch is forgettable. Or rather most watches are forgettable…

    Now you’ve already learned one of the most fundamental aspects to improving your photography, which is to get close to the person/object/thing you want to photograph.

    If I only ever get one message through to you as a photographer it’s to get physically closer to what you’re shooting. Especially people!

    I’m not talking about zooming in either. Only use a zoom lens if you have no other option but to use a zoom lens.

    I’m talking about physically moving your feet and getting closer. If you want to improve upon that it’s get closer and change your perspective.

    In this assignment you’ve submitted two photographs.

    Your “beauty” shot is much better than your “beast” shot because you’ve done a few things.

    You’ve changed the perspective of the camera to the watch, you’ve gotten closer and you’ve changed the background.

    All of this is good.

    Now, here is what I want you to do. When you’re shooting photographs think back to this lesson.

    Always keep in your mind this very basic but ever so important lesson.

    Get closer.

    These photos look like they we’re shot with a flash. Start to take control of that feature in your camera’s settings. You can start using it to “fill” in the dark spots in your photos if you need to.

    If you’re shooting people who have their back to the sun set the flash to ON. This will make it so their faces don’t appear so dark.

    Of course a better solution is to get them to face the sun.

    Anyway, good job on your first assignment.

    I look forward to your next one!

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