Black and White Portrait

Portrait Photography and Editing

This week we are combining two lessons into one, portrait photography and editing images. You should remember a little bit about working with GIMP from last semester, now you are going to use GIMP (or another editing program of your choice) again.

Things To Remember From Previous Lessons

  • Pattern and Rhythm
  • Composition (Rule of Thirds? Leading Lines?)
  • Lighting (Artificial and Natural)
  • Movement
  • Negative Space
  • Storytelling
  • Sub-Framing

Please watch the video below before reading the rest of the lesson.

The Art of Portrait Photography | Off Book | PBS Digital Studios

Portrait Photography

What makes a good portrait? Think about it for a minute, what really makes a portrait a good one and not just a simple snap shot of a person? Is it composition? Color? Clarity? Is it facial expression? Movement? Background? Or is it some or all of these things combined? This week you are going to experiment with making portraits.
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The above image is a portrait of Albert Einstein. Notice the lighting and facial expression.

Check Out The Link Below

Here you will see 100 portraits of famous people. Some are paintings, most are photographs. What do you notice about the portraits? Are there props? Are the people posed by the photographer or in natural positions? Which ones do you like the best and why? What makes it a great portrait? Take a few notes and see if you make any new discoveries about what makes a great portrait beyond the person just being famous.

Your assignment for this week has 3 parts.

Part 1: A Self Portrait

No Selfies!

For the self portrait assignment you want to tell a story about yourself. You can put your camera on a self timer or have a friend or family member take the picture. Do NOT just hold the camera up and take a selfie like you would for social media!
  • Take at least 5 Self Portraits (each one should be different)
  • Tell a story with your images. What can we learn about you by looking at the picture?
  • Watch your composition. Use leading lines, negative space and/or rule of thirds to make it more interesting.
  • Turn your images into black and white

Part 2: A Portrait of a Person

For part 2 of this assignment you are going to want to photograph someone else. (You can shoot more than one person if you want.) This portrait should tell a story about the person you are photographing. We should be able to learn something about them by looking at the image. Consider photographing them in their environment, for example if your dad likes to do woodworking, make a portrait of him in his wood shop. If your mom likes to run, do a portrait of her getting ready to go for a jog or out on the street.

  • Take at least 5 portraits of other people. If you use one person for the whole assignment all of the images should be different.
  • Tell us something about the person with your images.
  • Watch composition. Use leading lines, negative space and/or rule of thirds to make them more interesting.
  • Turn your images into black and white.
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Part 3

Turn your images into black and white. Use the editing program below or your favorite program.

Submission Guidelines

  1. You should have at least 10 images for this assignment. (5 of you and 5 of another person, or all 10 can be of you.)
  2. Make a contact sheet with your 10 images.
  3. Pick out your favorite 2 images, 1 from each part of the assignment (Self Portrait, Portrait of a Person).
  4. Make images black and white.
  5. Fill out the project submission form
  6. Upload the contact sheet, the project submission form, and your favorite 2 images to the Assignment 6: black and white portrait dropbox in the course.

Click on the link below to download GIMP

Other editing software you can try.