This week we are going to explore digital photography. K-State Polytechnic owns several DSLR cameras that are available for student use. If you have never used a digital SLR before, this is your week to learn something new. Also, as K-State students, you have access to a top-tier research library. I want you to do some reading and reflection on digital photography. (Here is a good DSLR simulator to try, to help you understand the basic controls.)

  1. Reading Assignment: The Death of Photography via The Guardian
    • Have you ever been busy photographing or video recording an event and then later don’t remember the experience of being there? Do you stop and really think about what will make a good photograph before you make a photograph, or do you just take a bunch and pick through to find a good one? Reflect on the Guardian article, and write about your approach as well as where you think the art of photography is heading. Are we better or worse off, with the changes to the process that digital photography brings? Is the career of photography coming to an end, or is it just being reinvented? Why?
  2. Look at some good photographs: Spotlight on Jim Richardson
    • Jim Richardson is a photographer for National Geographic who lives in Lindsborg, Kansas. Use your internet skills to search for more examples of Jim’s work (hint: he has a business called Small World Gallery, and he posts work on Instagram & Flickr). Write about what you saw of Jim’s work in a blog post with regard to the elements of design we learned about last year in Visual Literacy class. (By the way, what are those elements of design?) For full credit, embed examples of his work in your blog with commentary. For super-duper, extra-extra credit, mosey on down to Lindsborg and visit the Small World Gallery in person. If you’re lucky, you might actually meet Jim.
  3. Make some photographs
    • Read through Jim Richardson’s photography tips. See the DS106 handbook section on photography. Also, check out Scott Kelby’s eBook Digital Photography Book: Photo Recipes (this link requires your K-State login), as well as one of the print Kelby photography books (available in library or from me). Take a look at the eBook’s first chapter on using natural light. Pay attention to the techniques that can be done without diffusing/reflecting equipment, e.g. shade or through windows. Also don’t miss the last chapter on post production tricks. There’s bound to be something in there you can try out using Photoshop. While you are on the Safari website reading the Kelby eBook, take a few minutes to do a search for other photography eBooks that might be useful. Explore those resources for more photography tips as well.
    • Find a willing subject and shoot a beautiful portrait using natural light. No selfies!
    • Do two or three other photography recipes or techniques you learned from the readings. Personally, I enjoy shooting flowers the Kelby way.
    • After spending time reading about photography and experimenting with some of the techniques you have learned about, write a blog post that summarizes the experience. What techniques did you do? Did it work out well or not? Why or why not?
  4. Explore the Photoshop Phenomenon

     

  5. Assignments
    • 8 stars worth of visual assignments, and involve our Internet theme in one assignment in some way. Use some of the questions from our co-class at UMW: Questions about the Internet or think of a question of your own to inform your visual assignment work. Some of these are:
      • How would historical figures react to the Internet?
      • How has the internet come to consume our daily lives?
      • Are there any limits on what is possible?
      • Are we really free on the internet?
    • At least one assignment must involve photo manipulation using Photoshop.
    • Be sure to write a post for each assignment describing your thinking, your process, and evaluating the results, and be sure to tag it with the assignment tags.
  6. Complete a minimum of 3 Daily Creates this week.
  7. Comment on blogs of other students doing these assignments. Focus on K-State students and everyone else doing DS106. Don’t forget about the conversation on Twitter either. Tag your tweets with #ds106 and reply to tweets you see with these tags. This online conversation is part of online community citizenship, and is required for the course. Don’t be shy about this, it feels good to get feedback from others and to give feedback as well.
  8. Write a summary post of the week’s activities and submit the link to the assignment on K-State Online. Be sure to include links to the various posts you have made during the week, your daily creates, and include a discussion of the online conversations you have been having with others in DS106. Make this summary post interesting by including example pictures and graphics you have made.

 

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