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Learn Photography

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#1 – Transform a Mundane Object

With Light & Color

Every assignment begins with an explanation of why you're doing the assignment.

Why Are You Doing this Assignment?

Light, color, and tone, are the basic tools of photography.

You'll use them to transform an object.

This is a basic "magic" that is part of photography.

When you make a photograph, you transform the world into something else.

You take a part of the world and placed it in a two dimensional rectangle.

You interact with this frame of the world differently than you can with the world.

This frame can be held, displayed in a book, on a monitor, or on a wall.

A portion of time is stopped in the frame.

You can return to this frame over and over.

Do the Following

Look around your home or work place for a mundane object.

For example—use a water bottle—not a crystal decanter.

The object shouldn't be so small that it is hard to do a close-up, nor so big you can't take it to work.

Transform the mundane object into an objet d'art using light, color, and tone.

Look for "Stage Sets"

Place your mundane object in "stage sets" that you encounter.

Look for colors in the "sets" that will interact with your mundane object.

Look for Found Lighting Design

Look for, or make, interesting light sources.

Play with the light sources.

Filter them with __________.

Reflect them off a __________ onto your object.

Move it around to change were the shadows fall.

Change its color with a __________.


• Don't spend a lot of time choosing an object.

The object, the subject, is unimportant.

Do spend a lot of time looking for good places to put your object, and looking for good light.

What’s a good location?

What’s good light?

Take photographs and experiment.

You’ll find out.

• Minimize the number of elements in your picture.

Composition becomes harder as the number of elements increases.

By using very few, you can concentrate on the setting, the light, color, tone, and so forth.

• Photograph outside only, if you're a beginner.

• Use your flash only if you're familiar with its operation.

• Please make sure the object is mundane.