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  1. #1
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    Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    I am not 100% certain that this is the forum for this question but it seems like my best option. Id like to do a photo assignment, no not a paying one or a job, but rather something for myself so that I can accomplish a structured photo shoot with guidelines and timelines. The problem is that I have absolutely no compass or grounding in what an assignment might look like.

    So this is where I ask for help from the wisest of the wise, YOU. Ill be attending the Auto Show and have consider that maybe if I go in with some structure that I can pull of an informative photo piece. If any of you know of resources online or off that I can look up to research what assignments and projects typical look like then that would be great.

    I appreciate and help that can offered and I thank you in advance for taking the time to read.

    Cheers.

    P.
    "You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it. ~Author Unknown"
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  2. #2
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    This might not help you so much for the auto show, but here are a few assignment ideas that I had to do for my basic photo class. One assignment was to show depth of field. Pick a subject and experiment with dif. depths of field. Another was a lighting assignment. You can set something up in your garage or living room or where ever you have room. Set up a backdrop of some sort and pick a subject and play with some lights. Could use a bowl of fruit and a lamp to start with and go from their. Another assignmet was to show motion in a photo, or series of photos. Fast shutter speed to stop motion, or slow to blur, or try panning to blur the background. Another idea is to tell a story with your photos. Shoot a process of something from begging to end. Could be making a sandwich... Shoot an empty kitchen, then someone getting a loaf of bread... Or you could just pick a subject and shoot the hell out of it, from every angle and perspective you can think of. Use your imagination and once you start shooting you will want to keep trying new angles, new lighting, new subjects... just some ideas, hope they help.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    drg
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    la recherche de trolls drg's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    Hi,

    You could approach this one of several ways, including journalistically.

    I'd offer trying one of these:

    1. Photograph every car of one manufacturer in the same sequence and the from the same angles and perspectives. (Front, back, side door(s) closed, side door(s) open, rear, three-quarter front and driver side rear, interior, instruments, stereo (controls, amps, speaker installation 2-3 shots), steering wheel, door liners, head liners where different or unusual, bumper/fender line, wheels(very important), underbody if mirrored, the wave girls (very important), rear lights, and do not forget the badge or logo or nameplate.

    2. Photograph similarly every competitor in a class (size, cost, category, etc) that is at the show. Could limit that too foreign or domestic.

    3. Photograph every cars wheel, steering wheel/instrument cluster or one or two of the above shot list for every entry at the show.

    Another pretty standard Auto show assignment is color! Every year there are New and Improved Colors. The goal here is to somehow include your white windbreaker or your (new and not dirty)red camera bag with black trim at the edge of the photo so you can color correct it later. Either that or take along your significant other and have them wear something that you catch in the same lighting plane as the vehicle in question that contains several basic colors in large sections. For fun if there seem to be a lot working shooters, look for the patchwork sweaters, hats, or some very new and trendy clothing on someone standing near the edge of an exhibit.

    I had one shoot this past year where the job was to get hood ornaments of all the classic cars. There were over 175 cars with hood ornaments. (some duplicates thank goodness)

    I'll see if I can pull a sample this evening and add it in another posting.

    This kind of thing can be fun as well as a good learning situation. If your shooting digital its also a cheap way to learn if you like to shoot a lot photos. A well done practice assignment can sometimes even be sold if you pursue it intently. Thats another discussion.

    Good luck and I look forward to seeing some car pics, (I'll look for the ornament sample pretty soon)

    - CDP

  4. #4
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    Quote Originally Posted by drg
    I had one shoot this past year where the job was to get hood ornaments of all the classic cars. There were over 175 cars with hood ornaments. (some duplicates thank goodness)
    I think picking something very specific - like this - is a good way to keep your focus (pun intended). Try different angles, get close with a wide angle, long lens with very little depth of field, however - but just hood ornaments. A subject like this can give you some really great shots.

    I went to Michigan's Upper Peninsula in the fall of '03 and my friend and I decided to shoot old abandoned falling down restaurants (unfortunately there were a lot of them). I also saw someone on another site talking about taking a road trip and shooting small town city halls. Something very specific, but see what you can do with it.

    Here's one of my restaurant shots - actually in northern Wisconsin on the way home...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photo Assignment Guideline Request...-dscf0331.jpg  

  5. #5
    drg
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    Here are three quick and dirty crops from the shoot I mentioned in my first post. They're from the stock scans so forgive the resize and USM issues.

    The general idea though here is that even with a narrow subject you can play around a bit. Different backgrounds (this show was obviously outdoors) and inclusion/exclusion of elements can give you a lot of material with which to work.

    Take a monopod if they'll let you in the door with one (security these days). Start out with planning what and where you want to go, take a half and hour and do maybe a dry run or test shots and then go for it. I'd like to hear what you wind up deciding on. More later if needed or wanted. Here's some sample:
    Attached Images Attached Images    

  6. #6
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    Paul,

    Not too sure what type of camera or lens you use.
    But here are a few rules.

    1) if you use zoom lenses, switch out to fixed focal length lenses. You will learn a great deal with only fixed ones. Will force you to position yourself in your compositions.

    2) Buy X number of rolls and give yourself a goal. eg. I want to shoot 12 rolls in an hour or something like that

    3) if you use automatic, or priorities of any kind, please turn them off. switch to full manual. This forces you to think actively about your exposure as you shoot.

    all i can think of right now

  7. #7
    Just a Member Chunk's Avatar
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    You could assign yourself a few abstract ideas that you want your photos to convey like speed, strength, or durability and try to get artistic shots that convey each of those on cars you select.

    A few broad, informal ongoing self assignments that I have are
    - photos of things that aren't there
    - different drummer
    - patterns (anyone surprised)

    One that I've been considering for years is to document an annual cycle of a tobaco farmer. I may take steps to finally do that this year.

  8. #8
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    First of all I want to thank you all for the list of great ideas and advise on this matter. I now have a week to put together a detailed plan of what I would like to do and head out and you've all helped.

    DRG - great idea on shooting the badges/hood orinments of each of the cars. Sadly todays cars don't offer anything nearly as exciting as classic ornaments that in and of themselves were works of art.

    92135011 - Pretty much a manual monkey here and have been since day one. From time to time I do use A or S priority but M is where you will usualy find my cameras set at. With regards to single focal length, thank you for that suggestion and its something I need to try to maybe help me rethink my roll in taking photographs instead just placing 100% focus on the subject. Is there a focal length that works best for this teaching practice or just select one?

    Once again, thanks for all the great advice...

    cheers.

    P.
    "You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it. ~Author Unknown"
    PAULSVEDA.com
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  9. #9
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    Re: Photo Assignment Guideline Request...

    Hmmm...depends what you like.

    If you like to get up close and personal, get a 35, one of the favourites.
    I find 28 to be too wide for most situations unless im outside.

    If you like leaning out a bit, get a 50. This allows you to get far enough, but not too far out.

    Why a problem to be far away? Usually, pictures turn out being boring because closer means more anticipation.

    Since you are in a Car show, you will obviously shoot a few cars and people's amusement with cars (can be quite funny). I see a 35 a better match for such scenes, but thats all up to you.

    Oh and another advantage of the fixed focal length. Better quality/price, better lens speeds, better size (smaller). Try for a 50/1.4, 35/2 or something. I got a 35/2 myself.

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