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Chapter 4 Assignments

  • Experiment with Depth of Field

    Using the longest focal length that you have available (for example, a 70mm focal length or longer), create a portrait. Try to find an area of open shade that has a simple and clean background. Set your camera to Aperture Priority mode and the white balance to the Shade preset. Choose the widest aperture available on your lens. Remember to observe your shutter speed and increase your ISO until you can achieve a shutter speed at which you can reliably handhold. Make a few photographs, and then shoot at a more moderate aperture, such as f/5.6, and compare the results. Again, stay aware of your shutter speed so that the image doesn’t suffer from camera shake.

  • Observe the Quality of Light

    Photograph your subject under a variety of lighting conditions: under direct sunlight, open shade, indoors using artificial light, and with window light. Observe the differences not only with respect to your exposure and white balance, but also the presence of shadows and how they fall on the subject and on the overall scene.

  • Learn to Handle Exposure Extremes

    Position a subject in front of a bright window. Photograph your subject using all four metering modes: evaluative, partial, spot, and center-weighted average. Compare the images to see which of the metering modes provides you a better exposure under this extreme kind of lighting situation.

  • Create Creative Compositions

    Create a series of portraits in which you position your subject in different areas of the frame. Create images with the subject in the very center of the frame, as well as images using the rule of thirds. Also, experiment with positioning your subject at the extreme edges of the frame, as well as shooting from different perspectives, both above and below the subject.

  • Shoot in Black and White

    Enable the Monochrome picture style and create a series of black-and-white portraits. Photograph your subject in a variety of lighting conditions and see how the contrast changes as a result of your choice of lighting.

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