Urging the World to See

What to do for Class 12

For Thursday July 23:

1/ Reduce to 7 the number of images in your select album, presumably following the choices that were discussed in class.

2/ Refine those seven images as needed (burn, dodge, sharpen, tone (b&w), correct perspectives etc...

3/ Print those seven images (see other post in Photoshop category about printing workflow)

4/ Look at my entry on this blog on Arles in the "Best Shots" category.

* Post some comments about which photograph you would like to see as the class portrait on this site between the two shot in Arles and the current one from Avignon.

5/ Write a few lines on your blog why you think photographers like to photograph each others, what e have been doing quite a bit ourselves.

6/ Fnish your self-portrait when applicable (Photoshop) and post it on your page, with a border if your taste is so inclined. You may also print it.

That's it, this is your last assignment, no catch up after this one. See you Thursday.

What to do for Class 8


As you know class #7 will take place in Avignon. Make sure to be in front of the building Thursday at 12:30. Yamina will take you to the bus and get your tickets, Kylie has been volunteered to hold them, so don't loose her.

What follows is therefore for class #8, Thursday July16:

1/ Finalize your portait. Kylie and Sara have a final shot all the others need to rework theirs as was discussed in class. All need to polish the final shot in Photoshop (Highlight/Shadow, Dodge, Burn, turn into b&w etc...) whatever your heart chooses. I hope that the Doisneau exhibit in Avignon will help inspire you. Also, please solicit comments if you have a hard time choosing or deciding what you want to do with your chosen pic.

Make a new entry in your blog under "Self Portrait" featuring all the new shots for those of you who need some. Also make another entry with the picked shot and its Photoshopped version.

If everything goes well we will the post those portraits on your pages on the class site.

2/ Do a panoramic in Photoshop with the frames that you have shot or that. Post the 2,3 different frames in your blog as well as the final result under the photoshop category.

3/ Post more photographs in your large album, notably action shots and from the Avignon trip. add to the select album accordingly.

Also, Aperture the other day in class was indeed acting up, there was nothing wrong with the files, I had just asked too much from aperture by going through too many files in too little time, here are my two favorite shots recently:

From the "Grande Corniche" above Monaco.

La Caravane du tour, parked in Brignolles for the first stager arrival.

The rest is on film, stay tuned, delivery for Christmas.

See you Thursday.


What to do for Class 6


Here is what is expected from you for next Class #6 (Thursday July 2).

* In our usual History of Photography, pick your favorite five from the book between page 192 and 279. Post on your blog with appropriate title and under the category "History of Photography."

* Do some action shots, street shots involving human life: folks that you redeem handsome, interesting, ugly, weird, so typically local etc... Cafés are a good source, and so is Marseille if you want to venture there (train or buses). Post your best 10 in your blog under the title "Human Life 1" and under the category "Missions." Add some of these shots to your large album and select album if warranted.

* If you go to Marseille, consider going to the Chateau d'If and the Frioul. You take the boat from the Old Port. There is also a Wallace Fountain at the top of the Cannebière and some street art nearby that Fountain, that I find very interesting.

* For those of you who have not done it yet, shoot the shots that you will assemble in one Photoshop Panoramic ( I will show you how to do that in one of the very next classes)

* Download a trial version of Photoshop: http://www.adobe.com/downloads/

* Pick your favorite shot so far, and do some Photoshop to improve it: fine tune the color, dodge burn, do I highlight Shadow if warranted, etc... Post the original version and the new version, and explain what you did, and why you decided to do that. Post that in your blog under the title "Photoshop Exercise 1" under the category "Photoshop." See the "How To" entry on this blog (Photoshop category) about saving a Photoshop file into a jpeg in order to be able to post on your blog.

* Please send me an email to let me know if you are interested by the field trip that I have presented to you and will cost roughly 150 euros per person, assuming that six take it. The trip so far seem to have a 900 Euros budget. I will try to save some money in finding a cheaper car rental, but I don't expect miracles and therefore this budget is in the ballpark of what it will end up being. It includes lunch with Denis Brihat. For dinner we would eat in a medieval creperie under the Castle that I showed you, and that is not included, everybody will pay its own, should be between 10 and 20 Euros depending of your appetite and thirst.

* Thomas Lily, install what suit s your heart in order to process Raw, and then give me in next class your processed files from the camera test, in either Photoshop or Tiff format.

* You all need to be aware that the Tour de France is coming. Prologue and departute in Monaco this weekend, stage departure from Marseille Monday. Be ready!

See you guys Thursday.


What to do for Class 5


Here is, as you must be starting to get used to, the summary of what you guys should be doing until Class #5 (Tuesday June 30).

1/ You might want to subscribe to this blog (click on RSS Feed in the sidebar, and follow instructions. For my regular blog one can get email alerts, I don't know if this works for this one, but if you have a Yahoo or Google page, you would get a message on it that will alert you when the boss thinks that life is too easy for you, and the siesta is over.

2/ Most of you, except possibly Thomas, need to work some more about your self portrait. My understanding is that Ammar has shot some, but met technical difficulties to upload them. He can either work some more on it already, or wait for comments. Thomas, you are so fancy clothed, a guy dressed like that most likely knows whether he should be satisfied with what he has or not. Honestly there is not such a thing as a finished work, as in art it is rare that one can say (as I used to hear my step father say about his paintings, but he was wrong): "I am going to stop, because if I try to go further, I'll damage it."

All of you, post your new attempts if you have some, in a new entry, but under the same category "self portrait."

3/ Add more photographs (up to ten), the new ones that you will take this week end or have shot recently, to your large album, and possibly to your select if warranted. You can also withdraw things that don't look so great to you any longer, to either of these albums.

4/ Those of you who have not done that, remember to take care of the categories in your blog (erase default categories that do not apply, and create/apply the appropriate categories. You should have the following categories: History of Photography, Best Of, Self Portrait.

THOMAS: you might want to modify your categories,you have not erased the useless ones, and it seems that you have two categories for History of Photography (it makes it too long a title to add "world" to that one).

KYLIE: You have two categories "class1, 2) that seem to duplicate "History of Photography."

5/ Try to pay a visit to the Montagne Ste Victoire, climb on it up to the top, this week end or in any case before July 1st. This should be a memorable experiencefor you to have climbed Cezanne's mountain. From the top, take the basis for a panoramic view (several would be a good idea), by taking several photographs from left to right and overlap them, until the several photographs cover the span that you want to have in your panoramic. It is ok to put the camera vertical (a.k.a portrait) and/or use the tele part of the zoom rather than a wider angle, you then just have to take more photographs in order to cover the same angle, but the perception is different, try and experiment.

It is important that you understand that the photographs for one pano will be assembled in photoshop more or less automatically, and that they need to have as much as possible the horizon line at the same position in each photograph. It is also a good idea to keep the camera as vertical as possible, otherwise you will have a curved horizon line. And again, leave some room for overlapping, as Photoshop needs that in order to see what is common in the two photographs to assemble them, it calls it "stitch."

5/ Except for Kylie and Emily who have already told me, please confirm if Sat July 18, or Sunday July 19 would work for you for our special field trip.

6/ Some of you have not told me where and when they go in other field trip. I need to know!

7/ You might remember that next weekend is when the Tour de France starts, and you want to do your best to see that, as it is a landmark of France, and this tour is especially exceptional as it starts on the Côte d'Azur which is exceptional.

That's if folks, enjoy, email if you have questions.


What to do for Class 4

As I said in my email a few minutes ago, when after yesterday's class, I arrived to the "Aix insiders" parking I had been told to use, my car had been towed away to the pound. That's Aix for you,just like Manhattan in this regard, a town that is difficult to access let alone park into at a reasonable price. Here is what the pound looks like, not the most pleasant side of Aix:

On my way to the pound, I shot this due to Emily's influence. Not a prize winner,but for you Emily:

About what you need to do for Thursday:

1/ Emily only: start an entry on your blog to which you will apply a category "L'Amour" and put in that the photograph that you take about lovers in France, the tittle we came with for that entry is "L'Amour en France" and will be an ongoing entry part of your overall projects.

2/ Everybody: Do a self portrait, either shooting it yourself or by team of two. The important thing is that You come up with the concept about your portrait as to where, how, what's the background, is it a close up or a full view, what's the focal length you use, etc... Your partner if you use one is here mostly to frame for you and press the button, she or he can give you suggestions though, but you decide. We will review them in class and online by posting comments on each others. So when you are done with shooting post your 8 best shots or less, post 4 minimum. CAtegorize this with a new category titled "Self Portrait." After the photographs write what was your concept,why you chose that idea, why that represent you these days in Aix, and then explain why you picked the best one (post the photographs best one up and least favorite at bottom, and according hierarchy in between).

The concept is very important, so surprise us, but not for the sake of surprizing us, it also has to meaningful in regard to who you are.

Here are a few samples:

This is one of my current self portraits, you might have seen it on my website. It was shot in Havana, where I am talking with John Lennon, arguing as always about rebuilding the world. This is what we do together. Of course you get the point, don't you, it should match what I hope you have seen of me already, not too many things are to be taken on the first degree, and at the same time, it is not an accident if this is shot in Havana and in company of John Lennon, by opposition of being in Manhattan looking at Wall Street, for instance.

This is a photograph of the N.C commissioner of Agriculture. As such he is the GodFather of the State fair during which this was shot, as is obvious. As such it is also a good idea for him to wear the tie of NC State U. which is in intimate relationship with the department of Agriculture, and of course this being N.C. it is also a good idea for the commissioner to support tobacco farming which clearly he does not mind doing. Finally he is a good old boy, and all this should perceptible in this photograph.

Finally this is a wedding portrait, which is never a very natural portrait as wearing a bridal gown is nothing natural. This bride was very determined, period, and most probably still is. She also was very determined to make a difference in education. This is what this portrait is about, I could have put her in a classroom, but that would have been less aesthetic, and we could not have done it in her classroom anyhow. So instead I picked some columns on Duke East Campus, which provide an elegant background, and symbolize education in the U.S. Her pose and demeanor obviously express that she was determined to wear the pants at home, her husband is a real sweet heart.

I hope that this gives you more insight about what I expect from you. I personally do not believe in portraits shot in studio,which anyway is not a possibility for you in Aix. Additionally, as we have seen several times, it is important to understand why we do photography and not painting. If we do photography it is important to stick with reality that's what photography is all about and where it takes its roots. Therefore we want to do a portrait as much as possible along those lines. That is called an "Environmental Portrait" where "environment" means that it is shot in an environent meaningfull to who the subject is. This is not new, painters have been doing that for centuries. As I said at the beginning,it is ok to do a close up where the environment might be absent or almost absent, if you have a decent reason for that.

3/ Read page 94 to 191. Pick your 5 favorite photographs and explain why,as you did for class #2. Categorize that with the category "History of Photography" and apply that category as well to what you did to your post for class #2.

4/ Make another entry called "My best pics in France so far." Categorize that in a new category called "Best of," and post your 4 favorites in it in descendent hierarchy (best on top). Do this A.S.A.P. so that we can all start commenting on it. and when posted shoot an email to the group (reply all to one of my emails, just change the subject line).

That's it folks! See you Thursday.

What to do for Class 2

For Class 2 Thursday, I want you to:

1/ Read "The World history of Photography" (you can check it out from the Library) up to page 143. Pick 5 photographs that you like most among those pages, photography then as well as you can, and post then on your blog writing a short commentary for each of them. See the Website guideline posted here in order to find a basic how to about posting on your blog.

Additionally to the website guidelines in regard to your blog page and this assignment:

  • Except for Allison whose blog I took as an example, all of you need to delete the first entry that is on your blog and that I created originally to make sure it worked.
  • Turn auto-resize off in the page inspector which comes when you click on this button:
  • Then click on this tab in the page inspector. You can see on this image the image resizing menu and the option turned off:
  • If you do copy and paste text as Lily was inspired to do, do not just paste, instead do Edit/Paste as plain text.

2/ Take a few photographs of whatever appeals most to you of what you know already of the town. Think of really the cream that you want to show to mom and dad or whoever else about how cool this town is. It could be really anything, people, architecture, cars, you name it. Select anywhere between 3 and 10 and put them in your "large album " folder. Make sure that they are 600px wide, not more.

Then copy and paste the 2 photographs that you like best out of these images from the large album, into your select album.

NOTE: You will need first to remove the photographs that I put in your folders for testing. Just delete them as I showed yesterday,both in the actual folders, and then in the album page in rapid weaver. Remember that you should create a hierarchy in your album folders, some sort of order that has a logic, the one you will choose. And then upload.

That's it for now, but it is just the beginning. My best wishes.