Photo Assignments RETURN! Here’s what you’ll need

published on July 18, 2020

Welcome back everybody last week I made the announcement that I'm going to bring back a photo assignments since everybody's kind of under lockdown right now I thought this would be an excellent project to do right now so in this video we're gonna talk about what you're gonna

Need to do to prepare for that what you're gonna need to have ready how they're gonna kind of work all of that stuff hopefully most of you are at home and if you're not at home maybe this is something to inspire you to be at home

So we're gonna get into that in this video but first I want to give a quick shout-out to our sponsor today who are the awesome folks over at Skillshare comm so it's a whole new year and it's time to explore new skills and get lost

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Photography essentials understanding the basics by Sean Dalton who is he travel and lifestyle photographer I actually really love this class because it is a really nice overview of just the basic elements of photography a lot of the

Things that we have moved beyond with with photo assignment so this is stuff that I'm not really gonna cover in my series and I think this is a really good starting point what I really love about it is that he actually takes you into

Social media and beyond just the basics so this isn't a dated class it's actually very relevant Skillshare is also incredibly affordable especially when compared to pricy in-person classes and workshops an annual subscription is

Less than $10 a month so if you want to take this class or any of the others on Skillshare the first 500 people to use the link in the description will get two months of Skillshare for free go get inspired and I want to give a special

Shout out and thanks to Skillshare for sponsoring this episode of the art of photography so a photo assignment I want to talk about what photo assignments are I know that we have people that are newer to the channel since the last time

That we did these so I want to talk a little bit about what they are in context which you can expect to get out of these photo assignments essentially I will make a video with an assignment and

Usually there's some kind of objective involved a style of photography something that we are setting out to do and then what we do is we take like two weeks and that gives you ample time to start putting this into practice and

Shoot your own images and so I think this is a really good way to learn we had a lot of fun with it when we did it before you're going to be able to improve your skill set as a photographer but more importantly the way that you

See the world though your creative sensibilities what you're able to do with the camera and I think that that is the ultimate reward and all this and that is certainly my goal real quick I want to say what photo assignments are

Not so they are not a popularity contest or some kind of PR move they are for everybody to learn it's not a chance to show off and so I've had problems with this in the past when I've showcased images and was pretty clear people that

Just like pulled old images that kind of fit the assignment I want everybody to work together on these and treat them as if they are new I think that's what makes them exciting the other thing is this is not like a contest there's no

Prizes involved or anything this is literally for you and for you to get better with it did also get more than a few emails with people asking what about landscapes in the context so right now we're kind of under this global pandemic

Well not kind of we are and everybody is supposed to be home right now and so I had questions saying well if you went out to a remote location to shoot a landscape as long as they're not people around would that work and I'm gonna put

The kibosh on that because there is no way I can with a clean conscious recommend that anybody go out that is not the order right now and hopefully this will give us something to do around the house I think that provides a

Particularly unique challenge it makes things a little bit more difficult so I'm just gonna say no to the landscape idea so stop asking I've gotten a lot of people asking about that we're going to do things that are pretty much in the

Structure of your own home and these are all concepts that you will be able to apply once we're out of this weird time into other aspects of photography there are things that you're gonna learn right now by studying and then you'll be able

To expand on that further so let's talk a little bit about what we're going to be doing with photo assignments so a lot of these are going to be more fundamental in nature so we're going to talk about things like composition how

To apply that we're going to talk about lighting we're going to talk about how to use natural light window light available light of whatever we have is available all of the common structural elements of photography but you guys

Know me we're actually going to take it a little bit beyond as I said a minute ago I think the whole idea is to understand things from a conceptual structural level and then these can be applied to anything later

On down the line I've also had questions concerning what equipment do you need for this now you don't need a lot really i'm structuring this to whatever you have available i think that's really important right now so if you have a

Proper digital camera DSLR or mirrorless or something like that and you have something you can put into manual control that's great if you want to shoot film sure that's great too and if you don't have either one of those

Things just shoot with your phone in fact I'm going to make part of the challenge in photo assignments to shake it up a little bit and shoot on different cameras because the point behind this is something that I've been

A stickler about for a long time is that as a photographer if you're going to create meaningful work that's any good that's interesting you're going to need to learn how to transcend the equipment a little bit now I understand that

There's specific equipment if you're gonna shoot macro you need a macro lens for instance but I really don't want to make it down that specific I want it to be basically for everyone so if we do a macro assignment and not everybody has a

Macro lens well how do we compensate so I'm going to keep this very general if you are shooting on a phone the one thing I would suggest and I will probably do a video covering this is that you are able to access a mode where

You can at least control exposure so we call it exposure compensation where you can either dial it back and under expose or you can over expose and I'll do a video outlining how one would do that on a phone for those who are interested in

So anyway that's kind of one thing that you should use something where you at least have some kind of control over the ultimen output another concept that I want to talk about that I think is extremely important is thinking about

Your spaces of where you're working at home now this may sound silly I'm used to working at home so it's not a big deal for me but I know a lot of people aren't I have friends and colleagues that I've talked to that are having to

Make that adjustment now these are just photo assignments so you can get as intense as you want about these you can be very casual or you can be very serious about it but think about spaces where you could set up and do some

Studio type shooting if you're like me and you're a little bit on the messy side right now might be a good time to start clearing out some spaces including your desk area where you might be editing and collecting images I'm just

Saying this because for some people working at home is a new idea and so it's something to start thinking about so definitely consider it now in covering a broad range of subject matter and what we're gonna

Be doing it'll be the usual stuff people places and things but I think working at home provides another challenge with all of these things so let's say maybe you live at home and so shooting people is going to be a little bit more difficult

You might have to end up doing self-portraits things is a tough one locations obviously you're going to be stuck to one location and so how can you change that visually and we're gonna get into

This as we go there is a unique problem here and it's something that I've always struggled with and I believe firmly that familiarity is harder to photograph and so in other words like when I've had people come visit me here in Fort Worth

There's always stuff that they want to go shoot that I never even really think of because for me it's harder I'm in a context that I see all the time and so it's in my mind and I don't really particularly think of it as interesting

Or unique it's much easier for me to go to a place like New York City or Los Angeles or Arizona or wherever that is and then I just have more creative freedom because it's all new so what we're gonna have to do is take things

That aren't new and learn how to see them as new so that's going to be an important fundamental concept of what we'll be dealing with as we move forward another concept that I want you guys to start thinking about is this whole idea

Of documentation so step back a little bit and think about this we're in a historical period right now that is completely unprecedented it's never happened before it's something that will be looked back on so how are we

Documenting what's going on now documentation and art can be two separate things I would argue though that documentation can be art but art isn't necessarily documentation anyway I don't get confusing just yet

But I do want you guys to start thinking about documenting now this doesn't have to be large-scale I was talking to a friend the other day he said oh man I wish I would love to be able to like fly to Los Angeles or New York right now and

Shoot Times Square with nobody in it because something you'll never see again well there's a couple problems to that first of all I can guarantee you 20 or 30 people have already done it second of all I don't think it's a really good

Idea to risk things by going out and thirdly I think it's also important to document your own life and what you're doing right now and there's a personal nature to that that I think is really important it's something that you're

Going to want to be able to look back on and it's also you know when you think of documentation like you know in the context of art let's say we set something up and we have this final piece this is the this is the work that

Is finished like one photograph let's say or maybe it's a series or something well documentation takes on a whole different life and we're gonna talk about this specifically and one of the assignments

But it's something that if you look at something out of context it doesn't make as much sense but when you start putting this together there is a story that arches over the top and I think that's what really gets powerful so start

Thinking about your work in terms of documenting where we are now what you're doing who you are and I think that's going to give a real sense of identity as we move forward with a lot of these too so we're gonna be starting this week

I'll have the first photo assignment probably either Thursday or Friday I'm not real sure which one yet I'm just working on the video and the idea and getting everything ready for you guys that does take a little bit of time but

The way we're gonna do this is I will roll the instruction video for some reason you're watching this video in the future and I already have them out I will link a playlist in the description below the video so you can click on that

And you can actually see all the photo assignment so I will keep them organized that way the way I'm gonna do it though is we are going to do the the assignment video and then I'm going to do some supplemental videos that are a little

More documentation Allah nature of how I'm working on these with you guys I am not real sure about the whole concept of how live video might work into here yet I've had a few people remind me different time zones and it's

Really hard sometimes for people to stay up in the middle of the night to catch something so I'm totally respectful of that I just think it would be interesting to be able to do something in a format where people could ask

Questions so I'm still working on that piece but I will do some other videos kind of talking about how I'm addressing the specific assignment with what I'm doing here so watch for those later this week if you have any questions drop them

Below I'll catch you guys in the next video until then later

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