Digital Photo 150 at Napa Valley College

1. Narrative

A. The Assignment.

Project 1: Narrative
Create a photo story or narrative by putting 7 images in sequence. This could be
a fictional story in which you enlist fellow friends as actors, or yourself. It could
also tell a story of the journey of an object. It could be a documentary style
project in which you show something happening. All images must be similar in
format, i.e. all horizontal, all b & w, all square, etc.
Think about what you care about or would like to express. Your images do not
have to tell an obvious story, they could express feelings or thoughts like a poem.
They could be symbolic, or express political issues or be ironic.
– Contact sheet for all images created
– Slideshow of final images created in Lightroom
– All images corrected for Global and Local adjustments

B. The following images were used (as it rained and outdoor narrative was affected)… I could have done unchallenging static images of a 196 image sequenced of a hot air balloon landing at the school yard while school was in session, but those images, while telling a boring story, were no challenge, so I opted to attempt the more complicated ACTION IMAGES of a balloon fight.

I also chose NOT TO EVEN DO some pretty coffee-making sequence indoors of static images with a flash, of objects not moving…(I can photograph a glass sitting on a table anytime I want but I wouldn’t learn from that sequence). I can walk into any ritzy bar with a mirror and make pretty pictures and reflections… but what would that accomplish besides making some oohs and aaaw’s during a class critique? I want to walk away from 150 having challenged myself to a higher rung on the ladder, not pretty pictures.

Outside during a balloon fight, one cannot always get the perfect lighting… The back of the garage had a land drop-off, a setting sun hitting it, and was dark inside, so when I attempted a photograph of a girl leaving the empty garage, in “The Party’s Over”, she is over-exposed in order to show anything of the interior of that dark backlit garage…. I put her in focus, not over-exposed and I may as well throw away the photo of the totally black square behind her… not resembling anything to do with the party… I chose to use the bad lighting because it says, “I’m walking away from this empty room where all of the party took place today, and you see the slick floor, washed clean, so it really says “ITS OVER!!!” (bad lighting, or not). My finale photo was blasted in class as bad technique… but show me a photographer who could get the natural outdoor low light facing you, and still show the interior of the garage while facing the sun and not over-expose the girl…you can’t get behind it. The garage door is at the end of the driveway… You can’t step to the side, as duplexes are in the way…. I did my best, regardless of the class comments. Did I learn? Yes… Was I challenged in the Narrative… Definitely challenging to try to photograph a bunch of squealing second grade girls in action throwing balloons through the air and trying to keep the camera out of being the direct hit… 🙂 Time to focus?… Not.

It's a party!

Getting a bead on the target.

Taunting friends, apparently enjoying the results

Planning Strategy

Bye! Thank you!

The party's over...

C. Thoughts and Reflections.

Johannes ITEN’s Contrast of Saturation, as described in
“The Elements of Color” would require a color in it’s undiluted pure form, along with tints and tones, but three of the elements of the definition should be present.

I cannot say that pure red is present but tints and tones for Contrast of Saturation are present more strongly in images two and three than in image one.  Image 3 might even have the necessary pure red in the shorts the girl is wearing, so that with tints, tones, and reflections, Image 3 is qualified as Constrast of Saturation, Contrast of Light and Dark. The bucket is translucent enought to show balloons inside. Action is frozen… With the two faces in the background, there is a great degree of anticipation… What is the girl with the balloon going to do?  You can see light passing through the balloons in the bucket…  Red is primary… Still on image 3… Red hand on man, red foot on girls, and red on background people, all in the form of reflected light, tints. Red knee on girl in foreground, another red foot on girl in background, and bright pinks everywhere.  Contrast of Extension between red and black. Color is balanced. Midtones show a lot of detail as post processed.

Image 2 has interesting blues competing for attention but the image is not a candidate for Split Toning because of the faces which would inherit a cast with that process.

All of the images in Narrative were processed globally and locally according to the PDF handouts for same.

In Image 8, I like the smoothness of the concrete, hard to get outdoors, but nice here, when backlit.

Images 6 , in my opinion, is crowded, as framed.  I think walking people should have free space in front of them.. as a space to “walk into”, same way we’d want space in front of an animal.   I should also Photoshop-out the extra part of the leg in front of them, or better, learn to slice, and put in an image extender section with the clone tool, extending some walking space in front of them…. more lawn, more car, vertical space extender… to widen the image.

The vertical framing (image 8) was used to get both of the girls in focus, centered on the thank yous and “bye”-saying of their leaving, into the image.. I had my back up against the wall of the garage with the lens setting just framing the girls… I realize I could have framed wider, and gone horizontal, but the purpose of the image was to concentrate on their hollered pleasantries, and that box in her hands pretty much says, “I’m going now”.  I like their foot action.  This age group just can’t stand still for two seconds.  Now, if we could bottle that energy….  😉  So, my thinking was that in framing tightly, I could concentrate on the actions of the two girl, full body height to take in the action, and use it as an adieu.

Compositionally, I prefer images four and five.  My favorite image is image five which has the background girl by the hedge jumping out of the way, but won’t in time for the balloon in mid-air zeroing in on her….the same girl is running off the right edge of image seven but was seen by me in unused image, throwing balloons right back, having a good time.

Well, this Narrative  project is dissected pretty much… time to rest it.  You do NOT want contact sheets from me for the images I took to get to the decision to use this sequentce as they number over 300 images created…  I have two separate narratives of balloons being forced to land with passengers, in weird places… and the city’s subcontractors cutting down trees, with limbs panned, caught falling,



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