Welcome to the blog site for Stan Strembicki's Digital Photo I class. Class assignments and notes for the semester will be posted here as well as student work.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Assignment #4 The Environmental Portrait

“The subject must be thought of in terms of the 20th century, of houses he lives in and places he works, in terms of the kind of light the windows in these places let through and by which we see him every day.”

                                       "Willie The Lion Smith"  by Arnold Newman 1960
 Simply put, an environmental portrait is a portrait of a person that includes enough of the environment around that person to provide context that helps the viewer understand more about the defining characteristics of the subject.  One of the keys to a successful environmental portrait is that the portion of the scene included in the frame should be "representative" of the environment or context you want the viewer to associate with the subject.  The relative importance of the subject to the environment is also important in defining an "environmental portrait."  The subject should be the most prominent element in the scene, with the surrounding elements providing strong supporting context.  If you are too close to your subject to include enough of the environment, then the image simply becomes a normal portrait.  On the other hand, if the subject is so small in the frame that other elements become more prominent, or viewers cannot discern the defining characteristics of the subject, then the image would be better classified as something other than an environmental portrait.

"Baker" August Sander

Shoot a minimum of 50 images/frames. You can shoot this assignment at a number of locations and even on different days. The subject must be part of the process and may include others, no candid photos of random people you have not met however! No animals or no humans under the age of 14 year as primary subject matter.

Submit one print, any size for in class critique on March 5!

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