Home Photography Assignment, aka Print Display Project (PDP)
- Repeating Assignment for 3rd thru 6th Focus Periods
Shoot 12+ GOOD images for each of two (2) topics (total pictures = 24 GOOD quality)
Upload to PicasaWeb (1 gallery for each topic) BEFORE Thanksgiving Break
Pick 1 from each gallery - Before or during Thanksgiving (pick 2 two total)
Print 8x10s at Walgreen's (or Sams) = 2 8x10 - During or shortly after Thanksgiving break
Yearly Total - 8* topics for a total of 8 - 8x10s by the end of the year. * Note - the last two topics may have an alternative option in lieu of the last two prints.
This major project counts as two (2) major grades for a total of 800 points...or approximately 30% of your Focus Period grade.. It is, therefore, the most important grade of the 6 weeks. Beginning with the 3rd Focus, and for each Focus thereafter, you will produce this project. A Web Gallery is due by the 3rd Wednesday of the Focus to establish a progress report. A lack of the web gallery will constitute a temporary failing grade for the progress report. The enlargements (details below) are due in class the Monday of the 5th week of each Focus. The FINAL due date is the Monday before the last day of the Focus. (except for the 3rd and 6th Focus, which is the Wednesday BEFORE exam week). Check the school calendar for exact dates. See http://staff.beaumont.k12.tx.us/gloker/Display.htm for most current details
You will need to use a GOOD digital camera. Please plan ahead to make sure you have the equipment available to you. . See Supplies for camera recommendations. High Quality DSLRS will be made available mid 2nd GP to assist those with out their own camera, however, it is highly recommended the family consider purchasing a DSLR to assist you not only with your photography, but for the entire family's photography needs. It is strongly recommended that you start shooting 6 WEEKS ahead of time. For example, start shooting for the 3rd Focus right away. Shoot for the 4th 6 weeks during the 3rd 6 weeks, like during the Christmas Holiday, etc. Shooting for the 5th 6 weeks should be done during Spring Break.
* Cell Phone as a Digital Camera - You may ONLY use a cell phone for ONE of your two topics. Full credit will NOT be giving if you use your cell phone for BOTH topics. It is VERY important that you review special instructions if you are using a cell phone as your digital camera. It is NOT recommended, and there are special guidelines and details that MUST be followed. DO NOT USE THE FRONT FACING CAMERA!!!
1. Shoot TWO TOPICS each FOCUS Period, Print ONE PRINT OF EACH TOPIC, each FP = 2 8x10s per FP
You will need to take 12+ exposures per topic, outside of the school day.
Expose at LEAST 12 GOOD pictures of each subject. Less than 12 pictures per subject will reduce your grade. MORE pictures are expected if shooting digital. You should have at least TWELVE (12) GOOD photos to show for your work. Don't stop at 12 because you have taken 12. If you are just starting to get the camera set right at the 12th image, take 12 more.
The pictures can NOT be from a previous shooting experience/session nor can they be shot during the school day, such as class shoots or field trips. Although, you CAN start shooting for future 6 weeks work. Evening meetings are an exception and can be used for PDP work.
OPTIONAL: Be sure to complete a “Shooting Log” for all pictures taken. Digital camera shooting logs need only consist of the subject, names of any people who appear in your photo, and notes about the shooting including what you are changing between the pictures. Film logs should also contain the exposure information. A shooting log will help you learn the most about how your camera works.
2. Processing: Proof of shooting is due prior to the 3-week interim to avoid a failing progress report.
a. For film, develop at any local processing lab. You may either choose to ask for an index print at the time of processing, or have a single set of 4x6 prints made. If you do not want a set of prints, ask for “Processing and Index Print Only. Please cut and sleeve”. It is not necessary to have prints made, but they are helpful in determining what print you will enlarge to 8x10. If you DO get prints made, you do NOT need to have an index print made. For the 3rd 6 weeks, you may also make your own contact sheet. In which case, you would ask for “Processing only…please cut and sleeve”.
b. For digital, see these Digital Download instructions for assistance for transferring your images to your computer. Plan to bring the images to this class as well on a jump drive or CD, or even better using DropBox. At least 12 selected images per topic will need to be uploaded to PicasaWeb.
3. Print an 8x 10 of each selected image. Preferably in consultation with the instructor, choose two images to print (one for each topic). Failure to have the instructor’s approval may result in an unacceptable results, a deduction in points and/or having to reprint your pictures. The instructor’s approval is an indication that the print MAY turn out. It is not an indication that the image will yield you a print with a good grade, as a print may need reprinting to be acceptable. Do NOT wait until the deadline to print to allow adequate time for reprinting.
4. Mount for display. Starting in the 4th 6 weeks, you will mount on a display board your pictures. On the back of the mount board, write your info in the upper right corner. Turn in your other 8x10 in a Print Protector with the following: Print Display Tracker (5pts), and Print Display Grader (15pts). The grader will have a place to mark that you submitted your Web Gallery worth 30 points. Please also refer to this page regarding what Photo Labs and machines can be used. Absolutely do NOT use home inkjet or laser printers nor Kodak Print Makers.
Topics shall be chosen from the list on the other side. Topics may not be repeated. You must also avoid repetitive use of the same subject (ex: same pet, same sport, same person) even if a different topic. The goal of this assignment is the production of quality display work. Selections from the best prints will be entered into South Texas State Fair, the End of Year Contest and used in a display of West Brook Photo Department work.
Start planning and photographing early! Students will need to complete this assignment completely outside of class. It will take time to get the film developed or have the images uploaded to a Web Gallery, and produce the final prints (and mount one), so start EARLY! And if a mistake is made resulting in lost images, or your shoot is unacceptable, you will have to RESHOOT the assignment, so start EARLY! Each print counts as two MAJOR grades (4 total)…so make them count! This is a long-term assignment. That means it MUST be turned in by the date listed. If you are absent that day, turn it in the day BEFORE, or it will still be counted late! Send it with someone trustworthy if necessary to avoid a late grade. ALL PICTURES FOR THIS PROJECT MUST BE SHOT AFTER THE START OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR AND THIS ASSIGNMENT HAS BEEN MADE (Approximately Sept 1st of the current year).
Waiting until the last minute, and then being faced with lab challenges does NOT constitute an emergency on my part or an excuse for being late. YOU are still responsible for YOUR grade. The early deadline each Focus Period and focusing on this an entire Focus Period in advance is to allow for any challenges at the lab. You know about the 4th and 5th Focus projects in August...so KEEP SHOOTING!!!! And print EARLY!!
It is YOUR responsibility to get a camera and shoot your assignment. This assignment will be officially underway by the end of the 1st 6 weeks. Don't wait to the last second incase you need to reshoot. You can NOT borrow somebody else's pictures. However, you CAN go with a friend and use a camera together. If shooting film, shoot one roll of film per person...do NOT share the film. If shooting digital, be able to clearly separate which pictures belong to each person. One of you all record exposures and notes while the other shoots, etc.
Grading: (common deductions of points)
- 400 = No Web Gallery. Each Topic's Web Gallery is it's own grade for each Focus for a total of 400 points. Although you can still print your 8x10s before uploading, the Web Gallery must be online before turning in the final prints as I check the Web Gallery while grading the prints..
- 5-20 NSF SC = Insufficient or missing Self Critique
- 5 PDPT = Print Display Print Tracker
- 5 NSL = No shooting notes/log (now optional, but highly recommended)
- 15 OT = Off topic/subject or wrong location...generally...those shot at school turned in for home shooting. (pts per picture). Although you may get awesome images from the classroom examples, which CAN be used for contest, the purpose of this assignment is to pick a topic and go delivery shoot for that topic outside of school hours.
- 10-20 NSF Images = insufficient number of images capture (5-10 points per topic)
- 10-20 Low quality/resolution images (10-20 points per topic)
- 10 Duplication of topics (per topic)
- 10 Duplication of subjects - shooting the same thing twice, like both pictures are of your dog.
- 10 Failure to mount pictures - Applies to GPs when mounting is required.
- 5 Late Turn in - PDPs are due on the Wednesday before the end of the Focus. Please keep in mind that this phase of the assignment counts 4x (or 400 points total, 200 points per 8x10), so while 5 points may not seem like a lot, this is quite a few points. So, please make sure you are working to get this turn in on time. Shoot ahead of time, and get pictures made when instructed to do so, well ahead of schedule. Lab challenges at the last minute is NOT a valid reason for being late. Machines break down often, so be sure you are printing BEFORE the deadline.
Topic Selection for Home Photos
Composition. There are 17+ guides to composition. Try to use as many of them as you can, especially the ones we have learned in class. In general, get close, get close, get close! An otherwise plain shot can come alive with an unusual perspective by getting close or finding a unique angle. Look at things differently. See what other people see, then shoot for something different.
Possible Topics to shoot for: Choose your topics with a plan. Many people start out shooting the easy topics. Think about what topics will go best with the time of year. Like covering sports when there are sporting events to cover, or special effects around Christmas time. Remember that you need to choose two NEW topics for each Focus Period, 3rd, 4th, 5th AND 6th. You will do a total of 8 topics this year; two for each of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th 6 weeks. You can not duplicate any topics that were previously done. However, it may be possible that a subject may fall in to more than one category. Like a soccer game. The action on the field could be sports/action, journalistic essay, or current events. You could also do some up close shots of a player as a portrait. Or product of the soccer ball, etc.
See School Appropriate Imagery for info regarding what is acceptable.
1. LANDSCAPE/Scenery – i.e. Nature Photography. East Texas abounds with beautiful sites…get out of Beaumont. This topic is not merely a snapshot, but it should depict a special setting. Special attention should be used to assure good composition and lighting. Sunsets and sunrises can enhance scenic photography. Be sure there is a good center of interest. Get close to your subjects to fill the frame with a center of interest. Do not shoot trees off at a distance. Do not plan on cropping the picture. Shoot only ONE landscape. Do NOT shoot multiple landscapes.
2. ARCHITECTURE - Although this topic would NORMALLY fall in the category or landscape, to help separate the large number of prints in this category, architecture is a picture mainly about the building or structure. Like a picture of the River Front Park and the bridge would go in this category. A picture of a railroad could go in either. If it is primarily a landscape and there happens to be a picture of a RR, then it is a "landscape". If the picture is mostly the RR tracks, or a RR bridge crossing, then it is architecture. You can NOT shoot a picture of a residential house...unless it is a REALLY special house, like the Brown Center...or the Phelan Mansion, or some other significant landmark.
3. FLOWER/PLANT: Generally, this category would be a close-up/macro of a flower. Careful attention should be given to make sure that the background is not distracting. Control of the depth of field (the area of sharp focus) should be great enough that the flower is in focus, but the background is pleasantly out of focus. Close-up of flower go in this category...not CLOSE-UP/MACRO. Only ONE flower per person per year! Funny quote: "I hate flowers. I paint them because they're cheaper than models and they don't move." - Georgia O'Keeffe (VERY famous painter). Shoot only ONE flower...not LOTS of different flowers.
4. CLOSE-UP (Macro) - Must be REALLY close up to qualify. Your picture must be in focus...although not necessarily all of it...so be sure you control your depth of field. Ie. WHAT or HOW MUCH should be infocus. You PROBABLY will need a tripod and may need to use your self timer. Close-ups of a flower MUST go in the FLOWERS/PLANTS category. IOW, only ONE flower per person per year!! Have plenty of light so the aperture can be closed down.
5. SPORT/ACTION - Motion rendition can be done two different ways: stop action (where the peak of action is sharp and the background may or may not be sharp) or slow motion (where the motion "smears" across the scene but the rest of the scene is sharp). You can visualize this in many ways. Consider a sports scene for example: If there is a ball or other object that is central to the action, such as a soccer ball, be sure that it is showing. It is extremely important to remember that the motion is central to the theme of the picture and be sure and show the motion as it fits into the natural setting of the scene. Remember, while is action/motion is the topic, you must show good composition and not just produce a snapshot that has movement in it. The motion must be obvious and adequate. In other words a person running not walking. No fences!
6. ANIMAL LIFE - This shows an animal in their natural habitat; this includes a pet, farm animal, or a wild animal. Good composition should be used. Do not photograph an animal through a fence. Watch your camera angle and background. Do not shoot down at the animal. Make extra sure that you can fill the frame with your subject. If you can’t, DO NOT TAKE IT! Shoot only ONE animal for this topic. Do NOT shoot lots of animals.
7. PORTRAIT - A portrait is defined by Webster as a pictorial representation showing the face. That doesn't completely cover this assignment. You are to produce an outdoor casual portrait (NOT a snapshot) that represents your subject and/or an aspect of his/her life. Think of this portrait as being the kind a senior would have made professionally and could actually use to exchange with friends (just don’t charge them). You may show the subject involved with the props of an activity, but the emphasis must be on the person, not the activity. Be sure to avoid distracting backgrounds; parks provide many pleasing posing locations. Lighting must be carefully considered. Remember, this does not have to be a “model” session with the person(s) looking at you. It can be any variety of pictures of people with a special insight into that person’s personality. Self Portraits do NOT qualify as a Portrait as far as this assignment is concerned. If the person is POSING for you...like a formal portrait, then there should NOT be any people in the background. Your person should want to get wallets made. Shoot only ONE PERSON for this topic. Do NOT shoot lots of people. You could shoot a COUPLE as a couple, but all of the pictures should be on that same couple.
8. *PRODUCT - This is the type of photography done in advertising; the product should be in sharp focus in a setting that is conducive to its display. You should consider how to arrange your product - don't just sit it on a table and take a snapshot! You may need more than one of your product to produce an effective advertisement. There should also be special consideration to the lighting as Product Photography is ordinarily done in a studio with multiple lights.
9. *STILL LIFE – A picture of inanimate object. Common still life subjects include vessels, food, flowers, books, clothing. A still life painting which reminds us of life's fleeting qualities is called a vanitas. A still life image of things associated with breakfast is called an ontbijt or breakfast piece. This is a different than Product. Still life is artistic…where the objects collectively have a meaning. Shoot only ONE object. Do NOT shoot lots of different subjects.
10. *ABSTRACT – Defined as “reduced to essentials, non-specific, or causing attention to wander”. This could be interpreted as close-ups of objects, so that you do not see the “whole” picture. Where it might take a person a while to figure out what it is. Screen saver is taboo!
11. CURRENT EVENT – A picture of an event. The “event” can be anything going on around you. It can be an event after school, or completely outside of school. It should be journalistic in nature, i.e.. of people doing things. It could be sports, a wreck, a guest speaker, etc. It must be a PUBLIC event. It does NOT have to be school related, but it can NOT just be a birthday party or Thanksgiving Dinner at your house. If your event is yearbook or newspaper worthy, please plan to provide a digital file.
12. JOURNALISTIC ESSAY – Four to six 4”x6” photographs mounted to tell a newsworthy story. Each picture should be well composed. Titles and brief captions will need to be printed and pasted on to the mounting board.
13. TECHNICAL PROCESS ESSAY - Four to six 4”x6” photographs mounted to explain how to do something. Each picture should be well composed. Titles and brief captions will need to be printed and pasted on to the mounting board.
14. SPECIAL EFFECT - This topic is open to your imagination; however, so there will be no misunderstandings, it would be a good idea to discuss your topic with the instructor before photographing it. This topic can include night time exposures (like Christmas lights), double exposures, trick photography, texture screens, addition of colors, and many other ideas. Many types of photography that fall in this category require special equipment; most cannot be done with a simple non-adjustable camera, so plan ahead and carefully. In any case, the special effect must enhance the original photo. The instructor has a list of suitable assignments if you need help coming up with an idea, but some independent study will be necessary as individual instruction by the instructor is very limited. A special effect must start with a quality photograph, not to cover up for not having a good picture.
Remember: You will do a total of 8 topics this year; two for each of the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th 6 weeks. You can not duplicate any topics that were done previously in a prior 6 weeks. IOW, if you shoot your Dog in the 3rd 6 weeks, both Animal Life and your Dog are OFF LIMITS for topics in the 4th - 6th 6 weeks. This is to help you shoot a variety of subject and topics.
* Choose GOOD subjects. As stated in class numerous times, be sure to shoot pictures that you actually WANT to get printed (approx $5 per print). Don't take a picture of a useless item at your house because you can't think of anything better. Consider what you want a print of, to be framed and hung on a wall. If you can't see it hanging on the wall in your house, you should find another subject. This is particularly important with the topics Product, Still Life, and Abstract. All of these topics are plenty worthy, but invariably, students in the past have shoot subjects that have little meaning. And then, if not very well done, become a meaningless waste of time and money after the class is over. It is VERY important to me, and should be to you, that you choose meaningful, life-defining, inspiring photos. The point of this project is to get you to look around you, find things that are meaningful. And to take pictures that you will cherish for a life time. IOW, it is difficult to shoot Product, Still Life and Abstract unless practiced on a HIGH level of thoughtfulness. You should consider a conceptual subject for these topics, something that will be MEANINGFUL to you AFTER you are done.
When you are completely done with each PDP, upload the FINAL image your printed to a Web Album called: Prints of Digital Images. Before uploading, make sure the image has your final title (the name of the image) followed by the original index number, if possible.
Here are some additional samples of actual student items as they should appear, including galleries of all the pictures, Print Display Tracker, and Critique Sheets, Final Mounted Project and Exposure Log:
Photo Log, Optional : Take notes while you are shooting. This is an important part of your learning while shooting...was once worth 5 MAJOR points. If you don't do it, you will also be missing out on a very important learning opportunity to know what your camera is doing when you are taking pictures. If you do not have a preprinted log, you may make a simple one, or simply take notes while shooting. Shoot a few, look at your pictures, take some notes, then shoot some more, etc. This will improve your understanding of how the camera works MUCH more quickly.
Below is a Film Log that was used while shooting digital. I now have digital logs just for shooting digital. When shooting with Digital, it is NOT necessary to record the exposure as this will be recorded on the digital file and can be viewed either in the camera or on the computer.
Print Display Project Tracker: This will be filled out each 6 weeks (starting in the 4th). It will returned with your project each time. Hang on to it, as it will be needed again, with my check marks. If you do not turn this in, or recreate it, you will loose 5 very valuable points. Be organized and keep up with this when I give it back to you. The reason I need this is it is a record of what you shoot previously. Since you are not allowed to repeat topics, I use this sheet to keep up with what you have done previously.
Photo Gallery (by Dillion Dupre, 2007...see selected image below): This serves several purposes. By the end of the 3rd week of the 3rd 6 weeks, and each 6 weeks after that, you will need to email me a link to your Photo Web Gallery on Picasa Web of images as "Proof of Progress". We call this PoL with PoOP! This will let me know that two topics have been shot, and that you have enough pictures for each topic. I should also be able to view the Exif information to assist a student in learning about the photographic process, and in rare cases, verify that the photo was taken when it was supposed to be taken. Notice the example below has 12+ pictures of a landscape at sunset, then 12+ pictures of a person playing the drums. This is a GOOD shooting session. Make sure that the only pictures in that gallery are for that 6 weeks, and that it is clearly and correctly labeled. Additional Note: This is a print of the gallery, prior to the class use of PicasaWeb. Gallery Web posting is the correct method now.
Sample of 8x10 as printed from the Gallery above:
"Train to Forever" by Dillon Dupre (2007):
Photo Gallery (by Macy Riggs, 2007): Note the consistency of subject within the selected topic, but with variation of composition.
Photo Gallery (by Cameron Dyson, 2007): Note the consistency of subject within the selected topic, but with variation of composition.
Print Grader Sheets: (Note: Your sheet may not look EXACTLY like this, but you should complete all areas except the final score...and Instructor Critique)
Update Versions may exist! Please pay close attention to class instructions.
Printing Your PDP Pictures Online: Only print your 8x10s during the Christmas Break if you are ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING!!! You MUST make sure the images are printed from the correct printer and at the correct resolution. Do NOT use Picasa to edit the photos for Printing. Picasa is AWESOME for quit editing for Facebook, Flickr and obviously Picasa Web...but NOT for making 8x10s. We will talk MORE about this after the Holiday. If you HAVE TAKEN your pictures...but NOT PRINTED...you have until Friday of the next to last week to order them in class...or over the weekend to get them printed locally at a store. Do NOT walk into class with OUT your prints on Monday...or YOU will also be calling your parents during class. If you are just now ordering your pictures...be sure that you get IN STORE pickup. Do NOT mail-order or have your prints made another way than 1 hr, in store pickup. You must be able to print your pictures...and pick them up in the next day or two. Remember...your prints MUST come from the correct machine if you walk into the store. See pictures of Kiosks at the store. Also, see some helpful tutorials I recorded for you: http://www.screenr.com/user/DrewLoker See specific store tutorials below.
Be VERY careful when picking up the commercial print envelopes. You must protect the prints inside with cardboard as soon as possible.
URGENT: You MUST take measures to protect the print inside the print envelope. Not all stores provide an enlargement envelope that is suitable for carrying your print. Take a piece of cardboard with you or ask for one at the store. You should insist on something to protect your print. Even some same stores will vary in what they give out. Example...in the past, some Walgreen's gave a nice sturdy heavy duty envelope, while some Walgreen's gave a cheap, thin paper envelope. Unfortunately, MANY WALGREEN'S NOW USE SUBSTANDARD Print Envelopes. ALSO: When you pick up your prints...if it is not right...ask them to reprint it right on the spot. Even if you sent it over the Internet...they can usually send it to the printer again...right there on the spot. Do NOT let your parents go into the store to pick it up for you while you sit in the car playing games or texting your BFF. GO IN THE STORE WITH YOUR PARENTS and LOOK OVER THE PRINTS. Do NOT pay for them is they are too dark, cropped incorrectly, or low res (got the JAGGIES or the DANCING ants).
Minimum dimension for HPA PDP: 3000 x 2000 (6mp) and 2mb (file size). Check the image in the Walgreen's album AFTER you have uploaded it.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR A WALGREEN'S COUPON BEFORE COMPLETING YOUR ORDER!
Coupon Code thru December 9th, 2015 40PHOTOS
Remember, you MUST upload to Walgreen's a FULL SIZE file. There are three ways to DESTROY the resolution of your original image.
Email your photo to yourself
Upload to a website like Instagram, Facebook or PicasaWeb, which shrinks the file, and then you try to download the file from another location.
You fail to change the default upload setting at Walgreen's from FAST upload to SLOW.
Here is an example of why you have to be VERY careful about how your image is uploaded to Walgreen's from:
Upload reminder: Change to high speed upload to MAKE SURE YOU UPLOAD FULL RESOLUTION FILES via "Large Print Upload" option!!! This is VERY, VERY important to get as good of quality photos as possible. And turn off autocorrection.
Below is a sample of what shooting 12 pictures of the same topic might look like.
Notice that each one is slightly different. My mentor photographer believed that it took 100 pictures to generate one (1) really good photo. So, shoot PLENTY of pictures. When shooting a complex lighting scene, you would want to vary the exposure, as in the case of the sunset. Or, in the case of a moving subject, a lot of pictures will be blurry, so you want to shoot even more pictures. When shooting with digital, there are other variables, like White Balance (WB) and ISO changes that you will/can make.
So, which one do you like the best?
Here is another sample. Shooting plenty of pictures will give you plenty to choose from. Which do you like the best? BTW, I actually took 115 photos from 1:19 to 2:29 pm in the park the day I shot the girl on the swing below. I got about 8 REALLY good pictures. And even on the best of the swing series, I edited the picture to soften and de-emphasize the background.
Here is the cropped fav from the swing shoot:
Here are a few samples of various Topics listed above.
All of these were taken here locally (Beaumont area). Can you guess where? Some could fit into multiple galleries. Ultimately, it should go in the strongest, best fit.
Ok, this one isn't in Beaumont...it was shot at a parade in San Antonio. You can see my wife sitting down in the back.
And this is a nice sunset...west side of Houston. Your shoot doesn't have to be complicated...but you do need to shoot something good...and shoot plenty of it. If you shoot a sunset or the sky, make sure there is a strong center of interest.
Mounting: When mounting, put an arrow facing UP (on the BACK) to indicate orientation, if there is doubt.
PDP grade includes Six (6) Things (mounted print with 1 sheet protector for everything else):
1. Mounted Print
2. 2nd 8x10 mounted to a piece of white paper (1 small piece of tape behind the print) placed into a sheet protector, along with the other items
3. Web Gallery Posted (30 points)
4. Shooting log (Optional)
5. PDP Tracker (5 points) - 4th and 5th 6 weeks only
6. Print Grader (completed with proper self critique - 10 points)
* When you have all 6 items together, turn them into to me directly for check in. Please make sure you have your name on EACH item turned in.
Top Home Shooting Print Display Project Mistakes
Every year, when it finally comes time to collect these prints, I am flooded with prints that are INCORRECTLY done waiting TIME and MONEY. These are generally ranked in worst to least common, such that #1 is the worst and most often.
1. Pictures are boring or bad…you did them just for a grade. What a waste of time and money! If you are guilty of this, go shoot more pictures. Shoot something you are proud of, excited about print, etc. See picture below of what happens when you don't shoot something that you are personally interested in printing. Make sure you are shooting something that YOU want to print a picture of. I know it may be tough for the average teenager to care about shooting something "pretty" or "sentimental". So, either shoot good ART...or good CANDIDS or something COOL. Bottom line, you need to shoot something that you could see hanging on your wall.
2. Wrong resolution upload…didn’t twirl down the option to get the high res image setting. THIS HAS GOT TO BE DONE! The company is pulling a fast one on you by setting the default to FAST UPLOAD which downsizes your pictures like FACEBOOK. This is NOT a good thing.
3. Wrong resolution on the camera. Make sure you are shooting at the highest res possible. You can always make the picture smaller...never bigger. If you set your camera to a lower res, it will appear that you can take a lot more pictures on your camera. But this is NOT a good thing...it means your images have been cut down and squished to fit on the same memory card. So, MORE PICTURES is NOT better when it comes to how many pictures you can take.
4. Wrong camera – SEVERAL people shooting with iPODs. Really???? Even an iPhone 4s with a very nice 8mp sensor is BARELY enough. Remember, an 8mp CELL Phone Camera Sensor is still many times smaller than even a BASIC P&S camera of the same resolution.
a. A HUGE NONO...using the FRONT CAMERA! DO NOT USE THE FRONT CAMERA>
5. Wrong printer…remember no KPM and no INKJETS…they will have to be done...or you will lose points or have poor quality prints. MORE $ is NOT better quality in this regard.
6. Not enough on topic…shot 12 different people, or 12 different flowers, or 12 different scenes. Pick one subject and shoot it 12 different ways. Same subject, different views.
7. Mom shot the pictures for you. Really? YOU have to shoot the picture. ALSO, you can not shoot self portraits. IOW, you can NOT be in the pictures. There IS a self-portrait contest in early February for all the time you shoot yourself.
8. Damaged prints from not protecting the print bag. Ask for a box when you get to the store if you need to. Check out the prints BEFORE you leave the store. Even the Lab Techs can ding your print. But most importantly.
9. Pictures are too dark. Most monitors are not calibrated for printers…they are too bright. So, when you see it on the screen, and it is perfect, it will probably be too dark when you see the picture in the store.
10. Duplication of topic/subject…didn’t plan ahead to have two clear topics/subjects.
11. Not cropping correctly. This doesn’t affect every print…but when it does, it will be a bummer. Be sure to check your cropping on all 8x10s.
12. Emailed or uploaded photos to a photo server like PicasaWeb, Instagram, FaceBook or Flickr, and then downloaded them to a different computer resulting ins a SQUISHED file that may look horrible when printed. GOT TO PRINT FROM THE ORIGINAL.
13. Inadequate camera for the photos taken - An iPhone takes AMAZING pictures...until the sunsets...then it takes horrible pictures. You have to make sure your camera is up to the task. If you are using a small, lower end point and shoot, or a cell phone, please don't try to take NIGHT photos, or Sports Actions. Know the limits of your camera and shoot what it is good at. Do some test pictures, see how the quality looks. See Cell Phone for a sample of a bad camera. It was late in the year when it was revealed as to why at least one person was getting crappy pictures from their cell phone.
14. Not enough pictures taken - Although I only CHECK for 12 pictures, be sure to get 12 GOOD pictures. So, if the first 10 don't turn out at all, and then the 11th looks ok, take 11 MORE pictures. Taking 12 decent pictures is the goal, so we can choose the BEST from the 12. Turning in 11 bad pictures and one ok is NOT the idea.
15. Date Stamp on Image - Be sure to turn off the date stamp imprinting. This would only be prudent if you were in the insurance or legal business and wanted to clearly see the date/time the picture was taken on the FRONT of the image. It is embedded with every single image in the EXIF, so it is not necessary to turn it on to know when the picture was taken. If you inadvertently leave it on, and figure out later that it needed to be off, decide if it is easier to reshoot your topics. Depending on the image, it may be possible to CLONE over the Date Stamp OR you could CROP the image so that the date stamp doesn't show. The choice is your, but the three options are: 1. Reshoot 2. Crop it out. 3. Clone it out. 4. Ignore it (however, depending on the artistic or technical impact to the image, points may be deducted)
Outdated Cell Phone References: ONE (and ONLY ONE) of the above topics can be from a cell phone. The cell phone MUST be high enough resolution to produce a quality 8x10 which means generally 8mp and higher. Be sure you CONFIRM this before you shoot the topic. You MUST have 12 pictures of the same topic & subject shot during that shooting session. Due to the recent tech improvements with high resolution cameras included with many cell phones, this category is being allowed. Please note that older cell phones may have a high resolution camera, but the sensor is too small to support printing an 8x10. It is even extra important to shoot plenty of pictures as viewing the image on a cell phone will give a false sense of quality. You will need plenty of pictures to select a best image from which to print. Remember, your cell phone can only be used for one topic. Eventually, it may be that cell phones get good enough to not need a separate category, and any of the above can be shot with a cell phone. Cameras like the 5mp iPhone 4 and 8mp Droid are yet another catalyst in the evolution of photography. This category has been created to recognize that sometimes, our best photos come from the least opportune times...just be sure you shoot plenty of pictures. And the general rule of thumb is to have a camera with you at all times. A cell phone camera is ok for spontaneous, causal shooting, but when some really important happens, don't leave home with out the real deal. And you absolutely can NOT shoot with an iPOD (it is only a 1.3mp camera).
Outdate FILM references. It is no longer recommended, advisable, or prudent to shoot Film for the Home Photography Display Project. If you do not have a camera, you may use a disposable film camera…however, results will be unpredictable and could be of low quality