Exercise 103

Photographing the Campus

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Today, we begin with the world of digital photography. While on the surface it does not appear to be directly related to architecture, a fundamental understanding of photography will enhance your ability to express your ideas. Digital photography, moreover, offers opportunities beyond traditional photography as the images produced are already digital and can be manipulated easily to produce photo collages, montages and background imagery for your designs. Today (& for homework) we will analyze a photograph and go out on the DVC campus and “capture it.”

Part 1:

  • Browse the internet (you might want to start with google images or flickr.com) and find an image you think is particularly fantastic. The image should be at least 1000 px in size. (You could look at National Geographic images too.)
  • Examine the image closely. What makes the image “good”? What compositional techniques has the photographer used in the photo? (“Telling a Story,” “Symmetry,” “Radial,” “Diagonal,” “Overlapping Layers,” or “Rule of Thirds”)
    • Note: There may be more than one compositional technique being used... be sure to include all techniques.
  • Write a brief paragraph that outlines the composition technique & any other factors (like depth of field, shutter speed, etc.) that make the image exceptional.
  • Download and post the image you chose as the featured image for a new “Exercise 103” post. Please also include a direct link to the photograph in your post.

Part 2:

  • Take some time to examine your camera. Understand the various preset modes on your camera and what they might be used for (you may wish to reference today’s lecture).
  • Navigate to your camera’s photo settings, select an appropriate setting for the shooting occasion (preferably JPEG fine or better, RAW if you have it).
  • Prepare to take some photographs, is there anything else you need? (Lens Cleaner? Tripod? Extra Memory Card? Etc.) What is the weather like? Do you need subject release forms?

Part 3:

  • Please take your time setting up each shot, use presets (other than auto) as appropriate or shoot in semi-manual or full manual if you have that ability. You will have the remainder lab period to complete this exercise or you may elect to choose another time before next class. You will need to bring your camera and the cord to connect it to a computer (or you can use the built-in card reader) to the next class!
  • You will be taking the following photographs: (you may elect to take more than required so you have the flexibility to choose the best images)
    • 5 photographs of campus buildings (pick the most interesting to you)
    • 5 images of people (walking, congregating, singing, etc.) You may want to ask permission first.
    • 5 detail images of texture/patterns
    • 5 photographs taken from unexpected angles
    • 4 macro photographs (close-up)
    • 1 bracketed set of images (this will be challenging for most) same view, different settings (3 images)
    • 1 hand-held set of panorama images (at least 3 images total)
    • 1 self-portrait/background (to use on your Personal Landing Page)
    • 25+ “images of your choice” (off-campus)


  • Take 30 different images of your mailbox. This may seem easy... I assure you it isn’t! Remember, think creatively!