BDP-Challenge 5:

Conceptual Composite

Project Description


Bright FishThe Conceptual Composite

Conceptual photography is, first and foremost, about the concept of the photo. A conceptual photographer is trying to bring about a particular idea to the viewer, be it a political statement or a social commentary or an emotional outcry. There is some level of abstraction in a conceptual photo, so the image is not just an example of a concept, but also an expression of an idea.
Conceptual photography may also use graphical symbols to represent ideas, movements, moods, anything and everything that the photographer might want to include in the concept of their photograph. Symbols with strong, well-established connotations are usually used, from racy red lipstick to a blue moon, shamrocks and clovers to a green dollar bill.
With conceptual photography you can make a statement, convey feelings or humor, illustrate social ideas or just have fun creating another reality or something that isn’t really there. It is your creation.
For this project, you will be creating a COMPOSITE photograph. You will create your own concept before shooting your photo. You may use the studio during lab time in class and after hours.

First, come up with an idea or concept of what you want to communicate. It can be fact or fiction, reality or fantasy, but it must be of your own creation. Then, sketch out THREE ideas and compositions. Choose your favorite that will work best for the assignment and write a proposal about your concept.


Shoot at 8-10MP or greater for best results.
IMPORTANT: Light your subject/scene similarly in each photo to create a believable image.
Upload all photos to your Project 2 folder on the Network.
Create a proper 4×5 Contact Sheet BEFORE editing.

Final Composite

Edit using Lightroom/Photoshop. (Preserve your original files!)
Should be clean, neat and well-finished using the selection tools and layers provided in Photoshop.
You will need a final image that measures 11”x14” at 300 ppi for printing in the lab.
Save final in TWO formats: PSD and a JPG. You will be turning it in with your final portfolio.
Also save as a .jpg for the internet: 1024px at 72ppi, and upload to the class website.

What it’s all about

Use the Selection Tools and Layer Masks in Photoshop to combine, or composite, two or more photos in Photoshop to create a new image. 

Your creative image should look natural, with no traces of cutout or compositing.

  • Skill capturing a full color, full contrast photo.
  • Creativity in seeing the final photo before shooting.
  • Using Photoshop to composite two or more photos to create a new image.
  • Selection and Layers skills in Photoshop.



  1. Download your photoshoot to a new collection in Lightroom (name it with the assignment). Before clicking the import button, be sure to select your Filename Template and fill out the Custom Text with the assignment name. Also, select your Metadata Preset to embed your copyright info with your photos.
  2. BEFORE EDITING, create a contact sheet in the Print Module using your template and print it.
  3. Develop/Edit your selected photo(s) and print it with your 8×10 template.
  4. Title your photo(s) and write your Artist’s Statement in the comments section in the Metadata tab (in the Library Module of Lightroom).
  5. Export your edited photo(s) to the Hand-in Folder and upload it to this album.
  6. Turn in your COMPLETED Assignment Sheet with your Contact Sheet and 8×10 Print(s) in a sheet protector to the turn-in Folder BEFORE DUE DATE to receive a grade. Grades are not issued if incomplete.


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Project Details

  • Client Basic Digital Photography
  • Date December 1, 2016
  • Tags BDP Challenges

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