Challenge 4: Light & Angles:

Portraiture & Drama

Project Description


Photoshoot: Film Roll #3 – Portraiture & Drama

Creating an image without a camera can be challenging since it’s necessary to determine how the image processing works. Using photosensitive chemicals and sunlight, one can creatively make an image with simple composition skills.

On this assignment, you should include skills that demonstrate the following:

  • Person
    Close Ups: Face
    Close Ups: Other
    Full Body
  • People
    Small Groups
    Large Groups
    People on the street Personality
  • Expressions
  • Plus
    Dramatic Lighting
    Dramatic Angles

Dramatic Lighting and Angles

Interesting angles. Shoot down from the top of a stair. Or shoot up lying on your back. Frame someone framed with something else. Or really close, or shoot a seldom-seen view. Use your creativity, as long as it’s not the common viewpoint. Prepare at least two unusual angles.

Light. Photos relying on several common qualities of light. Include at least three different examples from these options:

  • Strong natural light, dramatic shadows and highlights.
  • May be sunlight, strong window light.
  • Try setting up a spotlight or lamp.
  • Flash off camera, bounced off a ceiling or wall.
  • If your flash won’t bounce, try a white Kleenex to diffuse the light.
  • Diffused light, cloudy day, light filtered through a window.

Include people in at least half your photos. You will be including written cutlines describing the light in each.

Portrait Tips

Don’t work too hard to position your subject. The goal is for your subject to relax and fall into a natural pose. Try shooting in your subject’s favorite place, using meaningful props, like a trophy, a musical instrument, or even a fish.

Get close

Fill the frame with your subject to create pictures with greater impact. Step in close or use your camera’s zoom to emphasize what is important and exclude the rest. Check the manual for your camera’s closest focusing distance.

Candid Shots

Variety is important. Take candid pictures to show them working, playing, leaning against a banister chatting, or relaxing.

Use Natural Light

You may be surprised to learn that cloudy, overcast days provide the best lighting for pictures of people. Bright sun makes people squint, and it throws harsh shadows on their faces. On overcast days, the soft light flatters faces. Indoors, try turning off the flash and use the light coming in from a window to give your subject a soft, almost glowing appearance. Window light is wonderful to use, especially with people.

Avoid Harsh Shadows

Avoid harsh facial shadows by using the soft lighting of a cloudy day or a shady area. On sunny days, if your camera has several flash modes, select Fill-Flash. This will fire the flash even in bright sunlight. This “fills” the shadows on nearby subjects, creating more flattering portraits in direct sunlight. Check your camera’s manual.


Upload your Photo


  • BE NAMED CORRECTLY: FILENAME: Your#-YourName-Assignment-Description.jpg.
  • Have the TITLE and CAPTION added in the Lightroom METADATA panel before exporting/uploading.
  • HAVE YOUR NAME AND COPYRIGHT EMBEDDED FOR CREDIT. Embed your info with your Metadata Preset in the Import Dialog Box in Lightroom when importing your photos.

After you upload your photo, turn in your PDF Contact Sheet to the Hand-in Folder BEFORE DUE DATE to receive a grade. Grades are not issued without a contact sheet.

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Project Details

  • Client Basic Film Photography
  • Date November 20, 2016
  • Tags BFP Challenges
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