How much partial credit is give on late work?


I see that I can still submit the assignment but was wondering how much partial credit is given.

The first two and a half weeks I allow students to submit work late with no point loss.  I do this as students add the class right up to the last day, some are needing to ask questions on how to use their cameras or software, and some are just learning how to figure out what is due when in Canvas.

After this adjustment and settling period is over, no extensions will be given unless you have extenuating circumstances outside your control.  In these cases, while I hate to ask, I will need to see notes from your doctor or proof in some way that attention needs to be somewhere else during this time.  If your time out of school is severe, please contact your counselor to let him/her know of your situation.  He/She will be able to advise  you on  your best course of action for classes.

I truly hope everyone has and ‘event-free’ semester, but life happens.  The best way to deal with it is to try and work ahead as often as you can.  I release our class schedule two to three weeks in advance so that you can have this opportunity to work ahead.  If you life allows for it, take advantage of it.

When a student turns in late work, as per our department policy, 30 points for the assignment will no longer be available to earn.  The student will also not be allowed to resubmit the work by Week 13 for a potentially higher grade.

The best way to keep all 100 points possible for the higher grade is to turn in SOMETHING that is related to the assignment, even if you know it is not correct.  Doing so will allow  you to resubmit better work one more time (up to Week 13) for a potentially higher grade.  You may want to wait until after I grade the assignment to reshoot as I will do what I can to help guide you to your next step in the assignment.  This is a great loophole, use it.  😉

What are some macro photography solution and how to clean a camera’s sensor.

Hi smile

I was doing quite a bit of research on macro realities this weekend and wanted to get your input. I really like doing macro work and eventually will get a really nice lens or two to do it. But the Sigma 105mm one I’d maybe get is about $1000. Such a bargain. smile  In the meantime the poor people are looking for less expensive alternatives. And along these lines I was looking at extension tubes and magnifying filters. I’m sure they’re not nearly as good.

When I was really into photography before I had a 55mm Micro Nikor lens which was pretty much an iconic lens with great optics. And I used it a lot. But now everything is so much more expensive. As with everything else I would imagine you get what you pay for.

Thanks for your input.


Thank you for your questions.  Macro photography is quite fun and it is good to have a Plan B.
On thing that comes to my mind immediately is turning your lens around.  I mean pretty much just that.  This would be the steps.
  1. Get your tripod out and line up your shot – you can do this without a tripod, but it is easier with a tripod.
  2. Open your aperture to as wide as it can go.
  3. Correct your ISO and/or shutter speed so that you are properly exposing your shot.
  4. Take a shot
  5. Check the image and histogram
  6. Make corrections till it all looks good
  7. Take the lens of the camera’s body
  8. Rotate it 180 degrees so that the front of the lens in now making contact with the camera’s body. – Do this carefully
  9. The rear element of the lens is now facing your flower
  10. Check focus, adjust if needed
  11. Again, make sure the lens is being held next to the camera’s body
  12. Snap
  13. Check
  14. Adjust if needed
Note: Due to the amount of dust that floats through the air, you will want to try to do this in dust free place as possible.  If you are doing an out in the nature shot, then you stand a greater chance of getting dust on your sensor.
Please know that getting dust on your sensor is inevitable and part of the digital photographer’s life.  Before you clean it off, be sure to watch at least five videos on other people’s approaches to getting dust off their sensor.
As  you are going to need special tools to clean off the dust, I would also recommend going down to a local camera store and having someone there show you how to do it too.  Go early before they get busy.  You never want to clean the dust off sensors when in a hurry.  This is a slow, delicate, deliberate job.  😉
Also NEVER use canned air.  It has a propellent in it that will cause your sensor to get sticky and then trap more dust which will be harder to clean off in the future.  Also do not use cotton swabs as they will leave more threads than then pick up.  You want to buy the proper tools for the job and do it well.  We are thinking less pressure, more repetition.
  1. Often I like to run the shower in my CLEAN bathroom first to get all the dust in the room to settle.  The room should not be steamy though.
  2. Then I walk in with my sensor cleaning tools, the body cap to my camera, and camera body  with the lens on it and organize them for use.  (I also make sure there is no water on any surfaces and that the toilet lid is closed.)
  3. I then make sure my battery is well charged, and go to sensor cleaning in the menu of my camera to flip the mirror up and open the shutter so that I can safely reach my camera’s sensor.
  4. I then face the camera body with the lens down.  I carefully take off the lens and set it aside  in it’s cap on safe surface I will not bump.
  5. Next I clean the sensor in a way that is safe and works well for me.
  6. The clean body cap is put on the camera and next I go to work on the back element of the lens to make sure it is clean and perfect.
  7. Once this is done, I face the camera’s body back down (I do this step every time I change a lens too to lower the chances of dust getting into the camera and on the sensor), take of the lens cap, grab the lens and look at it one last time for dust, and then snap it into place on the camera’s body.
  8. I then click the remaining body cap to the lens end cap to keep dust out of them as much as possible too.
  9. To test my work, I take the camera outside on a cloudless day and point it toward the north (or south if I am in the Southern Hemisphere), close my lens down to f/22, and choose an ISO and shutter speed to so that my exposures are one stop underexposed.
  10. The last step is to look at this image  on my computer at 100% viewing to make sure there is no dust on the sensor.  If there is, I start over and repeat until there is not dust.
OK, enough on that.
Another suggestion would be to contact and see if they have a macro lens that will fit your camera’s body that you can borrow.  If they do, you need to email me at least two days in advance to arrange permission to check out the lens.
As for the idea of extension tubes, these can really be pretty good.  Just be sure the one you rent, borrow, buy will work with your lens on your camera’s body.  Some lenses will not take extension tubes so be sure to research this too.
The magnifying filters are fun, but the least sharp all the way across.  They tend to loose focus as they work their way to the edges.  I did a cursory look online to see if I could find a good example of this, but did not find what I wanted.
Hope this helps!

May I convert my color images to black and white for the assignment?

I was wondering if black and white conversions are okay for the B/W images for the images due? I like being able to control what parts of the image contrast most, but if you want the images to have been shot in B/W I understand.

Do PLEASE shoot in color and then desaturate in your photo editing software.  Shooting in black and white is for rookies who do not know better.  You are not one of them.  😉

Do keep in mind that you are not allowed to submit black and white prints for grades in the Portfolio assignment.  All prints must be in color and color corrected to the best of your ability.

Can we use images from Best Images in our Portfolio?


Sorry but I have to ask again!

Our Best images need to be new photos? Not any photo that has been graded? But our Portfolio can be any images including photos that have been graded and images we used in our Best images assignment? I don’t know why i’m getting confused! Also can we use any image we turned in for SOMA for either of these assignments? Thanks!

Yeah, it can be confusing, because we have two assignments that can pull from past assignments. So let’s break it down.

Best Images needs to be any work that has been created since the start of term up to the day you turn it in. This work can not have been graded before. The idea behind this assignment is that you now have the skills to make great images. The field is wide open on whatever you want to bring forward and show.

SoMA & Portfolio also have to be work that was created this term, but both can pull from past assignments… including a pull from Best Images. In fact, if you want to pull all your images for SoMA and Portfolio from the Best Images assignment, feel free to do so. I will not bat an eye.

thanks for asking,

I am confused about the black and white images in the Best Images assignment.

Hello! I was wondering about the best images assignment! I was confused by the three black and white images part of the assignment, I feel like we have only done one or two black and white images?

Also, I am confused as to what pictures you want us to select, for instance do you want to see a completely different image from specific assignments. For example if i had taken a picture of a orange pole with a green background as one of the contrast photos in the beginning of the class. would you want a different shot of the same picture, or a completely different photo entirely. I am asking this because i am not sure how many different photos i had taken for each assignment!

I hope this wasn’t too confusing!

I think you are making sense.

The Best Images assignment is to be all new images.  Taking all that you have learned and creating the best images you can on any subject matter(s) you like.  This is YOUR assignment to do what you want.

Be sure to show me images that I have not seen before for the Best Images assignment.  Again, this will be new images you have shot.

In the PORTFOLIO assignment, you are welcome to show any image you have shot this term.  They can come from any assignments or be fresh, but they need to be shot this term…. then again all work turned in needs to be shot this term, so I guess that last part is redundant, but you get what I mean, right?

Follow up Question:
Yes I think I understand it a little more! I am still somewhat confused by the best images assignment, whether or not we should take more pictures for the assignment (and if they have to be within guidelines of previous assignments) or if we have to choose from our extra pictures from previous assignments?

Sorry if that is confusing!

basically i am wondering if we are allowed to take different photos for the best images assignment? and if we can, do the new photos have to be within a guideline of a previous assignment, or if they can just be an image that shows that we have learned concepts of this class?

Best Images may be of any subject matter  you like, but you should still work with using your knowledge to create strong compositions, play with  your shutter speed/aperture / ISO settings, angles, and consider the use of your lighting for the best looking image you can create.

If you have an AWESOME image from a past assignment that I have not seen before, nor its nearly twin image, then you may submit this image too.  This image needs to be completely different thank anything you have submitted prior and should be strong visually.

Ultimately, I want to see that you are learning and growing stronger as a photographer.  😀  The best way to show me this is for you to apply what you have learned when you are out there shooting!  Shoot often and you will have many images to choose from, which  is a pretty good position to be in.

Hope this helps,

Please help me with the Quality of Light worksheet.

I just attempted the quality of light worksheet twice and I’m kind of struggling. I don’t know what concepts that I don’t understand from lecture 4 because the quiz review won’t tell me which ones I got wrong. But I have a feeling its the direction and ratio…I have read lecture 4 a bunch trying to get the hang of it, but for some reason I’m still struggling with the two concepts…I just want to see if I can have some help, so my final grade on this assignment is higher than the 60 range.


First, do know that you can hit the “submit” button by the question to see how well you did on it, before submitting the whole worksheet.  If you did not score 100% on the question, then play around with the answers you are not sure about and submit the question again.  Once you have it figured out, take a look at the photo and your answers to see why the lighting is like it is.  😉

Thank you for letting me know you need help.  Please be sure to read all the posts on in the forum this week.  They will help you to train your eye.

Let’s see, for ratios, does this help:

These are all based on correct exposure for the brighter side of a model’s face or of the subject:

1:1 = no shadows – often the light is directly behind the camera causing the shadows to go back into the scene.  They are there, it is just that the camera can not see any.

1:2 = slight shadows appearing and creating a slight 3D definition.

1:4 = shadows are apparent, but you can easily see the detail in the shadows.

1:8 = this is where you have deep, dark shadows, but when observed, there is still shadows in the details.  This is when there is a three stop difference between the normally exposed part of the face/surface and the shadows.

1:8+ = this is very dramatic lighting.  No matter how hard you look, the details of what is on the shadow side is gone.

As for the direction of light, the subject determines the angle of the light with the camera being at zero degrees.  Here is what I mean.

(The attached graphic will help in this explanation.)

Think of your subject being in the center of  a large clock that is laying on its back on the ground.  The camera is at the six o’clock position and twelve is behind the subject.  When you have light coming in from directly behind the camera, it is at zero degrees.  It does not matter if the light is high in the sky or on the ground, it stays at zero.

(When I get confused by how high the light is in the sky, I just make everything accept absolute gravity and bring it all down to one plain.  This means if the sun is up there, in my mind, I drop it down to where would be if I brought it to the camera and subject’s level.)

When the light is in the three or nine position, it is considered to be at 90 degrees either camera right or left.

When the light is directly behind the subject, it is considered to be at 180 degrees.  This is as high as these numbers can go.  Once it goes over to 181 degrees, it is actually just becoming 179 degrees on the other side.

So to wrap up, light can be any degree from zero to 180.  As photographers are a bit lazy with the math, we usually round to the measurements to be zero, 10/15, 30, 45, 60, 90, 135, 180.  Yeah, I guess we don’t care about getting the the light behind the subject correct in measurement as we do the front, but if you want to go for exact numbers, by all means, go ahead.  😉

Hope this helps, if not, keep asking,

Please help with the exposure equation II worksheet.

I am having a ton of trouble with the Equations Worksheet II.  I have gone over and over the examples in the Lecture and cannot for the life of me figure out how to do the equations correctly with the changing of ISO. I am getting so discouraged. Is there any additional material that could help better explain how to do them? Thanks so much for your help.

I am happy to help you with the EEII.  I looked up your results with EEI and see that you understand how if you make your shutter faster, then you need to open the hole in your lens more to compensate.

The EEII worksheet is just like the EEI, but with just one more step added.

Do me a favor and go get your camera. For some students it is easier to see what is going on with their cameras, then to look at numbers on a screen.

OK, I am going to trust that you have your camera in your hands. Now, set it to:

100 F/8 @ 1/60

Great, we now have our base exposure. All we are going to do is move some of the dials around equally so that the same amount of light enters into the camera when we are done.

The equation we are looking at is:

100 F/8 @ 1/60 = 800 F/___ @ 1/250

When we look at it let’s just break it down into two parts. The first one is the part you already know. We are going to ignore the ISO change for now and just look at the needed aperture change.

F/8 @ 1/60 = F/___ @ 1/250

Counting the clicks, how many clicks does it take to quicken your shutter to 1/250 of a second from 1/60 of a second?

(Go ahead and count, I’ll wait.)

If your camera is set up in 1/3 of a stop increments, it will take six clicks. This means that your camera is now set to being two stops darker than is was just a moment ago. To correct for this, we need to open the aperture by two stops or how many clicks? Yes, 6 clicks! Go ahead and do that. Change your aperture so that will let in six clicks more light.

Now, what number did your aperture land at? F/4, right! (If you got F/16, then you turned your dial the wrong way and let in less light.)

You now know that F/8 @ 1/60 will let in the same amount of light as F/4 @ 1/250.

Now we need to add in the ISO change to the camera. Keep your camera at F/4 @ 1/250 for now.

OK, consider this, when you are shooting in a darker situation, you may need to increase your ISO to compensate for the lack of light. You are making your camera’s sensor more sensitive to the light. Sometimes we don’t want to give up our depth of field nor the shutter’s speed, because we will not be able to create the image we want. In these cases, we increase the ISO. Other times we may want more depth of field from our aperture than we currently have. In this case, we can change the ISO for this too. (Same is true if you want a faster shutter speed.)

Fortunately, ISO increases happen in full stop ranges too. They go from 100 to 200 to 400 to 800 to 1600 and on… Moving right starting at 100, you are making the image brighter in your camera.

Now that you know this, answer this question, if you go from ISO 100 to 800 how many stops brighter is your image? Go ahead, figure it out if you have not done so already. Did you come up with three stops? Good, that is the right count. Moving from 100 to 800 with the ISO will make your image 3 stops brighter.

Now you need to correct your current f/4 aperture setting to compensate for this. What setting with the aperture will give you three stops less light? Go ahead and look at your camera to figure it out. (Remember, you will need to click the aperture three times to create one stop of change. This means you will need a total of nine clicks.)

What number did you come up with? F/11. Right. So…

100 F/8 @ 1/60 = 800 F/11 @ 1/250

When you are working with exposure equivalents, just take it one step at a time. Start by finding out the aperture or shutter speed change first. Then figure out the ISO change.

Once you understand how to control this, do know that it will never change on you. These numbers are based at the speed of light. The numbers will stay constant as long as the speed of light does.

Do let me know where the questions arise. If algebra is more your speed, I can explain it this way too.

All the best,


Quick question on the Lighting Dial assignment.

My question about the Lighting Dial assignment, Do you want us to use the example pictures as the f/stop and shutter speed, that we need to do, and how many pictures are we uploading total? i do not think it said it in the assignment, or i completely missed it!

My Answers:
If you are in the same lighting conditions, and can change your ISO to 100, you are welcome to use the different shutter speed aperture combination you see in the photos to make shooting a little easier.

If you need to make adjustments to compensate for light, camera limits, please do so.  You are required to shoot at even full stop change of settings.  This means if you open up one stop with your aperture, you will need to close down one stop with your shutter speed to compensate.

You are going to be uploading a total of ten images.  Five will be shot in the full sun and five will be shot in open shade.  All will be at different camera settings and shot in manual mode.

How can I find my exposure data in Photoshop, Bridge, or in my Nikon D5100?


I found the following online at for your Nikon.  I believe you should be able to toggle through these displays by repeatedly pressing the playback button (silver triangle in the rectangle) on the back of your camera or possibly by pressing the triangle and then it “i” at the top of camera.  (If anyone can confirm this or correct it, please do in the comments section below.)

Inline image 1

OK, here are the different displays I found.

There are five display modes available in image playback, which collectively offer a comprehensive amount of information. By default, only the plain screen and luminance histogram – the first two screens shown in this selection – are made available, but shooting data, separate RGB histograms and a highlight clipping display screen can be activated individually in the playback menu.

Large image with file type, name and date information. Key shooting/file data plus luminance histogram
‘full screen’ view with no information ‘Second tier’ shooting data overlaid
Small image with WB information and RGB + luminance histograms Standard view with flashing highlight warning

As for finding the information with Photoshop, I created this video that covers Photoshop and Bridge

Finding Exposure Data with Photoshop and Bridge