Guidance on the Chair Assignment Exposures

I’m having the worst time getting the exposure right for the chair assignment. At this point I’m just guessing when I choose the settings.

Thanks for letting me know.

First we need to determine if you are you using your camera’s meter or the Basic Exposure Formula (also known as the Sunny 16 Rule)?

If you are using your camera’s meter, then push the trigger button down half way to see the meter reading. If the lit area is on the minus side of the scale at the bottom of your viewfinder, then you need to slow down your shutter, open your aperture and/or increase your ISO until your meter has the center line/0 lit up.

If the lit area is on the plus side of the scale at the bottom of your viewfinder, then you need to quicken your shutter, close down your aperture and/or decrease your ISO until your meter has the center line/0 lit up.

If you’re using the Basic Exposure Formula (BEF), then you need to determine which lighting condition your chair is in and dial that setting into your camera. As a refresher, BEF states that when you subject is in bright sun you aperture will be set to f/16 with your shutter speed set to your ISO. Put another way: 

BEF = F/16 @ 1/ISO on a sunny day.

Note: it is best if you can get your chair into a sunny spot or bright light. Here are some exposure settings for various lighting conditions with an ISO set to 100:

Chair is out in to the daylight with direct sun       – ISO 100,      f/16,   1/125

Chair is in hazy weather                                          – ISO 100,       f/11,   1/125

Chair is in bright overcast                                        – ISO 100,       f/8,      1/125

Chair is in open shade                                              – ISO 100,       f/5.6,   1/125

If your ISO can only go down to 200, then change the shutter speed to 1/250.

Hope this helps.


Where do I pick up my portfolio?


I go to school on campus and was wondering how to pick up my portfolio after you are done with it if I dont wanna mail it? Thank you!
Great question, thanks for asking.
After I have graded the portfolios, I will mail back those that have SASEs.  The remaining work will be in a box at the back of OE 184 on campus.  I will send out an email to everyone to let you know that the work has been placed in the back of this building.
Take care,


Can I shoot new images for the New Images assignment?

For the new images I have a problem, and that is that three weeks ago my harddrive crashed and nothing could be recovered. Luckily I had a lot of pictures still on my camera cards, but a lot is gone. So to have 10 new images from this semester will be hard, I am traveling now and I’m going to shoot a lot here, is it possible I take some photos here and upload them as new images? I will keep the different assignments in mind so that it isn’t just picked out of the blue!

I do have at least 5 images and I’ll dig up more, but to be able to shoot some new one’s would be great 🙂
Oughf!  Sorry to hear about the crash!!  That is painful.
For the New Images assignment – you images should be just that.  You should be taking new images to show off  your new skills acquired by taking this class.  😉
Looking forward to seeing your travels.  😀
Have fun!

I can’t find much information on my famous photographer. What do I do?


I’m facing a big problem, as I’m trying to work on my famous photographer paper. My problem was when I was choosing the photographer.. That I did not know any of the photographers. I googled some them and tried to look for their style of pictures. And I randomly chose mine. I think I could do one of his photos, but it’s so hard to find info about him. Only place I was able to find out little bit info of him was his website. So I’m not sure what I should do.
This paper does not require that you tell me all about the photographer.  Instead, you can tell me about your personal responses to his images.
Write a 2-3 page college level, double spaced paper. Provide a short biography and a more comprehensive discussion on what distinguishes this photographer’s “STYLE” along with a few words on what your attraction is to this photographer. You are required to site your reference material correctly. WIKIPEDIA IS NOT CONSIDERED A RELIABLE SOURCE OF FACTUAL MATERIAL. Your references should be from books, magazines, or other more reliable websites. The research paper must be your original work; plagiarism is not tolerated.”

I am more interested in reading about how you view the work of your photographer, then I am learning that said photographer started photographing when he was seven after his granddad gave him a camera as a gift.  😉

For the part of citing your source(s), do still cite his website if this is where you get the factual information on him.
Hope this helps,


I need some advice with Family as an Object Assignment


Hello- I am having a lot of trouble brainstorming for my family project. I am not exactly sure what is right creative wise. For example, I wanted to a knife for my sister, for she is a culinary arts major as well as she is a very sharp person around the edges and says things that can really hurt people. Or another example I was gonna do is a wine glass half full, because that’s the way my mom always thinks and she also likes to drink wine. But I wasn’t sure if that is what you are looking for. Also, do we have to use the same object(s) for all three images? Thank you so much!




Thanks for your questions.
You do not have to use the same object for each person, but it is a good idea to have your objects as theme related as your family is related too.
Now, for your family members, you are on the right path when you talk about how your sister can be cutting with her personality and your mom is a glass half-full person.  These are personalities.
The fact that your sister likes to cook and your mom likes wine are not personalities; They are traits of a person.
Your challenge is to MANIPULATE each object so that it shows the personality of each person.  Just photographing a knife or a half full glass of wine will not do it.  How do we know that your mom is not a glass half empty person?  Showing a glass filled to the midway point does not point out your mom’s views on life in general.  We as an audience will need more.  Consider the environment she may be in.  The lighting you can use to help us understand her views.  Should there be use of a slow or fast shutter?  What about the depth of field?   What other elements/objects can you bring to the image that will help us know more about your mom, sister, you?
Be sure to look at the work of Kristin Keinholz.  How is she showing personalities within her work?
Does this help?

How do I create and effective photo essay?


Hi Ms. Say,

I had a question about the re-do assignments. In the syllabus it says we are allowed to redo an assignment up until the 13th week. I want to try to redo the picture essay if that’s possible. I had a question on how to properly do this assignment. The picture essay had words with each picture, so they were able to explain what was happening. I’m not really sure what to do and need some guidance. Thanks so much!

Thank you for coming to me.

You are correct, any assignment that was submitted on time will have until Week 13 to resubmit corrected work for regrading.  There is no risk of losing additional points.  Only the potential of earning some that were not earned in the first attempt.  You will resubmit the new work to the assignment it is meant for.
Are we looking at the same photos?  I have attached one of them to this email.  When I relooked at your assignment I did not see any words in the photographs.  Nor did I find an explanation of the story in your assignment notes that read, “All of my photos taken in the story were shot with ISO 100 1/13 F5.6.”  
As it is, a photo essay should stand on its own visually.  There should be no wording to explain what is going on.  A viewer should be able to assess the reason for the photographs and emotional content in the images by use of subject matter, composition, and lighting.  It is likely the viewer will miss some of the finer details of the story, but should be able to understand what is going on and the reason for the small collection of images.
The best way to pull this approach off in five to seven images is to show an overall shot to set location/era/environment, some medium shots to show action (or effective lack there off), and close up shots to show details – but not necessarily in that order.
Take a look at some photo essays created by W. Eugene Smith.  Avoid reading the type associated with the images and look at the images.  What do you gather from the images?  How is each composed?  What is the lighting doing in the images?  What angle is Smith shooting from?
Also read this article on Smith’s advice:
All in all, you are looking to fill the answer to the question: “What’s the use of having a great depth of field if there is not an adequate depth of feeling?” ~ W. Eugene Smith
While you are working out how to best build a photo essay, you may want to read what this article has to say on the subject too:
Do any of these suggestions help to guide to a better track on creating a successful photo essay?  What questions do you still have?  I am here to help, but don’t want to overwhelm you either.
Take care,

Are allowed to do any other editing for the photos than cropping?

I was just wondering if we are allowed to do any other editing for the photos than cropping? I was doing my photo diary this morning and when I uploaded the photos to the light room, some of them are pretty light colored. I would love to add some contrast or do something else.

After the Chair assignment, you may edit your photos so that they look the best they can!
Have fun,

What light source should I use for the Lighting Dial Assignment?

Im working on the lighting dial assignment and I am in the online class. Do I need some type of alternative flash besides my camera? Or do I use natural lighting? Sorry I am a little confused.
 Please do not use a flash for any part of this assignment.  It should be all done in all natural light.
Thanks for asking,

Tutorial on how to use the in-camera meter of Canon’s Rebel T2i

Tutorial on how to use the in-camera meter of Canon’s Rebel T2i
To use the meter in your camera, turn it on and press the shutter button down half way.This will “wake up” the camera and activate your meter.Image of Rebel T2i showing shutter release button
Looking through your viewfinder, you will see a few numbers at the bottom but you are only really interested in these at this moment:

  • The shutter speed
  • The aperture
  • The meter
  • The ISO

Rebel T2i viewfinder screen

If you look carefully in the image to the right, you will see that the meter has a green line at zero. When using the meter in the camera, you have the choice to adjust the shutter speed, aperture, and/or ISO settings to get the lit line in your camera to “zero out”.In this case, the exposure at ISO 100, 1/125 of a second at f/8 should give a neutral exposure.Rebel T2i meter on zero
If the aperture is closed down to f/11 (one stop less light) the meter will give a read out that the exposure is one stop under exposed by making the lit line show up under -1.Rebel T2i meter showing one stop under
When the lit line is all the way to the left the camera is telling you that the exposure us at least two stops under exposed.(Same is true if the lit line were all the way to the right – only it would be at least two stops over exposed.)In either case, you may have to do a bit of adjusting of controls before you can get the lit line back to the zero position.

Rebel T2i meter showing two stop under

Remember, you are trying to get the lit line to fall back under the zero for a neutral exposure.Rebel T2i meter on zero
Once you have mastered how to control you meter, be sure to read this web page on how make the meter work for you if you are metering white or dark subjects.