Primary Tasks

Digital Photography Homework Due 04/07/17

For our next class meeting, please complete the following.

Read the chapter on photography as storytelling that you were given in class.

Lost your handout? Here’s a PDF version to the rescue!

Once you have gone through the reading, pick one of the photographers featured. Look up their work online and pick an image other than the one in Cotton’s book. Post it as a comment on this homework post and write a brief paragraph or two telling us:

  1. The title of the image and who photographed it.
  2. How the image embodies photographic storytelling as explored in the assigned chapter.

Take a minimum of 24 images of primary color schemes. In other words, shoot subjects that incorporate the primary colors for pigments, which are (as OK Go catchily sings) red, yellow and blue. Focus on compositions you find rather than things you set up. Below are a couple examples I dug out from the bowels of my hard drive:


Matching “Waiting for the Parade” Outfits


Sometimes a messy desk comes in handy.

Incidentally, it’s okay for the primaries in your images to be muted. This grass, barn and sky in this landscape photo are not saturated, but they are nonetheless primaries. Little bits of non-primary colors are also okay so long as the main focus is red, yellow and blue.

Ideally, each of your images will incorporate all three primaries, but I realize this can be a challenge when you’re relying on found compositions. Therefore, you must have all three primaries in at least six photos, but if you’re in a pinch for the others, you can try some shots with just two primaries together.

Stuck for ideas? Try noodling around Google, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. to see what’s out there. I typed “primary colors” into Flickr and mere fractions of a second later, all these examples were working their way into my eyeballs.

FYI, you do not need to do anything with your primary color images prior to class… no uploading to Dropbox or Flickr… no printing. Just bring your memory card with a strong selection of photos for the assignment.

Questions? E-mail me!



3 thoughts on “Primary Tasks

  1. Woman Reading a Possession Order by Tom Hunter
    the image embodies photographic storytelling because its a modern day replica of Johannes Vermeer’s A Girl Reading At a Open Window. It seems as though the woman has received a letter from someone that gave her bad news,It seems as though whatever she is reading in that letter is not good news at all. From her face it seems like shes crying or she is about to cry and from the light of the window it looks like the sun light is shining on her face, the baby however could also mean something, maybe something happened to the father and now shes left alone to raise a child by herself.



    I believe the serious “fishing for trout” has by Frances Kearney is a very elegant and calming gallery. The images are full of solid earthy tones that encompasses the whole picture with focal points that capture your first glance before allowing you survey the surroundings. I found the little girl on stilts to be very fascinating, the photographer uses the turned back of the subject to force the viewer to create a persona for the character, giving no hints as to their personality or personal interest in being in the scene. He being on stilts makes a sort of anxious feeling for me as I think about her having to keep her balance within the photo.


  3. Champion by Charlie white

    When I saw this image I imagined a whole story about it. The photo reminds me of a roman era gladiator fight (the aftermath anyway) and the man who won is carrying around his openents head. Having just the man and the head in a picture forces the viewer to create its own story to how this photo came about. It’s a pretty cool image and I really like how she (the photographer, charley white) gives you the ending of the story and you can imagine the rest or maybe it’s not even the end. I enjoyed it a lot.


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