Wednesday & Thursday

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Sketchbook Activity

Renaissance art, paintingsculpturearchitecturemusic, and literature produced during the 14th, 15th, and 16th centuries in Europe under the combined influences of an increased awareness of nature, a revival of classical learning, and a more individualistic view of man. Scholars no longer believe that the Renaissance marked an abrupt break with medieval values, as is suggested by the French word renaissance, literally “rebirth.” Rather, historical sources suggest that interest in nature, humanistic learning, and individualism were already present in the late medieval period and became dominant in 15th- and 16th-century Italy concurrently with social and economic changes such as the secularization of daily life, the rise of a rational money-credit economy, and greatly increased social mobility.


Lecture & Vocabulary

Composition: the arrangement of subject matter, graphic elements, tones, and light in a scene. Can be harmonious or discordant, depending on the photographer, his or her mood, and the subject at hand.


Contrast: the relationship between the lightest and darkest areas in a scene and/or photograph. A small difference means low contrast; a great difference high contrast. High contrast scenes usually cause the most exposure problems; however, their difficulty can mean they hold the potential for more expression.


Depth of field: the zone, or range of distances within a scene that will record on film as sharp. Depth of field is influenced by the focal length of the lens in use, the f-number setting on the lens, and the distance from the camera to the subject. It can be shallow or deep, and can be totally controlled by the photographer. It is one of the most creative and profound effects available to photographers.


Rule of thirds: in the rule of thirds, photos are divided into thirds with two imaginary lines vertically and two lines horizontally making three columns, three rows, and nine sections in the images. Important compositional elements and leading lines are placed on or near the imaginary lines and where the lines intersect.

Foreground, Middleground, Background

Foreground: part of scene or space around object that appears closest to camera. (2) element or feature of composition of photograph that is depicted as being nearest viewer.


Middle ground: is the space located between the background and the foreground in a painting or drawing.


Background: the portion of a scene that sits behind the main, foreground subject. The background can be made sharp or un sharp through the use of selective focusing techniques and depth of field manipulation.


Sharpness: the perception that a picture, or parts of a picture are in focus. Also, the rendition of edges or tonal borders.


Crop: to select a portion of the full-frame image as the final picture. Cropping is done in the darkroom or computer environment by the photographer, or by an appointed surrogate in a commercial photo lab.

Sign-Out Activity