college of dupage courier

Photography students hold a photo shoot in the SSC for class project

The photography department held their “Paint It Black” workshop in the SSC. This included a black backdrop with models dressed in black posing for the cameras. This is an assignment the students in Photo 1101 do every semester.

Terry Vitacco, photography professor, said the assignment is about “wanting to get the most details out of highlights and shadows.” It is a challenge with the black background and subjects dressed in black. The name comes from the famous Rolling Stones’ song “Paint It Black.”

The class is an introductory course to digital photography. The prerequisite is Photo 1100, but if students took a photography class in high school, they may be able to place out.  In this project, Vitacco said, “Not only do they have to get the right tones, but they also have to convert to black and white, print, and submit the assignment. They learn to meter and bring out tones in the photographs.”

Students mostly asked their friends to model but “as people saw us working they wanted to be a part of it,” said Vitacco. About ten students volunteered to model. In years past, this event was held in the MAC lobby but because of the construction, it was held in the SSC.

Vitacco says that this kind of activity means, “They have to learn to work with a group and catch things spontaneously. It’s a fun way to learn a technical skill in photography.” Her rule for Photoshop, which is used in the class, is that the changes “should be better, but subtle.” Another thing they do in class is “look at what they shot and analyze the improvements,” said Vitacco.

Kelly Ellam, photography student, said “I liked that we did it where there was a lot of people, there aren’t that many people in the MAC due to construction.” Vitacco really enjoys this project and said its “interesting to see how everyone interprets the same situation [because] everyone in the group has the same problems and opportunities. Everyone has their own style.”

Soon the final print from the photo-shoot will be put up in the MAC hallways for students to view. Vitacco says she “encourages collaboration [and] it was fun to have others want to participate because a lot of the photographers don’t want to be in the photos, they want to take the photos.”

They are giving copies of all the pictures to each of the models as payment. Vitacco said she always tells students to put their names and rights in the corner so that even once pictures go on Facebook and other social networking sites, they can protect the copyright.

Vitacco encourages everyone to take photo classes and says “photo 1100 is a contemporary life skill class that can be used for general credit, it’s a great thing to learn because it’ll help you in your life, even if you’re not a photo major.”

*Published in the College of DuPage Courier, 2013.

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