Self Portrait

Create a literal or metaphorical self-portrait with a unique point of view, using a digital camera and Adobe Photoshop. The photograph should have a small depth of field where one part of the photograph is emphasized for a specific reason in order to tell the viewer more about you, manipulating the aperture will assist you in achieving a narrow depth of field.

Objectives: Use the camera and photographs to display your physical or psychological self. Use your photograph as a means of communication and expression

Dimensions: A minimum of 40 digital draft photographs & 1 final digital photograph

Communication and Expression
  • Portray your physical or psychological self—what do you want others to understand or read about you?
  • Create a clear and readable image that the audience will understand
  • The emphasized portion of the photograph must act as a clue to the content of the photograph, allowing viewers to read the narrative correctly
Design and Composition
  • Demonstrate an understanding of visual devices and the Composition Guidelines – simplicity, balance, line, rule of thirds, mergers, and framing.
  • A portion of the photograph is emphasized through the use of a small depth of field
  • There is a clear distinction about what is emphasized (focused, clear) vs. what is not
Methods, Tools, and Techniques
  • Good exposure must be achieved by changing the shutter to adjust to a larger lens opening (small f/number)
  • A small/narrow depth of field is achieved by adjusting the aperture, zoom, and distance from the subject and background
  • Take a minimum of 40 digital exposures and create a digital contact sheet
  • Use Photoshop  to consider adjustments to the photograph.  Give attention to color balance, brightness, contrast, and cropping.
Critique and Reflection
  • Reflect upon your work and aligned your intentions with the final photographs.
  • Give appropriate and constructive feedback to your peers.
  • Reflect upon your own work in a thoughtful manner

    The photos may be taken during class time or at home.

    Considerations/Art Problems: 
    1. Consider what parts of the body, if any, to use or emphasize
    2. Explore both the physical and the psychological aspect of yourself while considering your point of view, perspective, and props—what clues are you giving the viewer?
    3. Extend yourself—don’t do the usual…use the worksheet to help you
    4. Explore distance and proximity—how can getting close (or far) rearrange and influence the visual?
    Key Vocabulary:
    Self portrait: a portrait of oneself, done by oneself
    Point of view: the direction of the gaze of the artist and viewer on the setting in the image (bird’s eye, bug’s eye, etc.)
    Depth of field: zone of acceptable sharpness extending in front of and behind the point on the subject which is exactly focused by the lens