Mimicking a Master Photographer Day 3

Here are some of my favorite photos taken last class:


Photo Credit: Mabel


Photo Credit: Mabel


Photo Credit: Yusuf


Photo Credit: Yusuf



Photo Credit: Yusuf


Photo Credit: Yusuf

Today we will:

  • Take photos in the style of our chosen photographer
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • best photos taken today
    • a brief reflection on what worked well, what challenges you faced, and what you will do differently next class

Mimicking the Masters Day 2

Here are some of my favorite photos from the first day:


Photo Credit: Barry


Photo Credit: Barry


Photo Credit: Giacomo


Photo Credit: Jenny


Photo Credit: Jenny

Watch what is going on in your background. In some cases, you may want to create a composite photo by pathing out your subject and putting them in a new scene. The image below has potential, but the background distracts from Gabe’s expression and body language:


Photo Credit: Bayleigh

We can path Gabe out to isolate him with the intention of putting a new background behind him:


Due to the inclement weather, you will have the option of taking photos outside (if you so choose), or editing any photos you took last class. This blog post reviews how to convert an image to black and white, adjust levels, and how to use the pen tool to path out part of a photograph to create a composite image.

Remember to make a new blog post with today’s work and a brief reflection.

Today we will:

  • Either take photos outside or edit the photos taken last class
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • Images of today’s work
    • The answers to the following questions:
      • What aspect’s of your photographer’s style have been easy to mimic?
      • What aspect’s of your photographer’s style have been challenging to mimic?
      • What changes might you make next class to better mimic your photographer’s style? (ex. request to shoot in a different location, bring bright hats and accessories for your models to wear, conscientiously place your subjects against solid backgrounds, etc.)
      • What adjustments have you been able to make (or plan to make) in Photoshop to better mimic your photographer’s style?

Mimicking the Masters: Shooting Day 1

I have graded all project proposals. If you received less than 100, you are missing one of the following parts: 10 photos taken by your photographer, answers to the questions in last class’s blog post, or the name of your photographer. You have until the end of the school day, Thursday, 4/21 to properly submit this blog post. After that, no credit will be issued.

Not sure how to mimic the style of your chosen photographer without copying it too closely? Here are some examples:

Original Photos by Vivian Maier:

Photos by Ms. Lawson:

Macro Photos by Imogen Cunningham:

Photos by SOTA Students:

Today we will:

  • Plan the types of photos we will shoot to mimic the style of our chosen photographer (ex. subject matter, shot type (close-up vs. long range shot), camera angle)
  • Take our first photos for this project
  • Create a new blog post with the following:
    • best photos from today
    • a reflection on how well your planned approach worked (ex. subject matter, shot type (close-up vs. long range shot), camera angle) and what you will do differently next class

New Project: Mimicking a Master Photographer

For our next project, you will research the style of a photographer of your choice, and submit a series of 10 edited photos in his or her style. You will not recreate their exact photos; rather, you will try to capture the essence of them in your own unique way. For example, if you picked Steve McCurry, you would focus on intense color combinations and possibly saturate the colors more in Photoshop. If you picked Vivian Maier, you would take black & white candid photos of people in an urban environment.

I have provided a list of 58 photographers to get you started. If you would like to focus on a photographer who is not on this list, please check with Ms. Lawson to see whether that photographer would work well for this project.

This is a short, three week project.
Due date: Thursday, May 5th (BD) and Friday, May 6th (AC)

Project Requirements:

Part I: Research your Photographer (20% of grade)
  • You will create a blog post with the following:
    • The name of the photographer you have chosen
    • 10 of their photographs
    • The answers to the questions at the bottom of this part. This includes both questions about your photographer, and questions to help plan your project. Answer each question individually in your own words. Plagiarism will result in a zero.
Part II: Photo Series in the Style of your Photographer (80% of grade)
  • You will submit the following:
    • 10 polished, edited, high-quality photographs in the style of your chosen photographer
    • Artist statement (minimum 150 words) describing your inspiration, process, and how you added your own style to this project

Here is a list of famous photographers:

Carrie Mae Weems (born 1953)
Photographer whose work focuses on serious issues that face African Americans today, such as racism, gender relations, politics, and personal identity.


Carrie Mae Weems

Vivian Maeir (1926-2009)
American Street Photographer



Imogen Cunningham (1883-1976)
American Photographer with a science background; famous for her botanical photos.


Imogen Cunningham



55 Art Wolfe (born 1951)
Popular nature photographer and television presenter whose vividly-coloured images of wildlife, landscapes and indigenous cultures celebrate the beauty and diversity of the natural world.


Art Wolfe

54 Garry Winogrand (1928-1984)
One of the great street photographers of the 1960s and 70s, Winogrand’s pictures of everyday urban life are complex, sometimes humorous and often profound.


Garry Winogrand


53 Edward Weston (1886-1958)
One of the most influential American photographers of the 20th century, Weston shot meticulously detailed large-format pictures of landscape, nude and still-life subjects.


Edward Weston



52 Mario Testino (born 1954)
One of the world’s most famous photographers in the world, Testino is particularly celebrated for his glamorous and flattering fashion photography of women and his advertising campaigns for Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana.


Mario Testino

51 Alfred Stieglitz (1864 -1946)
Groundbreaking photographer, tireless promoter of others’ work and a hugely important figure in the development and acceptance of photography as a serious art form.

50 Edward Steichen (1879-1973)
Initially an important pictorialist photographer, Steichen went on to adopt ‘straight’ photography and became a successful fashion photographer as well as an important gallery and museum curator.

49 W. Eugene Smith (1918-1978)
Famously uncompromising American photojournalist who photographed combat in World War II and went on to specialize in the photo-essay, most notably in his three-year Pittsburgh project.


W. Eugene Smith

48 Sebastiao Salgado (born 1944)
Salgado abandoned a successful career as an economist in 1973 to become a photojournalist and has since carried out numerous photo projects worldwide, highlighting poverty and social injustice.


Sebastiao Salgado



47 Man Ray (1890-1976)
Highly creative, surrealist-influenced photographer whose most famous images resulted from experiments with photograms (which he called ‘rayographs’) and solarisation, in which an image is completely or partially inverted.


Man Ray

46 Irving Penn (1917-2009)
American photographer, widely revered for his studio-based portrait, still life and fashion work. His pictures, executed with great attention to detail, are spare, powerful and carefully composed.

45 Martin Parr (born 1952)
Documentary photographer whose often acerbic, often darkly humorous images (as shown in books such as The Last Resort and Small World) offer a critical view of contemporary culture.


Martin Parr



44 Simon Norfolk (born 1963)
Passionately political British documentary and landscape photographer who has focused his ‘forensic’ attention on the aftermath of war in Afghanistan and Bosnia, and genocide in Rwanda.


Simon Norfolk

43 Arnold Newman (1918-2006)
Known as the ‘father of environmental photography’, Newman preferred to shoot in the subject’s home or workplace and use their surroundings to give additional insight into their personality.


Arnold Newman

42 James Nachtwey (born 1948)
Multi award-winning American photojournalist, famous for his unflinchingly honest images of war in Iraq, the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center.


James Nachtwey

41 Robert Mapplethorpe (1946-1989)
Mapplethorpe was both praised and criticised in his brief but prolific career and is now best remembered for meticulously lit and sensual flower studies and sexually explicit male nudes.

40 Steve McCurry (born 1950)
Magnum member and National Geographic contributor whose varied career in photojournalism has included war reporting and numerous informal portraits including the famous ‘Afghan Girl’.


Steve McCurry



39 Don McCullin (born 1935)
Fearless photojournalist who reported on the Vietnam War and other conflicts before turning to landscape photography and producing distinctive, atmospheric, doom-laden scenes.

38 O Winston Link (1914-2001)
Commercial photographer best known for his classic, beautifully lit monochrome images of the now-vanished world of American steam railways in the 1950s.


O. Winston Link

37 Annie Leibovitz (born 1949)
Arguably the most famous portrait photographer working today, Leibovitz has photographed many of the world’s major celebrities, often in elaborate and imaginative set-ups.


Annie Leibovitz



36 Neil Leifer (born 1942)
Acclaimed sports photographer who shot iconic images of Muhammad Ali in action in the 1960s and who later went on to photograph 40 covers for Time magazine.

Muhammad Ali vs Sonny Liston, 1965 World Heavyweight Title

Neil Leifer



35 Frans Lanting (born 1951)
Netherlands-born nature photographer and long-term National Geographic contributor whose work has broken new ground and directly influenced governments’ conservation policies.


Frans Lanting

34 Dorothea Lange (1895-1965)
American photojournalist, remembered for her documentary work for the Farm Security Administration, which highlighted the plight of the poor during the Great Depression in the 1930s.


Dorothea Lange



33 David LaChapelle (born 1963)
American fashion and fine art photographer who places both celebrity subjects and fashion models in lavish, complex and brightly-coloured fantasy scenes, often using digital manipulation to surreal effect.

ANGELINA JOLIE by David LaChapelle Photoshoot for Rolling Stone Magazine

David LaChapelle



32 Nick Knight (born 1958)
Cutting-edge fashion and advertising photographer who goes against the accepted ideas of beauty in his often-confrontational images. He has tackled a range of issues including racism and disability.


Nick Knight

31 Andre Kertesz (1894-1985)
Hungarian-born photographer who shot street pictures, portraits, cityscapes, still lifes and a famous series of distorted nudes. Still underrated and for some he’s the ‘father of modern photography’.

30 Michael Kenna (born 1953)
Kenna’s distinctively sparse, minimalist monochrome landscapes, often shot in remote locations and using very long exposures, have influenced countless others.


Michael Kenna



29 Yousuf Karsh (1908-2002)
Armenian-Canadian, renowned for his meticulous lighting, who became the most famous portrait photographer of his age. Career highlights include an iconic 1941 portrait of Winston Churchill in ‘bulldog’ mood.

by Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh

28 Nadav Kander (born 1961)
Award-winning advertising and fine art photographer best known for his desolate urban landscapes and his documentary images taken in China along the Yangtze river.


Nadav Kander



27 Horst P Horst (1906-1999)
Horst shot fashion, portraits and nudes with a classic sense of style and was the creator of the famous ‘Mainbocher Corset’ photograph (1939). He had a long association with Vogue magazine.

26 Lewis Hine (1874-1940)
Documentary photographer and social reformer whose shocking images of factory conditions in America, particularly child labour, had a direct influence on changing US employment law.


Lewis Hine



25 Philippe Halsman (1906-1979)
Portraits were Halsman’s speciality and he photographed a number of American celebrities and politicians with his customary panache. Best known for his dynamic and surreal creation, Dali Atomicus.


Philippe Halsman



24 Andreas Gursky (1955)
German photographer and visual artist whose digitally manipulated, large-scale images of buildings, public spaces and landscapes have sold for up to £2.7million each.


Andreas Gursky

23 Anne Geddes (born 1956)
Australian portrait photographer who is both praised and criticised for her fantasy-inspired images of babies and motherhood, but is a phenomenal commercial success, selling over 18 million books.

22 Robert Frank (born 1924)
Swiss-born photographer whose seminal 1958 book The Americans broke new ground in documentary photography technique and was widely influential on succeeding generations.

21 Roger Fenton (1819-1869)
Photographic pioneer who shot some of the earliest war photographs when he took his cumbersome equipment to the Crimean War in 1855 and captured unique battlefield images.

20 Walker Evans (1893-1975)
American documentary photographer and journalist who recorded poverty-stricken sharecropper families during the Depression era and everyday subjects in a clear, poetic style.

19 Elliot Erwitt (born 1928)
Paris-born photographer and member of the Magnum agency, best known for his witty and ironic street pictures, shots of people in museums, and dogs.


Elliot Erwitt



18 William Eggleston (born 1939)
American photographer whose ‘snapshot’ style elevated the everyday to the extraordinary and whose saturated ‘dye-transfer’ prints helped colour photography become an accepted art-form.

William EGGLESTON, Untitled, 1977..png

William Eggleston



17 Harold Edgerton (1903-1990)
Scientist, inventor of the first electronic flash and creator of revolutionary high-speed flash photographs, including a famous shot of a bullet passing through an apple.

16 Brian Duffy (1933-2010)
Highly-regarded fashion, advertising and portrait photographer who shot David Bowie’s iconic Aladdin Sane cover and the imaginative and surreal Benson & Hedges poster campaigns of the 1970s.


Brian Duffy



15 Robert Doisneau (1912-1994)
French photojournalist, best known for his gentle, often humorous but brilliantly observed shots of life in France. His most famous picture is Le baiser de l’hütel de ville, which shows a couple kissing in a Paris street.

14 Patrick Demarchelier (born 1943)
Prominent fashion photographer whose stunning images of the world’s top models have featured in magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar. Has also shot major advertising campaigns for Dior, Calvin Klein and others.

13 Bruce Davidson (born 1933)
American photographer whose documentary work on gang life in Brooklyn, the poor districts of Harlem, New York, and his photographs of the New York subway system in the 1970s broke new ground.


Bruce Davidson



12 Julia Margaret Cameron (1815-1879)
Pioneer of portrait photography, renowned for her intentionally-unfocussed portraits of eminent Victorians including Alfred Lord Tennyson and Sir John Herschel.


Julia Margaret Cameron



11 Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)
Innovative and highly influential French photojournalist and portrait photographer. He co-founded the Magnum agency and is forever associated with the term ‘the decisive moment’.

10 Robert Capa (1913-54)
Charismatic Hungarian photojournalist who covered five different conflicts from the Spanish Civil War to the First Indochina War. Famous for his visceral images of the D-Day landings.

9 Bill Brandt (1904-1983)
German-born photographer with his own distinctive artistic vision. Created atmospheric images while working in diverse genres including portraiture, landscape, figure studies and social documentary.

8 Cecil Beaton (1904-1980)
British fashion and portrait photographer who created elegant and stylish fashion and portrait images for magazines including Vogue and Vanity Fair from the 1920s-70s.

7 Larry Burrows (1926-1971)
For some commentators, Burrows is one of the greatest war photographers. His hard-hitting photo stories for LIFE magazine helped influence public opinion against the Vietnam War, which he covered for nine years.

6 Brassaii (1899-1984)
Hungarian photographer and sculptor who achieved international fame for his atmospheric images of 1930s Paris as shown in his influential book Paris by Night.



5 David Bailey (born 1938)
One of the key players in the new generation of photographers which rose to prominence in the 1960s, known mainly for his iconic fashion and portrait
photographs (Krays, Beatles), and still active today.


David Bailey



4 Richard Avedon (1923-2004)
American photographer, widely acclaimed for his innovative fashion photography for Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and for his penetrating black and white
portraits of people against a white background.

3 Eve Arnold (1912-2012)
Photojournalist equally at home when documenting the lives of the poor and dispossessed around the world, or shooting informal portraits of celebrities. Best-known for her photographs of Marilyn Monroe.


Eve Arnold

2 Diane Arbus (1923-1971)
American documentary photographer who produced emotionally intense and often disturbing portraits of people on the margins of society, including
giants, dwarves, circus performers and transsexuals.

1 Ansel Adams (1902-1984)
Highly influential master of the monochrome landscape. Particularly famous for his images celebrating the beauty and majesty of Yosemite National Park and his ‘Zone system’ for accurately calculating exposure.


Ansel Adams



Today we will:

  • Research a variety of photographers before settling on one whose style we will emulate
  • Create a blog post with the following:
    • The photographer you have chosen
    • 10 of their photographs
    • The answers to the following questions
      • When was your photographer born? When did he or she die?
      • Where did he or she live and work? How did this location influence his or her art?
      • Describe the influential people in his or her life (family members, romantic relationships, other artists who influence them, etc)
      • What type of education did they have? Include whether or not they had any formal art or photography training.
      • What subject matter did they typically photograph?
      • How would you describe their style? (long range vs close up shots, color vs black & white, mood of the piece, studio vs photojournalism, etc)
      • What elements of their style do you specifically hope to emulate in your own photos? How will you do this?
      • What subject matter do you plan to photograph (ex. people, animals, buildings, landscapes, flowers)?
      • What changes do you plan to make in Photoshop (ex. super-saturate colors, composite multiple photos together to create a surreal effect, adjust levels to exaggerate the lighting, etc.)

Next class we will begin taking photos outside. Come prepared!

Final Vector Self-Portrait and Artist Statement

This week, we will put the finishing touches on our vector self-portraits. If you think you are done, show Ms. Lawson your project and ask if there is anything you should add or change. Then create a final blog post with the following items:

  • a PDF of your finished project
  • a JPG of your finished project
  • an artist statement (minimum 150 words) describing your concept, process, why you made the choices you made, and how you feel about your final result

All projects (and accompanying artist statements) are due this Friday, April 15th.
This is the last day of the marking period, so there will be no exceptions.

Here are some finished vector self-portraits:

Vector SP2

Zavion, Grade 11

Vector Self Portrait_Yolanda Santana9

Yolie, Grade 12


Marina, Grade 11

new projectnewest11final

Mya, Grade 11

Vector Self Portrait

Brian, Grade 11

This week we will:

  • Finish our vector self-portraits
  • Create a final blog post with the following items:
    • a PDF of your finished project
    • a JPG of your finished project
    • an artist statement (minimum 150 words)

Creating a Realistic Value Scale


At this point in the project, you should have most of your shapes traced. If you have been using the eyedropper tool to select colors, you may notice that some of your highlights or shadows look a bit off. In order to create a realistic portrait, you will want to create a value scale like the one above, and then use the eyedropper tool to adjust the colors accordingly. Steps on how to do this can be found in this blog post.

Today we will:

  • Continue working on our vector self portraits
  • If you have not done so already, create value scales for each of the following items: skin tones, hair color, fabric color
  • Use the value scales to adjust the colors in your self-portrait
  • Post a PDF of our progress to our blogs