Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Lesson Idea: Vignetting

As a new teacher to photography I'm constantly searching for new ideas to make traditional photographic techniques more fun for my students. Our A2 students are currently experimenting with selectively enhancing their compositions by experimenting with a range of different darkroom/digital methods. Last week we looked at vignetting and I couldn't resist finding some new interpretations of this classic technique. It was a great lesson and your students will enjoy seeing (and learning!) simpler/more complex methods of the same approach. Enjoy!

1. Vignetting
Create a vignette card by folding a piece of A4 paper in half and cutting half the shape of an oval/circle at the fold of the paper. This will result in an accurate 'butterfly effect' shape that will be your vignette mask in the darkroom!

2. Highlighting areas of interest
Choose a relevant image, e.g. object, buildings, people and expose your image for half the required exposure time. After you have exposed your print, place a coin over a selected area of your image and expose it again for the remaining time. For example. An exposure time of 4 seconds= 1st exposure: 2 seconds, 2nd exposure 2 seconds. By placing your coin over an area while being exposed it will darken the rest of the image and leave behind a lighter shade under the coin! Develop your print as normal.

3. Press Printing
Choose an object that relates to your image - e.g. landscape = leaf. Expose your print for the required time. Dip your object into the developer and hold it flat on your print for about 30 seconds. Stop, fix and wash as normal.

In addition, objects that you have used for press printing work in the same way for the 'hotspot' coin circles above. Instead of using a coin just swop it for your object and the same effect will appear as above!

Do you share different approaches to a technique with your students? Let us know we'd love to collaborate on teaching ideas!

- Kirsty 

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