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Weekend assignment: Introducing the weekend assignment

The weekend assignment is a weekly (well, that’s the plan) prod to get out there on the weekend and put into practice what you’ve been reading about. The idea is simple: reading about technique is pointless without practice. My hope is that the weekend assignment will not only help you improve your photography but also give you some creative ideas to focus on each weekend to help you make fresh images.

This week we’ve covered indoor portrait lighting, learning how to simplify your compositions, and making abstract photographs.

If you shoot indoors, get someone to pose for you and try the window lighting technique described in indoor portrait lighting. Or try your hand at making an abstract photograph. The ideas in each of those articles are easy to put into practice regardless of what you may be shooting this weekend. Try to keep them in mind while you shoot.

Have a great weekend!

Update: Over the course of the weekend and next week, post your results for this assignment here. Share a little about what you tried and how you think it turned out. Thanks for the suggestion, Dave!

Reader mail: How do you get good portrait lighting indoors?

Lighting is obviously an essential element of photography. Making photos, after all, is about catching those stray photons that bounce off of the world in a creative way. Reader Cory asks, “How do you get good portrait lighting indoors?” Getting good lighting can be tough in any situation but indoor lighting can be especially tricky. Normal indoor light levels are fine for eyeballs but are usually pretty low for a camera. So what’s an indoor shutterbug to do?

Read more…

Photo restoration, creating a matte, and stock photos

Do you have any idea how much custom matting costs? The Small Object has a good tutorial for making your own and saving a few bucks. They even make it look easy. [via Make]

Macworld of all places has a tutorial on scanning and restoring all of those old photos from your pre-digital days. Works on Windows and Linux, too.

Along those lines, Operation Photo Rescue is looking for volunteers and donations to help them restore photographs for victims of hurricane Katrina.

Finally, Citizen Image is a recent entry into the stock photography business with a unique angle. They’re banking on the ubiquity of digital cameras and welcome photographers of all skill levels, from amateurs to pros, to join their “citizen army” of photographers.