Portrait Recreation Project
This is a project I do with my Commercial Photography class after we have discussed posing, lighting and retouching. In this project, students will choose a well-known portrait photograph. They will then do their best to research the photograph to find out information such as the photographer, the camera/equipment used to create it, why was it taken, what was the critical reception and more. Afterwards, the student will attempt to recreate the photo to the best of their abilities while paying special attention to the pose, lighting and editing. I normally give them a pass on the background, clothing and resemblance of their subject to the actual person in the original photo.
I normally format this unit as follows: 1 day choosing photo/research, 1 day research/planning, 1 day shooting/editing, 1 day editing/finishing touches, 1 day presenting/grading. However, this could be scaled back and turned in to more of a homework assignment if need be.
Additionally, this assignment could easily touch upon other aspects of digital creativity by discussing things such as fair use when using others work in this educational manner. This assignment assumes that students are already familiar with using a DSLR camera in manual mode.
Much of the Photoshop/Lightroom elements of this project will depend upon the photo that the student chooses to recreate so the retouching techniques will vary from student to student.
After researching and recreating students present their photos and research to the class and discuss how they went about the process and self-assess.
Included in this resource: Lesson Instructions (written for students), example student presentation, example student essay, peer grading sheet, grading rubric for teacher.