My students are working on their first class assignment, a product illustration. They need to photograph one object to SELL it. In the process, they learn to use their cameras better.
Here are some of my favorite student samples.
I also like this project by student Cat Metcalf, who photographed a guitar. These photos are similar, but you can see that putting the product in the light, rather than the shadows, makes a big difference in the visual impact.
Besides selling the product, I ask students to show me examples of long depth of field and shallow depth of field. The best photos are those in which the student used the proper apertures, and also used lens and distance to make the photo LOOK all in-focus or partly in-focus. Here’s one project that worked well.
Another exercise for students is to show me the difference between wide angle and telephoto perspectives. New photographers often have to train their eyes to recognize how different lens change their background and the “visual impact” of an image. These photos by Courtney Powers show it well.