The Art and Science of Depiction -- Frédo Durand

There is No Passive Recording

Monday, February 12. 2001


We will show that photography and cinema are hardly passive recordings. Make-up, cinema lighting, film processing, editing. We will also see that realism is not always what we need.

Slides of the lecture

PDF (1 per page)

PDF (6 per page)

PDF (6 per page, black and white with white background, better for printing)

Assignments for Monday 19

Read Photosurrealism
excerpt from Advanced Renderman, creating CGI for Motion Pictures, Anthony A. Apodaca and Larry Gritz, Morgan Kaufman publisher, 2000

Read Jet Lighter, overcoming obstacles
excerpt from Digital Wizardry, creative Photoshop techniques, Amphoto books, 1998

1 page summary
briefly summarize the two readings, 1 page (that is 1/2 page per reading), 12 point double space

Start reading Art and Illusion (friendly advice)

Photoshop Enhancement of a photo
initial photo
advice and requirements
Either send me a jpeg file of the resulting image or post-it on a web site and e-mail me address. Do not send me the much bigger photoshop file. include 5 lines describing what you learnt and what problems you encoutnered.

Send 5 lines (by e-mail) explaining the most important thing you've learnt in class this week, or the thing you do not agree about or the subject you would have liked to seedeveloped in more details.

Illustrative image
Bring or send as jpeg an image illustrating one of the issues covered during the lecture or in the documentary (e.g. lighting, make-up, depth of field, etc.).

Discussion issue
Send me one or two issues or reaction about the documentary Visions of light we watch on wednesday, for Monday's discussion.

Getting acquainted meeting
Do not forget to take an appointment (

Further Reading
Ansel Adams The Camera, Little Brown & Co, 1995 (reprint)
Ansel Adams The Negative, Little Brown & Co, 1995 (reprint)
Ansel Adams The Print, Little Brown & Co, 1995 (reprint)
Gerald Millerson, Lighting for Television and Film, Focal Press; ISBN: 024051582X
Kevyn Aucoin, Making Faces, Little Brown & Co, ISBN: 0316286850
Rudolf Arnheim, Art and Visual Perception : A Psychology of the Creative Eye, Univ California Press; ISBN: 0520026136
Using Filters (The Kodak Workshop Series), Sterling Publications; ISBN: 087985751X
George Schaub, The Digital Darkroom : Black-And-White Techniques Using Photoshop, Silver Pixel Press; ISBN: 1883403510

Related links

Mastes of Photography
The Zone System
The (Quick and Dirty) Zone System For Color
Basic Photography Guide
Take Better Photos
Digital Darkroom Imaging and Printing Tech Tips

Complete List of Photoshop Tips
The Ultimate Compendium of Adobe Photoshop Sites (maybe)
PC Resources for Photoshop and the Digital Photographer
Planet Photoshop
Photoshop Paradise