Developing and Understanding Practice


This is the last project based assessment task for the Preliminary HSC course. ‘Developing and Understanding Practice’ exposes you to the thinking and practice that is an essential part of learning to see the world through the ‘photographic eye’. During the course of working through this task we expect to see the emergence of a more professional photographic practice. Your camera craft should be more than adequate to manage the demands of the task. The understanding of concepts such as ‘depth of field’ and ‘exposure equivalency’ should be well established. Completed images; ideally, should reflect the ability to translate learned concepts into practice.

The first practical task is the submission of a series of a minimum of 6 x still life images. These should ideally be shot under controlled lighting conditions.

Images sourced @,,,,,

Images sourced @,,

The next part of the coursework task is the submission of a series of images (minimum of two) from a suggested list of experimental or alternative processes.

Examples could include;

  • Hand Colouring.


  • Solarization


  • Negative sandwich



The way you light your arrangement is an important ingredient for success when working with still life photography. In examining how to compose and light your compositions its a good idea to begin by looking at the work of some of the acknowledged great photographers of the past. In the images below you will see examples of best practice using controlled lighting and shooting with available light (natural lighting).

Edward Weston


Olive Cotton


And here are some contemporary examples of a range of practices.


When setting up to shoot under a controlled lighting situation consideration should be given to how you use back-lighting, soft-boxes, diffusers’, spots, modeling lights and a range of setups that allow you to contain the lighting environment. It’s surprising how easy it is for successful shots to be obtained with very simple  setups.

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