‘Summer Course’ brief

The class had been briefed by the tutor to take two series of photographs relating to two different summer courses of our choice. We then had to edit the photos by each set to show that they were related to each other. To do this, we changed the colours of the elements of the photos.

The first topic we chose was ‘Bike Maintenance’. One of the group members had a good bike handy so we took photographs of the bike. We kept in mind the composition of the photo and most importantly the lighting. We took photos of the bike in natural daylight which made it easier for us to edit the photo afterwards in Photoshop. I first took photos of the gears and the chain on the bike. Then we asked the cyclist to mount the bike so we could take a photo of his grabbing the handlebars, relating to the ‘hands-on’ nature the bike maintenance course could have. Moving on from the handlebars we asked one of the group members to seem like he was fixing part of the bike by touching the gears and the chain. Finally we took a photo of the smaller elements of the bike, such as the pedals and lights.

After completing the first set of photos, we edited the photos in Photoshop. Before changing colours of elements of the photo, we needed to make common adjustments, such as changing the brightness, contrast, levels, exposure, etc. We also needed to eliminate the background from the focus of the topic in the foreground. To do this we used the magnetic lasso tool in Photoshop. This tool acted like the pen tool and was much easier to use than the magic wand and lasso tool. The magnetic lasso was practical considering how busy the background was when we took photos of the bike. Before using the tool we added a layer behind the background so we could fill the background in with a colour. This colour would be part of the final outcome for the photo. We decided to use only two colours. I edited the photos so that the topic in the foreground was coloured red. To do this I first edited the colour balance of the photo, and then edited the contrast and saturation. This made the photo much more vibrant and eye-catching. For the background I chose to use yellow. The other members of the group decided to use yellow on red so we could show variation between the photos, although we had to edit the colour so that they were the same tones.

We were also asked to crop the photos to certain dimensions. The dimensions for the first topic were:

  • 140 x 200 mm portrait
  • 280 x 40 mm landscape
  • 55 x 100 mm portrait
  • 55 x 40 mm landscape

We discovered at this point that we needed to provide four photos for the final outcome. Due to the dimensions of the photos we needed to present, we took the photos again after sketching out brief ideas of what compositions we could use for each of the photos.

After editing the photos we cropped them to fit the dimensions of the photos required at the end of the brief, and then placed them on an A3 page. At this point we decided that it would look more interesting if we swapped the colours around between the foreground and the background. For example, the pedal where the background used to be yellow and the foreground red, is now red in the background and yellow in the foreground.


For the second set we took the photos again according to the ideas of these dimensions:

  • 200 x 140 mm landscape
  • 40 x 280 mm portrait
  • 100 x 55 mm landscape
  • 40 x 55 mm portrait

Following the same process as the first topic, we edited the photos again and chose to balance the colours between blue and pink.

Some  of the photos we had taken of the Nikon DSLR were slightly blurry, so we decided to stick with photos that were sharp and clear to make them easier to edit and make the outcomes look more professional. We edited the images for the photography and film course the same way we had edited the bike maintenance series. We placed them on an A3 page after cropping the images to the dimensions required.


We had presented the photos on Monday the 21st Nov with all our work we had created in the Image module. I was extremely impressed with the outcomes everyone had come up with for the projects we had completed in the module. We filled in a feedback sheet for ourselves and for a colleagues’ work we were not familiar with. This encouraged us to give sufficient feedback on their work.


Author: jennifertaylorgraphics

First year student studying Graphic Communication at the Cardiff School of Art and Design

One thought on “‘Summer Course’ brief”

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