Conceptual Composite


Bright FishThe Conceptual Composite

Conceptual photography is, first and foremost, about the concept of the photo. A conceptual photographer is trying to bring about a particular idea to the viewer, be it a political statement or a social commentary or an emotional outcry. There is some level of abstraction in a conceptual photo, so the image is not just an example of a concept, but also an expression of an idea.
Conceptual photography may also use graphical symbols to represent ideas, movements, moods, anything and everything that the photographer might want to include in the concept of their photograph. Symbols with strong, well-established connotations are usually used, from racy red lipstick to a blue moon, shamrocks and clovers to a green dollar bill.
With conceptual photography you can make a statement, convey feelings or humor, illustrate social ideas or just have fun creating another reality or something that isn’t really there. It is your creation.
For this project, you will be creating a COMPOSITE photograph. You will create your own concept before shooting your photo. You may use the studio during lab time in class and after hours.

First, come up with an idea or concept of what you want to communicate. It can be fact or fiction, reality or fantasy, but it must be of your own creation. Then, sketch out THREE ideas and compositions. Choose your favorite that will work best for the assignment and write a proposal about your concept.


Shoot at 8-10MP or greater for best results.
IMPORTANT: Light your subject/scene similarly in each photo to create a believable image.
Upload all photos to your Project 2 folder on the Network.
Create a proper 4×5 Contact Sheet BEFORE editing.

Final Composite

Edit using Lightroom/Photoshop. (Preserve your original files!)
Should be clean, neat and well-finished using the selection tools and layers provided in Photoshop.
You will need a final image that measures 11”x14” at 300 ppi for printing in the lab.
Save final in TWO formats: PSD and a JPG. You will be turning it in with your final portfolio.
Also save as a .jpg for the internet: 1024px at 72ppi, and upload to the class website.

Use the Selection Tools and Layer Masks in Photoshop to combine, or composite, two or more photos in Photoshop to create a new image. 

Your creative image should look natural, with no traces of cutout or compositing.

  • Skill capturing a full color, full contrast photo.
  • Creativity in seeing the final photo before shooting.
  • Using Photoshop to composite two or more photos to create a new image.
  • Selection and Layers skills in Photoshop.

What it’s all about

Upload your Photo

YOUR PHOTOS MUST HAVE YOUR NAME AND COPYRIGHT EMBEDDED FOR CREDIT. Embed your info with your Metadata Preset in the Import Dialog Box in Lightroom when importing your photos. After you upload your photo, turn in your PDF Contact Sheet to the Hand-in Folder BEFORE DUE DATE to receive a grade. Grades are not issued without a contact sheet.


FILENAME: Your#-YourName-Assignment-Description.jpg.

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