Contact Sheet

This assignment is called a “Contact Sheet” because it is a combination of terms used by dark room photographers for the test print of a series of photos. Contact prints of images taken from negatives were used to help photographers decide which images to print, as printing images on photo paper was (and still is) an expensive process. These were then assembled on a Proof Sheet. I combined the terms as a metaphor for the assignment because the rows imitate the form the proof sheet used… rows of images, sometimes with minute variations, that allowed you to see the differences between the different shots.

To get you started, review the online version of Chapter 1 in Digital Foundations. It is an excellent overview of the metaphors used in the Adobe suite of software applications.

Row Image Editing Basics
1 Resolution (dpi) Web
72 dpi
300 dpi
600 dpi
1200 dpi
2 Format/Mode Black & White
DuoTone/Sepia Color
RGB (web)
CMYK (print)
3 Orientation Portrait
h > w
Square Landscape
h < w
4 Framing Close-up <———– ———-> Wide Angle
5 Content Abstract
detail, color, shape, movement, texture
<———– ———-> Representational
Looks like the thing it represents
6 Purpose Artistic <———– ———-> Journalistic

Downloadable Pdf: contact-sheet


You MUST use a different image for each ROW. Use the same image within the row.

For your final project, use images you have taken.. Do not use images for the web as they are copyrighted and rarely have sufficient resolution.

Row 1 – Resolution
Starting with the highest resolution create versions of your image, one for each level. (I have added 600dpi because that is often used in brochures and posters.)

Row 2 – Format/Mode
This can be found under Image-> Mode.
Create versions of your image in each of the modes in the table.

Row 3 – Orientation
Create versions of your image in each of the orientation formats. Start with the Landscape format and crop to create the others.

Row 4 – Framing
Starting with the widest angle of your image and use the crop to zoom in on a part of the image. Give examples of various degrees of zoom.

Row 5 – Aesthetic Content
Starting with the most representational version of your image, crop to illustrate an abstract version of your image.

Row 6 – Purpose
Starting with the most journalistic version of your image, use the filters in PhotoShop to create several artistic versions. Be sure to label the image with the tools/filters YOU used so you can reference this page to recreate those effects in future.

Under each image MAKE SURE THE CAPTION briefly explains the facts about the image.


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