Dylan Long's Capstone

Student Name:

Dylan Long

In-school mentor’s name:

Douglas Herman

Out-of-school mentor’s name and affiliation:

Dan Long; Father & mentor photographer

Topic Summary:

The goal of this project was to develop and explore a deeper understanding & skill in the art of photography and photo editing, while building up a professional portfolio and letting new photographic styles and techniques evolve.


The inspiration behind this project was ultimately rooted in my passion for photography and visual art. I wanted to develop and improve my skills as a photographer, capture and create art that I would be proud to call mine, and develop a professional portfolio of work to help launch me into professional opportunities. I had been shooting live music for years prior to this project, and I felt I was ready for this next step in my career. I conducted extensive research on the mechanics of cameras and how to manipulate them to achieve the results I wanted, with the help of my mentor Mr. Douglas Herman and my father Dan Long, both professional photographers/artists. As a result of this project, I have an extensive body of work that reflects my growth as a photographer, I have loads of more experience and work under my belt, and I have an intensely deeper understanding of the functionality and artistry behind photography. I aspire to continue making art and capturing beautiful images of live music when I go off to college, while saving up for more professional gear and hopefully landing paying gigs with reputable outlets. I found this project very successful & rewarding by applying SLA’s system of core values to my process from start to finish.


Nikon. "Digitutor D5100 | Nikon." Digitutor D5100 | Nikon. Nikon Corporation. <http://www.nikonusa.com/en_US/o/fMZVV67lYK5ioJrwanFGgpduihI/Video/Digitutor/index.html>.

I selected this source because it gives a professional insight into how to use my specific camera, the Nikon 5100. I found it extremely reliable because this extensive interactive walkthrough was provided by the very maker of my camera, Nikon. From this source I refreshed myself on the specific features of my camera and how to apply these features to my work to come up with the best images that I can be taking.

Nikon. "Shooting a Rock Concert." Concert Photogaphy Tips. Nikon Corporation. <http://www.nikonusa.com/en/Learn-And-Explore/Article/fyui3bsa/shooting-a-rock-concert.html>.

I selected this source because it gives a professional insight into how to use a professional camera in a live music setting. I found it extremely reliable because this extensive article on concert photography offered visual examples along with the settings information for each image, and also included was an extensive article talking about both a logistic and artistic standpoint on concert photography, along with a comments section that offered further collaboration among fellow photographers. From this source I was able to draw more knowledge and inspiration in my photography.

"Nightclub Photography Tips: Camera and Flash Settings." Nightclub Photography Tips: Camera and Flash Settings. The Nightclub Photographer, n.d. Web. <http://www.nightclubphotographytips.info/p/nightclub-photography-tips-camera.html>.

I selected this source because it gives a professional insight into how to use a camera and flash effectively in a nightclub/darkly lit setting, which is where I am often doing concert photography. I found it fairly reliable because the information on the website is consistent with photographic settings and techniques. From this source I was able to draw lots more knowledge concerning lighting in a darkly lit environment, which is essential to be adept in when it comes to low-light concert photography.

"Concert Review." Concert Review. Twp.duke.edu. Duke University. <https://twp.duke.edu/uploads/assets/concert.pdf>.

I selected this source because it gives a professional insight into how to write a concise, well-written concert review. Part of my job with the blog Phawker along with taking pictures of the show is writing a 150-200 word review of the show as well. It’s a very demanding job as a teenager because I have to write with the quality of an adult journalist. I found this source extremely reliable because it is a document offered by Duke University in North Carolina. From this source

Bray, Simon. "10 Steps for Building a Photography Portfolio to Be Proud Of - Tuts+ Photo & Video Article." Photo & Video Tuts+. Tuts. <http://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/10-steps-for-building-a-photography-portfolio-to-be-proud-of--photo-3991>.

I selected this source because it gives a professional insight into the process of building up a professional portfolio of photography. My project primarily consists of various different mediums of showcasing my work, and thus I decided to do some professional research on the best way to go about it. From this source, I learned a lot about what looks good to the eye when it comes to preparing pieces of art. I learned about storylines with images, color schemes, and other interesting ways to arrange and isolate images.

"HOW TO PLAN AN ART EXHIBITION: TO DO/ CHECKLIST." HOW TO PLAN AN ART EXHIBITION: TO DO/ CHECKLIST. Ketchikan Arts. Ketchikan Arts. Web. <http://ketchikanarts.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/HOW-TO-PLAN-AN-ART-EXHIBITION.pdf>.

I selected this source because it gives a professional insight into the process of planning and executing a professional art gallery. I think it is a very trustworthy and legitimate source because the ideas explain in this article are extremely helpful and insightful, and relevant to the topic. From this source I gathered a potential game plan for the end of the year show for all of the photography students and I am now far more aware about how to orchestrate an art gallery and collaborate with others to make it even better.

Photo Book Girl. "How to Make Your Own Digital Photo Book - Digital Photography School." Digital Photography School RSS. Digital Photography School, n.d. Web. <http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-make-your-own-digital-photo-book/>.

King, Julie Adair. Digital Photography for Dummies. New York, NY: Wiley Pub., 2002. Print.

I selected this book because I own it and it is an extremely reliable source of information. Inside of this book is quite literally everything you need know on how to become extremely adept at handling DSLR’s (digital single-lens reflex camera), which is one of my goals in this capstone. From this source, I learned various new techniques and tricks that have helped me and will continue to help me explore and advance my skills in photography.

Interview: Dan Long

“I am a professional concert photographer who has been photographing concerts for over thirty years. I have used various different cameras and shot shows in various different ways, and I have been my son’s primary life mentor since he first picked up his Nikon D3100. I have taught Dylan almost everything he knows about photography and have guided him through many projects and new experiences with his camera. I am continuing to do the same thing to this day.”

Interview: Douglas Herman

“I am Dylan’s in-school mentor. For this year, Dylan and his other classmates are going to be helping prepare another annual SLA Photolab student gallery. I am going to be helping both the students as a whole with this art gallery, and Dylan individually. I am going to be giving Dylan guidance on executive decisions to make about his photography and how he portrays it, tips and advice on how to improve the quality of his work and his work ethic, and anything else he needs along the way.” 

Visual representation of my capstone is available via the PDF uploaded with the post!