Documenting a location
Choose a location to photograph/document. The location can be as varied as your childhood park, downtown Phoenix, or Papago Peak.
Once you choose your location ask yourself: What do you want to remember about this location? What is the best part of the place for you?
If you choose a landscape, is the entire landscape interesting or a particular part of it?
If you choose a cityscape or urban environment is it a place of comfort or chaos? (think quaint and quiet coffeshop versus starbucks during rush hour) Is it the people or the buildings that give it character. Explore the location and what you want to take away from it.
The purpose of this assignment is for you to document the location. Walk around the location you choose. Look at it from different angles and positions. Pay attention to the relationship between the foreground and the background; the closer you are to an object, the more a slight change of position will affect its relationship to the background.
If possible return or plan on visiting the same location at different times of day to explore different lighting. How does the location change in early morning sun versus the soft diffused light of sunset?
Now that you have explored depth of field, you can use depth of field to emphasize a certain part of the location.
Alfred Stieglitz was a master of the cityscapes. http://www.masters-of-photography.com/S/stieglitz/stieglitz2.html
This deceivingly simple composition creates a beautiful, dreary image of a street during a spring shower. But also pay attention to the man on the far left. The man is not the focus of the photograph, but how does his hunched over presence, cowering from the rain, affect how we perceive this photograph? How would this image be different if it was shot on a sunny day in bright daylight?
If you prefer landscapes, there is no one beter to imitate than Ansel Adams. Explore his photography here, or do a Google image search for Ansel Adams.
Look at how he uses the repetition of the rocks in the foreground and contrasts them as well as compares them to the repetition of the mountains in the background.
Or look at how others have used his work as a starting off point.