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Digital Photography Lessons & Projects

This Digital Photography course has been developed with a UbD framework, project-based methodology while utilizing a blended learning approach, visible thinking methods, and an emphasis on collaboration and critique.
Take a look below for some examples of lessons & projects.

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Portrait Experimentation

This photography project was designed to be a creative exploration of both the process of taking portraits and post-production manipulation. Students worked collaboratively to take their photographs and had a chance to express their creativity with both the taking of the photographs and the manipulation. All students followed the Splatter Dispersion tutorial and the class was differentiated with an additional post-production technique of Double Exposure. The class culminated in a Gallery Walk where students responded to the work by writing a emotion, question, or statement that the piece evoked.

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Still Life

Students were introduced to the fundamentals of composition, the history, and photographic genre of still lives. Their project challenge was to create their own composition, this was coupled with an introduction of additional Photoshop tools and techniques. An emphasis was placed on the use of space and negative space with the four fundamental elements of composition; a clearly defined subject and background, a sense of balance, a point of view, and a degree of simplicity. Students were also asked think about the lighting. Students also created a Pinterest still life idea board. The project culminated with a class presentation and a peer-to-peer critique.

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Circular Heaven

This project was framed around the challenge to take photographs of nine different circles for a photo collage. Students were tasked with being creative with the way they were finding this geometric shape in their environment. Students then put all their final photographs together into a grid in Photoshop to create a cohesive composition.

This is an introductory lesson to Digital Photography with students learning the basics of Adobe Bridge, Adobe Photoshop, and how to use the camera on manual mode. Students are beginning the process of learning how to see the world in a more critical and creative manner. The project culminated with a class presentation and critique.

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Landscape & Composition

This multi-layered and multiple class project was designed to introduce students to the concept of composition, the fundamentals of composition in photography, the idea of looking versus seeing, and increasing their Photoshop skills. Students were introduced to the basics of photography; focal length, aperture, iso, & shutter speed. Students used iPads with the grid turned off to take photograph a series of landscape photographs that epitomized their chosen compositional element. Students then choose their best photograph and followed the project tutorial to edit the photograph. The project culminated with a class critique.

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Photoshop Battle

This project was designed as a fun competitive exercise to get students introduced to Adobe Photoshop and the art of “Photoshopping”. All students were given the same source file of the photo of the cat that caused an epic, online Photoshop battle. Project was differentiated with additional support for students who were coming to the class with no experience or had experience using this application. Students got the opportunity to share their work and then vote on the funniest photoshopped version.

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Creative Portrait

In the third unit of the photography course students explored the idea of lighting and setting up a simple one light studio lighting with reflectors in conjunction with the theme of “Identity”. The class explored the topic of identity through the lens of artists Nikki S. Lee and Cindy Sherman. Students were introduced to the basics of a one light setup and the use of reflectors. The project challenge was to make their own creative Self-Portrait with the aid of Adobe Photoshop. The project culminated with a class presentation and critique.

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Sketchnoting & Research

This project is about researching and dissecting a photographer’s work. Students were tasked with working collaboratively to pick a photographer to present on. Groups were provided with a list of potential photographers and they were then given questions to explore as they researched this photographer and their work. Students had to break down this information and create poster presentations using the Sketchnoting technique. The project culminated in a gallery walk and presentations by groups to the class.

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Independent Project

For the independent project, students were asked to utilize the skills and concepts they learned throughout this course and their own creativity to propose a photography series of their own creation. Students researched ideas and concepts, proposed a project based around a concept or subject matter, had to get approval for this project, shot their project, edited, and presented their final curated work along with their process and intent as the final pièce de résistance for the résistance for the course.

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