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Edit and Composition

Molly Newman Introduction to photography in high school

Common Core Standards: 5PE Describe the role of technology as a visual art medium. 6PE Describe the decisions made in the design of everyday objects. 1PR Demonstrate basic technical skill and craftsmanship with various art media when creating images

from observation, memory and imagination.


2PR Apply the elements and principles of art and design using a variety of media to solve specific

visual art problems.


3PR Explore multiple solutions to visual art problems through preparatory work. 1RE Explore various methods of art criticism in responding to artworks. 3RE Use appropriate vocabulary to define and describe techniques and materials used to create

works of art.
Lesson Summary: In this lesson students will be taught the basic rules of composition in photography, along with rules about light and texture. Photoshop will be used to show students how to correct photos and the lesson will end with a critique on each others artwork, followed by an evaluation of concepts learned.

Estimated Duration: The duration of this lesson will be roughly four hours and will use four class periods of an hour each.

Commentary: I will start this lesson by asking students to bring in digital copies of pictures that they or someone they know

have taken. It could be a favorite picture or something professional. I then will use a computer that is hooked up to a projector so that my students can see the projected image and open it in Photoshop. We will briefly go through each of the photos and talk about what is appealing about each (ie: the texture, colors, composition, lighting, etc) As we go along I will assign vocabulary words to each of the techniques in various pictures. Finally we will pick one or to edit in front of the class, this is where I will teach the students to use the basic tools in Photoshop. The students then will be asked to take their own pictures and the following day they will edit their own pictures in class. Finally they will have a critique of each others work and end with an evaluation asking about vocabulary. I think that students will enjoy the hands on approach of this lesson instead of me standing in front of the class and telling them about composition.

Instructional Procedures: Day 1: The day prior to this day, students will be asked to bring in a digital copy of a favorite picture of theirs. It can be a family photo or something professional. In fact, half of the class will be asked to find a professional photo to bring in and half of the class will be asked to bring in a photo that was taken by them, a friend, or a family member that has little to no prior knowledge about photography. When class begins I will begin opening the photos brought in by students on a computer that is hooked up to a projector. As a class we will talk about what we like and dislike about each of the photos aesthetically and informally, but as students start to point out things like they like where the subject is etc. I will start to assign vocabulary words to these things. (ie: rule of thirds, framing, high or low contrast, etc.) We will do the same for the professional and family photos; the hope is that there are things the class can critique in the family photos and things they can learn from the professional photos. Finally at the end of class (Last ten minutes) students will be given an oral assessment asking questions such as What is it called when the veiwers eye is pulled along a railroad tracks until it meets the subject?? (Leading Lines). Students will have homework to come in the following class with a digital copy of a photo they have taken using one or more of the composition tools they learned. They will have to identify what they chose to use. Day 2: Today is a less interactive day and students will watch and listen as I demonstrate some simple tasks in Photoshop. I will use some of the family photos from the previous day and ask students what they would like to see happen to the photos to make them more visually appealing. For instance if a student would prefer that a photo would have a tighter frame, I would demonstrate through Photoshop how to crop said photo. If a student would prefer that a photo would have a higher contrast level I would demonstrate how to do this. If students run out of suggestions I will have a printed list of the things I want them to know in Photoshop and would demonstrate each of these things to them. (How to change contrast, saturation, levels, how to burn and dodge images, sharpen, or colorize.) Students will only be taught tools from Photoshop that can be used to enhance an image rather than just slapping a filter on something. This will take an entire class period Day 3: Today is the day that the students images are due so that they can work on editing them in class. The idea is that students will learn to enhance otherwise quality photos that they have taken. Each of them will use one of

the computers, which already has Photoshop installed and they will utilize the tools they were taught in the last class. Today is more of a lab day than anything. I will walk around the room and help students with anything they might have forgotten or were fuzzy on. Ideally students will learn these tools best by using them on their own work, which they are proud of. They will have 45 minutes to edit their photos. The critique will start today for the last 15 minutes of class but it will be explained under the Day 4 header. Day 4: This is the final day of the lesson and it will consist of students critiquing each others work. Each o f the students will pull up their final photo on the projector and present it to the class. In their presentation they should tell what composition techniques they used and why. If they made their image with very high contrast they should have an explanation as to why. What was the point they were trying to get across? After each student presents, their classmates will have an opportunity to say (in a polite way) what they like or dislike about the photo and why. They are also free to give the artist suggestions for what they would have done with this photo. We will do critiques for 45 minutes followed by a final assessment on the computer in which students are asked questions about composition and Photoshop. This will be considered their final assessment for this lesson.

Pre-Assessment: The pre assessment for this lesson will be the informal conversation with the students about the photos they have chosen. In this discussion students might say things like I like that the subject in this picture is standing off to the side. This allows me to know that this student has an eye for composition but does not know that the correct term for this is rule of thirds. Scoring Guidelines: The scoring for the pre-assessment will be a participation grade and students will be informed of this upon arriving to class. If they are interactive in talking about what they like and dislike about the photos they have chosen, they will receive a wholistic grade worth 10 points. Post-Assessment: The post assessment will be the one they take on the computer that asks questions about the things they should have learned in the lesson. The other part of the post assessment is the photos they have produced and edited, illustrating that they have actively put their new knowledge and skills to use. Scoring Guidelines: At the beginning of this lesson, students will be given a rubric for their final photos and editing. This rubric will have four categories worth 10 points each. Did the student use at least one of the composition techniques outlined in class? Did the student use at least 3 tools from Photoshop when editing their picture? Could the student identify the tools they used and why when presenting their final project to the class?

Did the student give thoughtful constructive criticism to at least one other student during the critique? The final ten points of this lesson will be based on the 10-question assessment that students will take based on the content they have been taught.

Differentiated Instructional Support If their were students who already had a basic knowledge of Photoshop, I might already have a disfigured or discolored stock image ready and ask the student to correct it so that it winds up looking like the perfected image that I will also have ready. I might also offer this as extra credit if a student finishes editing early. For students that are struggling with framing and composition, I might offer an extra half hour after school that the students and I walk around the school grounds, each with a picture frame in hand and hold it up to some sort of scenery and discuss why or why not this would wind up being a good shot.

Extension http://www.picmonkey.com/ This website would be a great suggestion for students that struggle with using Photoshop or would like to edit photos of their own at home. It would allow students to get some extra help in editing.

Homework Options and Home Connections The students homework assignment in this lesson is to take a well composed picture with some sort of meaning outside of class so that they can bring it in to edit and critique. Students will be using a digital camera to complete this assignment and this is assuming that we have already covered the lesson on how to use to manual settings on a digital camera. Also if students do not finish editing their photos in class they will have to finish outside of class using some sort of photo editor.

Interdisciplinary Connections My old photography teacher used to say two very wise phrases. Even if you dont wind up being a professional photographer, at least youll have better family pictures than your friends and Each of your photos should have some sort of meaning. It should make your viewer feel think or do something when they look at it. Each of these quotes made photography more than just an elective art class. It gave it more purpose and I plan on using both of these quotes in order to give this subject more importance.

Materials and Resources:

For teachers

Digital camera, use of Evernote, projector/ smart board, computer, Photoshop programs

For students

Digital camera, flash drive, computer, Photoshop, smart board or projector.

Key Vocabulary Rule of thirds, leading lines, contrast (low and high), framing (tight and wide), burn, dodge, adjust levels, texture, subject, color.