Friday, February 6, 2009

BMS: Digital Photography -- Abstract Architecture

Kathy Fleming, Technology teacher at BMS, is currently working with students over a series of sessions on a Digital Photography unit. Students viewed several YouTube videos and a BrainPop video about taking good digital images and using digital cameras.
Students learned the three essential elements of a successful photograph: the subject matter, the composition and the lighting. The subject matter must be interesting, or beautiful, or striking, or funny, or touching. The composition is the arrangement of the subject matter within the photograph and it should create a balance and/or special meaning. The lighting defines the shape, mood, depth, and contrast.

Students also spent time reviewing and identifying basic photography principles, such as:
• The use of focus to add depth or a 3-dimensional feel
• Looking at the background - for weird looking objects or for being too busy and distracting.
• The use of flash both outdoors and indoors
• Moving in close on a a subject
• Getting down to the subject’s eye level
• Using the Rule of Thirds
• The power of vertical vs. horizontal images
• The meaning and use of a Dutch tilt
• Acting as "a picture director"
• Capturing the feeling of the moment.
• The use of lines, angles, & shapes in objects (esp. in abstract images)
• Focusing on a small part of a larger thing (esp. in abstract images)

Students were given many images, and asked to work with a partner. The students wrote short comments under each photo which described the basic photography principle that was followed.
They were also asked to comment on images that did not show any of the principles, and asked to explain how the image could be improved.

They also perused many images in Flickr's Abstract Architecture Gallery and made comments on some of them.Each student then used a digital camera to take 5 – 10 abstract architectural photographs around the BMS campus. They were told that quality, not quantity was most important. When they returned to the classroom they used a card reader to download their images to their "Y-Drives." After reviewing their photos, they selected the 2 best and inserted them in to a Word document, under which they described how each photo demonstrated the principles of photography.

Since this lesson is in progress the finished products will not be posted for another 2 weeks. Please come back very soon to view a few samples of the amazing digital photography work done by the 7th grade computer students at BMS.

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