Beginners Photography – Overview

Beginning of each lesson show some example photos so we can discuss what is good or not so good about each one. The use of the bullet points is more for me for a guide as to what to cover in our discussions/questions to ask. Thinking of 20 minutes talking and 20-30 minutes spent on practical? I’m assuming kids would have their cameras with them? Although will that distract the kids having a camera in their hands? Another problem is how to fit in reviewing of photos from previous lessons? Maybe they can upload 2 each after the session to a website where I could give them feedback? What software can they use/when can they post process their photos? I’m hoping some will spend some time out of school and the club doing this? Maybe we need a lesson on post processing with a specific software such as googles picassa?

Lesson 1

spend 10 minutes showing some really cool photos of different types of photography to inspire and discuss?

In the first lesson we will do a quick start session for getting started with photography very quickly by getting to know what focusing is and how to focus using your camera.

  1. Focusing
    1. What is focus
    2. how to focus using your camera
  2. Camera Modes
    1. What are the different camera modes (e.g. portrait, landscape, macro) and what sort of things do they do
    2. Selecting different camera modes with your camera
  3. Composition and general choices to be made (can be pushed to lesson 2 if short on time)
    1. What do we mean by composition
    2. What can be achieved by choosing different compositions
    3. Some general composition rules/theories
      1. Portrait/Landscape
      2. Horizontal lines vs diagonal
      3. Bright colours vs soft colours

Exercise: Take some photographs using proper focusing and different modes. Take a photo of a portrait using the landscape setting and then a portrait using the portrait setting- what if any difference does it make to your photograph?

Lesson 2

In the second lesson we will review what we learnt in the first lesson and build on that knowledge talking more about the process of taking a photograph including before taking the photo, while taking the photo and the importance of post processing. The CCC competition and timelines

  1. Review of previous lesson
  2. 3 stages in taking a photograph and what is most important
  3. More on composition and what makes a great photograph
  4. advantages/disadvantages of using flash

Exercise: Find a tree or a flower and take a photo with it in different places in your frame (middle, corners, top, bottom). Which picture of this set works the best and why?

Lesson 3: Portraits (or whenever it’s raining)

Show some good portrait images – what do we notice about them?

  1. What is  a portrait?
  2. The importance of background
    1. Showing the surroundings or not?
    2. Creating a blank background or nice background (uniform flowers or clouds)
  3. Where to focus? If two people they need to be close and the same distance from the camera
  4. Close up or far away?
  5. Frame orientation -portrait or landscape?
  6. Facial expressions – making the portrait more natural
  7. Depth of field/aperture

Exercise: Partner up. Take it in turns to take a photo of each other with a nice background and a great natural facial expression. After 10 minutes swap roles.

Lesson 4: Sports (when not raining)

Show some good sports shots- discuss why they are good.

    1. What does sports mode on a camera do?
      1. Burst mode
      2. 3D tracking
      3. Shutter speed
      4. Blur- for movement
    2. Angle of shot for dynamism
    3. Allow follow through for the ball…
    4. Follow the subject – blur the background

Do pair photography again where one person kicks a ball or swings a bat and the other person directs them and takes photos. Then swap roles.

Lesson 5: Macro (when not raining)

Show some macro images.

What are macro images?

Examples of things that are good to photograph as macros?

Which of  the previously discussed compositional rules  from other types of photography still apply to macro images?

Go out and take photos of some of the things we have identified as being good subjects.

Are there bean bags or things we can use at school to steady the cameras while taking macro shots? White cards would also be useful for use to bounce flash from behind subjects – for this reason the children could work in pairs again.

Lesson 6: Still life (or whenever it’s raining)

Still life examples.

What are still lives?

How are they different from other types of photos we have taken?

Are they easier? What is more difficult about them? What is easier?

We need to have some different types of objects to take photos of that are pretty or interesting? Also need white cards for reflectors and things to prop them up with. Can also use black cards or black sheets for blank backgrounds/surfaces to put things on?