With the advent of the ubiquitous smart phone and no-cost image editing on computers, you can now incorporate photography into any classroom.
7 Smartphone Photography Tips & Tricks
Photographer Lorenz Holder demonstrates some easy & creative smartphone photography tips & tricks. New ways to look at panoramas, "free" zoom and macro lenses, easy tripod & shutter release, and using a glass as an underwater housing.
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What better place for photography ideas than Pinterest. Elizabeth Osborne has compiled over 250 photography ideas for High School students. Elizabeth teaches high school art, photography and 2D design. Check out her other posts for additional ideas.
This page looks at a machine learning algorithm developed at Yahoo Labs that distinguishes beautiful portraits from the not-so perfect.
The results... The single most important factor is the sharpness of the image, especially the eyes, and the contrast between the face and background. Curiously, under and overexposed images scored better, suggesting that photographers can create beautiful images by playing with under and overexposed images.
Jefferson High School Digital Photography
Mary Swanson posted this photo montage of images from Jefferson High School.
Take your student's photos and assemble them into a video they can share with parents & friends. The topics can range from a recent field trip to a class demonstration to images of your school or community.
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You can even use photography as an instructional tool for other subjects as the Math Forum has discovered.
This post shows you how you can build a light, simple Pan Head for an camera using a kitchen timer for around 10 bucks and 15 minutes of work.
No matter what piece of photography equipment, people have figured out ways to do it inexpensively and posted the directions on the Internet.
In addition to portraits and landscapes, there is the whole area of product shots for advertising and eCommerce. This resource shows simple setups your students can use to practice product photography and what else is needed besides "clicking the shutter".
360 Slow Motion
So, you might not be able to duplicate this rig at your high school, but you can use this as a springboard to explore what sort of interesting shots your students can create. A pendulum or turntable effect? A great way to integrate photography with STEM or your school's maker space.
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While today's smart phones do not have the capabilities of a high-end SLR camera, the gap is narrowing every year. Schools like Stanford University are now offering classes in Cell Phone Photography. And odds are, most of your students already have the equipment needed.
This site provides tutorials and links to give you an idea of what you can do with "just" cell phone cameras, teaching the basics of photography - composition, lighting, an appreciation the difference between good and quick.
Posting student images on a class web site or a photo sharing site allows involvement of fellow students, friends and parents. You can do this for any subject, not just art & photography.
Ken Rockwell has assembled an entire set of essays on photography. In this example, Ken notes that "your camera has NOTHING to do with making great photos." Requirements do include patience, keeping your eyes open, privacy, passion, knowing your equipment, curiosity and conveying feeling.
You can use this page as an introduction to Astrophotography. It details experiences and ideas to help you capture your own star images, including maybe the Milky Way.
It looks at planning your photography trip, camera settings, post-processing you images and some tips and tricks. Astrophotography is a lot more than just "point & click".
The American Photography Museum provides a number of resources, including online exhibits and a Research Center with information on early photographic processes and preserving photos. A great site when you're looking for some inspiration.
The Virginia Center for Digital History web site includes on-line historical photography collections and offers project-specific training workshops for K-12 and university educators to integrate digitized primary resources in the classroom. Staff development workshops focus on both the content of the historical websites as well as the teaching methodology to provide examples and guidance in developing classroom activities, lessons, and assessments.
Learning the "tricks of the trade" from experts will help your students gain a mastery of this powerful communications medium.