Project 1: Getting to Know Your Camera

​Anyone can take a snap shot and nowadays, with all the automatic 

presets available on our cameras, it is easy to take a pretty decent 

picture.  Learning the various camera settings and understanding exactly what your camera can do will allow you to learn to manipulate even the most basic settings to make more dynamic and uniquely stunning photographs!

Due Friday This Week

Submit edited photos to blog.

Label each with the tools used to adjust 

Don't neglect the dialogue to accompany the "putting it all together" adjustments. 

Hint:  It may be most productive to make adjustments and edit some of your project photos here!

Word of the week!            [ Obstreperous ]

​Upload your photograph and vote for the photograph that BEST visually defines the

word this week!​ 

Due Friday This Week: 


(Submit unedited photos and shots that   demonstrate experimentation and exploration)


Submit a series of 5-10 final edited cohesive photos to blog.

​Presentation matters here!!!! 

Due Friday This Week

Submit unedited photos and shots that   demonstrate experimentation and exploration​

Submit 15 final edited photos: 
Label each: Topic_Title 


​​Due Friday This Week: 

Plans & Artistic Voice:

How will you express a visual narrative?

Plan composition, camera techniques, staging and scene ideas that will convey your concept visually. 

Follow planning guides on project outline. 

Take some practice shots and include these on your planning blog. 

Week 8

Submit a series of 5-10 cohesive images.  

Digital Photography 

Week 7

Retouching Portraits  Chapter 5

Using one of the portrait pictures from this week's photoshoot follow the steps to remove blemishes/wrinkes, soften the skin, brighten the whites of their eyes and add contrast to the eyes and add highlights to the hair.

Custom Vignettes & Spotlight Effects... Chapter 5

Add a spotlight vignette effect to one of your portraits.  You may explore adding multiple spotlights to other important areas or props in the picture.

Changing Individual Colors.  Chapter 5

Use the HSL to target specific pops of color in a portrait image.  Apply this to increase the quality of the portrait (be careful not to distract from the portrait). 

Project 3: Don't Take it, Make it! 

Going beyond a snapshot, or happening upon an interesting photograph, student photographers will set the scene and capture a photographic series with intention, prescission and artistic decision making. The idea of MAKING a dynamic, impactful photograph involves suspending disbelief, tapping into imagination and inviting viewers into a visual narrative through composition, expressive subjects and deliberate camera settings and Lightroom adjustments.

Due Week 8

You have until the end of the quarter to compose and successfully develop 5 photographs using your pinhole camera. 

Problem solving and persistence is key to success here.  If your photos don't turn out clear with dramatic contrast, go back and make adjustments and try again! 

Due Friday. Week 2

Due Friday This Week

Submit 5 edited photos to blog.

Label each with the tools used to adjust 

Lightroom:Review | Dodge and Burn | Selective Adjustments | 

Putting it All Together (a start to finish tweak) Chapter 4

Review what all that you have done so far.  Put it all together by adjusting one of your own images.  Answer the question: What do you wish were different..." and then find the appropriate corresponding tool to fix it.  Ask the question again and so on and so forth.  In your blog, walk us through step by step showing the image enhancement progress after each  adjustment.  

Dodging, Burning and Adjusting Individual Areas Chapter 5

To Start, use the KelbyOne image for the Dodging and Burning activity in chapter 5.  Follow along and pay close attention to how the image changes. Now, find your own image and apply the Dodge and Burn technique with the adjustment brush. 

Five More Things you Should Know... Chapter 5

Selectively Fixing White Balance, Dark Shadows and Noise Issues ​Chapter 5 

Use the adjustment brush to fix the white balance of one of your images. Then, select an image that was back lit to reveal details in an otherwise silhouette image. 

Due Friday. This Week

Post powerpoint to your blog 

Due Friday This Week:

Submit to Blog:  

Multiple ideas for each topic, compositional analogies for each topic, location ideas and a time-line.  

​Project series Due Week 5!

Project 1: Getting to Know Your Camera

Organize each set on your blog, submitting only your best photographs (one for each setting). Make sure to label each image with: set, setting and compositional arrangement intended for the image. 

Week 6

Lightroom: Exposure | Highlights | Shadows 

 Controlling Overall Brightness Using the Exposure Slider on Page 162. 

Fix one of your underexposed photos. Don't have one?  Go take one!  :) 

           ​Use an underexposed and overexposed image from this weeks photoshoot. 

60 Seconds on the Histogram... on Page 166

Fix an overexposed photo

Dealing with Highlight Problems, Steps One through Four on Page 168-169

Adjust Clipping in an image (usually an overexposed image)

Opening Up the Shadows, Steps One and Two on Page 170 

Open up the shadows of a back lit (Silhouette) subject

What you should know before getting started:

Word of the week!          [ Ethereal ]

​Upload your own photograph and then vote for the photograph that BEST visually defines the word this week!


American Photography 

We will watch this as a class on Wednesday

If you miss class.....  

Download the worksheet to take notes. 

Due Friday. This Week

Due Friday This Week

Submit an edited portrait for each of the 3 LR techniques this week. 

Getting To Know Great Photos! 

Due: Friday This Week. 

Nothing to Submit. 

Just Open LR & show Mrs. G that you have set up folders to keep yourself organized.  

Week 9

The art of Photography is all about composition.  Seeing the world through the lens of a camera and capturing not only what is seen with our eyes but expressing the emotional impact of our surroundings is what a true photographic artist sets out to accomplish.  This class is designed to expose student photographers to a variety of photographic styles, techniques and camera manipulations to develop a personal and unique photography style of their own.  

Students will complete the lessons that follow here in order, allowing them to get to know their camera, learn to maximize the use of camera settings creatively and further manipulate photographs in Adobe Lightroom.  It is expected that students take more pictures than the required amount and only submit their very best. According to Henry Cartier-Bresson "Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst".  Of course each student will find success in their first hundred photos or so, however, the difference between a snap shot and a photograph is the quality (composition, lighting, framing and emotional impact).  Student photographers must experiment with settings, lighting and composition in several photos before arriving at the one that truly captures the essence of their intended expression!

Photoshoot: Portraits: Backgrounds | Expression | Lighting |
Portrait photography can be a tricky thing.  How do you take a relaxed, candid picture of someone while capturing emotional impact or personality all while considering strong, dynamic composition and great lighting?  This week we will pull it all together to capture great portraits! 

Positioning.  Get to know your subject and create a relaxed atmosphere to avoid those stiff, staged portrait shots.  Make the subject laugh, strike up a conversation or take some action shots.  For more staged shots, try some of the posturing tips.

Personality Personality Personality! Expressive portraits capture our attention and tell a story.  Use props, silly faces, get a a different perspective (from up high or down low).  Your goal here is to capture emotion and personality. 

Find a Good Background! Cluttered backgrounds can be distracting and overwhelming. Use a short depth of field or better yet, find an interesting pop of color, a rhythmic pattern or texture like exposed bricks or plastered building.  

Lighting!  Avoid awkward shadows on the face. Trees, buildings, window panes, telephone poles can be culprits of nasty weird shadow patterns.  Also be mindful of the shadows casted by the subject!  On the other hand dynamic shadows creating rhythm around the subject can be very aesthetically pleasing

Pinhole Part 2: Pinhole Photography

Now that you are becoming familiar with exposure, this same concept will be applied to taking photographs with your pinhole camera!   

Due Friday This Week. 

Submit images to Blog. 

Pinhole Part 1: Make Pinhole Cameras

Exploring the true and historical art of photography, students will build pinhole camera and develop photo negatives!  

Follow this template to create your camera. 

Due Friday This Week


Due: Friday This Week. 

Due Friday This Week

Submit image sets to blog.  

Each group member must submit images to their own blog.


​Label according to worksheet. 

Word of the week!            [ Ethereal ]

                 |Compositional strength | Artistic Voice through analogy | 


Due Friday This Week

Submit your best example:

 |High key|Low Key|Full Range|

*Include the discussion.  

Word of the week!            [   Amorphous   ]

​Upload your own photograph and then vote for the photograph that BEST defines the word!


Lightroom: Tonal Range | Clarity | Color Vibrancy | Tone Curve

Lightroom:Lets get started with the program.                                          

​(Use the links at the top of this webpage to access the textbook and image bank online)                                                                                                                                           

Read: Seven Things You'll Wish You Had Known Before Reading the Book on page XII - XV        


Getting Your Photos Organized.... (Chapter 1).  

Getting Photos from Your Camera Into Lightroom (for new users) on pages 8-11.    

​Folders and Why I Don't Mess with Them. Page 60-63 Create a folder and some subfolders with your pictures so far! 

Follow the steps in Sorting your Photos Using Collecions.  Pages 64-72 (Steps 1-17). 

You will organize your photos onto a flash drive (not a external hard drive as the chapter suggests and NOT on the classroom computer!!)

In the future you will keep shots to be edited.  So don't delete bad shots if they can be edited and made better! Thats what lightroom is all about!​​

Week 4

Due Friday This Week

Submit 4 adjusted images to blog. 

Week 8

Project 3: Don't Take It, Make It! 

Go out and make photo art this week!  Be expressive with your camera.  Stage your scene, use props, interesting lighting and of course be very intentional about camera settings and composition. 

Project 2: The Scavenger Hunt 

  • Turn in your best photograph for each topic that includes intentional application of composition and camera settings to communicate meaning. 
  • ​Use LightRoom to increase the quality of the images. 
  • ​Present the collection in a cohesive way to attribute your overall personal style to the photo set. 

Photoshoot: ​White Balance

Read: Understanding White Balance. 

Watch the video White Balance Made Easy.  & Setting up an Aesthetic Still Life

​​Complete: This assignment will be done in class. Set up the same still life (collection of different objects) under each type of light: Candle Light, Tungsten, outdoor shade, outdoor daylight (sun) and florescent light. Photograph the still life under each type of lighting applying each of the white balance settings on your camera. For example under sunlight take one picture with the Automatic setting (AWB), one with the florescent setting, one with sunlight etc...  Put all the images together on a chart to see how light and the various white balance settings change the colors of the objects. It will be helpful to have a variety of colors in your subject and perhaps a shiny object in there as well.  

Due Friday This Week

Submit 9 of your best most expressive portraits that exemplify personality, lighting, positioning & background

Week 1

Watch the ISO Made Easy video for tips on camera settings. 

Complete: Once you have played around a bit, try this with your camera.  Working in groups of 2-3 complete the exposure hunt by using the manual settings on a camera and comparing them to the automatic settings shooting examples of each of each exposure type on the worksheet. One person in the group should have a camera with manual settings. 

NOTE:  Save an overexposed (way too bright) and an underexposed image (too dark) for the Lightroom lesson! 

Week 2

Project 2: The Scavenger Hunt 

In this project you will be exploring your artistic voice through the lens.  Compositional decisions will be elemental in communicating intended meaning and ideas. Use what you have learned thus far to creatively capture each idea through captivating, engaging, symbolic and dynamic photographs. 

Due Friday This Week

Due Friday. Week 4

Week 3

Project 2: The Scavenger Hunt 

You should be taking your photos this week outside of class.  Explore, experiment and practice intentional use of camera settings and compositional choices to match artistic voice. 

Meet with a group of other student photographers this week to share you ideas and progress made for the project.  Get input on camera settings and composition.  Make sure you have a strong artistic voice in executing this project. 

Lightroom:Retouching Portraits | Vignettes | Individual Colors | 

Due: Friday This Week

Submit WB chart on blog

(screen shot, JPG or Link)

Example Chart

Due Friday This Week



        TAKE NOTES! (see Exposure Triangle tab below for note sheet)


Learn: I know this seems like a lot.  It will help to experiment with this on your camera but to start, here are some simulations you can play around with to understand the concept: 

Due Friday. This Week

We will use Google Classroom for this.  Look for an email with the GC invite.  Follow instructions there to submit and vote! 

Due Friday Week 6

Word of the week!            [  Amorphous  ]

Every other week you will receive a new word to define visually through composition, camera settings and subject matter.  You will upload your photograph to a community forum.  Each student will vote on the best image with the strongest artistic voice.  The winning photographer will earn extra credit.  The grading criteria will be based on: 

                         |Compositional strength | Artistic Voice through analogy | 

Click on the link to watch the How Photography Connects Us for ideas about artistic voice. 

Due Friday. This Week

This will be an ongoing activity, completed in class throughout the quarter.  

Final developed images will be turned in Week 8.  

Setting Your White Point and Black Point Chapter 4

Choose a 'flat' [bland/dim/low contrast] image with little contrast or that lacks 'pops' of color and expand the tonal range using the White and Black sliders. 

Adding "Punch" to Your Images Using Clarity Chapter 4

Find a picture with good texture and use the Clarity slider to add "punch" (in other words, add more mid tones). 

Making Your Colors More Vibrant Chapter 4

Use a picture that includes many various colors, perhaps a landscape or city scape, and use the Vibrance slider to increase the color intensity. 

Adding Contrast...Tone Curve ​Chapter 4 | Steps one through five only |

Find your BEST picture you have taken so far in the photo class.  Tweak the contrast using the contrast slider.  Then try the Tone Curve panel.  Turn in both edited images as a side by side to compare the contrast adjustments. 

Project 3: Don't Take It, Make It

As your final photography project, your task here is to demonstrate your knowledge of composition, application of intentional camera settings and techniques, exploration of unique ideas and use of lightroom to edit and enhance photo quality. 

Be able to discuss and defend intentional artistic decisions. 

Presentation and critique of final images will be shared with the class during the scheduled final time. 

Download the What Makes a Great Photograph powerpoint.  Follow the link to the website.  Take detailed notes on each of the key concepts. Use the powerpoint as a template to display photographs that are examples of each key concept.

Photoshoot:Photographing Light!

​This week we will look to artist Jennifer E. Miller for inspiration.  Miller's work creates a sense of space and abstraction through the use of light, broken planes and textured shadows. 

Use materials such as mirrors, reflective surfaces, flashlights, textured objects, etc... that may cast interesting shadows, bounce light off of surfaces or manipulate light in some way to create dynamic light photography!

Word of the week!             [ Obstreperous  ]

Every other week you will receive a new word to define visually through composition, camera settings and subject matter.  You will upload your photograph to a community forum.  Each student will vote on the best image with the strongest artistic voice.  The winning photographer will earn extra credit.  The grading criteria will be based on: 

                         |Compositional strength | Artistic Voice through analogy | 


Investigate 3-6 different famous photographers from the list provided.  Be sure to find topics and styles that are of interest to you.  Identify examples of each of the photographic composition terms of great photography. Insert an example into each corresponding slide.  Include the artist name, date and title (if a title exists)

Week 5

Pinhole: Turn in Final Developed Photos

​Turn in your best 5 pinhole photos

  • Developed with well balanced contrast
  • Accurate exposure timing 
  • Unique and well composed photograph 

Lightroom: ​Some Basic Digital Developing | Editing |

Setting the White Balance, Steps one through eight on Pages 154-157.  

Use your best 3 pictures from the white balance photoshoot this week that were NOT the correct white balance setting.  Follow the steps to learn how to correct white balance in Lightroom. Try out each of the three methods described and apply the best to your final photos.

Seeing Before and Afters, Steps One & Two on Page 160

Show a side by side of before and after for each adjustment (submit as a screen shot on your blog)

My Editing Your Images Cheat Sheet on Page 161

​Try out and experiment with the "essential" tools of the Basic Editing Panel.  Turn in 1 photograph edited using some of these settings. 

Photoshoot: Contrast [ High Key and Low Key Photography]

Read :

                   Achieving High Key                  Achieving Low Key

Complete: Play around with lighting to take photographs that are an example of high key, low key and an example of full tone of each of the following: 

      | Expressive Portrait | Macro Abstraction | Still life |

To be successful, you will need to adjust your light source, exposure and backgrounds.  Also, adjusting your ISO will be helpful when photographing in a darker setting.  You may also play around with white balance a little.  Turn in your best examples of each (Low Key | Full Tone | High Key) and discuss how you were able to accomplish them. 

Due Friday This Week

Submit a unified serried 5 photos 

Write a brief summary of method and camera settings applied 

Specific Achievement Goals: 

  • Submit a series of 5 photos that are unified through content, style and design. 
  • Light is the primary subject of this photo series to create a non-representational composition. 
  • Explore contrast through shadows, reflections, textures and form.
  • Appropriate and experimental camera settings are explored.  
  • Each week student photographers will complete a Lightroom lesson, a Photoshoot and work on planning and edits for the projects. 
  • Every other week student photographers will submit a 'word of the week' photograph for credit. The class will vote on the best image and winning photographers will earn extra credit! 
  • Student photographers will have 3 weeks to complete each of the 3 big photo projects. Photographs for the projects must be taken outside of class/school.  Make time to leave your neighborhood to go take unique and dynamic photographs! 
  • All work will be submitted through blog posts.  Set up a blog account (if you haven't already).  Blogger is free through your jajags email account! 
  • Just as with any art, photography is not always "censored" or PG.  There may be times where students come across some mature content.  
  • Have fun!  Find your own unique way with your camera.  Experiment! Explore! Express! 

​Project series Due Week 5!

Photos must be ready for editing

on Monday Week 8! 


Before you start taking pictures of your own, you must realize what makes a great photograph and what styles and subject interest you most! 

Due Friday This Week

Visit the Google classroom to upload your image and vote! 

Due: Friday Week 3. 

Begin this week and continue working through next week!

Word of the week!            [ Zenith ]

                         |Compositional strength | Artistic Voice through analogy | 

Photoshoot: The Exposure Triangle ​
This may be a very complicated topic as a beginner to wrap your mind around, however, understanding exposure will open up a much broader range of control over your camera resulting in much more dynamic, creative and interesting photographs. You want to be a photographer?  You must understand this concept.  

Word of the week!          [ Zenith ]

​Upload your own photograph and then vote for the photograph that BEST visually defines the word this week!

Aubrey Garcia

Arts Specialist