Welcome to PhotoK12.org

PhotoK12.org is a collection of digital photography resources for schools. There are lessons, inquiry topics, digital photography news feeds and digital camera reviews. The photos on our site are published on Flickr.com under the Creative Commons License. Please enjoy the lessons and visit the Flickr streams of the featured Creative Commons photographers.


Digital-PHotography-School.comWhen I started PhotoK12.org my goal was to create a site useful for students and teachers of photography courses. Over the years though, there is one web site I keep going back to that has great articles and helps for photographers. It's Digital-Photography-School.com. Today's article is just a great example: The Ultimate Guide to Learning how to use Your first DSLR

I encourage you to read this article. It's a great beginning of class selection for those of you with new cameras!

Go deep by adding foreground to your photos

Using foreground to draw the viewer's eys to your subject can add depth to a photo. Sometimes this can be done with leading lines as in the photo below. It's also done with focus. Our eye is drawn to the sharp part of the photograph as it's framed by the out-of-focus area.

Biker at the Wild Canyon Games in Oregon.

Sometimes we may want to surprise the viewer by reversing the process. In the photo below, the focused part of the image is the foreground but is that really where we want the viewer's attention?

Portland and the Willamette River

This last photo uses focus and patterns to play with the viewer's eyes. I liked this image because it somehow brought order from chaos.

Wild canyon bikes

How to stop camera shake

There is nothing worse than a great photo ruined by camera shake. 

CC License http://flickr.com/photos/captainslack_3225551927

The blurry image here didn't come poor focus. Looking at the Exif data, the photo was shot at 1/30 sec. That's too slow for action shots. The aperture was f/5.6 and the ISO was set to 1600. 

Putting it together

In the photo below from Pro-Zak's photostream, you'll see a silhouette, wide-angle shot with great lighting and a 30 second exposure. This photo breaks some rules about centering the subject but that's one of the things I like about it.

CC: License - http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3446/3405170093_de47a2e2cb_o.jpg

Art room macro shoot

Hmacroiconead for the art room and use your camera's macro setting. Look for the icon on your camera that looks like a tulip. It will be important to use a tripod or some other steady camera mount. If you don't have anything else, use a beanbag or even your tennis shoe. That's right, take off your shoe and use it to brace the camera to get a nice steady shot.

Use a large aperture for shallow depth of field, as in the photo below. Try a smaller aperture and experiment with that too.

Color and texture are easy to find in the brushes, paints and chalk boxes. The photo below is a great example from Irene Gr's photostream on Flickr.

CC: License http://www.flickr.com/photos/irenegr/4118878347/

Photo a day - theme

From Dustin Diaz's photostream comes an amazing series of 356 photoso. A photo a day for a whole year may be a big challenge so you might start with just a week. 

View this in full screen mode and enjoy the whole year!

Profile in light

Look at this amazing photograph. How many light sources were used? What did the photographer use to get the soft fill lighting and the front profile highlighting? Can you reproduce this effect?

What about the symmetry and composition of this image makes it appealing?

Take a look at other face profile tagged photos on Flickr for inspiration and then try some of your own.

CC: License http://www.flickr.com/photos/deskounlmtd/

From deskounlmtd's photostream.

Keds - Theme shoot

Can you take an everyday object and turn it into art?

CC: License http://www.flickr.com/photos/veronica-photos/3342694546/sizes/m/

From viveee's photostream...

Vanishing point

I love the simpleness of this photo and yet, because it makes strong use of texture and composition, it is so powerful. The use of vanishing point and depth make the photo.

Many of the vanishing point photos on Flickr use wide angle lenses but not all. Enjoy some of these shots and then try your own!

CC: license, http://www.flickr.com/photos/docman/43269391/


CC: license, http://www.flickr.com/photos/grantmac/3079277241/

The photos above are from Docman's and Giant McDonald's photo streams.