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Keywords: photography, digital, photoshop
Subject(s): Art, Photography
Grades 10 through 12
School: Lake Howell High School, Winter Park, FL
Planned By: S. Rivas-Cole
Original Author: S. Rivas-Cole, Winter Park

Since I do not want to start my Digital Photo 2 students on some insane project that they don't know how to complete, I "test" their skills on something simple.

I first show them what the assignment entails. In this case, they will pair up and then group up to take pictures of themselves around our school. The background area does not change but the person who is in the picture must move around the space. In every picture the person must be in a completely different spot than before. If they are doing the "single person" picture, they have to be in at least 6 different spots. If they are doing the "group" picture, then the group decides how they are going to position themselves.

Each student takes pictures of a single person that in within the classroom and pictures of a group of classmates. The pictures can be in the same place or in a completely different place.

Once the students bring their pictures to class, they will then upload the pictures to their computers and begin to create their multi person shots. The single person pictures need to have the person repeated at least 6 times within the photo while the group shot has to have a total of 25+ people. As stated before, the assignment is used to judge how well the student can use the tools in Photoshop such as the lasso tool, the blur tool, and the cloning tool. The picture should make people do a double take when they see it - as if there are clones of the person/people running around.

Some of the things to look for in order to have a "realistic" photo:

1 - Shadows -- forgetting to have the shadows means that the person/people will look as if they are floating in the air. This doesn't help the picture look real at all but like a bad cut-n-paste job. The same goes for reflections.

2 - Edges of selected objects -- they need to be slightly blurred. If the edge looks too hard, the person might not look like they belong.

3 - Overlapping -- The group shot is the most difficult because people tend to forget where everyone was and they go back and sit in the same spot or they do something that falls in the same spot. If the student knows what they are doing, they can easily work around this but if they don't... WHOA! Have your student plan out where everyone will be in the shot before taking it.

4 - Shifting -- if the photographer shifts the camera even slightly, this may hurt the final picture. They will find it difficult to put people into the final layout because their hands do not line up properly or their feet aren't matching up to the flooring... This is a bad thing that can be rectified with a tripod.

Successful pictures will make people look at it once and then do a double take.
Comments
Tripods can be used to stabilize the camera so that the picture does not shift.
Links: Link to RC-Artkids to view projects that were completed this way...
Materials: Point and Shoot, Yearbook, Digital SLR, Mobile Labs, Paint, xD Memory Cards
Other Items: 5 Tripods, $ 15.00 and up each