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Camera Settings

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Keywords: Photography, technology
Subject(s): Art, Photography, Technology
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Digital Citizenship
View Full Text of Standards
School: Northeastern High School, Elizabeth Cty, NC
Planned By: Jennifer Simons
Original Author: Jennifer Simons, Elizabeth Cty
Camera Settings Project

Students are to first research and take notes on digital camera settings. I recommend that students start at http://www.digital-photography-school.com/aperture-and-shutter-priority-modes#ixzz1kxFQAO2eand read "21 Settings, Techniques and Rules All New Camera Owners Should Know" by Darren Rowse.

The following questions help students as they take notes. Questions can then be used to test students' knowledge:
1. What happens to the background in portrait mode?
2. Explain depth of field.
3. Why is focusing more difficult in Macro mode?
4. Why is the shutter speed slower in Landscape mode? Why does it matter how fast the shutter speed is?
5. What is the benefit of aperture priority mode?
6. Why would you want control over shutter speed?
7. What does ISO stand for? And what is it?
8. What does having a shallow depth of field mean?
9. Why do you adjust white balance?
10. What is a histogram?
11. What does it mean if most of your photo’s histogram peaks are on the left side?
12. What does a “good” histogram look like?
13. What does AEB stand for? And what does this mode do?
14. How can you add extra stability to your camera?
15. Name one helpful technique for shooting continuous shots.
16. What is a focal lock?
17. What is the rule of thirds?
18. What are the four main causes of blurry shots?
19. Describe three of the tips for creating sharp digital photos.
20. How can you diffuse your camera’s flash?
21. Why is a direct flash a bad idea?
22. Name easy ways to avoid flash blow-out. (Extra points for naming my personal favorite)
23. Explain the digital photo exposure triangle.
24. How do you keep your camera lens clean?
25. What are the seven camera predators?
26. Why don’t you want your subject to be the center of your photograph?
27. Describe the 6 Techniques to Enhance the Focal Point in an Image.
28. How do you get your horizontals straight? Bonus points for finding ways to get horizontals straight after the photo has been taken!
29. Why do we avoid using digital zooms whenever possible?
30. List the 9 Strategies for Dealing with Distracting Backgrounds.
31. What are some common problems people have with backgrounds?
32. Explain camera throwing and why it’s a bad idea to do this with my camera!
33. What does shoot from your boots mean?
34. What did I leave out? Describe one more thing you learned about digital camera photography.
35. Which of the 21 rules was a surprise to you? Why do you think this rule is important?

1. Take two pictures of the following in auto mode, aperture priority mode, shutter priority mode and one other that fits the scene.
i. Single person (portrait mode)
ii. Group of trees (landscape mode)
iii. Flower or leave (macro mode)
iv. Action shot (sports mode)
2. You should now have 16 pictures. Create a PowerPoint presentation with a title slide containing your name, a Camera Settings, and the date.
i. Place all four of the same subject on one slide, two on top, two on bottom. (Use Format, Slide Layout…)
ii. Label EACH picture with what setting you used.
iii. Add the answer to the following question to all four of your slides in the NOTES section of each slide.
1. How are the pictures different?
2. How are they similar?
3. Which setting is the best for this subject (your opinion)? WHY?
4. Add your name and date to the notes
3. Print your slides with the notes underneath. Staple assignment together and put it in your notebook to be graded on March 16. Staple this sheet to the back so I can use it to grade your project.

Rubric for ____________________________________ Due __________

Category Points Possible Points Given
Single person - 4 pictures (quality) 8
Single person labels 4
Single person questions answered well
(3, 3, 6, 1) Points per question 13
Landscape 4 pictures 8
Landscape Labels 4
Landscape questions answered well
(3, 3, 6, 1) Points per question 13
Macro 4 pictures 8
Macro labels 4
Macro questions answered well
(3, 3, 6, 1) Points per question 13
Action 4 pictures 8
Action Labels 4
Action questions answered well
(3, 3, 6, 1) Points per question 13
Students are allowed to display the best work on bulletin boards are best photos are used on daily student news program.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Topics can be changed to represent other disciplines and curriculum vocabulary.
Survey questions: answer yes or no
The notes material on the 21 pictures assignment were easy to find
The information on the 21 pictures notes was at least somewhat interesting.
The information on the 21 pictures notes was useful.
The information on 21 notes helped me do a better job on the 21 pictures project.
The 21 pictures project was fun.
The 21 pictures project helped me to become a better photographer.
The 21 pictures quiz was too hard.
Materials: Digital Cameras, Digital SLR, Printers, Tripods, Batteries, Memory Cards, Keyboards, Mice, Flash/USB Drives, Art Tools, Slideshow