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Shadow Hands

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Keywords: Adobe Photoshop, Digital Camera, Graphic Design, Technology, Shadow Hand Lesson
Subject(s): Photography, Technology
Grades 9 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Evadale High School, Evadale, TX
Planned By: Pam Minyard
Original Author: Pam Minyard, Evadale
Items Needed to Complete Lesson:
Digital Camera
Adobe Photoshop knowledge

Using digital camera, find a white wall that casts a good shadow, and take digital pictures of hands in different positions. (The Claw, Pinching fingers, Just pointer finger straight out).
Then have students take pictures pretending to be (1) scared of the claw hand (2) Hanging from the pointer finger, and (3) Person with Shirt 'hanging' from pinched fingers
**For these pictures, you may need to use props to get the right effect. My students hung from a doorway and kicked up their legs to look like they were really hanging. We had one student stand on a stool and grab the back of the students shirt as they jumped to look like their clothing was caught on a hook. And for the scared pose, just be creative.

Once pictures are all taken (time will depend on class size), you will need to transfer images to student computers. Import the shadow hand image and the picture of the student into Adobe Photoshop. You may need to clean up images and cut out backgrounds before you begin.
Using your Photoshop skills, merge your shadow hand image and your image to create a realistic photo. My inspiration for this assignment came from a picture that I found on Pinterest .

Since I can't actually post an image on here, I will try to describe your finished project... :)
My class created 3 images total. The first image was simply the student hanging from the pointed shadow finger. The shadow images are above the person... so they look proportionally bigger than the person.
The second image will be the student being 'held up in the air' by the shadow fingers (thumb and pointer finger pinched together). The final image will be the 'claw' hand from the side and the student either on the floor looking up and scared, turning and running from the 'hand', or whatever creative pose they want to do...

This is a fun assignment that incorporates Photoshop skills, student creativity, and the illusion of realism that Photoshop allows us to create. My students really enjoyed this assignment!

Have fun!
Materials: Whiteboards, Digital Cameras, Yearbook, Digital SLR, Flash/USB Drives, Memory Cards, Headsets, Clip Art