Photography Classes @ MERHS

Current Photo 1 Assignments

THIS CLASS CONTENT HAS BEEN MOVED TO GOOGLE CLASSROOM, but free to any teachers who want it, curriculum documents can be found below.



photo 1 Study Guide with Videos

Epp Photo 1 Course Packet

and the dropbox link to all the files:

Photo 1 has shooting assignments due just about EVERY OTHER WEEK. 

Basic Info


Unit 1 – intro

  • DISCUSS: Is photography art? How is it similar to and different from other kinds of art (painting, sculpture, etc).
  • VIDEO: some peoples opinions about photography and art. watch and then DISCUSS
  • TAKE NOTES: How do photographers see the world?
  • ACTIVITY: snapshot vs fine art examples    snaps vs art venn
  • ASSIGNMENT – Think about what it means for a photo to be “good”. Then take 2 good photos of ANYTHING using a digital camera. Bring in the memory card on the due date.
  • DISCUSS: why are some photographs better than others?
  • ACTIVITY: Get on computers and go to explore photos on this site Find several photographs that you think are good. Think about what makes them good. Find several photographs that you don’t think are good. Think about what is in the photo that you don’t like.
  • VIDEO: What is photography?
  • ACTIVITY: make a magazine collage with one background image and 4 elements from other photos
  • TAKE NOTES: photoshop intro sheet
  • DIGITAL SKILL:  Look at examples. Then create a photoshop collage using either a cat or a dog. Make sure to use at least 5 different source photos, and be creative. This is an assignment for practicing how to use the selecting tools, the transform tools, and cutting and pasting. Make sure you chose the selection tool that is right for the job. Sometimes combining selection tools can be the best solution. Make sure the edges are nice and neat. The goal is to NOT be aware that it has been photoshopped. Taking the time to make sure it is neat and done well makes a big difference in the quality of the image.
  • VIEW: 9/11 images DISCUSS: Are these photos important? In what way are they or why aren’t they?
  • VIDEO: Am. Photo
  • DISCUSS: What choices must a photographer make before beginning a work?
  • TAKE NOTES: what are the 5 active choices that photographers make with their cameras?
  • ACTIVITY: analyze choices   choices worksheet  inside the frame
  • TAKE NOTES: more choices
  • VIDEO: leading and reframing
  • DISCUSS: What skills and vocabulary do I need to appreciate visual art?
  • in class critique: learning to look
    • how drives work
    • what drive we use for class
    • how to get to different drives
    • how to use card reader
    • using Adobe Bridge to import photos
    • how to use Bridge to view and work with photos
    • how to turn in your photos

Unit 2 – shadows and light

Unit 3 – composition (principles and elements of art and design)

  • ASSIGNMENT: photo assign: 6 photos – line, shape, texture, pos/neg space, repetition, contrast
  • REMINDER: rubric
  • ACTIVITY: find examples of each of the P&E of the assignment, and put them in a google doc. make sure to label them.
  • ACTIVITY: play photo dice game and take photos in class
  • DISCUSS: What inspires me?
  • TAKE NOTES: photography has styles/periods/movements and STRAIGHT PHOTOGRAPHY is one of them. Paul Strand was one of those photographers.
  • in class critique
  • DIGITAL SKILL: dreamscape (layers) create a memory/dream/nightmare using at least: 5 sources, 1 adjustment layer with a clipping mask, 1 filter, and 1 layer style

Unit 4 – camera controls

Unit 5 – portraits

Unit 6 – aesthetics

Unit 7 – diptych or sequence 

Unit 8 – color 

Unit 9 – conceptual

  • ASSIGNMENT: pick 2 sound words, turn in 2 photos: snap, crackle, pop, whistle, rustle, swoosh, bass, crescendo, resonance, boom, echo, screech, rattle, thud, scream, click, shout, whistle, twack, shhhh, shush, tsk tsk, squeak, creak, symphony, boing, chime, ring, silence, tap, knock, hiss 
  • Instructions: do NOT photograph something making that sounds, rather think about the sound, figure out how the noise would LOOK, and photography something that looks how the sounds feels.
  • VIDEO: MOMA handout and video
  • DIGITAL SKILL: add tattoos and instructions (use warp tool)
  • DIGITAL SKILL: social issue / meaning 1 2 3 4
  • DISCUSSION:how can images help with social issues?
  • in class critique
  • QUIZ 2

Unit 10 – commercial

Unit 11 – you the artist

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