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5-Day Photo Challenge to Improve Your Skills This Winter Break

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Want to learn how to take better photos? Why wait for the new year to start on your goals? During the last week of December, take a few minutes each day to snap some pictures that will help you bring this production technique into your classroom in 2017!

Grab your smartphone or that fancy new digital camera you got as a present, and follow the daily challenges  to increase your media making skills (and your confidence!) in a fun and incredibly easy way.

Daily Challenges

Day 1: Framing

Day 2: Rule of Thirds


Day 3: Perspective

Day 4: Lighting

Day 5: Tell a Story

Don’t forget to share your photos with our community of educators who’ll be on the same learning path! Post your daily pictures on social media or on KQED Teach with the hashtag #TeachPhotoChallenge.

And, if you are interested in taking a deeper dive and learning how to produce visual stories in your classroom, take our Communicating with Photography course on KQED Teach.

So you don’t accidentally forget to join in on the fun, make sure you create an event on your calendar now! Simply click one of the links below.
iCalendar  •  Google Calendar  •  Outlook  •  Outlook Online  •  Yahoo! Calendar

Day 1 (Dec 26): Framing

Don’t be afraid to fill the frame and take a close up shot of something you love.

It needs to be said: what is in the frame of your photo is the main character. Everything else is background noise. 

To kick off our challenge, we want you to take closeups of your favorite thing (s).

  1. Zoom in or get get up close to practice framing your subject.
  2. Share your close up shot(s) with us on social media using #TeachPhotoChallenge.

Want to learn more? Check out the lesson on composition basics on KQED Teach.

Day 2 (Dec 27): Rule of thirds

Turn your camera grid on and snap a photo using the rule of thirds

The Rule of Thirds, which might sound scary, is actually quite simple. When taking a picture, imagine a tic tac toe overlay on your image (or turn on the grid on your camera/smartphone). Then, align your picture’s subject with the intersecting lines. This will make your photo composition much more interesting than placing your subject in the dead center.

  1. Take two pictures: one using the Rule of Thirds principles and one without and compare!
  2. Share your shots with us on social media using #TeachPhotoChallenge. 

[media-credit id=6170 align="alignnone" width="400"]Bay Bridge[/media-credit]

Want to learn more? Try out the interactive lesson on rule of thirds on KQED Teach.

Day 3 (Dec 28): Perspective

Take a picture of an object as seen from below. A little perspective goes a long way!

Changing the perspective (or the angle you take your photos from) is an easy technique to move from just taking pictures to telling stories with your photographs. For today’s challenge we want you to practice perspective by taking a photo from below your subject, also known as the hero’s angle.

  1. Find your subject and snap a normal pic (bonus points if you are now using the Rule of Thirds!)
  2. Now, change your perspective and crouch down. Take your picture angling up.
  3. Compare the two images.
  4. Share your shot(s) with us on social media using  #TeachPhotoChallenge.

Want to learn more? Read the lesson on perspective on KQED Teach.

Day 4 (Dec 29): Lighting

Change the mood of your favorite picture using filters

Ever notice how much lighting effects the mood of your photo? Maybe you’ve taken some family portraits that just didn’t turn out right because there were some serious shadows. Filters are a way to change the lighting and the mood of your photos after you have taken your shot. For this challenge, we want you to play around with image filters.

  1. Using your favorite photo, change its mood as drastically as you can using a filter. Both Twitter and Instagram have filters within their app.
  2. Share your photo with us on social media using  #TeachPhotoChallenge.

[media-credit id=11274 align="alignnone" width="400"]Poodles[/media-credit]

Want to learn more? Learn all about filters in our course Communicating with Photography on KQED Teach.

Day 5 (Dec 30): Tell a Story

Last day challenge: use the skills you have learned and tell a story through three pictures.

  1. Use Framing, the Rule of Thirds, Perspective and Filters create 3 photos that tell a whole story
  2. Share your photo set with us on social media using  #TeachPhotoChallenge.

Why not tackle this learning challenge with a friend or colleague? Share this information with them and help each other level up your skills!

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