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History of Photography Early photography was bulky, cumbersome, difficult, and expensive. People w

Matthew Brady. Check out some Mathew Brady photos of the Civil War. Look through them and discuss what you see.. Aboard a U.S. Navy Warship during the Civil War. By U.S. Navy photo . Union Soldier By Matthew Brady (Copy of original photo taken 150 years ago).

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History of Photography Early photography was bulky, cumbersome, difficult, and expensive. People w

Presentation on theme: "History of Photography Early photography was bulky, cumbersome, difficult, and expensive. People w"— Presentation transcript:



History of Photography

Early photography was bulky, cumbersome, difficult, and expensive. People who invested in it and became good at it made money doing it. They opened photo studios in many towns and did portraits. Most photography was done indoors because of the difficulty of hauling around the equipment. A few photographers became famous for their work. One of the earliest was Mathew Brady, also known as the father of photojournalism.


Matthew Brady


Check out some Mathew Brady photos of the Civil War. Look through them and discuss what you see.

Aboard a U.S. Navy Warship during the Civil War. By U.S. Navy photo


Union Soldier By Matthew Brady (Copy of original photo taken 150 years ago)


Abraham Lincoln by Matthew Brady. Library of Congress, American Memory Collection, Words and Deeds in American History, Civil War Photo Album ca. 1861-65 from the James Wadsworth Family Papers. Photographer: Matthew Brady


History of the Camera


Eastman founded the Eastman Kodak Company and brought photography to the masses with his invention of roll film. His life is fascinating and there are many children’s books on him



Ansel Adams, Famous Photographer

Ansel Adams is another famous American photographer. His photographs of nature and grand views are unsurpassed even today. His photos were instrumental in the formation of the National Parks. When people saw the amazing natural beauty out west, they wanted it preserved for future generations. Look at some Ansel Adams photography in art books from your library.


Two Medicine Lake, Glacier National Park, Montana. Ansel Adams [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Photography Tips

Light is very important. The best light for photos is natural day light, overcast skies or a sunny day in the shade look best. The light right next to a window indoors can be very good as well


•Try to avoid harsh shadows over people’s faces and don’t make them squint into the sun


•Get close up to your subject if you are photographing a person or animal


•Take lots and lots of pictures to get the one perfect shot.

Be careful of what is in the background of your photo. A cute red wagon with a background of concrete and a trash can is not attractive. Also make sure that the background doesn’t interfere with the subject of the photo – for example, a tree that appears to be growing out of someone’s head is distracting


•After you get one or a few great shots, print them out and frame them or make a collage. Photography is art.


Exposure–the most basic element of photography

When photographers talk about “exposure,” we simply mean the brightness or darkness of a photo. It seems simple enough to take a photo that is correctly exposed (has the proper brightness or darkness), but in reality it can be quite the trick.

If you're reading this Photo Basics series, it probably means that you currently shoot on the “Green mode” of your camera–or the automatic setting. That means the camera entirely controls the exposure of the picture. When you shoot on automatic mode, your camera selects an aperture setting, an ISO setting, a shutter speed, and a host of other settings for you.


Automatic can be handy, but it also seriously limits your creative ability to make a beautiful picture.

Want proof that automatic isn't the best way to shoot? Check out the picture below. On the left, the picture was taken entirely in automatic mode on a Canon Rebel DSLR. That might look okay to you… until you see the picture on the right. Same sunset. Same camera. The pictures were taken only seconds apart. The difference? The picture on the right was taken using manual exposure.

The only difference between these two pictures is that one was shot with automatic exposure, and the other was shot using creative exposure.

Which photo do you prefer? Probably the picture on the right! By choosing a creatively dark exposure, the rich colors in the sunset were allowed to shine through.

However, technically, the photo on the left is “correct,” and the photo on the right is “incorrect.” The camera saw through the lens and tried to expose the bird so that it wouldn't become a shadow. To me, the photo was not about exposing the bird properly, but exposing the sunset properly. The bird was just a nice shape to include in the foreground. This is exactly why you must learn exposure–because sometimes the “scientifically correct” exposure is not the best exposure to make the photo look how you want it to.


1. Experiment

- Take pictures

from different perspectives – up high, down low


- Try getting in close or moving back

- Move

around your subject to shoot from different


- If you have a camera, experiment with different exposure settings.


2. Check your Backgrounds

- A

very simple concept that can enhance an image is to check out the background of a shot to check for clutter or distraction.

- Scan

the background (and the foreground) of an image quickly and

change your

framing if there’s too many distractions – otherwise

your shots

will end up


all kinds of objects growing out of the heads of those

you’re photographing!



Get in Close

- Get in close!



in close

helps capture

the detail of a subject.

- You can use the zoom feature on your camera or just use your legs and walk closer to the subject!



Take Lots of Photos

- Lots-Of-Shots- Taking

lots of images is a great way to learn different techniques of photography.

- Experiment with

lots of different shots over time and as


do you’ll see


photography improve.



Getting the Balance Right Between Photographing People, ‘Things’ and Places

- People-Places- I

still remember coming back from my first overseas trip as a teenager (a school trip) and showing my parents my photos. Their first comment was that I had hardly taken any shots of people. All my shots had been of buildings. While some of them were interesting – I missed one of the most important aspects of the trip – those I was traveling with.

- I

chatted to a friend with two children recently and she told me that one of her children did the same thing with me – but the other came back from a school trip with hundreds of photos of their friends but none of the sites that they saw. I guess some children get too focused on photographing sites and some too focused upon photographing people. If you see your child doing this – perhaps reflect back to them that they think about different types of photography.




Rule of Thirds


simple principle of photography that I’ve taught a number of children is the Rule of Thirds. While I’ve talked numerous times about how breaking this rule can also be a powerful effect – it is something that I’ve found really can lift a child’s images – particularly when they are photographing other people.


Rule of Thirds




Review Your



you scroll through them pause to affirm

what you’ve

done well and to

look for things



could do better next time to improve






Focal Lock

Focal-Lock- While

most cameras do well in auto focusing upon subjects there are times when you’ll end up with shots that are out of focus because the camera doesn’t know what the main subject is (particularly if they are placing subjects off


with the rule of thirds).

Press the

shutter halfway down to focus and then to frame the shot while still holding it





Different Modes for Different Situations

Digital Camera Modes- Most

digital cameras these days have the ability to switch a camera into modes like ‘portrait’, ‘sports’, ‘macro’ etc.

Just knowing that different situations will mean you need to use different settings is an important lesson


learn as it helps


become more aware of not only

your subject

but things like how light, focal distance and subject movement can impact a shot.


Additional Layers:

•The Impressionist movement of painting was a response to photography. Photos were far more realistic than anything an artist could produce, so instead of realism in art they worked on moods and light and capturing essences that a photo could not. Look at Impressionist paintings and learn more about them.

•Experiment with photographic paper. What happens to it in the light? Try leaving pieces out for different amounts of time, from a few seconds to many minutes and in different light levels. Learn more about the chemicals that respond to light.

•After looking at Brady’s photos, you can jump into books on the civil wear to learn more.

•After looking at Ansel Adams’ photos, a study of the National Parks would be very interesting. Check out the National Park website for kids. Kids can sign up to be junior web rangers and complete many activities and earn badges all while learning more about the national parks.

•Make a timeline of the history of photography.

•National Geographic Photographers have some taken some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating photos, check out some of them here.

•Trick photography can be fascinating to kids, try the Klutz Tricky Pix book (affiliate link).







Topic: Photography




like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce.”

― Karl Lagerfeld