Still Life

Project Description

Students were introduced to the fundamentals of composition, the history, and photographic genre of still lives. Their project challenge was to create their own composition, this was coupled with an introduction of additional Photoshop tools and techniques. An emphasis was placed on the use of space and negative space with the four fundamental elements of composition; a clearly defined subject and background, a sense of balance, a point of view, and a degree of simplicity. Students were also asked think about the lighting. Students also created a Pinterest still life idea board. At the end of the project they had a peer-to-peer critique and then had to present their peer’s work along with their own Pinterest board.

Project Steps

This project began with an introduction to compositional fundamentals in photography and the history of the genre of still life painting/photography. Students then did a research and brainstorming document in combination with doing a visual brainstorming activity using Pinterest. Students decided on their props and brought them in to class so they could go out to shoot their compositions.

Students were directed to shoot at least 20 different shots to encourage them to play with the arrangement, changing their position, and camera position. Images were brought into the computer via Adobe Bridge, sorted, and the final image was chosen. The students then followed steps to convert image to black and white and play around with new tools, such as cloning, the paintbrush, and adjustment layers.

Class Critique

Every project is coupled with a class presentation of the completed work and a group critique. Each student will be asked to give feedback to their fellow photographers. They are expected to give at least two pieces of feedback, one warm and one cool.

Related Standards

  • ISTE: Creativity and Innovation

  • ISTE: Communication and Collaboration

  • ISTE: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, & Decision Making