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Homeschool Electives... Building a Photography Class from Online Resources

Updated on November 1, 2012

Once your student(s) learn the basics of reading, writing, and math it’s time for them to experience other areas of interest. You don’t have to be an expert in an area to create a class for them. There are many wonderful photographers who freely share their knowledge online making photography a wonderful elective choice if you own or can get a camera with manual adjustment features.

How to Build a Class for Homeschooling

Homeschooling can be as different as night and day from one home to the next but there is one goal that is present in each. The parents want the students to learn something they did not know or understand before. A good place to start for any new subject is an introduction to the ideas, tools, or methods used in the particular subject. After that it is good to breakdown the knowledge needed into smaller portions of information. Once a ‘portion’ is mastered it is time to move on to the next. The method of determining if the student has mastered the information is up to the parent but can include written tests, oral tests, allowing the student to teach it to someone else, etc. With photography showing knowledge could be done with images taken that demonstrate the right and wrong way of using/adjusting the camera settings.

What should be included in an introduction to photography class?

  1. Knowledge of a camera and its parts
  2. Basics of photography; common vocabulary, basic functions in a camera
  3. Composition of a photograph
  4. Lighting

These 4 videos cover aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and setting them in manual mode. Understanding these functions in your camera will go a long way in knowing how to get the picture you are looking for. These are informational videos showing how and when to change these settings on your camera. After each video I would suggest going out and taking pictures and adjusting the setting you just learned about. Take images inside and outside. Also take close-up images as well as larger vistas as these changes in subject will affect how you want to arrange your settings. You should watch and understand these videos in the order they are posted to gain the most knowledge from them.

The next 2 videos come at composition from different angles and help to demonstrate how assembling a photograph varies from photographer to photographer.

Getting the most out of the experience

If your student mastered the techniques and information in the above articles and videos they will have cover plenty of information for credit in a photography class however if this study has sparked a stronger interest in photography continue to explore more techniques. During this class your student should also be looking at other photographers work. They should be analyzing those images for focus, composition, lighting, etc. Noticing what looks appealing can go a long way in helping a new photographer set up better photographs. Try to include shoots in a variety of situations. Changes in time of day, location, nature subjects, portraits, etc. will grow your knowledge exponentially as your student has to face and overcome the challenges of a different set of factors.

If you are going to look into other photography articles and videos online be careful. Nude/gratuitous photography is prevalent even in tutorials. Most videos I have come across will usually warn of this kind of content (mostly because more people will watch it) but there won’t always be a warning.


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    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 3 years ago from USA

      This is a great idea for a home school curriculum. Unfortunately, when I was homeschooling, we were so bogged down with busy work, because I chose the wrong program, that we didn't have time for the fun stuff. Live and learn.