Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lesson - Macro Photography

SEEK Updated
Resource Types: 

These model lessons were created by teachers participating in the Minnesota Department of Education's 2011-13 project, "Integrating Environmental and Outdoor Education into Grades 7-12" with funding from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

Title of Lesson: Macro Photography

Objective(s): Students will understand the function of the macro setting on their digital camera, take pictures from multiple perspectives, and manipulate the images using photo-editing software.

Standards Adressed: (NETS/ISTE)
1. Creativity and Innovation: Students will demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology. 1b: Students will create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making: Students use critical thinking to plan, conduct, and manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

Equipment needed: Classroom set of cameras (students can share) and computers to download and edit images.

This lesson assumes students have discussed and worked with photography composition concepts such as rule of thirds and perspective.
1. Explore images online (via Google image search) of macro photography. Ask students to explain what the images have in common or what makes them unique.
2. Explain macro photography: sharp, focused images of an object up close and personal! Most digital cameras have macro settings; quite often it is expressed with a little flower detail on the settings button. Macro photos must be taken with the lens close to the subject without zooming.
3. Hand out cameras and have students find the correct setting; then go outside and take pictures with the following guidelines:
- use rule of thirds
- take multiple pictures of a subject from different angles
- play around with use of light/shadows
- look for interesting textures, colors, or patterns
4. When students come back inside, have them choose their own top two pictures from the camera. Students can upload photos to their computer or to the teacher's computer. Once photos are uploaded, the class can discuss the hour's best images.
5. The next day, students will be working with photo editing. In GoogleDocs (or Microsoft Word), have students create a table with columns labeled "before" and "after." Students should upload their best photo from the previous day to the "before" column.
6. Students will then upload their photos to an online editing website such as www.pixlr.com. Using this site, students can explore a variety of photo editing tools. Once students are satisfied with their changes and edits, they will upload the new photo to their table labeled "after."
7. Students will then write a paragraph explaining:
- the steps they took when finding, composing, and taking the image
- why they chose this particular image
- the steps they took while editing the photo
- how the mood, feeling, or tone changed from one image to the next

Assessment: A rubric can be used to score students on:
- composition of original photo
- creation of table in GoogleDocs (shared with teacher) or in Word
- use of photo editing tool (pixlr.com)
- explanation of the photography and editing process

Environmental and Outdoor Education (EOE) Model Lessons are freely available for use by all teachers for educational purposes only.

Beth Russell, Rockford Middle School, Rockford, MN
Topic Areas: 
Natural Sciences
Outdoor Recreation
Target Audience: 
Grades Pre K-12
Geographic Location: 
All Minnesota
Date Produced/Published: 
Library loan: 
Is training required?: