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High [9th-12th] Lesson Plan

Light Painting

Created on September 07, 2015 by KatieMorris

Light painting is a fun way to teach students about long exposure photography and practice collaboration.

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2 sessions; 45 minutes per session

1. SWBAT understand how light is "written" to form an image in photography.
2. SWBAT direct, participate, and collaborate in an experimental light painting session.
3. SWBAT discuss images and revise to be successful.

1. Digital camera with manual settings
2. Tripod
3. Light source (flash light, cell phone, laser pointer)
4. Totally dark room

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. End of the class the day before (10 minutes)
-Show light painting video
-Explain concept: with a long exposure in the dark, any points of light will show up. Movement will be tracked creating lines. You can draw, write, or "paint" with light.
-Ask students to think about ideas that could be carried out indoors
2. Prepare
-Set up camera on tripod
-Adjust settings on manual or shutter speed priority: exposure time around 10 seconds but could be shorter or longer. (You can play around with different apertures)
-Move furniture out of the way
-Turn off or block all lights
3. Start photographing
-The teacher can direct the first shot. Try something easy like having a student stand in front of the camera and waving a light behind him/her.
-Ask students for ideas. Encourage them to take turns directing, posing, and collaborating.
4. Review & trouble shoot
-Review photos on camera screen. Make adjustments and try shot again if necessary.
5. Next day (5 minutes)
-Review photos on projector.
-Discuss successes and what went wrong on less successful photos.

Students will be graded on their participation/contributions to the group activity.

Option: try light painting again at a later date when students have had time to reflect and come up with new ideas.

Option: arrange for students to check out digital cameras and tripods so they can experiment more at home in the dark or outside at night.

You can use colored lights to get different effects. This is easy to do with a cell phone screen.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[9-12 Proficient] Students conceive and create works of visual art that demonstrate an understanding of how the communication of their ideas relates to the media, techniques, and processes they use
[9-12 Advanced] Students initiate, define, and solve challenging visual arts problems independently using intellectual skills such as analysis, synthesis, and evaluation

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[9-12 Proficient] Students evaluate the effectiveness of artworks in terms of organizational structures and functions



Digital, Photography