Perspectives and Nature Photography Lesson

From IslandWood Education Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search


Students are given an introduction into Nature Photography in order to explore the idea of having multiple perspectives of a single subject.


  • SWBAT choose a distinct subject using a camera.
  • SWBAT understand that there are multiple perspectives of one subject. 

Background Information:

  • Perspective - a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
  • Subject - The focal point of a photograph.  A viewer's eyes should be immediately drawn to it.  A subject can be made more prominent by using tight framing around it, looking for strong contrast, or finding an angle which creates a simple background.
  • Rule of Thirds - Misnomer!  This is a guideline, not a rule.  Emphasize that this is an option.  A picture can be divided up into 9 equal parts, with 2 lines going horizontally and 2 lines going vertically.  Some argue that placing a subject along the lines or at the intersections makes for a more dynamic photograph, with more tension than if the subject were centered.
  • Contrast - Framing difference can make a photograph much more striking.  Contrast can be found with colors, shapes, textures, lighting, or even displaying something that does not fit in with its surroundings.
  • Texture - Often with photographs emphasizing texture, the subject fills the frame completely.  Bark, leaves, rocks, moss, and dirt are great places to start.  Placing the lens of the camera close to the subject is great for capturing patterns, and tilting the camera at an angle will give the texture some depth.

Age group: 4th-6th

Venue/s: Tech Lab , outdoors

Materials: Art cameras, PerspectivesLP.ppt, Tech Lab computers

Time: 90 mins

Set up: 20-60 mins (making sure cameras are charged)


  • Begin in the Tech Lab with the PowerPoint (PerspectivesLP.ppt) ready and cued.  
  • Use a hook related to the theme of perspectives.  One possible hook could be waiting up in the prep room, then surprising students by taking a picture of them from above.  
  • Tech Lab Orientation
  • Hands-on field time with cameras
  • Tech Lab uploading and gallery sharing


Set Up 

  • Make sure cameras are charged.
  • Set all cameras to "Auto" with flash turned off.
  • Have a path or field in mind.
  • Make sure the Tech Room is clean and ready for students.

Introduction (10-15 minutes)

  • Lead students through the PowerPoint up to slide 23.  Use this time to talk about what the word "perspectives" means to students.  
  • Provide examples of subjects with different perspective shifts.
  • Emphasize not just facing a subject.  Get down on the ground, get above the subject, be creative.
  • Provide some ideas, such as choosing a subject, the Rule of Thirds, Contrast, and Texture.  Emphasize that these are tools and ideas, but not rules.  Students should be encouraged to take pictures form their own unique perspective.
  • Demonstrate how to use one of the cameras.  Make sure the flash is off and the cameras are set to auto beforehand.  Explain to students that you aren't interested in the camera's functions.  All students need to worry about is what they're looking at and how they're looking at it.

Field Time (35-40 minutes)

  • Explain that you will be heading outside to take photographs.  Make sure they understand that they are still to remain with the group and still to remain on paths and fields.
  • Lead the group slowly down your chosen path, giving students a lot of freedom to photograph what and how they wish.
  • Walk through the group and individually check on how students are doing.  Check the camera settings to make sure it is set to Auto with no flash.
  • Suggest subjects in certain areas.  Ask students to surround the subject and see how many different perspectives they can find.

Tech Lab Uploading and Gallery Sharing (25-30 minutes)

  • Seat each student at a computer, but tell them to leave their hands off the keyboards and mice until directions are given.  
  • Using the PowerPoint, outline how to view their pictures.  Use chaperones and any other adults to help students get on the same page.
  • Let students know they are going to go through all of their pictures, and pick their favorite one.  Ask them to consider what perspectives interested them, or what made some pictures more interesting than others.
  • Once students have selected their photo, allow students to walk around the room and look at their peers' selected photographs as well.
  • Allow time for a debrief.   What was enjoyable about thinking about perspective in photography?   What was frustrating about thinking about perspective in photography?  Ask what they discovered about perspective.  What made some perspectives more interesting than others?  How can you think about perspective outside of photography?



  • Ask students to define "perspective" during the introduction.
  • During Field Time, individually check on students to see if they understand how to choose a subject.
  • During Field Time, pick one subject and have all students take a photograph of it from different perspectives.  Look for understanding of the shared subject, but taking pictures form different angles.


  • Check student photographs for distinct subjects and differing perspectives.
  • Group discussion on student findings.  Room for a Field Journal entry.

Possible Extensions:

  • Use field time to complete a scavenger hunt.  Task students with finding their E1T1 plant, a producer, consumer, and decomposer, or even more abstract things like Light, Air, and Water.  Students finish with evidence on their cameras (assessment tool).

Created by Max Honch on Dec. 15, 2014 .