Media, materials and processes: lens-based and digital media

Please read these suggestions for activities in conjunction with the section on Using ICT in Art and Design. It is increasingly likely that pupils’ experiences of using lens-based media will take place within the context of digital technologies, rather than photographic film.

Learning Intentions

  • We are learning to understand that a photograph, like a painting, can be an image created by an artist.
  • We are learning to record photographic images from first-hand observations to help develop our ideas.
  • We are learning how a camera works and to understand image capture.
  • We are learning about image manipulation.
  • We are learning to create time-based sequences of images.

To help set this work in context, you may wish to refer to the other Key Elements for Key Stage 3 Art and Design on this microsite:

Learning Activities

Provide or ask pupils to bring in a range of photographic images from a variety of sources, such as:

  • newspapers;
  • magazines;
  • family albums;
  • books; or
  • software.

Discuss how the photographer has chosen to portray each subject.

Ask the pupils to take their own photographs, bearing in mind that they might like to:

  • use the camera as a viewfinder to frame an image;
  • consider the angle, light and colour when composing a picture;
  • experiment with unusual viewpoints;
  • take a series of photographs to extend the view they see through the lens; and/or
  • consider a range of focal points, close-up and distant.

Ensure that the pupils know how to:

  • focus an image;
  • capture the image; and
  • use depth of field and timed exposures to produce different effects, such as mood. (NB: The ability to achieve this level of control will depend on the features of the camera. Many basic digital cameras do not offer this level of functionality.)

Focus on different techniques to manipulate an image, such as:

  • using toning techniques, for example sepia tones and filter effects;
  • burning in image for effect; and/or
  • masking areas and manipulating the light to alter the finished image.

(NB: See also the section on using ICT.)

Provide an opportunity for pupils to use a camcorder to create a short video sequence.

Alternatively, ask them to create a storyboard of sequential images and animate the story, for example using editing software for stop-frame claymation techniques.

(NB: See also the section on using ICT.)