Grab your camera and learn how to create good image compositions for your next teaching and learning asset. Chris Mattia teaches you how to capture good image compositions with your camera that will enhance your teaching and learning assets and take less
- Let's begin by talking about how to capture good visual compositions of your images for use in teaching and learning and get a few other essential background concepts out of the way. There's a lot you can do in your camera before using Photoshop to take your images to the next level, so let's start there. The pictures you select need to be good images. They should enhance the story that you're telling and reinforce the points that you're making rather than distract from them. They should be properly exposed, have an easily identifiable and focused subject, and have a nice, pleasing balance to the composition.
Now, most digital cameras and smart phones have automatic settings that make the technical side of picture taking significantly easier for anyone to get good results with. Therefore, let your camera do the technical work for you and instead focus your attention on the subject and the composition of your shots. Think about how you intend to use the final image. Will it be as a slide background? A figure in a docket, perhaps? A navigational or a decorative element on your website.
Whatever you think the final image for the picture may be, always begin by first thinking about how the image needs to be oriented for the screen or page that you'll be using it on. To practice this, find a simple subject. I'm going to use this little wooden Moai. Take several pictures that may work for the type of learning asset that you're envisioning. Adjust the orientation of your camera for each shot. Take a picture in a portrait orientation and one in landscape.
Now look at the pictures. How are either of those pictures going to fit into your teaching and learning asset and support your story. Chances are, one of them will jump out as better for your particular use-case than the other but it still may be not quite right. Okay, let's take this a step further. Take some more pictures in the orientation that you think will work better for your learning asset but this time, move the subject around in the frame. Taking a picture with the subject in the center, one with the subject shifted to the left of the frame, one with the subject on the right.
Take pictures with the horizon near the top third, the middle, and the lower third. Finally, repeat the entire sequence, but this time, vary how close you are to the subject. Take a series where you're right up close to the subject, where the subject fills the frame, and a series where it fills only about a third of the frame, and finally, move a bit further back so the subject is much smaller in the frame. Okay, that's a lot of pictures, but with digital cameras, film is free.
The important thing here is for you to begin visualizing how you may want to use a particular image as a teaching and learning asset. Taking a few minutes to move the camera around and really start to look through that viewfinder with the mindset of a final teaching and learning asset is an invaluable skill. You now have a good collection of image composition references for a wide range of possible use-cases. We'll use these images and other similar, basic compositions throughout this course so you can see how to apply these concepts to your own materials.
- Mastering the Photoshop user interface
- Making selective adjustments
- Using actions for repetitive tasks
- Fixing common image problems
- Repairing an image with masks
- Preparing images for use on the web
- Creating 360 VR panoramas
- Making an animated GIF
Skill Level Intermediate
Elearning Techniques: Visual Designwith Sally Cox1h 34m Intermediate
Building Elearning Games in Captivatewith Anastasia McCune2h 50m Intermediate
Teaching Techniques: Blended Learningwith Chris Mattia1h 37m Appropriate for all
1. Getting Started with Photoshop
2. Image Basics for Teaching and Learning
3. Fixing Common Image Problems
4. Preparing Images for Presentations
5. Creating Web Graphics
6. Videos, Animations, and 360 Media
7. Exporting Images
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