Lesson Plan with Online Partner

Please find Lesson Plan (partner: Jeff Herrity) along with a sample of our digital communication and my response to the experience, below:

Lesson Plan:

Photos of Student Work, using Photoshop (high school digital art)

Goal: To teach students the basic tasks within Photoshop in regards to photo post-production techniques- students will learn to make basic edits to the photos of their work.

Big Idea: Students will gain an understanding of why images of their work need to be as professional looking as possible in order to properly promote their work as artists and to use the images in portfolios.

Objectives/Outcomes: The Students will:

1. Understand basic mechanics of taking high quality digital photographs of 2D and 3D artwork

2. Learn how to transport digital photos from camera to computer

3. Identify basic tools within Photoshop program

4. Understand how to utilize key tools in Photoshop to apply edits to digital photos.

Teaching Procedure: (pre-work and previous lessons that we are building on: have students make work, and then have a unit where we teach them to shoot the work. They come to class with the images to use for Lesson)


Photo Selection: students will come to class with 50 images. Discuss what makes a good photo of work (lighting, angles, distance)

Based on criteria discussed, students spend 10 minutes selecting 5 images to tweak. Open images into photoshop (2 minutes). Basic tweaks, five minutes per image (exposure, cropping, clarity, noise, sharpness, contrast, how to save/apply same changes to all images). Save image (various formats for web and print).


More advanced image tweaks: masking, modifying specific areas of photograph (backgrounds/shadows), erase tool for skin imperfections, content aware fill, edit group shots to fix blinking

Assign out of class homework to turn in 5 edited images.


Our correspondence via email:

Jeffery Herrity jeff.herrity@mac.com
Dec 6 (13 days ago)
to me
hi virtual partner.did you have any ideas for what we are to do for our distance learning project?  I was thinking about a simple lesson with photoshop and how to make minor tweaks to images of student (or your own) work.

but it could also be something else, but I was trying to think of what we could do that could be done in a 45 minute class period for older students that are NOT photo students, but fine art students.

we could cover:

1. how to take good pictures (just lecture and bulet points)
2. take pictures of student work (they would have to come to class with an object they made.)
our examples would be pictures we have taken (at my studio at flux) a good one and the retouched one
3. download to computer
4. open photoshop or other photo software (perhaps talk about different options out there from the expensive to the freeware)
5. make simple tweaks
6. save the file in multiple formats
7. end.


Leah Carpenter
Dec 6 (13 days ago)
to Jeffery
I like where you are going with this…

but please note- I SUCK AT PHOTOSHOP. haha. my skills are limited to resizing and messing with colors. I can do a bit with the lasso tool… haha. so this may take some learning on my part too? But I’m totally willing to learn and work on it!
What if instead of taking pics of student work, we talked about how to take photos of students to utilize for various portraiture projects? just an idea. i feel like there are plenty of tools on Photoshop to mess with with a portraits that are useful for students/teachers
talk soon,
Leah Carpenter
Dec 14 (5 days ago)
to Jeffery
Ok so this lesson…So I don’t believe that we have to present in class, correct? Just write out a lesson plan to post to our blog. So why don’t we throw this back and forth add/make tweaks.

Lesson: Photos of Student Work with tips on Using Photoshop
Goal: ?
Big Idea: ?
       The Student Will:
        1. Understand basic mechanics of taking high quality digital photographs of 2D and 3D artwork
        2. Learn how to transport digital photos from camera to computer
        3.Identify basic tools within Photoshop program
        3. Understand how to utilize key tools in Photoshop to apply edits to digital photos
Teaching Procedure:
Class One: Set up back drop and lighting for taking photographs. Layout artwork. Show examples of successful photos and unsuccessful photos to point out what makes a great photo. Walk students through buttons and features on camera and allow them to practice a few shots. Then let them photograph the artwork, 3 angles, 9 photos total.
Class Two: Demo how to attach camera to computer (or insert Flash discs, depending on your model) and open up the folder containing photos. Move these files to a New Folder on Desktop and Name Folder. Have students look through photos to pick out the best 2 photos they took.
Class Three: Open up Photoshop Program and first give brief lecture on program and its uses. Show simple layout and common uses and tools that students will be focusing on. (pick out a limited number of tools that students will be able to use, in order to eliminate overwhelming amount of tools the program offers). Have students drag one photo into the Photoshop program. Walk them through applying tools they have as an option as an example
Class Four: allow students time to tweak photos. Save in multiple formats and print.
What do you think? Please add/subtract info and ideas. Just wanted to get this off the ground.
Talk soon! Hope you are having a great week!
Jeffery Herrity jeff.herrity@mac.com
Dec 14 (5 days ago)
to me
hey – this looks good, but I think we need to pare it down some…didn’t selila say that the ‘lesson’ should one lesson, this is more than one lesson… perhaps we really go minimal – let me think on this, but we have to trim it back a good bit…or am i misunderstanding what she wants? my lesson would look like:

(pre-work and previous lessons that we are building upon:   have students make work, and then have a unit where we teach them to shoot the work, they come to class with images to use)
1. Photo selection – students will come to class with, say 50 images
– discuss what makes a good photo of work (let’s use sculpture as an example)
– lighting, angles, distance
2. Based on criteria above, students spend 10 minutes selecting five images to tweak
3. Open images into photoshop (2 minutes)
4. Basic tweaks (five minutes per image) (25 minutes)
– exposure
– cropping
– clarity (noise, sharpness, contrast)
– how to save or apply same changes to all images
5. Saving image
– what formats to save them in
– print
– web
6. Prep for next lesson, more advanced image tweaks
– masking
– edit image more drastically
7. Homework assigning…

My Response to the Experience:

I have a crazy schedule between normal grad classes, student teaching 3 days a week, plus working at a restaurant on the weekend, so group projects always give me a headache because scheduling  a time when everyone is available is nearly impossible. So being able to completely handle this online was very helpful. We were tempted to get together in person to work on the project since we have classes together and live nearby each other, but we kept it strictly to email correspondence. I think we could’ve utilized a few more things to make it even easier, especially if the project had been more involved, like Skype or Google Docs. I think that this type of collaborative group work would take some getting used to. I felt that both Jeff and I were a bit hesitant to completely do this all online and maybe felt the need to work on it with each other in the way that we are used to, with writing things down and giving/getting that instant feedback that you have face to face. Currently in my student teaching experience, my mentor teacher and I correspond via email about a lot of what we do and have planned for the classes we teach. We just simply don’t have the planning time to go over it together in person, so there is a lot of catching up with each other, assigning tasks, and sharing ideas over emails. We plan to do that a lot over winter break as well so that we can transition as smoothly into the next semester as possible. So I guess this digital correspondence has real-world uses and possibilities for those who need to collaborate but have a tight schedule. This could also be a huge help to those who are not geographically near each other.

About Maybe It's Time

yogi-runner-artist-gardener who is a food-lover and cooking-enthusiast, while teaching art and being a parent of two pups, spending free time camping and studying urban homesteading.

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