Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Science in Focus: Shedding Light: Lights, Camera, Action

Test Your Lighting I.Q.

II. The Science

Shadows are formed when an object blocks some of the light that shines on it. The size and shape of the shadows are determined by the relative position of the light source and object. For example, if you hold a flashlight one meter in front of a cylinder, the shadow will look different than if you hold the flashlight one meter right above the cylinder.

This same principle applies to photography. When photographing outdoors, you must be aware of the relative position of the Sun, your subject, and the camera. The interplay of light and shadow makes interesting photographs.

Photographers often use flash outside to "fill-in" shadows in order to reduce contrast (the differences of light and dark) in the photograph. Film "sees" differently than our eyes. Film cannot distinguish the vast contrast range that our 'eyes' naturally adapt to.

Now try the activity yourself. Go on to III. Do It Yourself.

I. The Web Activity
II. The Science <—
III. Do It Yourself
IV. Do It with Your Students
V. Resources


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