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.

Do It Yourself

Test your knowledge by re-creating this activity yourself. You will be taking photographs of different objects in different types of light settings and trying to predict the outcomes.


Before doing this activity, you may want to check out some of the resources on light and shadow in photography listed in Resources.


  • Camera with flash that can be turned off or on
  • Notebook

How to Do It

  1. Take your camera outside on a sunny day.
  2. Select a subject or area to photograph.
  3. Take the picture.
  4. Predict what the photographic image will look like by making, drawing, and identifying the light and dark parts of the picture.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 several times varying your subject matter and your light sources. You may want to take some photos with a flash and others without a flash. You also may want to take photos with your face to the sun, with your back to the sun, with the sun on the side, etc.
  6. Develop the film and compare your prediction drawings with the photographic images you have created.
    • In what ways did your predictions match the images? In what ways did they not?
    • How do your findings relate to the information in Workshop 1? 2?
    • Which images are the most visually appealing to you? Why?
    • What rules of thumb can you apply to your future photo taking?

Now try this activity with your students. Go on to IV. Do It with Your Students.

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


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