Guidelines for Student Photographs

I have been developing a series of workshops using Legos for AHI/ARC 103 CC: Building Culture, which I will teach this spring. During the workshops, groups of students will make a series of small architectural models using Legos and photograph their work to share it with the rest of the students in the course.

In preparation for a Technology Fellows Program (TFP) workshop this fall, it was suggested that I think about developing guidelines for the students that would explain how to photograph their models. While most students are consistently taking snapshots on their phones and tablets, they usually don’t consider how to take a better quality image. Diane Creede also noted that in a book I was using for inspiration, all of the models were shot on dark backdrops, which made the Lego models stand out. To prepare for a trial run-through of my assignment at the TFP workshop, I made a series of black backdrops for the students to use and developed the following photography tips.

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This list of tips, along with the black cardboard backdrops, allowed for the workshop participants to take high quality photographs using their smartphones that could then be uploaded to Moodle for sharing. The list of tips enabled the participants to photograph their models on their own by following the guidelines and create remarkably consistent images across the different groups. I’m very much looking forward to using these guidelines with my students next semester.

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