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The next time you’re out at lunch, take a moment to look around and see how many people are glued to their smartphones. In our culture, we are facing an increasing epidemic of lost conversation. So much time is spent focused on our little screens that we lose the opportunities for meaningful conversation and relationship building. The phone has become a vice.

In the following short article, Zack Arias did a little project capturing people on these devices, seemingly oblivious to the world around them. Do you resemble any of these people? What are your thoughts on this? Please comment below.

Rule of Thirds and Composition

You have a camera. You learned how to turn it on. You have begun to move past the automatic stage into the creative realm where you are setting your aperture for depth of field, or your shutter speed to capture motion.  Those are all good to know and valuable, but now we begin to focus our attention on the composition of our photos.

The composition of your images will either intrigue and spark interest or have no effect on the viewer. There are certain guidelines you can follow that will help to improve your overall images. One of those guidelines is the Rule of Thirds.

Read the following article from that describes the Rule of Thirds and how it works. Answer the following questions on a piece of paper, writing out the question and answering it. Turn it in when finished.

1. What is the basic principle behind the rule of thirds?

2. What is a good technique for landscape shots?

3. What are important questions to ask when learning how to use the rule of thirds?

When you are finished, read this next article on composition and answer question 4.

4. What are 5 effective methods of composition? Give a brief description of each.



As we begin to get a little more in depth with photography here in class it is important to discuss the type of format you will be shooting with your camera. As you touched on briefly in chapter 8 of your book, we will be a looking a little more closely at the RAW and JPG formats.

Check out this article from Digital Photography School’s blog as they explain the technical differences between the two.

Once you have read the article, write out the following questions and answer them on a piece of paper to turn in to class.

1. Name 4 characteristics of a RAW file.

2. Name 4 characteristics of a JPG file.

3. What happens when a camera “processes” a JPG file?

4. What are the benefits to shooting RAW over JPG?

5. What are the benefits to shooting JPG over RAW?

Cheat Sheet

As we begin to get in to the nitty gritty concerning aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings, things might get a little confusing. This little cheat sheet might help you understand things a little easier.  You can probably print it out on your home printer to keep with you as you shoot, or if you came this blog on your phone, you can save the image to your phone since that is always with you!

cheat sheet