Vocabulary for Describing Photography and Art

Vocabulary for Describing Photography and Art
Vocabulary for Describing Photography and Art

At the end of the lesson, the student will be able to describe the features of a photograph or artwork and the techniques used in creating it, using appropriate vocabulary.

Photographs and/or artwork, paper, pencils.

Introductory Activity:
Discuss the importance of descriptive language to describe art and photography. Ask the student to share their experience of trying to capture the beauty of a photograph or artwork with words.

Main Activity:

  1. Have the student look at a photograph or artwork and write down their observations.
  2. Introduce vocabulary related to composition and techniques in art and photography. Explain what each word means and provide examples.

Composition Vocabulary:
-Balance: when the elements are arranged in such a way that the visual weight is the same on both sides of a central point.
e.g. symmetrical balance

-Framing: when elements are used to create a natural frame around the photograph or artwork.
e.g. trees, buildings, landscape

-Focal point: the element that captures the viewer’s attention.
e.g. a person, a bright color

-Rule of thirds: a technique used to divide a space into thirds, both horizontally and vertically, in order to create a more interesting composition.

Technique Vocabulary:
-Exposure: the amount of light that is allowed to reach the camera.

-Aperture: the size of the opening in the lens that allows light to enter.

-Shutter speed: how long the camera shutter stays open and how much light is let into the camera.

-Depth of field: how much of the photograph is in focus.

-Zoom: to move closer to or further away from an object.

-Focus: when the object is in sharp focus and everything else is blurred.

Review the vocabulary and have the student practice describing the photograph or artwork using the vocabulary.

-Objective: describe features of photographs or artwork, using vocabulary
-Materials: photographs/artwork, paper, pencils
-Introductory Activity: discuss importance of descriptive language
-Main Activity: observe, discuss composition and technique vocabulary
-Conclusion: review vocabulary and practice describing

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