Anatomy of a Scene

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 7.27.09 AMThe New York Times has created a site where ‘Film directors walk viewers through one scene of their movies, showing the magic, motives and the mistakes from behind the camera.’ Really worth watching and learning from!

NYT Link – Anatomy of a Scene




photogram lecture.024


–Learn about the darkroom–procedures and technology (enlargers, chemistry, paper, exposure)

–Play with design — positive and negative space, opacity, designing within the frame

–Work individually to design 2 photograms.

–Work in a group of two or three, with the assistance of your teacher or TA, to create one large format (16×20 inch) photogram with both design and meaning. Options:

  • A life-sized portrait (head) of one of your group members or another person using found objects
  • A “map” or diagram that shows a personal destination or the path to get there
  • A political (or propaganda) poster that makes a statement about war, the refugee crisis, global warming, education reform, bullying, free music or another newsworthy topic that matters to you

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Download the lecture (which contains examples, hints and the assignment) here: photogram lecture

Light, Shape, Shadow, Line & Text

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Essential Questions: 

  • What design elements make a photographic image compelling?
  • How can one design an image specifically for a black and white medium?
  • In the photographic darkroom, which negatives make the best fine prints? What are their specific qualities?


  • Shoot 1-2 rolls of film. 
  • Must be shot off campus (outside of school)
  • Subject and location are up the the photographer, but the images should be visually compelling and use these four elements specifically: light, line, shadow and shape. Experiment, look for bold or subtle examples around you. See the slideshow, which you can download at the bottom of this post, for examples.  
  • make a contact sheet
  • make at least five 5×7″ prints.
  • make one to two 8×10″ prints of your best image(s) (your teacher will help you choose what to print)

Slideshow (shown in class): 

Light Shape Shadow, Line and Text Lecture Intro

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Digital Photo Final Reflection

photo by Cig Harvey

Digital Photography – Quarter 2 Reflection

We have decided as a class to reflect on our work this quarter, without assigning a letter grade.

The reflection itself is a graded assignment and will be due on Friday.

Directions: Write a paragraph (5 or more sentences) describing your work in each of the following categories. Please pay attention to each of the bullet points (although you don’t need to make a list). You should cite examples of your (ie which projects or images you excelled on, or specific lessons or experiences, in and out of class), and reflect on ways you can improve as you move forward (things you want to learn, pay more attention to, and so on). 


  • How you show creativity in your photos
  • Shooting
  • Angles
  • Color
  • Approach the subject
  • Lighting and shadows
  • How you edit the photos
  • bringing the best
  • Originality
  • Experimentation


  • The Images
  • Process – apply your knowledge, skill and effort
  • Reflects creativity and effort
  • Images relate to writing
  • Do images tell a story
  • Images work well together
  • Do they demonstrate skill


  • Explains your photos
  • Gives insight into your thought process – enables you to get more out of it
  • Reason why you chose the subject (personal?)
  • Background on where you are.
  • Contribute to your work?
  • Well – written, organized, correct length
  • assignment requirements Meets deadlines, etc
  • Quality of thought – meaningful – original – Ideas progress and change from project to project


  • Helping the person next to you
  • Commenting on blogs
  • In class critique
  • Paying attention in class
  • Class etiquette


  • Ambitious locations
  • Number of images
  • A lot of different angles
  • Ambitious subjects
  • Takes risks 
  • Uses every minute of every class productively
  • Applying to assignment
  • Showing growth and visible improvement

Advanced Photo Quarter 2 Reflection

“Route 9W, New York” by Larry Friedlander, 1969

Advanced Photography – Quarter 2 Reflection

The H-Block Advanced Photography students have discussed what they feel is important to them in this class. They have agreed on three main ideas (listed below). Mr. Gooder agrees to evaluate this class according to these criteria. Students will first write a reflection and share it with their teacher, who will respond in writing.

The reflection itself is an assignment and will be due on Friday January 22 (our midterm block).

Directions: Write a paragraph (5 or more sentences) describing your work in each of the following categories. Please pay attention to each of the bullet points (although you don’t need to make a list). You should cite examples of your (ie which projects or images you excelled on, or specific lessons or experiences, in and out of class), and reflect on ways you can improve as you move forward (things you want to learn, pay more attention to, and so on). 

Optional: The class decided that each student should have the option to suggest the letter grade they feel you deserve in each category. Mr. Gooder will assign his own letter grade and compare them. If they differ, he will split the difference. You may prefer Mr. Gooder to do the grading, and just work on the reflection (without assigning grades). 


  • Excludes outcome of print–more about each student trying to do the best work they can
  • Focus on desire to improve, applying techniques, overcoming challenges, reshoot as needed
  • Use class time effectively
  • Try new things (ie painting with developer, solarization, different print sizes, image cropping, and so on)
  • Open to suggestions from teacher and peers
  • Meets deadlines and gets work in on time
  • Pays attention to teacher’s comments (listening and learning shows up in the work)
  • Attention to detail (doesn’t leave negatives out; uses darkroom notebook)
  • Shoots more than just the assignments
  • Tries to improve and grow as a photographer
  • Prompt and prepared – good attendance


  • Demonstrates good darkroom étiquette:
    • washing trays
    • pushing prints into chemistry
    • moving prints along
    • cleaning up your enlarger station / things organized into drawers
    • cleaning up (ie drying prints) for the rest of class
    • careful with the rotary door
    • Watch the phones
  • Helps other students through:
    • Giving constructive feedback while working
    • Participation in critique when work is done–pays attention, looks at work
    • Insightful comments on other peoples work
    • Respecting other points of view
    • Helping to maintain a non-competitive atmosphere in class, or engages in healthy competition

Quality of Work

  • Demonstrates darkroom skills (dodging/burning; filter choice; focus; easel setup; clean negs)
  • Makes choices about individual style or related to what you are trying to express with the print
  • Develops strong negatives (good values and density)
  • Negatives and prints show originality; effort in terms of finding subjects and locations
  • Negatives and prints show variety
  • Shows a distinct point of view; has a story to tell
  • Note: while art is subjective, we agree that all work should be of high quality according to the above criteria

Advanced Filmmaking Semester 1 Reflection

Filmmaker Spike Lee, 2015
Reflect on your Quarter 2 Short Documentary project. Demonstrate through this reflection what you have learned.
The first few questions ask you to reflect on documentary filmmaking in general and on the process of making your film. The last few questions ask you to reflect on how you have progressed since your last project and in the class. 
At least 3 sentences each answer: 
  1. How are documentaries different than fiction films? Which do you prefer to watch, and why?
  2. How is making a documentary different than making a fiction film (like your previous project)? Which do you prefer to make, and why?
  3. What did  you do well on this project? How is that evident in the final piece?
  4. What did you find challenging about planning, producing and finishing this project? What would you do differently next time?
  5. What would you do differently next time? What have you learned from making this film?
  6. What have you learned in Advanced Filmmaking this semester?About film? About working with other students? About yourself?
  7. Discuss your progress in this class this quarter. Has your work improved (or suffered?)  Are you satisfied with your experience, your work, and your contribution to the class?
  8. Look back on the semester. What is one thing you believe you will remember about this class, or this year in your life, when you are Mr. Gooder’s age.

Photography Book Reviews

Two Books of Astronomy, 1996. Abelardo Morell


  • Look at photography books in the classroom. You can look at any of the photography books.
  • Find books that are compelling, share with classmates, or ask your teacher for recommendations based on genre (type of photos). Explore a variety of photographers and image making techniques, based on student interest.
  • Write a one paragraph review of each book with, highlighting one or more images that you found particularly compelling.
  • Share your google document with your teacher.


  1. You will look at many images, but are required to write a review of three images of your choice, from three different books.
  2. Use your laptop while browsing books. A google doc has been provided to get you started on the Classroom post.
  3. Explore books. Take several off the shelf that interest you. Feel free to share with friends in the class (recommend books to each other).
  4. Review the book and photographer. For each image:
    1. Take note of the photographer and book title. Also, take note of the page number.
    2. What is happening in the image? What is the subject? What’s happening? Where are we? Where is the photographer in relation to the subject.
    3. What does the photo communicate to you? Meaning? Feeling? Mood?
    4. Is this the kind of photo you’d like to make? Or just appreciate? Describe.
  5. Plan to share your favorite images with the class.