You will want to draw storyboards for all your film projects, so that you can pre-visualize how your script will turn into images (and sounds) on the screen. Each shot should be represented by a storyboard frame (think of thumbnails on your computer which stand for video clips.) You can show everything from the proximity of characters to each other, the angle of the shot, how wide or close up it is, movement (of actors and/or camera), and so on. You can write in notes on the shot (what the camera is doing), as well as character actions or dialog/voiceover. Your storyboard becomes your shot list on location–like a grocery list or shopping list, you can check off your shots as you shoot them. A storyboard is an invaluable tool for the creative filmmaker!

Watch this funny and informative video on storyboarding–

“Storyboarding for People Who Can’t Draw” video

Watch this interesting video on how a well known director, Robert Rodriguez, uses storyboards to visualize his films:

Storyboarding with RR



The 48 Hour Photo Diary

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One of 365 photos (one per day for the year 2002) by Byron Wolfe’s book “Everyday”

For this assignment, students are being asked to record one digital image per hour while awake over the course of 48 hours–at home, at school, with friends, and everywhere in between. Students must carry their cameras (or cell phone) with them everywhere they go. They may take one image each hour, so they must be selective and thoughtful about what they shoot. The image can be spontaneous and intuitive: close or wide; an object, person or landscape; straightforward or symbolic. The collection of images can be as varied as the student’s day.

Goal: Students will finish with an authentic visual diary of their daily life.

Essential Questions: What can photography show us about our lives? How can photographic images not only document who, what, where and when we are, but express our state of mind, wishes and concerns? How does reexamining the world around us through a lens change how we see it? What is the value of keeping your camera on you at all times–what opportunities present themselves when the photographer is ready? How can photography be used to mark and feel time, which in this project is both momentary (the click of a shutter), and protracted (images collected over time?)

Final Objective: Create a digital book or slideshow using Adobe Lightroom software showing the students’ images, in order.

Writing for your Blog Post:

  • When you create your gallery on your blog, caption each photo with the time and a title.
  • Two paragraphs, 3-5 sentences each.
  • For your first paragraph, write about what your diary shows about your life. You can describe these two days in your life, and any highlights depicted in the photos. What does the photo diary show us about you and your life, the differences between parts of your day, and what the photos show us about your mood and point of view, as well as your activities.
  • For your second paragraph, write your response to this project. What was it like carrying a camera with you for 48 hours? To take a photo every hour? To document your ordinary day? Did you notice more? What was it like to look through your world through a lens? What was it like for those around you to have you with your camera at all times? Finally, did you learn anything from this project?
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Another photo from Byron Wolfe’s book “Everyday”

The Dialog / Action Short Film

Still from the 1981 film, “Raiders of the Lost Arc” (Dir: Steven Speilberg)

Your assignment: Write, Direct and Edit an action sequence in class (or on location). This builds off of the documentary we just watched, “The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing”


  1. Form a crew of 3
  2. Come up with an idea for your action sequence with your crew
  3. Write a script (in screenplay format) for the dialog scenes
  4. Draw a storyboard for each shot in the action sequence. (The storyboard form is at the bottom of this post, and is handed out in class)
  5. Scout locations, find props as needed, and cast actors from class (pre production)
  6. Shoot your film during class time, somewhere on campus; OR, with permission, shoot outside of class.
  7. Edit


  • No weapons, sexual references, drug references or profanity. No fight scenes. No blood.
  • Characters: Two characters. You may get students in the class to act in your film.
  • Plot: The film should start with an “instigating event”–some situation that starts the action. The chase ensues. The chase must resolve or end in some way with a final short scene
  • Dialog: You must have a short dialog scene (at least three lines each character) at the start and end of the film.
  • Shots: At each moment in the film, the editor should have at least 2 shots to cut to (this is called coverage).
  • Style: The dialog scenes need to follow a traditional shot-reaction shot structure (2 singles and a two shot). The action sequence must be shot two different ways–for example, all in close ups and all hand held.
  • Edit: Each crew member edits their own version, with an alternate ending! 
  • Length: 3-5 minutes total
  • Music: Edit the chase to music
  • Finishing: Titles and credits


A storyboard form is here:

Writing your Bio

Munich by Abelardo Morell (form his series, “A Book of Books”)

You will create a WordPress blog to feature all of your best work from Digital Photography. A blog allows you to post images and write about them. Every assignment in Digital Photography will have some of your writing to go along with it.

Your Photographer’s Bio: Write a one paragraph description of yourself as a photographer. Whatever WordPress “Free Photography” template you choose, make sure your Bio is easily accessible from the start page, when you arrive at the blog (it might be the “About Me” section somewhere on the side or top of the page).

  1. Go back to the websites you looked at featuring color photographers, or the website of any photographer you admire. Read their bios.
  2. Write a 5-7 sentence paragraph describing yourself as a photographer. If you like, start with the sentence, “——— (your name) is a photography student at Concord Carlisle High School in Concord, MA.”
  3. Sentences 2 through 4 or 5 should describe who you are as a photographer. This could be, what you like taking photos of, what stories you like to tell with photography, what draws you to photography visually, what photography means to you personally or culturally, who has influenced your work (well-known photographers who you follow), and so on.
  4. Conclude with one sentence to tie it all together. This can be a nod to the future (what you will do next or continue doing as a photographer), your ambitions, how photography fits into your life going forward (in high school and perhaps beyond).

Review a Photo Essay

Riveter at a military aircraft factory. Fort Worth, Texas, 1942 by Howard R. Hollem

In preparation for shooting your own photo essay, you will be looking at and reviewing photo essays online. The following Photo Essay Review should be posted on your new blog with a link to the essay.

Review of a photo essay online

  1. Browse three outstanding websites:
    1. New York Times “Lensblog”
    2. Time Magazine’s “Lightbox”
    3. Mother Jones Magazine’s Photoessays
    4. National Geographic Photo Stories
  2. Choose one photo essay to write about. Your response should have:
    1. First paragraph should include:
      1. A link to the specific photo essay for your teacher (cut and paste the URL into your response)
      2. The name of the writer
      3. The name of the photographer
      4. The name of the magazine / online source
      5. The date
      6. A description of the photo essay, in your own words. What is it about? 1-3 sentences.
    2. Second paragraph (5-7 sentences) should be your response to the content. What do you find interesting about the story or issues raised by the story?
    3. Third paragraph (5-7 sentences) should be your response to the images. How did the photographer approach this story visually? What elements of photography enhance your understanding or feeling for the story? (i.e., color, light, framing, angle, proximity to subject, etc).