Photographer badge

We will be covering the Photographer badge during the Zoom meetings on 19th and 26th January.

If Cubs miss the sessions, they can still take part in the badge activities at home.

You will need a camera for these activities. Any camera will do - a borrowed mobile phone is fine!

Topics covered in session 1 (19 January)

  • Can you find out how a camera works to record a picture? What do the following things do?

    • Lens

    • Shutter

    • Sensor (or film in an old camera!)

  • What is meant by focus?
    Can you see the difference between these four pictures?
    Does your camera let you change what is in focus - if so, how?

  • What is meant by zoom?
    Which of these is the better picture?
    Does your camera let you zoom in - if so, how? Or do you just have to move yourself nearer or further away?

  • Exposure means how much light the camera lets hit the sensor while it is taking the picture. Too much light and the picture will be too bright - not enough light and it will be too dark. Most cameras set the exposure automatically, but sometimes you can adjust it. Does your camera let you change it?
    Which of these pictures has the best exposure? (They were all taken with exactly the same amount of light pointing at the subject, just with different exposure settings in the camera).

Your challenge after session 1 (homework)

Choose one of these themes

  • My family

  • Something I enjoy doing

Take some photos of on the theme you choose and select the three best ones.

All the photos should relate to the same theme.

Try to make sure they are in focus and zoomed in and exposed correctly – you may need to practice a bit!

Send your three best pictures in by email (cubs@wilsdenscouts.org.uk) or WhatsApp.

Topics covered in session 2 (26th January)

Taking a good photograph is about more than just pointing the camera and pressing the button!

Composition

One thing to think about is what is in the photo and how the main subject fits in with their surroundings. Think about what is in the background as well as the main thing you are taking a picture of.

The main subject of the photo does not have to be in the centre of the picture. Photographers sometimes like to imagine the photo is divided into three equal parts both top to bottom and left to right. If you put the main subject on (or close to) one of these lines, it can make the photo look more interesting.

Imagine dividing the picture into three slices from top to bottom and three slices from left to right. Here the dog is close to the line on the right.

This makes the photo more interesting than if the dog were in the middle of the picture.

Here the middle of the river is along the line on the left of the picture, and the big rock in the river is where two of the imaginary lines meet. The riverbank on the right of the photo runs along the bottom imaginary line.

This technique is sometimes called the "rule of thirds" (although it is just one technique to help compose a picture - it's not really a rule!)

Looking differently

You don't always need to stand in front of a subject and snap a picture. Try and get up close, or look up or down, to get a different view!

This photo was taken standing very close to the tree and looking up - a different view to normal!

And this one was taken looking down at some leaves low down in the tree.

This is quite a nice view of our local hillsides in the snow...

...but by moving very low down, right down close to the ground, I was able to take this close up picture of the snow on the grass, which provides a different view on the same subject.

Cropping

The subject of your photo doesn't have to be a boring rectangle. You can normally use an app on a phone or on a computer to edit a photo to make it more interesting.

One common operation is called cropping - cutting off bits of the photo that aren't so interesting, to make it a different shape.

This photo is of a wide view, so I cut off some of the sky and the grass (which were not very interesting) so you can see the main subject of the picture more clearly.

I cut off the edges of this photo (looking down into a rotten tree stump!) to make it a square instead of a rectangle.

Changing colours

A photo editing app on a phone or on computer will normally give you some options to change the colours in the picture. You can sometimes make the colours brighter (or less bright), make the photo look more red or green or blue, or make it black and white.

Sometimes a black and white picture can be more interesting than a colour one. You can experiment and see which version you like best!

In this colour picture, the blue flowers (bluebells) are in the background, but stand out clearly.

Converting the same picture to black and white makes the bluebells less obvious, and your attention is drawn to the dog instead.

You have to decide for yourself which version of the picture you think is best!

Your challenge after session 2 (homework)

Choose a theme – it can be anything you like but should be different to the one you used for session 1.

Take some photos that relate to that theme – or tell a story.

  • Think about how you compose your pictures

  • Try to look differently – and include at least one picture where you look at something from a different angle.

  • You could try to edit one of the photos on an app or computer if you want.

Send in at least three photos to count towards your badge.

Send your three best pictures in by email (cubs@wilsdenscouts.org.uk) or WhatsApp.

You need to complete both homework exercises (from session 1 and session 2) to count towards your badge.