Category Archives: DIDP 2014-15

And the 2014-15 Yearbook Cover Is…

Yes, the time has come for us to make a final decision about our yearbook for this year. We’ve looked at all of the great covers that have been submitted, and you’ve had your chance to comment on them and make any changes that you see fit.

Thanks to everyone who worked hard on a cover, and who provided feedback to help make them better. We will still have a little bit time to make suggestions and changes after we’ve picked a concept. So, if you really like a cover, but wish the designer had done something differently, we’ll make those changes; don’t avoid voting for one just because you don’t like the picture, font, colour, etc.

Now, for our finalists. Please look in the “10_YearbookCover” folder inside of Robson213Files/DIDP and have a look at the cover options!

Please respond to the following poll. You must choose 1 cover. Add any comments in the “Other” box (ie: #1, but change the font colour to hot pink!)

Yearbook Cover Feedback

Please have a look at the yearbook covers provided in the Robson213Files folder and provide some honest, constructive feedback. Every cover has something good about it, and every one has something that could be changed to make it even better. Your honest feedback is appreciated.

Your specific comments will not be shared with your name. I only ask your name so that I can give you credit for doing this.

Yearbook Cover/Theme

When designing your cover, please be careful. Make sure we don’t end up like this school!

Come up with at least 20 words or POSITIVE phrases that describe our school or that you want people to think/know about through our yearbook. What makes St. James great? What do you enjoy most about it? What are we proud of here?

These are things that could help you come up with a cover and/or theme for the yearbook. You all have to submit a cover and a theme suggestion.

Hand in your yearbook cover. That can be used to create your theme, or you can come up with something different.

The Hour of Code

This week is Computer Science Education Week, and there’s a huge worldwide activity going on this week called The Hour of Code, where millions of people will learn how fun and easy it can be to learn to write computer code. Whether you’re trying to build or fix your own website, animate your designs, write an app for your phone or tablet, or just see what you can teach computers to do, learning code is really important and fun. You have no idea how much you’re capable of doing right now, until you try.

These skills will help make you part of a growing work force of people who require computer science skills. These skills are becoming more important in almost every area of society, and sadly, there aren’t nearly enough people with those skills to fill important positions. By increasing your skills, you give yourself a far greater chance of landing a good job in the future, and unlock worlds of new possibilities now.

Please Join our class:
If you go to, you could just use our class code: EDRODP

OR you can try it out at CodeHS:



Photoshop for Photographers

Now that we’ve spent a bunch of time taking photographs, we’ll move to editing, manipulating, and modifying those in an application that you’re likely somewhat familiar with, Photoshop.

Photoshop comes with a variety of tools that can take your images and make them better or make them into something entirely different.

I have provided a series of videos in the Robson213Files folder. If they are not there, you can access them online here. I recommend that you DOWNLOAD the videos to your computer and watch them from there, instead of streaming them in your browser.

You should work through the 05_GettingStarted folder and 06_UnderstandingDigitalImages, and then complete this assignment: PhotoshopIntro

Camera Modes

First, don’t forget about the assignment I gave you last week. I want to see what you’re thankful for. If you didn’t get a chance to shoot those pictures over the weekend, you’re in luck, since I’m away, you get until Friday to show me those. Please complete the assignment. Instructions

You should also make sure that your composition research project is complete. Again, due to my absence, you don’t really have to have that in until Friday, but I really would like to see it then.

If you’ve completed those and all of your other assignments, you finally get to unravel the mystery of the other modes on your camera. It’s time to take it off of “auto” and set some important controls yourself.

There are some videos and documents here. Please download them to your computer and watch the videos from there. Do this in order. Each mode has an assignment. Do those in order as well. (ie watch the Aperture video, then do the assignment. After that, watch Shutter Speed and do the assignment, etc.)

The assignment: For each mode, I want you to take at least 3 photos. For the first, I want you to set up a shot that you can take 3 times. I recommend doing these in the hall outside of the classroom. Your camera needs to be stable to take these. Use a tripod if you know how to properly attach your camera (DO NOT put your camera on the tripod and turn it. EVER! Take the plate off of the tripod and use the screw underneath the plate to turn to attach the plate. Then put the plate back on the tripod. ALWAYS!) You can also move the brown desk or the little table in the hall and set your camera on one of those. It’s often easiest to have a classmate stand in the hall at a reasonable distance. For aperture, take a shot of that person (or whatever else you choose) at the lowest aperture setting, a setting in the middle, and the highest setting.

Once you have your 3 photos, use Skitch or put them in a document or, yes, PowerPoint (ugh) and explain the difference between the 3. Tell me what the aperture setting (number) was for each shot, and describe what changing the aperture did to the shot. You should see a significant difference. Explain what changed.

If you get that done and move on to Shutter Speed, you need something moving. Again, have a classmate slowly walk toward your camera or away from it. Describe what happens at the highest shutter speed, somewhere in the middle, and the lowest.

Please email me if you have questions or problems.

Please be taking photos of students and school events! Important!

Basic Composition

We’ve done a few things lately that were supposed to get you thinking about your shots and making sure that they look as good as possible. Hopefully you’ll keep all of those things in mind always from now on (be aware of light, focus is key, get close up for effect, etc.) Today I want to add in a few more considerations.

Watch this video from our pal Jared at FroKnowsPhoto. (If you follow the link, you will find more information.)

In the video Fro uses a Kermit the Frog statue to demonstrate how to make a simple photo better. This is what I want you to do.

Find an item that you can photograph (NOT a person, an ITEM.) If you need something to use, there is a box under my desk. If you need to, you can choose an item (without fighting.) THAT ITEM MUST GO BACK INTO THE BOX WHEN YOU ARE DONE!

Take your item and find a suitable location to set it up in and take a bunch of pictures. Finding an interesting background will help your picture to be more interesting. Be creative! Go in or around the school, but USE YOUR TIME WISELY. You need to hand these images in TODAY.

Play around a bit with your item, like Jared did. Take some creative, interesting photos. He took some that weren’t good, to compare with the ones that were good. You could consider doing the same. You never know what might end up being more appealing if you don’t try different things.

When you have your photos, you need to hand them in via Drive/DropBox and/or post to Flickr. You need to write a brief explanation of what you were thinking/doing to make each photo more interesting. Flickr would be a good way to post the photo and write something as a comment, but you could drop them off, change the file names, and include a document with your writeup.

This is another important assignment, which should be FUN, and will either really help or hurt your mark.

Exploring Great Photos

Today I would like you to go on Flickr and explore photos. Explain what you like about 3. Not the content (yeah, that flower is beautiful) but what did the photographer do to make that photo amazing?


Below this post you should post a comment where you provide a link to the photos you choose and then EXPLAIN what you like about the photo – what did the photographer have to do or think about in order to make that photo so great?

Now go take at least 3 of your own. Even if yours didn’t turn out as amazing, what were you thinking/doing to try and make yours great? (Keep in mind that a lot of your photos are not going to turn out to be as beautiful as you’d like, so TAKE EXTRAS!)


Show Your Yearbook Spirit!

Part of our job is to promote the yearbook and encourage students to buy a copy. We work hard on this thing, so we want as many people as possible to see it! Also, if more people buy a book, the price could go down for next year!

The folks who make our yearbook hold an annual Yearbook Challenge, and this year, I’ve signed us up, so it’s up to you to help us win, and the prizes are pretty great! As if that weren’t enough, this sounds like a lot of fun and it could certainly help us to be a better team this year.

The details are here.

Basically, we earn points for doing fun things to promote the yearbook. I’d love it if you would help us with this!