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Plan a shot, frame a picture, try different lenses, and jazz it up on your computer. This 4-H project is designed to help you explore the world of photography. From learning about camera equipment to capturing great images and sharing what you have learned with others, you are bound to love photography!

Project Levels

Photography 1

In level 1, practice techniques for taking quality photographs. Learn about lighting, interesting backgrounds, and photo composition.

Photography 2

In level 2, learn about shutter speed and f-stops, use special effects in photos, compose photos using the “rule of thirds” or the “golden triangle” rule, and take photos from different angles.

Photography 3

In level 3, experiment with wide angle and telephoto lenses, create different lens filters, use a light meter, and use exposure to create a mood and tell a story.

Resources to Help You Learn

  • Level 1: Focus on Photography
  • Level 2: Controlling the Image
  • Level 3: Mastering Photography

State Fair Exhibit Rules

Each county may submit four entries total from 50268, 50269, 50270, 50271, 50272; and one entry from 50274.

ALL photos in exhibits must have been taken by the exhibitor. Photo/Model releases from individuals pictured in the exhibitor’s photographs are required unless the photograph is of a group in a public place where identification would not be an issue. DOWNLOAD the photo release form from the resource section below. Photos may be taken with a camera, an electronic tablet (i.e. iPad), or a cell phone.

ALL photos (including Photo Editing exhibits) must be accompanied by details of the camera settings that include:

  • Camera/device used
  • Aperture (F-stop)
  • Exposure time (shutter speed)
  • ISO (film/sensor sensitivity)
  • Lighting used (flash, artificial, sunlight, other)
  • Photo editing software/application used (required for ALL edits and retouches except for cropping)
  • Filters used (lens filters and or digital/software filters)

Members are allowed to shoot on a camera’s automatic setting, but should be able to find the metadata information on the photo to discuss the information above.

The exhibition size requirements for all photographs will be:

  • Minimum image size: 5X7
  • Maximum image size: 8X10
  • Maximum exhibit size (including frame): 18X20

All exhibitors must include unframed (taped to the back of the framed exhibit or attached to the project booklet) un-edited versions of either the same subject or the examples of the same technique that the framed image represents. This will assist the judge in understanding the choices made by the photographer to build the exhibited composition. NOTE: Images taken with devices that apply an automatic filter will not be eligible for award.

Photography 1: (SF 50268)

Exhibit one framed photo which demonstrates your understanding of a technique you learned from your Photography 1 project manual. No photo editing is allowed in this class except cropping and red eye removal. Be prepared to show the page in the manual of the technique you are demonstrating.

Photography 2: (SF 50269)

Exhibit one of the options listed below:

  • Exhibit one framed 8x10 close-up photograph using the skills learned on page 62-63 of the project manual titled “Bits and Pieces.”No photo editing is allowed in this class except cropping and red eye removal; OR
  • Exhibit one framed 8”x10” photo which demonstrate your understanding of a technique you learned from your Photography 2 project manual. No photo editing is allowed in this class except cropping and red eye removal. Be prepared to show the page in the manual of the technique you are demonstrating.

Photography 3: (SF 50270)

Exhibit one of the options listed below:

  • Exhibit one framed 8” x 10” still-life photo that demonstrates good composition, including color, form, texture, lighting and depth of field. No photo editing is allowed in this class except cropping and red eye removal; OR
  • Exhibit one framed 8”x10” photo which demonstrate your understanding of a technique you learned from your Photography 3 project manual. No photo editing is allowed in this class except cropping and red eye removal. Be prepared to show the page in the manual of the technique you are demonstrating.

Photo Editing: (SF 50271)

Open to members in Photography 1, Photography 2, and Photography 3. Exhibit one framed 8” x 10” photo that has been altered using digital photo-editing techniques (beyond cropping and red-eye reduction). Include a print of the original photo(s), taped to the back of the photo frame. Photos in which an automatic filter was applied at the time the photograph was taken will not be eligible for award.

Photography Innovation Class: (SF 50272)

Open to youth enrolled in Photography 1, 2, and 3. Demonstrate the skills and knowledge you have gained through the Photography project. Your exhibit should not fit in the other exhibit options for this project. The exhibit may include, but isn’t limited to, original works, objects, demonstrations, digital presentations, programs, websites, games, apps, performances, or posters which you have made. Choose whatever method best shows what you’ve learned. Your exhibit should not fit in the other exhibit options for this project. You must furnish any equipment you need for your exhibit. Internet service will not be provided for the exhibit. Electronic equipment will only be used during your personal judging time and will not remain on display during the entire exhibit period. All exhibits must include one framed photo illustrative of the work you are presenting.

Photography Ready4Life Challenge: (SF 50274)

Open to 11- to 18-year-olds enrolled in any Photography project. Exhibits in this category must include the following: a) a physical representation of the career or business product such as a model, prototype or display/portfolio that includes images of accomplished work; b) verbal or written explanations that demonstrate knowledge of the related career or business fields, potential careers, and the appropriate requirements for achievement in those fields. The judging criteria for this class values thoroughness of career and/or business exploration and pursuit above the workmanship of the physical specimen on display.

Photography Maker (SF 50400)

Counties may submit 3 entries TOTAL combined from all Maker exhibit divisions.

Exhibits in this category are designed to be multi-disciplinary in nature, innovative, and must not fit into any other exhibit category. To qualify for this category, your project MUST abide by the following guidelines:

  • Exhibits must be an object or device that has an intended purpose and uses technology in either a mechanical way, digital (computer) way, or combination of the two.
  • The device must be something that can be used in everyday life by multiple people (a target audience), and MUST be manufactured/built by the exhibitor (If not fully manufactured by the exhibitor, the device MUST be modified structurally or be reprogramed to perform a different function other than what it was designed to do
  • Exhibit MUST be able to interact with the outside world. (e.g. an on off switch, input sensors, feedback, etc.)
  • Exhibits MUST include a detailed build log with instructions on how to make or build the exhibit, AND contain either a 3D rendering or detailed and labeled sketches of the device/product.
  • All parts and software used in the design/build MUST be listed in a detailed Bill of Materials including cost per item and total cost. Total time spent on the build must be documented in your build log.

In addition, exhibitors are HIGHLY encouraged to use tools such as 3-D printers, laser cutters, routers and/or other hand/power tools to help in the manufacturing process (NOTE: Simply 3-D printing or laser cutting an object without the other specifications does not qualify as a Maker Project). It is also HIGHLY encouraged that exhibits use Open Source Software and/or Hardware in the build.