The Creative Zone (Tv and Av)


  • The "Creative Zone" on your camera includes two important modes, Av and Tv. In this assignment you will further your knowledge of these modes to create interesting and original photos.


  • The goal of this project is to engage your creativity in the "creative zone".

    1. Learn about the three elements of exposure
    2. Learn shutter speed stops
    3. Learn aperture stops
    4. Learn ISO stops
    5. Learn how ISO relates to aperture and shutter speed
    6. Learn to caculate exposure adjustments


  • Decide which shot you are working on
  • Choose the correct settings
  • Determine if you need a tripod or not
  • Choose your best 5 photos (see below)
  • Apply the Photoshop Workflow
  • Re-size and frame (demo later)
  • Save as JPEG, maximum quality
  • Handin to server folder - "Creative Zone"
  • Prepare your write-up (see below)
  • Handin write-up to Google Docs


1) Content

Your photographs must clearly show the use of "extreme" shutter speeds and apertures. You are free to choose whatever subjects interest you.

Photo #1:Slow shutter speed. Try anywhere between 1 second and 1/60 second, depending on light. The subject (person or object) should be moving / blurred. This is best photographed with the camera on a tripod.  Examples: Waterfall, sports, traffic flowing.

Photo #2: This image is of frozen movement. This is done with a very fast shutter speed. Try to capture something dynamic and interesting that really looks great frozen in time. Examples: Sports, animals running, jumping, skateboarding tricks.

Shutter speed = 1/250 or faster. You will need a lot of light. This photo would work best taken outside on a sunny day.

Photo #3: The third picture uses a large aperture. Try using the largest aperture available (f/4.5 or so for a regular lens). The goal is to have a clear foreground and blurred background. Both the background and the foreground should be interesting / beautiful. Examples: Portrait, flowers, pets, close-ups.

Photo #4: The fourth photo uses a small aperture. Try f/16 or smaller. You need good light to take a picture with a small aperture; or a long shutter speed; or both.  Examples: Landscapes, city view, forest.

Try to find an expansive landscape with something interesting close to the lens and an attractive vista off in the distance. Both foreground and background should be in clear focus.

Photo #5: Photographer's choice. Get creative with your favourite method. Try a long exposure (1 second or more). Or try a zoom blur (zoom in or out during the exposure). Or try layering two shots of the same subject at different shutter speeds.


2) Skills / Technical


  1. How to use a Tripod; lesson was given on last project, however this time it needs to be put to use.
  2. How to set shutter speed.
  3. How to use natural lighting more effectively.
  4. How to take pictures without a flash. The camera flash could be a problem, so it may be necessary to turn the flash off.


  1. Colour correction using adjust levels, curves and hue saturation.
  2. How to add a frame.
  3. How to save to the server.


3) Elements and Principles of Design 5 marks per photo

There are numerous elements and principles of design. This project we will be focusing in on two principles of design, Perspective and Balance.

Value is the difference between light and dark. A dark subject can be emphasized using a light background and vice versa. An image with good value has rich blacks, vivid whites and many shades of grey.

Lines lead the eye of the viewer into the image. Lines can also be used to direct the viewer's attention around the image, from place to place. A slow shutter speed can create lines of blurred movement. Pay attention to where the lines are in your photos in relation to the main subject.

Perspective is created by the location of the photographer. We can change our persective by looking up or down, getting down low or up high, or by choosing between outside and inside.

Balance: is the distribution of the visual weight of objects, colors, texture, and  space. If the design was a scale these elements should be balanced to make  a design feel stable. In symmetrical balance, the elements used on one  side of the design are similar to those on the other side; in asymmetrical  balance, the sides are different but still look balanced. In radial  balance, the elements are arranged around a central point and may be  similar.  

4) Creativity / Originality 5 marks per photo

Look at the project with fresh eyes. Try to be innovative with your subject matter, point of view and composition. A thoughtful and careful approach to your imagery will assist you in considering different options. The criteria for this project is set up to allow you to experiment with imagery. You will need to think different in order to push this project to its fullest.

5) Professionalism 5 marks per photo

Professionalism is based on the attention paid to the accurate and careful presentation of the final project.

This project will be handed in as follows:

  • 5 properly named photos submitted to the "Shutter Speed" folder on the server. Images should be re-sized to 9.5" on the longest side and then framed (for printing).
  • you must NOT over-manipulate the images.
  • Images must have a black and white frame with Name, title, and date (Mr. Prensky will demonstrate)

Proper naming:

  • username_slow.jpg
  • username_fast.jpg
  • username_small.jpg
  • username_large.jpg
  • username_choice.jpg

6) Journal Entry


For each image, write a 2-sentence description of what you will shoot. Where will you shoot? How will you incorporate the elements and principles of design? How will you make it more interesting? What angle will you shoot from? What time of day? Include a sample image that is similar to what you're going for.


This journal entry requires you to record important details about each picture that you took. Answer the following in your journal for each picture:


File Name:

Note: The following information can be found on the Metadata tab in Aperture or by pressing Shift-Command-Option-i in Photoshop.


Shutter Speed:


E and P of Design: Which Elements and Principles of Design are present in your image? Click here for a full list.

Creativity / Originality: What are some of the choices you made in taking this photo (perspective, zoom, camera settings, background, lighting, etc).  Two sentences.

Self-Evaluation: What mark do you deserve out of 10 and why?