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36 Exposures Photo Challenge

Updated: Jan 22, 2023

Background Information: 36 Exposures is a photography exercise that I like to throw into the mix when we have just finished a big project or if students are in a creative rut. While we don't have analog cameras or shoot with film, the 36 Exposures exercise mimics the practice of not knowing what your exposures look like until you have shot all 36 frames. The biggest challenge my students faced was shooting all 36 Exposures in the given time. I only gave them 20 minutes to shoot in one location to allow for time to return to class and upload.

Learning Objectives:

  • The student will create original photographs using the elements and principles of art to compose their photographs.

  • The student will take digital photographs with the limitations of analog photography.

Anchor Standards:

  • Anchor Standard 1: Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard 2: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.

  • Anchor Standard 4: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Essential Questions:

  • What conditions, attitudes, and behaviors support creativity and innovative thinking?

  • What factors prevent or encourage people to take creative risks?

  • How do artists work?

  • How do artists and designers determine whether a particular direction in their work is effective?

  • How do artists and designers learn from trial and error?

Enduring Understanding(s):

  • Creativity and innovative thinking are essential life skills that can be developed

  • Artists and designers experiment with forms, structures, materials, concepts, media, and art-making approaches

  • Artist and designers develop excellence through practice and constructive critique, reflecting on, revising, and refining work over time.


  • Advanced Photography students may use a DSLR camera. Students must use the light meter to ensure proper exposure, just as they would with an analog camera.

  • Students that use their cell phone cameras may not look at their phone gallery until they are completely finished with their 36 exposures.

Project Duration (1-2 Days):

  • Introduction: 10 Minutes

  • Shooting Time: 20 Minutes

  • Upload Time: 10-20 Minutes (pending internet connection)

  • Reflection and Critique: 30 Minutes

Reflection Questions:

  • What did you find difficult about the 36 Exposures?

  • What did you enjoy about the 36 Exposures?

  • Were you able to create any successful images during this exercise?

  • What did you learn about the limitations of shooting without seeing your images?

Student Gallery:

Happy Clicking!


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