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Access Series: Great Face! Portraits and Photo Composition

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Engineering, Technology, and Applications of Science +5 Age Levels Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old), Adults

Taking a great portrait is more than just taking a quick snap of a face. It requires thoughtful contemplation and a variety of choices by the photographer. This is a collection of photographs that illustrate various principles of portrait photography: angles (eye-level, high angle, low angle, and bird's eye), light and shadow, framing, and shot length (long-shot, medium-shot, close-up, & extreme close-up); As well as mood--capturing a feeling or emotion in a photograph; scale--how big or small subjects look; and sense of place--capturing the feeling of a place. Click into each photo and on the "paper clip" annotation icon to read more information and complete challenges.

Tags: portrait photography, decision-making, self-determination, student empowerment, disability, All Access Digital Arts Program

Branford Marsalis

National Portrait Gallery

Carolyn Anspacher

National Museum of American History

Shaquille O'Neal

National Portrait Gallery

Billie Holiday

National Portrait Gallery

Cal Ripken, Jr.

National Portrait Gallery

Miles Davis

National Portrait Gallery

B. B. King

National Portrait Gallery

Dr. G.H. Shumate [black-and-white photonegative, ca. 1950]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Photograph of The Fat Boys in NYC

National Museum of African American History and Culture

[Woman at toilette], [1860 - ca. 1900]. [graphic]

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

[African American woman in military uniform] [cellulose acetate photonegative]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Tuskegee Airmen [cellulose acetate photonegative]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

[#45 jumping to catch football, Howard University : photoprint, ca. 1940s.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Three-fifty A Day

National Museum of American History

[African American pilot in dramatic pose : photoprint, ca. 1941-1945.]

Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Willie Mays

National Portrait Gallery

Chuck Close Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Walcott Family in the Grand Canyon

Smithsonian Archives - History Div

Tulsa 3

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Man Walking with his Shadow

National Museum of American History

#45495, from the Dreamers Portfolio

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Weegee Self-Portrait

National Portrait Gallery

Bagpipe Player

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Man in a Boat

National Museum of American History

Souk (Market) 1952

National Anthropological Archives

Hank Aaron

National Portrait Gallery

Kommt Zum Luftschiff!

National Air and Space Museum

Grand Cañon of the Colorado

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Georgia O'Keeffe, Glen Canyon

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Landing a good one

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Watermelons grow big in Iowa

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Nip and Tuck with a Bass

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Nas, Queensborough Bridge 1993

National Museum of African American History and Culture

"Migrant Mother," by Dorothea Lange

National Museum of American History

Martha Graham--Letter to the World--(Swirl)

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Michael Jordan

National Portrait Gallery

Artie Shaw

National Portrait Gallery

Gregory Hines

National Portrait Gallery