Category Archives: DIDP 2015-16

DSLR Vs. Point and Shoot Cameras

You’ve probably heard about DSLR cameras, but the average person does not know the difference between this and the traditional point and shoot camera. Most people think that the difference is that one is compact and the other tends to be larger and bulky. This is usually right, but there is a very big difference in how the two operate. The main difference is how the photographer sees the scene.

Point and Shoot Cameras

dslr3 In a point-and-shoot camera, the viewfinder is a simple window through the body of the camera. You don’t see the real image formed by the camera lens, but you get a rough idea of what is in view.

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When a picture is taken, the Processor Chip (3) takes the light information from the Image Sensor-CCD (2) and stores it on the Memory Card (5). The Liveview LCD(4) then temporarily displays the picture that was taken.
The light passes through the Lens (1) directly onto the Image Sensor-CCD (2) which then uses the Processor Chip (3) to re-create and image of what the lens sees on the Liveview LCD (4). The result is a “liveview” of what the lens is seeing.

This has become the standard way that most people have learned to use digital cameras.

There are a few disadvantages:
1) The extra step of processing (the chip) what the lens sees before you get to see it on the viewfinder, means a split second delay in capturing a photo. If you taking a picture using the LiveView on the LCD, you are actually seeing things a split second after they have happened.

2) Because of their compact nature, Point and shoot cameras usually have a smaller sensor which means lower image quality.

3) Lenses/adjustments are 100% computer controlled which severely limits the types of photography you can do with your point and shoot camera.

There are, however, some definite advantages to point and shoot cameras including:

1) The cost of the average digital point and shoot is far less than a DSLR ($100-$300 vs. $600-$10,000)

2) The more compact nature of point a shoot camera makes it portable and more user-friendly. Hence you are more likely to carry it with you and capture pictures you might have otherwise missed out on.

3) They are pretty much idiot-proof. Set the camera to auto-mode and start clicking away! Many high-end point and shoot cameras allow you to set features like ISO and white balance, but even if you don’t know what you’re doing you’ll never miss out.

DSLR Cameras – (Digital Single Reflex)

dslr4The biggest difference in using a DSLR camera is that you don’t use the Liveview LCD to take photos. Instead, you use the eye-piece. This may seem like a bad thing at first, but the difference is that you are seeing the photo exactly as in would appear from the lens at the precise moment that it is happening. This means that the resulting photo is exactly what you see through the eyepiece.

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In a DSLR, light passes through the lens (1) and reflects off the Reflex Mirror (2) which is tilted at a 45 degree angle.

From there, the light travels through a Focusing Screen (5) and a Condensing Lens (6) before it is redirected by the Pentaprism (7) to the Eyepiece (8).

When a photo is taken, the Reflex Mirror (2) swings up as the Shutter (3) opens, exposing the Image Sensor – CCD (4) to the light from the lens. This is the distinct “click” sound that you hear when using a DSLR. The CCD then transfers the information to the Processor Chip (9) which then stores it on the Memory Card (10). The LCD (11) on the back of the camera then displays the resulting image.

There are a few big advantages to DSLR cameras:

1) The fact that there is no Liveview LCD give you a more precise picture.

2) Bigger body means a DSLR can accommodate a bigger sensor. This means a significant increase in image quality. The sensors in these cameras are also more expensive and thus, they tend to be more sensitive to light making DSLR cameras more adaptable to areas with low light and allowing you to capture photographs that would not be possible with a point and shoot camera.

3) A DSLR allows you complete control over features like shutter speed and aperture. The features are flexible because of their predominant use by professionals.

4) A DSLR also allows you to use a wide variety of lenses which allows for different kinds of photography. So you can use wide angle lenses, telescopic lenses, fish eye lenses, etc. The best part is that if you do want to bother with the controls you can always set the camera to auto mode and again, the camera should do a good job for you.

DSLR disadvantages include:

1) They tend to be bulky and heavy, with many attachments, lenses and accessories to lug around.

2) They can be expensive, but depending on your reason for purchasing, could be a good investment long-term.

3) DSLR cameras require maintenance. Frequent cleaning inside and out is must if you expect to preserve picture quality.

Here is another link with some great information:
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And here’s a video that is somewhat helpful:

Click this link for another good one

Once you have all of that down and understand how cameras work and the difference between film and digital cameras, you are ready to complete Assignment 1: dslrvspointandshoot

Major Project: Yearbook Pages!

The time has come to put it all together. All year we’ve been working on compiling photos and learning how to put together our yearbook. Now it’s time to GET IT DONE!

A lot of people have paid for a yearbook. It’s your job to deliver them the quality that they expect, so TAKE YOUR TIME. DO A GOOD JOB!

Using our finished page design templates, you need to pick which pages you are going to complete and put the actual pictures into place!

Everyone needs to do these pages:

With a partner, design and put together the PORTRAIT pages for grade 9, 10, 11, or 12! I have the photos and the names, and will show you how to easily import them. Decide on a design that works and then we will put them in. These photos do not need to be retouched in Photoshop.

With a partner: AT LEAST one DIVIDER

Individually: AT LEAST one Sports page

AT LEAST one club/program SPREAD

AT LEAST one Special Event SPREAD

LAYOUT one Grad SPREAD (you won’t have most of the photos to work with, so just make it ready for me to drop the photos in)


  • All photos should be fixed in Photoshop first (colour correction, lighting, etc.)
  • All photos need to be 300 dpi! Important! (remember how to resize photos? If a photo is lower resolution, you will need to do this!)
  • RESIZE the photos PROPERLY so that they aren’t too huge (usually around 4 inches is plenty – that would be almost half a page, which we’d rarely do.
  • RAW images will NOT work in InDesign, so you need to convert them. A HIGH QUALITY .jpg is fine.
  • All photos need to be “placed,” which means that the actual photo file must be alongside your InDesign file (create a photos folder and put all of your original or fixed photos in that folder, place them from there!)
  • Include the write-ups about clubs/activities (I have a bunch already)
  • Pages must be numbered! No page number on the front or back cover! InDesign must do the numbering for you! (ie you can’t just add a text box on each page and write in your own number – CHEATING!)

This will take some time and effort to complete. You won’t get it done in one day, so take your time and do a good job. This is THE MAJOR assignment this YEAR, and the reason why we’re all in this class, essentially, so please do a good job. Ask for help as necessary.

Yearbook content?

Believe it or not, the year is quickly coming to a close and we need to start making some important decisions about YOUR yearbook. Obviously all of the amazing pictures that you’ve been taking all year will fill up most of the book (right? You have taken pictures, right? Um…) IF for some reason we’re short on pictures (ahem), we need to add in some fun elements to fill up some space. These are fun reminders of the year as well.

To get ideas, take a look at some previous SJC yearbooks AND some of the ones from others schools that are at the back of the room. If you see something clever and interesting, we can add it in, even if we’ve never done it before. New ideas and elements are always welcome!

  1. Grad baby pictures? This is kind of a tradition, but you get to help decide whether it continues. If it does, we need some help getting graduates to bring in a baby picture, then we need help scanning and organising them.
  2. Grad survey? We often include things like favourite quotes and memories for grads. Here’s a sample of a previous survey. Do we want to include this? What changes would you make?
  3. We have in the past considered a survey for other grades as well. Our biggest problem was getting enough people to answer. If you have a meaningful survey and want to devote space to it and CAN HELP GET PEOPLE TO ANSWER, we can do this. Here’s a sample of a previous one. Personally, I don’t love some of those questions so I’d change them. Would you? To what?

Let’s discuss and come up with some ideas and elements to include!

2016 Yearbook Cover

It’s time to choose the cover for this year’s yearbook! The cover serves a very important purpose. It attracts attention and sets the tone for what’s inside. It should represent our school well. It should look appealing (you should want to pick it up and buy it.) It should be something you’ll be proud of and excited about.

Please provide your HONEST feedback below!

2016 Yearbook Cover Choices

Please fill out the following form honestly and completely. For every cover, you are asked to provide some positive feedback and some constructive criticism (what could be better.) Please put some thought into this. No cover is perfect, so there’s always something that could change, so don’t skip any questions.

The Hour of Code (DIDP)

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: BZDBLD

OR you can try it out at CodeHS: (code DE5C)



The Power of the Photographer

Photography allows you, the photographer, to tell a story and shape how people experience an image. The choices you make help to tell a story, and that story can change depending on how you look at a person or place.

Check this out:

More information:

I want you to tell a story with photographs and be prepared to explain the choices that you made. Choose a person that you know and pose that person in a way that really reflects his/her personality. Find a backdrop or location that fits the person, and then decide how that person should look so that you can get his/her true personality across through just a photo.

Consider things like:

  • Should the person stand or sit? Standing tends to look more formal, while sitting tends to be more relaxed.
  • Should the person’s arms be crossed (strong and closed) or should they be loose at their sides (more open and informal)
  • Should the person be smiling? Laughing? Looking directly at the camera? Waving? Pointing? Holding something?

Take 1 photo of a person that truly reflects his/her personality, and one OPPOSITE photo that makes him/her seem like someone else.

You, the photographer, are making conscious choices about how to tell this person’s story. You will need to show your photo to the class and we will need to come up with descriptors and see how well you got your story across. You can do this at school today or at home on the weekend, but we will discuss these on Tuesday, so be ready.

Staff Photos

We need to take some photos of staff members in the building who are NOT teachers. Please try to get them in their natural environment and if possible have them doing what they normally do. For example, get one of our secretaries answering phones, the librarian shelving some books, our caretaker fixing something, etc.

We need these dropped off in your Drive or DropBox folder ASAP! Everyone must drop off AT LEAST 3 (not of the same person!)