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Climate Visuals – Elements of Composition in Photography

SUBJECTS Visual Arts
GRADE LEVEL Senior (9-12)
PLEDGE 1 - Protection of Water, 2 - Human Right to Water

Resources Needed:

  1. The 7 formal elements of photography 
  2. Devices for students to access images (phones/tablets/laptops)
  3. Optional template for student work


  1. Watch the video as a class to learn about / review the formal elements of composition.


  1. Explain that you will do multiple rounds of this activity. The goal is to find an image that exemplifies one of the elements of composition, and to explain it to a classmate.
  2. Starting with “line”, give students 5 minutes to browse the photographs from Climate Visuals (“The world’s only evidence-based and impact focused climate photography resource”). When the five minutes are up, give students 2 minutes in pairs to share their images and explain how it demonstrates the element of composition. 
  3. Continue in the same way for each element.

Follow Up Activities:

  1. Read the “About” section together. Ask students to share their reactions to this project – is it effective? Useful? Necessary? What are the roles and responsibilities of photographers/artists in regards to documenting and reporting on the effects of climate change?