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Photography Merit Badge requirement resources include the Merit Badge Worksheet Adobe Acrobat PDF,
lesson video links, and links to related Merit Badges and Boy Scout Awards.
Photography is a fun Merit badge!
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Photography merit badge requires prior counselor approval for requirement(s) #4a and 4b.

Photography merit badge
Status: Elective
Created: 1911
Discontinued: no
BSA Advancement ID: 083
Requirements revision: 2006
Latest pamphlet revision: 2005


Photography requirements

  1. Safety. Do the following:
    a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while working with photography and what you should do to anticipate, mitigate, prevent, and respond to these hazards. Explain how you would prepare for exposure to environmental situations such as weather, sun, and water.
    b. Show your counselor your current, up-to-date Cyber Chip.
  2. Explain how the following elements and terms can affect the quality of a picture:
    a. Light—natural light (ambient/existing), low light (such as at night), and artificial light (such as from a flash)
    b. Exposure—aperture (f-stops), shutter speed, ISO
    c. Depth of field
    d. Composition—rule of thirds, leading lines, framing, depth
    e. Angle of view
    f. Stop action and blur motion
    g. Timing
  3. Explain the basic parts and operation of a camera. Explain how an exposure is made when you take a picture.
  4. Do TWO of the following, then share your work with your counselor.
    a. Photograph one subject from two different angles or perspectives.
    b. Photograph one subject from two different light sources—artificial and natural.
    c. Photograph one subject with two different depth of fields.
    d. Photograph one subject with two different compositional techniques.
  5. Photograph THREE of the following, then share your work your counselor.
    a. Close-up of a person
    b. Two to three people interacting
    c. Action shot
    d. Animal shot
    e. Nature shot
    f. Picture of a person—candid, posed, or camera aware
  6. Describe how software allows you to enhance your photograph after it is taken. Select a photo you have taken, then do ONE of the following, and share what you have done with your counselor.
    a. Crop your photograph.
    b. Adjust the exposure or make a color correction.
    c. Show another way you could improve your picture for impact.
  7. Using images other than those created for requirements 4, 5 or 6, produce a visual story to document an event to photograph OR choose a topic that interests you to photograph. Do the following:
    a. Plan the images you need to photograph for your photo story.
    b. Share your plan with your counselor, and get your counselor's input and approval before you proceed.
    c. Select eight to 12 images that best tell your story. Arrange your images in order and mount the prints on a poster board, OR create an electronic presentation. Share your visual story with your counselor.
  8. Identify three career opportunities in photography. Pick one and explain to your counselor how to prepare for such a career. Discuss what education and training are required, and why this profession might interest you.

The official source for the information shown in this article or section is:
Boy Scout Requirements, 2018 Edition (BSA Supply SKU #641568)

View the change list (history) of these requirements. The text of these requirements may be locked. In that case, they can only be edited
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Please note any errors found in the above requirements on this article's Talk Page.


Worksheet A FREE workbook for Photography is available here! Adobe Acrobat PDF
with the maps, charts, links, diagrams, and checklists you need!
Or click here to print just the Photography requirements. has PDF and DOC versions of
Boy Scout merit badge workbooks, Webelos workbooks,
Cub Scout workbooks, and Nova Award workbooks.

Requirement resources

1. Lesson Videos: Beginning Photography - How to Use a Digital Camera - Taking Better Pictures - How a Camera Works - Intermediate Photography - Rule of Thirds

Glossary of Photography Terms - How Shutter Speed, Aperture, and Film Speed Affect Your Picture

1a.How to Use Light & Flash - Taking Better Photos: Framing and Lighting
1b. Great examples of shutter speed and aperture - Shutter speed - Exposure - Exposure & Shutter Speed - Aperture - Depth of field - Depth of focus
1c. Basic Photography: Rule of Thirds - Wikipedia:Rule of thirds - Leading Lines - Framing - Depth
1d. Angle of View - Angle of view
1e. Stopping Action
2. The diagrams you need are included in the Photography Worksheet.

How Cameras Work - Beginner's Guide

3. How Digital Cameras Work - Film vs. Digital - Digital versus film photography
4. The Citizenship in the Community #8 public presentation...of your community
could be given as a Communications #3 five-minute speech
using the techniques from Photography #4b to produce a picture story
and Art #1 to tell a story
which could be developed into the Computers #6e short presentation.
5. Careers in Photography

Related awards

Art Awards Links - (Photography is an applied art)

Art-related awards
Hobby Awards
Hobby-related awards

See also

Boy Scout portal
Venturing portal
Sea Scout portal
General Merit Badge information

External links

Personal tools