Teaching Children

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by txshutterbug, Jan 19, 2007.

  1. txshutterbug

    txshutterbug TPF Noob!

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    Hi all, I am about to begin a 6 week photo workshop for children! I was wondering if any of you have done anything like this and could offer some advice. I plan on teaching one concept per week (using slides) then spending some time shooting and critiquing. At the end, we will have a gallery showing so that the kids can show off their work. The concepts I plan on introducing are simple, such as framing/composition, angles, viewpoint, near/far perspective, etc.

    Any comments? The children will range from 1st grade through 6th grade.

    THANKS! :)
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If you teach them not to always centre their subject...they will know more than most people. :lol:

    I think the concepts you have listed are good. Anything to get them to think about what the camera is seeing before they snap a shot...is a big step in the right direction.

    Usually, I would say that learning about the basics of exposure (shutter speed, aperture & sensitivity)...would be a good place to start. However, if the children are too young...that may not be a great idea. They can learn that later if they become interested in photography. Although, an explanation of shutter speed and aperture would probably still be quite helpful.
     
  3. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Anything the helps them learn to see lighting is where I'd start. Explain how shadow helps communicate shape.

    I know you'll have a bunch of fun. When I did this, at some point I would show how to pose a typical family portrait using the students as models. It always prompted giggles. What's better than a kid giggling?

    Pete
     
  4. JIP

    JIP No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think a good idea here would definately be to stay away from anything too technical too much about numbers shutter speed aperture ISO is likely to scare the creativity out of some of them especially the young ones.
     
  5. teachflute

    teachflute TPF Noob!

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    I am the advisor for a middle school photography club. We have spent a lot more time on composition than anything else. Even in Grades 6, 7, and 8, ISO, Aperture and some of the other technical aspects of photography are way beyond them. I want to foster a love for photography, so I spend a lot of time setting up shoots and just letting them take guided shots. We then look at the shots and critique them together. What are your kids going to have for equipment? My students each have a point and shoot type camera. Most brought their own from home, but some are using the school cameras. Each student also has their own school provided laptop (Mac). They are pre-loaded with i-photo and Gimp. Not exactly ideal for teaching photo editing, but we really only use the basics.

    Our topics have been and will be:

    Basic composition -- rule of 3rds, framing, line, uncluttering, cropping
    Black and white -- I set up a bunch of still shots of various things objects. I let them manipulate the objects to set up the best shots possible. I then let them take only 3 shots and then they had to upload them and convert them to black and white. We then discussed which shots were the strongest and why.
    People -- We discussed the principles of shooting people and then we attended a middle school basketball game. I had 2 rules: 1. They had to be discreet about their photography and not get in the way. 2. They could not take any posed shots of their friends. They all had to be candids. Their goal was to capture unique moments. I really wanted them to be looking for opportunities to take great shots.
    Photo essays -- This is the next topic we will be tackling. I am going to assign them a topic and they are going to need to do a series of pictures on their topic. It could be their family, neighborhood, class, our school etc. As a group, we will be doing a video yearbook. We will be compiling a video record of the entire school year and presenting it on the last day of school. We also are working with the school newspaper to do the photography for them.
    Landscape -- We are going to start doing landscape photography in the spring. We will be taking a field trip on the last day of the club to Acadia national park to photograph the landscape there.

    Whew! I didn't realize how much my club was doing. I hope this helps.
    ~Judi
     
  6. txshutterbug

    txshutterbug TPF Noob!

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    nice ideas!

    My kids will each bring their own point and shoot digital camera, and we will download to my Mac at the end of each session - then, I'll prepare for a critique at the beginning of the next session.

    I agree that technical things such as aperture, shutter, ISO, etc. are too much for the short time (and the young age) of our workshop.

    My hope is to to teach them some techniques they can use at home and that they will see improvement in the frames they shoot!

    We start tomorrow night, so I'll let you know!
     

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