Teaching Others How to Play
For me, part of the joy of photography is helping others learn. I love to play, experiment, try new and different things because it helps keep everything fresh and new; teaching others to do the same is fun and motivating for me.
We homeschool and part of our school week includes participating in a local homeschool co-op. Parent’s teach the classes and the kids get to choose which classes they want to take. This fall I’m teaching a Photograph 101 class, along with 2 fellow photographers.
After spending a couple of weeks discussing the “boring” topics of proper exposure and composition, we took a field trip during our class time and went to the beach. I gave the kids an assignment of photographing various lines: diagonal, vertical, horizontal, and circular. They had fun and came back with some very creative shots. (They came back with some wet and muddy feet as well since it began to rain while we were there)
For the past two weeks we have played with light. First, we just laid a few objects out on a piece of white foam board, turned off all the lights, closed the curtains in the classroom and used flashlights to paint light over the different objects on the whiteboard. We also used a black colored board to see the difference in how the light would react with each color.
This week, we took our play a step further. We added more objects and varied the type of light. One group of students used Christmas lights and ended up spinning them to see the different designs they could create. (that would be the group of boys)
While the boys played with spinning lights, the girls were across the room playing with off camera flash portraits. They tried positioning the flash in a variety of ways to see how the different positions would affect the way the light hit their subjects. There was lots of laughter coming from their corner of the room which let us know they were having fun with their project.
I think that they learned a few things from these days of play and, if nothing else, they hopefully learned that photography can be fun, challenging, endlessly creative, and always changing as they grow in their knowledge and creativity.
I learned that staying a step ahead of them is not as easy as it may appear.