Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Shutterbugs: Teach Your Kids Photography
The four walled room is completely dark save for one small hole on the opposite wall, the light filtering in harshly like a laser beam forced through the tiny opening. Beyond that hole the world seems golden and bright. The brilliance is too much for your eyes to take in almost as if you were looking directly into the sun after coming out of deep, dark cave.
On the wall opposite the hole the light has entered the room. The further it moves from the hole, the less harsh the light becomes and fans out to fill the back wall of the box. Clues of what is outside that black box are projected on this wall. Shapes and lines transform into trees and buildings. Highlights and shadows scatter to create depth. You’re looking at the first form of photography ever.
The camera obscura, or “darkened room” became a tool that artists would use to create accurate drawings of the world around them. I bet the inventors of this never would have dreamed we would all have pocket sized ones we could carry with us at all times.
Cameras evolved over time from the large bellowed wooden cameras that took hours just to capture a grainy image to pocket sized point and shoots with incredible zoom. Even our phones have sophisticated cameras in them capturing our favorite moments seconds at a time.
But ask any kid today what F-stops and shutter speeds are and how they affect the capturing of a photograph or how the rule of thirds creates a better composition, they are likely to give you a blank stare. They know selfies and Instagram and the instantaneous impact of a filter’s effect on a photograph without laboring in a darkroom to make it so.
Our kids have never known what it means to take your film to get it processed only to discover their thumb was in front of the lens for every shot. They’ve never perused a drug store’s film display trying to decide if 200 speed is better than 400 for capturing the afternoon soccer game. They don’t understand why the flash washed out the image completely in a sunny room or why the images on their KidTough camera are all blurry. Every. Freaking. One.
To our kids, photography is instantaneous. Moments after taking a photograph with my three kids they are all shouting “Let me see!” and deciding if they want to keep or delete it and take the photo all over again. Kids today see the result but don’t understand how it got there in the first place.
This is where I come in. As a former photography teacher who grew up in a darkroom with my grandfather, I knew that passing my photography knowledge to my kids would come in handy in their own pictures. Knowledge is power and can make all the difference in being successful in photography. Have you ever looked a photographer or artist’s work and say “I could never do that”. You’re wrong.
So, I am here to teach you and your kids how to take better photographs. Let’s take this journey together and turn our children into expert Shutterbugs. Every post I will give you and your kids assignments or things you can try out together with their cameras. Then, we will release them out into the world so that they can show us their perspective, their point of view, their passions. Prepare to be amazed.