So, this week, I had the pleasure of teaching some incredible young students how to develop their eye behind the lens of a camera.
We started out the week discussing some basic rules of photography (how shutter speed, aperture, exposure, and rule of thirds works) with an activity that looks at the photograph "Wrong" by David Baldessari, and forces students to take "wrong" pictures. We then analyzed how the pictures could be right, and what they could say based on the rules that were broken. (For example, looking past an out-of-focus subject in the center of the frame to an in-focus field of grass could signify that we should take the time to look at the beauty in the things we don't always pay attention to.)
We adventured on to portraits, and looked at examples from famous photographers, such as Annie Leibovitz, Cindy Sherman, and Steve McCurry, and discussed how they can say a lot about a person without knowing them. I then gave out personalities to every student, and paired them off to take a portrait of someone else with a personality that may or may not actually represent them. Some pictures were serious, such as "the explorer", while others got pretty funny, like "the hungry person".
On Wednesday, we went on a field trip to Shelby Farms Conservatory, and explored how the camera allows you to see things from different angles than what you normally would see, and investigated macro photography- filling the frame with small creatures and plants.
Later in the week, we went on a "Photo Safari" of different compositions of shapes and lines to find and mimic with things around us, and wondered around campus capturing the things that surround us all the time.
At the end of the day on Thursday, we looked at a few examples from a photography series (Sally Mann's "At Twelve" and Elinor Carucci's "Closer"), and how multiple images can work together to communicate what an artist wants to say, leading the students to choose 3 of their favorite images to show at the end of the week.
We concluded the week writing personal artist statements, whether it was why each individual image was chosen, or what the series communicates as a whole, and showed off our work from the week at our own gallery exhibition!
These students worked hard, developed an artistic eye, and gained a new passion - and I'm so glad I was around to witness it!
Here are a few of their favorite images!