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26th of January 2008 (Sat), 22:57
Well I'm a year six teacher (not sure what the equivalent over in the US is but 11 and 12 Year olds) and as part of our Science and Tech program I have managed to convince the boss that Photography would be good to study as part of an integrated unit. It would be teaching the very basics such as composition, lighting, history and a large portion being digital processing on the computer (making collages and effects).
1. Anyone know where to start with explaining the very basics of photography (I was thinking about making a pinhole camera) and looking at famous photographers and their pictures. Any web address would be great.
2. This is probably the most important. Does anyone know any FREE very EASY to use photo editing software for Windows? It must be free as I have to install it on 30 laptops and of course easy to use as it is going to be used with kids.
3. If anyone has any pointers, tips suggestions for unit focus etc... they would be greatly welcomed.
26th of January 2008 (Sat), 23:21
Here's an easy guide on making a pinhole camera
Gimp is free photo editing software http://www.gimp.org/ I haven't used it so I can't comment on how easy it is to use, but I think a few people on here use it.
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 00:02
Thanks for that.
Keep them coming...
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 00:17
I had a look at GIMP, it looks good however could be a little confusing for kids. Any simpler programs?
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 00:29
Picasa, its free
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 05:42
We have 'paint' on our school computers. I called my boss who says it was free with windows. Hope that is of some help.
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 06:55
There is a free image editing suite called paint.NET (http://www.getpaint.net/) although it may be a little complex, it is quite fully featured.
The alternative for very simple editing (minor brightness adjustments etc) would be Google's Picasa (http://picasa.google.com/) although it is more of an image management application. (Think of it as a dumbed down lightroom).
Not many suggestions on the pinhole front. If you can get an old, very fast lens with manual aperture (you could probably find one for £10 at a local photo shop if you have one), then it would be interesting to demonstrate aperture very visually by holding it up to light and turning the adjustment to show the aperture disk moving.
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 16:08
How are you going to process the photos from a pinhole? Do you have a darkroom?
I remember in photo class (14-15 yr olds) we made a pinhole camera, learned to develop film and print, learned about test strips etc. But if your doing digital you can't really do that I guess.
One thing you could teach (real quickly cause it could get boring fast for them) is famous photographers and their impact upon whatever they were shooting.
Henri Cartier Bresson
Others I can't think of now
Teaching composition (rule of thirds, framing) is good, as well as trying to explain focus - like if you have a bright white object in the bottom right that will attract focus so you might not want to have that there (related: burning and dodging).
Most of my suggestions come from a background in film because my teacher hated digital, and I feel that film provides a more interactive and better learning experience, but much the same can now be accomplished with digital.
Edit: I think understanding exposure, how the light hits the sensor/film and produces an image, etc. is all easier to understand on film. And its more hands on.
27th of January 2008 (Sun), 17:22
Thanks heaps for the suggestions guys.
Slappy Sam, I was thinking of doing exactly what you suggested with famous photographers as a bit of a 'research project'.
28th of January 2008 (Mon), 11:10
You can make a pinhole camera with a spare camera body cap and a pointy device - just make a pinhole in the plastic body cap and take a long exposure.
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