“I can’t do this… how can I pick a favorite picture when I love them all?”

As promised, I have a follow up to yesterdays videos of children light painting!  This was a fun experiment that we are still trouble shooting because it’s not possible for the Studio to get as dark as it really needs to be.  We tried long exposures, as well as incorporating the flash, which ultimately had better results.  However, before we began this process, children spent some time looking at their photographs that they’ve taken up until this point.  Friends had pages and pages and PAGES of photographs and they really enjoyed looking back and sharing their favorites with their friends.

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Demetrius: Hey, I see you right there… see?  Phoenix, I see you right there!

Maceo: Wow… I see our pictures!  I took a picture of you Chris.  Look… see?

Chris: What is this a picture of?  I don’t know!

After flipping through our pages of photos, we selected photo’s based on different categories. Some of the categories were:

* Which photo makes you the happiest?

* Which photo is the most mysterious?

* Which photo is the silliest?

* Which is your favorite photo of a person?

* Which is your favorite photo that you’ve taken?

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Wallace: This one is mysterious because I don’t know what you’re talking about in the picture.

Jude: I can’t do this… how can I pick a favorite when I love them all?

Minna: The one of my mom makes me the happiest.

Wallace: My tummy is sticking out… that’s the funniest one!

Owen: My favorite person here is Ms.Lauchlan… that’s my favorite picture with a person!

Next, we looked at some mysterious images of light paintings and friends made predictions about what they were and how they were made.

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Jude: It’s dark.

Phoenix: The photo looks scratchy… it’s blurry!

Demetrius: Letters… orange letters.

Gabby: It’s a person made out of lines.

Elias: Are they shadows?

Jasper: They shined a flashlight and took a picture at the same time.

Owen: Are they glow sticks?

Michael: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L, M, N, O, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, Z… but not “now I know my ABC’s”… it doesn’t say that.

After looking at some examples of light painting, we began experimenting with making our own in the Studio!  Friends took turns being the photographer, while the rest modeled and danced with flashlights.  Children enjoyed using the big DSLR camera on the tripod and really liked directing friends while they were using the flashlights (see videos from yesterday for them in action!)

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Gabby: I have an idea… you, Chris, go behind Elias.  Put the flashlight by your mouth.  Nayahris, stand next to Chris.  Maceo, you stand in front of Elias.  Ok… great… 1, 2, 3!

Here are some of our light paintings from the day…

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“The camera looks like yours!”

Yesterday was an incredibly exciting day in the Studio as we began learning about photography!  As some of you may know, I was an education and photography major in college.  I have always wondered how/when/if I could incorporate my love of photography into the Studio and finally decided to give it a try!  I had a feeling they would enjoy it… but I wasn’t necessarily expecting them to love it as much as they did!

We began by looking at old negatives on the light tables.  I went through my archived work and found all different sized (35mm, medium format and 4×5) negatives and brought them in.  I selected a wide array of photographs… portraits, still lives, landscapes, etc.  Children loved looking at the negatives and several groups decided to act out stories based on the way they were arranged on the light table.

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Wallace: I see a man with no face… they’re pictures!

Georgi: I see cupcakes.  We can make it into a story… it tells different parts.

Phoenix: This looks like a library.

Georgi: The elements of harmony… it’s like loyalty, kindness and My Little Pony.

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Jasper: We made the pictures in a row.  I see they are pictures because they look like a camera took them.  I see a person, a kitchen and another person.  I found two gates.

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Minna: This is awesome.

Darian: Are they food?  You can’t see them when they are on the ground but you can see it on the light table.

Minna: I put it back on… it’s something… it’s a monkey?  Oh no, it’s a person!

Next, friends gathered around the table as I passed out digital cameras that we were borrowing from the library!  Children were beyond thrilled that they were going to get to take photos with “adult cameras.”  We came up with some group rules about using the cameras safely and appropriately.  Next, we had a quick demo lesson about turning the cameras on and off, taking a photo and seeing the photos you’ve already taken.  Once children felt comfortable, they began taking photos of themselves, each other and objects in the Studio and hallway.  Yesterday I posted some of the children’s photography… here are some moments that I captured while they were exploring!

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