“Two secrets! This book is full of secrets!”

As our exploration of photography is coming to an end, we concluded by creating photo albums!  Last week, children cut their photos and began arranging them in the pages of paper bag books.  We had found some different types of handmade books the previous week and decided that paper bag books would be fun because the pockets were like “secret hiding spots.”  Once they were finished cutting, some friends traded their photos with their peers, while others added their own illustrations to their photographs.

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Jude: There’s a secret hiding spot in my book.  Don’t tell anyone… only our art group can see it.

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Jasper: It’s a story of how we took pictures of flashes.  It can tell a story about what are our favorite photos.

Alexia: I’m making a story.  It’s a story that shows friends are nice.  It’s like a memory book.

Chris: I took a picture of me… I’m a famous star!

Elias: I’m making it a book inside of a book.

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Chris: This book is gonna make me so famous.

Vandell: Look Minna… I took a picture of you and your mommy.  You both look so nice.

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Jasper: I’m going to hide this one so that people don’t know there’s a rainbow in here.  I want to make sure no one sees Sarah taking a picture.  It’s going in a secret place.  And I don’t want anyone to see this picture of me with no eyes.  I’ll put it in a spooky, scary spot.

Elias: Two secrets!  This book is full of secrets!

Owen: Almost every one of my photos will go in a compartment.  It’s like a pocket.

Minna: Don’t tell people if you stuff your pictures in pockets.  Then they will know.

Jasper: My mom and dad don’t know about a light table, so where should I put it so they can learn?  Next week can we add junk to our books?  I want my mom to laugh, so I’m going to put this one on the back.

Today, friends added collage elements and “junk” to their books.  Some children chose to frame individual photos, while others created intricate ways to tie their books so they would stay shut.

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Georgi: I look beautiful in this picture.

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Jasper: I have an idea… my plan is to wrap this ribbon around one way and a piece of string the other way and it will close.  I think my plan will work.

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Elias: I’m in a pickle.  How can I stick these?

AJ: My dad’s gonna love it.  He loves everything I make.

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Vandell: Even though I messed up some parts and some parts are ugly, she will like it.  My mom will still like it.

Owen: I’m making my book look like an alien!

“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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“It smells like an ice cream sandwich in there!”

On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, Pre-K friends visited Revolution Foods for a fieldwork experience.  It was great to see where our school lunches were made and to meet some of the chefs that prep for our school.  Children that are in the Thursday art groups were the photographers on the trip and put their new skills to the test!  Friends enjoyed asking chefs and drivers if they wanted their photograph taken, as well as photographing machinery, food production and herbs.  It was hard to select photos from the 400 (wow!) that were taken, so here is a taste of our days at Revolution Foods.

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Alexia: I smell lunch.

Michael: Wow… I took a picture of the herbs!

Jasper: This food doesn’t just go to Cap City… my dad said it also goes to E.L.Haynes.

Jude: There’s so many machines.  I mean pipes.

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Ezekiel: It’s cutting all the plastic.  It makes them smaller.

Wallace: I see pineapple.  I’ve had it before.

Jasmine: I’ve had those before… they are President cookies.

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Ty: I’m freezing.  That freezer is freezing.

Amaya: Excuse me… gentleman… what is that?  An oven?

Owen: That oven’s blowing hot air.

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Jasmine: I counted 19 ovens.

Phoenix: Smells like an ice cream sandwich in there.

Jasper: The kitchen was my favorite.  It had lots of cool machines!

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Jasmine: I asked why they put stickers on the food.  The chef said because then you know what your food is.

Ty:  Herbs have special taste powers.

Vandell: Can you open the door again?  I want to take a picture in the oven.  I wont get close.

Now… no photography experience would be complete with out some selfies!  Here are some great ones from our fieldwork.

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“May I please take a picture of you… please?”

In preparation for our field work at Revolution Foods next week, friends in the Thursday art groups continued to photograph with digital cameras.  We began the day by discussing what we might see at Revolution Foods…

Georgi: Machines and people.

Wallace: People that bring our food.

Michael: Chefs that have to cook for the judges.

Chris: Food and mint and salad.  Maybe a giant robot making food.

Owen: Ovens… fish… I don’t like the fish from there, though.

Darian: Maybe… yes… people!

Next, I shared with friends that they had a big job to do next week because I need their help as document photographers on the trip!  All groups thought that they would see people at Revolution Foods and we began discussing how to ask peers if they were okay with having their picture taken.

Wallace: Excuse me, can I take your picture?  They may say yes or no or maybe.

Michael: May I please take a picture of you… please?

Jasper: If they say no, don’t take it.

Michael: And if you do, you might get a ticket from the police.

Sarah: You can tell them that they look gorgeous.

Gabby: You can say thank you!

A big job like this comes with big responsibilities!  Friends decided that they must always walk while holding cameras and that they should wear the strap to the camera around their wrist. We decided that when I say “wrist check,” friends would hold up their cameras and we make sure they are all safe and secure.

Jasper: Keep it on your wrist so it’s safe and doesn’t fall.

Michael: They are really expensive… like infinity dollars.

Next, children asked their friends in the Studio if they could take their photograph.

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Once we practiced in the Studio, we decided to take a walk around the school to see if there was anyone that we could ask to photograph.  Children became incredibly excited whenever they saw a teacher or another student in the hallway.  Here are some of their photographs from our adventure!

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Many thanks to everyone for being so open to us photographing them today!  Friends really loved it and it was great practice for our fieldwork next week.  Here are some of my photos from my perspective today…

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“The sun has to work hard to do them!”

Today in the Studio, art groups experimented with sun prints as a photographic process.  We began by observing a sun print and taking guesses about how it was made and what types of objects were used.

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Looks like:

Jude: My moms belly.

Alexia: A jellyfish and a bear.

Michael: Did I see an eyeball?

Gabby: Let me look closely… a stone, a car and a game.

Darian: Is it a shark?

Next, friends shared materials that they brought from home.  Children enjoyed sharing where their materials came from, as well as sharing them with their friends.

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Wallace: My mom cut out some of her clothes.  And ribbon and some cardboard with stuff on it.

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AJ: Lots of leaves that are dry, some snowflakes that stick, paper with holes and a tree.

After friends selected the materials they wanted to use for their sun prints, they assembled them on light sensitive paper.  Some groups worked on this outside, while others lucked out because there was a lot of sun flooding into the Studio.  As friends waited for the sun to do it’s job, children worked in the sketchbooks.

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Sarah: The sun has to work hard to do them.

Quentin: Look, the paper’s turning colors!

Alexia: Sun prints are mysterious.

Owen: When you pick the objects up, the shapes on the paper.

Darian: Sun… please shine down on me!

Maceo: Mine looks like a snowman.

Once the paper turned from dark to light blue, friends rinsed the paper in bins filled with water.  Children were ecstatic when they took their sun prints out of the water and loved sharing prints with their friends!

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Chris: The water makes it bright.

Jasper: You put stuff on paper and you put it in the sun and the objects dry into the paper.

Elias: They match what’s on the sun print!

“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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