This morning I took a two-hour walk down memory lane with Ms. Smillie’s students. To help the kids take better pictures, we looked at how cameras used to work with film and how many of those functions have translated into digital photography. From the chemicals coating acetate film, to shutter speed, to aperture, to dark-room development, we looked at how new cameras let us be bad photographers.
Then we looked at how some pictures are so bad, no amount of digital magic can make them good. We learned about the rule of thirds and how to draw attention to our subjects by their placement in the picture. We talked about angling shots to highlight good features and hide bad ones. We looked at composing posed images to create a mood and diminish distractions. We looked at lighting and the effects of glare and dark shadows.
Finally we moved to the original objective for the lesson. We set up a mini-studio, seamless backdrop and lighting included. With some poster paper and a desk lamp, we photographed the new products being sold at the School Store to update the website.
Was all this absolutely necessary? Probably not, but it was a really fun lesson that the kids can take with them on vacations, to parties, or just about anywhere they decide to snap a quick photo.