How to teach photo to children [???]

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oscura

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Good evening everybody,

I was looking on apug and i didn't find a thread for my interrogation.

Sorry i post here because i don't know very well the site web and i think that teaching childrens can be a part of ethic and philosophy. The transfert of the knowledge to young people has to be attached to the philosophy (personnal view.. :tongue: )

So, i want to explain and show what is analog photo to childrens. But, i want to make something interesting for them.

With all this digital stuff in the wortld, now childrens loose the use to wait for things that they want.. They are not very patient...

Can you help me to find cool exercices that i can do with them ?

I plan to give them a small camera with autospeed so they just have to focus and then click. Then, i think i will dev the film alone.

At least, after one film / child i plan to make small groups and go with them in my dark room to show them how the photo is built and especially there photo :smile:

So if you can help me by sending links or simply explain it to me in this thread...

Thank you very much because i'm afraid to make a "boriing day for them" and i clearly want to give them my love for analog photo... At least just for photo but if they can love analog and digital it could be great i think.

I forget, they have between 7 and 11 years old :smile:

Thanks in advance for your help & sorry for my english

Cheers :tongue:

Oscura°°
 
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To how many children are you planning to show film processes? Do you already know the children you are going to do this with or is this a plan formulating in your brain? What kind of facilities will you have available when you begin?

As to camera type, I would think little point and shoot cameras would be more than sufficient to get them wet, so to speak. Just trying to get the direction you want to go. Just throwing ideas out there.
 
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oscura

oscura

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Hi Christopher !

Thanks for your response.

I plan to try with two childrens and i know them very well.

For the facilities, i have my own darkroom and some old 35mm camera but iplan to buy some easy use camera like my OM10.

The idea is that i want to give them a tool (the camera) to take photo of their world and then, i want to show them that with this tool they can produce their own photos.

With old camera, wich model you think it could be great for childrens?

Thanks

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Oscura°°
 

Steve Smith

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As to camera type, I would think little point and shoot cameras would be more than sufficient.

Whilst they are probably more than sufficient, they are not as cool as a proper old camera.

Thanks in advance for your help & sorry for my english

As I said in your welcome post, your English is better than many who use it primarily. However, just a couple of points: Children is already the plural of child so it doesn't need an 's' on the end and loose means the opposite of tight. The word you want is lose. This is probably the most common spelling mistake on the internet!

(I don't make raise these points as criticism, but for education. I have a few friends for whom English is a second or third language and they appreciate corrections when they get something not quite right).


Steve.
 
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oscura

oscura

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Whilst they are probably more than sufficient, they are not as cool as a proper old camera.


Steve.

That's why i was thinking about something like my OM10 but i don't know in the other brand if i can found a camera with the same caracteristics but cheapest and easy foundable....

Thanks :smile:

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Oscura°°
 
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True, Steve. I was just envisioning the logistics of outfitting 15-25 children at once. Two is certainly much more manageable than the grand figure I had envisioned.
 
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I think this is a great idea. A worthwhile undertaking. As to subject matter/assignment, I would suggest asking what their favorite place is, take them there and cut them loose. After a bit of brief instruction, of course. Let the technical side of things go until more interest is shown. If they are sparked by inspiration, more than likely they will be asking you. You won't need to wait.
 
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oscura

oscura

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Thank you for your help Christopher.
It's a good idea to bring them in a place they like. I will try in a day with a good light so i can fix their aperture to 8 or more and then let them play with it :smile:

I hope to have good results and most interesting i think is to see their view of the world through the camera

Thks

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Nicholas Lindan

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You might start them off with cyanotype 'sun prints' - in the US there are several companies that sell them to schools: http://www.fatbraintoys.com/toy_companies/tedco/sunprint_paper_kit.cfm For the price of two kits you can buy the chemicals you need to coat several thousand sheets of paper http://www.alternativephotography.com/process_cyanotype2.html - I like the 'new cyanotype process', though it uses oxalate you can also get oxalic acid poisoning from Ruhbarb, so what. As to poisons, one only need look under the kitchen sink to find ones that make oxalate look like candy.

The next traditional educational step in the US is the pin-hole camera. See if you can find old East-block 4x5 or 8x10 film, outdated film will be fine. Try old photographic studios and printers. For processing you can use common household items - I think this gives more interest for kids http://www.shutterbug.com/techniques/film_processing/0903sb_coffee/.

They can print their negatives using the cyanotype paper.

You might also want to show them printing on paper that has been soaked in dye made from flower petals. http://www.alternativephotography.com/process_anthotype.html

These were the activities I thought were the most fun when I was starting out in photography at the age of 7.

For a first camera I would get some 120 roll film box cameras from the 2nd had junk (Oxfam etc.) store. You can develop 120 in soup bowls. If you can, get ortho film that can be developed my red light.
 

AgX

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What about a Camera Oscura...?

All-black film canisters with a pinhole inserted and loaded with a strip of film, to make a single exposure camera.
Hand them out several and pocess them in your darkroom.
I can't imagine a more simple, more analogue camera.
 

keithwms

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I gave some olympus XAs to some kids around the same age you mention. They also played with my mamiya 645 pro and olympus om1. All of these required them to learn f/#, exposure times... the concept of "stops" and how to meter. The technical stuff took us about an hour to go through and then after repeating it a few times they had it. I decided that the only *really* important concept was that 'stops' are two-fold changes in the amount of light you "let in" and that seemed to work very well with them. The next most important concept, I felt, was depth of field, and that was a bit harder but also not bad, and they got that idea after we looked at our slides.

How each different kind of camera works, optically, is a bit confusing at first, and they will need to learn that at their own pace. You can't force it- either they have that interest or they do not. But my experience is that all kids.. of all ages... love to see slides, and that is a great way for them to see what they are getting. So we shot astia 100F together, had it processed and looked at the slides the next day. They also shot b&w and were less amused by that- it's more fun if you are going to go through the entire workflow all the way through wet prints, but that's a pretty long story even for an adult... so I'd not jump into that unless they show clear interest and dedication. Forcing it will not work, everybody has to go at their own pace and younger kids today very probably will not have the same patience that one of us had at the same age. You can't just give them a brownie and a book!

Another fun and more instant way to do it is with fuji instant film... you might try the instax cameras. A piece of trivia: Edwin Land began his whole exploration into instant photography when a child asked him why it isn't possible to see the image right after you take it. Where does the image go? Why can't you open the box and get it out?! It's an interesting logic and one that today's kids find totally logical now that we have black boxes with LCDs. When they see the same thing done with film... actually even better because you get a physical print, it is a pleasant surprise. I don't see anything wrong with instant 'gratification' per se, except that the camera choices are now limited and the film is too pricey for quick shooting. One really good thing about instant film, though, is that you can write notes on it. And you could consider image or emulsion transfers, everybody loves that. An emulsion lift will blow the mind of any child (and most adults), that I can guarantee. Seeing the coloured emulsion just float off the paper, and being able to wrinkle it and pull on it, that is good fun for all ages!

A couple years ago I taught some college kids and on day one we used type 55. they were blown away by how quickly I produced a negative out of the camera. I really didn't do it so much to impress them as to get a class shot for all of us to go print on postcards for their parents, but.... it turned out that that very simple act of producing that negative earned me their total respect as some kind of photo wizard and after that they were totally into the whole process. Never once did one of them bring a digital to class, they always wanted to try this or that different camera.

Overall I think the technical stuff will be learned best when it is powered by their own motivation. You can't force it. When they look at their images and conclude that their exposures could be better one way or another, they ask questions and we discuss it. I think what really helped with these two kids in particular was that I was shooting the same thing and when we compared results later, well, of course their results weren't as good, but they at leats got the feeling that the magic is in the eye and how you compose, and not in the camera itself.

One mistake that I see quite often is that an adult will get a fancy camera and give a simpler one to a kid and then go shooting together and the kid inevitably thinks his/her shots are inferior because of the the camera. Best thing is to shoot the exact same thing they shoot, then you can share exposure info and consider each others compositions and load film together etc etc. The kids must realize, ASAP, that the camera is a tool which is quite easy to use... not an encumbrance nor some black box.
 

nickandre

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You want an automatic point and shoot with auto exposure. When teaching photography to children, if you start out by saying "this is a silver halide crystal, which becomes activated when an electron..." then you will lose them faster than a dog distracted by a squirrel. What you need to start out with is a polaroid camera. Children these days missed the magic of images appearing inside of goop and will be amazed by it. You want to show them a few nice pretty images, and then give them cameras which are simple and do everything for them (the Nikon L35AF.) You're much better out showing them instant photography, maybe showing them the back of a 4x5 after you set it up (if you have one, or else just skip that), and then just try to make images. Focusing and F stops are not important. These days you can go through many years of photography without knowing any technical statistics at all.

Pinholes can also be very cool, but sometimes small kids have very short attention spans in small, dark, smelly rooms...

Keep in mind that the most important thing is to keep them interested. If they're not interested, you get nowhere.
 
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Valerie

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I have done a few classes with children. Sun prints and photograms are a great way to start off. Paper negatives in a pinhole camera are a good next step. Depending on the age, camera controls such as fstops/shutter speeds may be too much for them to grasp (I have college students who are not able to grasp those concepts!) Keep it simple. Those that are really interested will ask for more advanced information.
 
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oscura

oscura

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Hi everybody :smile:

First of all sorry for my late reply...
________________
To Steve Smith

Thanks Steve for your post. I didn't say thank you to you for the correction of my english, so thank you very much :smile: . And do not be afraid, i like corrections too, i think it's a good way to clean mistakes when you can & if my english could be better it can be good for me :smile:

__________________
To Nicholas Lindan

Thank you very much for all this explications and you link. As you can understand english is not my first language and before i didn't know what means pinhole & cyanotype... So you open me a big door of knowledge :smile: Thanks for that.

I followed all your links and i think, to begin, the first step will be an experience with cyanotype. If the kids like it, then the second step will be with a camera.
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To AgX

Thanks for your message. But i will try in the second step with a camera like my OM10. It's not simple like the ones you are speaking but i think the OM10 has the advantages to be simple and to do everything easy (undrestand the relation between aperture, time exposure and sensibility)
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To Keithwms

Thanks to pass here on my request :smile:
You are right, i will never force them to like photography. I just want to make experiences with them and to show them what is cool, fun, interesting and beautiful in photo. If they can "fall in love" i will be very happy. If they do not, i do not worry there is still the soccer field just next to their home so they will continue to run & shoot in a ball...

For the instant film, i was also thinking about that and, also, my biggest contraint was to find the materials.. But, it's a way i will analyse and see if it's possible or not.

So, i think i wil organise everything around three axes :
- cyanotype experiences
- 35mm B&W film (shoot & dev. if they want)
- instant film

As you said for the mistake when an adult is with the kids and take a fancy film. What i was thinking, because the parents will be tehre was :
- in fact i think there will be 4 childrens
- i will teach adult before and then make a "global course" to kids & parents
- after, each parents will go with his kids to make the experience. The parent will have to just help the kid and in the same time have to keep them free to shoot what they want.

My main goal is :
- offer the possibility to kids to discover photography
- offer to the parents the possibility to pass time with their childrens in an activity they can reproduce after at home.

So these are my first ideas, i wioll more organised it when i will have more datas (i have to make all the tests before & find th eproduct etc..)

Thanks Keithwms
_______________
To Tiberiustibz

As you see, i have take the option to make something with instants films. And you've got reason it could be very cool and with less chance to lose them in a boring demonstration...
___________
To Valerie

It coulb be cool to see what your students have done.

For the difficulty, i can trust you whan you said that at the college they can't understand the aperture. You know, it's the same in france, students at the college are very bored by studies.

But i think that when you make somethings outside of the school, the interest is different than if it was a teacher who makes a course...

Educational system in france is bad (personnal point of view) but i think it's because it's unadapted. I think also but i hope that i will not have problems to says that here : if you are a teacher, you have to love what you're teaching... Ask teacher in france if they love what they do... There response will be :
- It's too hard, we work 18h by week... what we can do more ?

No comment.....

Anyway, thank you very much for your message. And, if you have put some photos made by your student on the net, it could be a pleasure for me to see them. So if you have a link ?



Thank you very much everybody for the help, i have more ideas now and i know where i have to go. Steve i read it three times befor i post so i hope i write it well :tongue:

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Oscura°°
 

c6h6o3

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My daughter is taking a photography course at her high school (she's a freshman). The teacher started the year with contact prints from paper negatives made in pinhole cameras. Now they're doing photograms. Only after the current unit is finished will they begin using either cameras or film.

I offered my daughter the use of an old Nikon 6006 we have lying around, but the course requires a completely manual film camera. Now I'll really have to go down to the bottom of the drawer to find a suitable camera. I wonder if the teacher would let her use my Hasselblad?
 

Valerie

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I wish I could post some of the kids' images. But it has been over a year since we did this... perhaps I will find the ones my daughter did and post that.
 

Jim Chinn

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A little off the path of gear and technique, but I think you should spend some time teaching them how to become aware of different light, patterns, textures, color relationships, the interplay of light and shadow on an object. Have them find somthing familiar like a tree or building. Photograph it at different times of day and under different lighting conditions.
 

Rick A

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How about having them build a pinhole camera, and use a paper negative. I've used this to work with the neighborhood rugrats for the last couple of summers. Ocassionally , I bring a couple of kids into the darkroom to make photograms. For safety sake, I always have my daughter or wife in the darkroom as well(that way I cant be accused of any wrong doing). I applaud you for your effort, and whatever method you choose, remember to keep it fun, and try not to go beyond their attention span.
 

Shangheye

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I have a nine year old and 5 year old. They both have film cameras (my daughter 5 has a disposable, and my son has my old canon 35mm zoom compact). My son then develops with me in the darkroom as we talk it over, I mix the chemicals and he adds them etc. He is in love with seeing the negs hanging as he inspects his favourite shots. He then chooses one and we print it together. I set it up with him on the easel and he gets to press the timer. He then puts the print in the trays and gets them out etc...He told me last month if he could have a camera he wanted a film one. I just bought him a Lomo Fisheye for Xmas.

My daughter at 5 is too young for the darkroom, but I will be buying her a Fuji Instax..

They both want prints of their films and they each have their own album of their photos.

No pressure on them, it is amazing how when they discover the magic they are converted. By the way...they both know digital (from my 20D) but they don't see it as real (since so little of it gets printed).

My advice is get them each a simple auto everything zoom compact. Explain to them about how to take pictures and take them out with you (kids love parent time) and you will be amazed how they love it.

I just got an 8x10, and have agreed with my son that we will soon go out and he gets to use the 4x5 by my side...he thinks Xmas came early ;-)

K

PS one other thing. When I am using one of my cameras, I always offer them to take a picture with it, no matter how expensive it is or what film...so my son and daughter have both "looked" at the ground glass of my 4x5 and they have both released the shutter...
 

Anscojohn

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That's why i was thinking about something like my OM10 but i don't know in the other brand if i can found a camera with the same caracteristics but cheapest and easy foundable....

Thanks :smile:

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Oscura°°
********
Welcome, Oscura. My suggestion for equipment is a totally manual Zenit or a Praktika. If you can sit them down long enough for them to be comfortable handling a manual camera corectly, you are starting them on their way. And, later, if they drop it in the canal, it is less of a problem than if they drop your OM-10 or a more expensive camera.

If you are interested in what I have suggested, send me an email at JayKhill@aol.com
 

WolfTales

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Maybe an automatic camera so they can get used to the idea of film and exposure....
 

calceman

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To get kids into photography is to get them to drop their jaws in awe. Not too sure about giving them cameras and let them go trigger happy 24 or 36 times will give them amazement. One thing that has fascinated me for a long time is the camera obscura, the one you can step into.
Seen the movie "The Fall"? Besides the really great intro slow motion scene, few minutes into the movie there's a pinhole image formed from the keyhole and is projected onto the wall upside down. Amazing!
There was another scene from a tv show when I was a kid about children being abducted and locked up in a truck. The clever kids had a white sheet of paper and projected a pinhole image onto it from the some tiny opening in the not so well sealed truck. This way they would know where they were taken.
Now I was just in France and saw "Le petit Nicolas". Guess what? The opening scene is an inverted image on a ground glass of a class picture.
In all, what I want to say is that taking the photo is not important, it is seeing a live and moving upside-down image projected onto a surface that is amazing.
I would choose a well-lit room, seal off the windows and all opening, and pierce a hole according to the formula to create a giant pinhole camera. The children would participate and for sure will be amazed of the results.
 

viridari

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My oldest daughter has seen me develop film in the kitchen countless times. She always lights up when I hand her a P&S and tell her she can finish the roll for me.

I'm planning on getting her a P&S camera of her own for Christmas, and will give her up to 1 or 2 rolls of film per week so long as she keeps taking photos.

If she does well with that, when she's a little older & can handle the responsibility, I will give her a Canon EOS body and a nifty fifty lens. Her mathematical capability isn't yet at the point where she can comfortably handle juggling the variables of a manual exposure, but I can introduce her to the properties of shutter speed & aperture via priority modes and build on that.
 
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