In our first photography lesson we went on a Photo Safari. Using the iPods and working in pairs we searched for and captured photographs that looked as much like the drawings in the squares on our guides as possible. We then brought back our trophies to share in the classroom.
We thought about the composition of our photographs and the formal elements, especially pattern and space.
The Formal Elements
Which areas appear clearest or sharpest in the photograph? Which do not?
Which areas of the photograph are brightest? Are there any shadows? Does the photograph allow you to guess the time of day? Is the light natural or artificial? Harsh or soft? Reflected or direct?
Are there objects in the photograph that act as lines? Are they straight, curvy, thin, thick? Do the lines create direction in the photograph? Do they outline? Do the lines show movement or energy?
Are there any objects, shapes or lines which repeat and create a pattern?
Do you see geometric (straight edged) or organic (curvy) shapes? Which are they?
How are three dimensional objects represented? Do they appear flattened? Do they cast a shadow? How do they relate to the space in the image?
Is there depth to the photograph or does it seem shallow? What creates this appearance? Are there important negative (empty) spaces in addition to positive (solid) spaces? Is there depth created by spatial illusions i.e. perspective?
If you could touch the surface of the photograph how would it feel? How do the objects in the picture look like they would feel?
Is there a range of tones from dark to light? Where is the darkest value? Where is the lightest?
Write about what worked well here...
Write about anything that could have gone better here. What would you do differently next time?
My most successful picture:
My least successful picture:
Photo Safari Challenge
Now, why not design your own Photo Safari guide for a classmate? What kind of clues will you give? You could sketch compositions, like the ones we've just used in class, or your clues could take a different form - a location, a name, a smell, an event...? This is a great opportunity to practice being inquisitive and imaginative.