I had a wonderful time at the beginning of this month teaching 6 youngsters how to use their cameras to take better photographs during my childrens photography course. We managed to stay mostly dry despite a couple January showers, and the children were able to photograph around the lovely village of Shere. We focused on using shallow depth of field to take photographs of grave stones in front of St. James church, and we used fast and slow shutter speeds to photograph the Tillingbourne river. The children really enjoyed seeing how they could capture individual drops of water, and it was wonderful to see their avid enthusiasm. It is great to watch my student’s eyes ignite with excitement when all the information comes together and they see the results on their camera’s viewfinder. As soon as it happens, they are off, photographing the world from their own personal perspectives, leaving us to interpret their photographs when they have finished their assignment. I feel it is important for the kids to share their work with one another, so after each shooting exercise, we returned to the gallery to discuss what they each enjoyed, and to pass around their favourite photograph. To hear the kids describe their own work, and encourage one another when they like a particular photograph is my favourite part of the course. We ended the day by looking at famous photographer’s work, and discussing various ways the children could compose their photographs. We looked at Henri Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment” work, Elliot Erwitt’s street photography, Edward Weston’s beautiful use of light, and Arnold Newman’s wonderful portraits. The children left full of inspiration and f-stops, and have sent me some of their favourite images from the photography course to share.
The photograph below was taken by Zoe. Right before it started pouring, I encouraged the children to put their cameras away so we could dash back to the gallery. Zoe quickly noticed the effect that the rain was having on the puddle’s reflection, and caught it. It was well worth the wait, as the image has such a dreamy look to it, with its lack of colour, it could almost be a painting.
The image of the leaves was taken by Dora. We discussed how to use light – and where to place it in our photographs, and Dora did this beautifully. By taking the photograph to the right of the leaves, gives the leaves dimension and allows us to see the light reflecting off them. I like that Dora has also applied the rule of thirds, allowing her subject to fall away from the center of the image.
For more information about my childrens photography course please click here.