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1077 days ago
Summer Camp Project Ideas

Hi! I'm teaching photography at a summer camp for kids ages 8-15, and we're in need of a few project ideas. We use only 35 mm film cameras and we have a small darkroom (with enlargers and the works). They can't be super lengthy because we teach the same class for only 3 days. The projects preferably shouldn't be too complicated, but we do only teach a few kids at a time given the small size of our darkroom. What are some easy projects for kids (that are cool!) that can be shot, developed, and finished within three days? The instructors process the film on our own time. We already do projects such as postcard making, photograms, double exposures, and photo coloring. Any ideas are greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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Great Beyo

1077 days ago
Well, obviously it's too short a time-frame to shoot a Project 365 - but how about a Project 24? Shoot a picture an hour for one whole day? Other ideas that spring to mind would be light painting. Get some glow sticks, some sparklers, some LED flashlights and do some long exposures at night!

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1076 days ago
For the 12 and under, I'd be looking at crafty things to do with the prints. Hand-coloring, toning, and photo-weaves are good additions to a print. If you're willing to make two prints of the same photograph you could hand-color one print to make a weave that is half B&W, half colored. Adding a mixed media element and/or hand painting a simple wood frame can be fun too.

For the 12 and older I'd look at shooting techniques like making a sunstar, lens flare. Totally agree with GB, light-painting is almost a guaranteed homerun. With the 15 year olds I'd think about teaching rules of composition and then start looking for ways to purposely break the rules that still make a strong image.
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1076 days ago
I've done a few photography classes for kids. I'd teach them some of the basics of photography. I don't know how advanced the cameras are, but even if they're just point and shoots, you can teach them about light, subject, and composition. You can have them try the same shots in different settings --  i.e. in the sun, in the shade; from above, form below; close up, far back; symmetrical (subject in the middle), rule of thirds... You could also teach something about different genres of photographers -- landscape, portrait, documentary, etc. and have them try their hand at each, and then once they are printed, talk about the differences. You could introduce them to the work of great photographers while doing that.

If they are SLRs or have manual settings, you can also teach them about the exposure triangle.

I'd also teach them to edit their own photos once they are printed -- to be able to look back and evaluate which ones work and which ones don't and why. If you tried shooting the same things from different perspectives, this could be extra interesting.But with kids you want to stay away from too much judgment -- let them figure it out for themselves.

In my classes we made a room-sized camera obscura -- that was pretty exciting.

If the weather's not great, have them build homemade light tents out of cardboard boxes and bring in favorite toys to photograph.
My experience is that kids LOVE taking portraits of each other and of themselves. If you want to add to the fun you could set up a photobooth -- the type with a fun background and  silly props like hats, mustaches, glasses, etc.

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