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Lesson Plans

Re: Janet Matthews Teaching Photography

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Sat, 17 Aug 1996 22:20:38 -0500

janet matthews <matthews> asked on 8/6/96:
>I will be a first-year teacher this fall, teaching photography and
>commercial art in high school. Would any of you experienced teachers have
>advice or lesson suggestions to share regarding these subject areas? (I
>have noted the suggestions for commercial art that were recently
>posted). What textbooks or other resources have you found especially helpful?

Dear Janet:

Sorry for the delay. I've been meaning to respond to your query but so it

I have taught photography basics with pin hole cameras. With high school
folks you can start with pinholes then graduate to standard film cameras
after the basic concepts are mastered.

The pin hole cameras teach the students the four basic controls of light
which are common for all photography, and how all vision requires light.
1. The amount of sensitivity to light the film has (film speed),
2. The brightness of light illuminating the scene (bright sun or cloudy),
3. The size of the hole that lets the light in (lens aperture or pinhole), and
4. The length of time the light is let in (shutter speed).

They can make a camera out of a box, foam core, oat meal can, or coffee
can. They can take pictures, develop negatives, then print positive
pictures with amazing clarity and depth of field. They learn how a camera
works, about handling light sensitive materials, about darkrooms, about
negatives and positives. All this is learned while they make some really
cool images with primitive, handmade, and cheap equipment. Pin hole
photography is great fun with out the expensive equipment junky stuff that
sometimes happens with the regular cameras (my lens is bigger than your

I suggest a basic photo technique book or two. Try your favorite internet
search engine for "pinhole photography". I've seen a few great pages out

I also suggest two publications (especially the second one):

HOW TO MAKE AND USE A PINHOLE CAMERA, Kodak Customer Service Pamphlet
#AA-5, Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, NY, 1991.

Morgan Inc. Publishers, Dobbs Ferry, NY, 1974.

I hope this helps you out. Congratulations on your new job! Have a great
time and let me know if I can be of further assistance.

(Mark Alexander)mamjam
Lakeville, Connecticut, USA