Monday, February 1, 2016

One thing that I would like to teach my daughter is to be able to slow down and appreciate the beauty in the details of everyday life around her. This weekend we attempted to do it with a spring photo hunt and learn some new photography skills at the same time.
Mindful living with photography: a spring photo hunt
Note: All photos in this post are by Smarty except the first and the last image.

Spring Is Here!


We live in the Silicon Valley, and spring usually comes here in February, brought by winter rains and mild temperatures. Fruit trees, evergreen trees, and early flowers make this time of the year magical, if we slow down enough to appreciate this work of nature happening around us. We make a point of spending time outside every day, walking to school, sending Smarty to play with neighborhood kids, or going for walks together, but this weekend I suggested something new to Smarty - a photo hunt. This idea was brought about by her New Year resolution to learn to take better pictures.

Photo Hunt Challenges

We were making up photo challenges on the go and giving them by each other, but you could also create a scavenger hunt printable and hand it out earlier. This kind of challenge could also be fun to do with several kids who might have a different photographic take on them. Here are some things that you might consider to include in your spring photo hunt:
  • Dogs, cats, or squirrels (better for older kids like Smarty learning to photograph fast moving objects)
  • Reflections (Smarty made this one at the playground with a very scratched plastic mirror :))
  • Something man made
  • Clouds
  • Something that looks like a face, but is not.
  • Close ups (allows to learn about rules of macro photography) - flowers, tree bark, leaves, etc.
  • Something that looks like a number
  • Wind (great for problem solving and imagination)
  • Something from a fairy tale (that was Smarty's idea)

Photography Lessons from a Photo Hunt

When we came home, we downloaded our pictures to the computer and reviewed them together to discuss what worked and what did not work. Smarty took some great pictures together with a number of blurry and overexposed images. But she could explain her mistakes on her own:
  1. Do not move your camera while pressing the shutter.
  2. Make sure you use the right camera setting (especially important for macro photography).
  3. Do not shoot into the sun.
  4. Try to photograph well-lit objects in close-up shots.
  5. Keep the camera straight. Luckily, I see significant improvement there in comparison to last year.
Smarty loved her photo lesson with a photo hunt. Now she can't wait to go on the next hike to do more nature photography outside of our neighborhood.

Your Turn

Slow Down and Observe with a Spring Photo Hunt

When does spring usually start in your neighborhood?

More Photography Ideas?

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3 comments:

sunflowerous said...

Wonderful idea! Kids just got some old cameras from grandparents and I am sure they would love a photo challenge. Spring seems so far aways for us as we just got hit by a snow storm:D

An Almost Unschooling Mom said...

That looks like a lot of fun! We're still weeks and weeks away from spring. But maybe we'll try capture signs of winter's decline :)

Ticia said...

I know of at least one kid in this house who would love this project.