Thursday, February 16, 2012

Macro Photography: The World Up Close

In my continuing quest to remain relevant as a self-embedded librarian, I've Skyped with students in a number of states, frequently on the topic of photography.

Mary Kreul's class, in Whitefish Bay, WI sent me a list of questions, which I answered using examples from my Flickr sets. Their favorite photos (which happen to be my favorites as well) were the macros. As a follow-up activity, these fourth graders created a slideshow featuring Mystery Math Macros.

It's challenging to demonstrate photo techniques from afar. The children did a wonderful job, choosing a nice variety of examples for their project. I could recognize why some of their pictures weren't exactly what they had envisioned, because I've had the same problems myself.

For example, the following are three shots of the same fishing fly:

In #1, the camera has focused on background details rather than on the desired object. Adjusting the angle of a shot can help prevent this error #2 shows what happens when you move in too close, a common mistake. #3 backs up a bit and is the most successful of the series

Although editing tools can correct color and enhance the final product with interesting effects, excessive cropping causes a photo to lose clarity and leads to a blurring of the image.

As they become more experienced photographers, the students will begin to "see" with the camera's eye, discovering the strengths and limitations of the device they are using. They will be better able to plan shots, matching their vision with their camera's capabilities.

And they will have FUN learning!

*I'm always happy to Skype with classes about reading and/or photography. Leave a comment here or contact me, @dmcordell on Twitter, to arrange a visit.

For more photography tips, view my SlideShares , visit the Club Click or Using Digital Images wikis.

"Mystery Math Macro for Mrs. Kreul's Class" by dmcordell
"Macros: Flies for Fishing" by dmcordell