SchoolArts Magazine

January 2017

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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The Student Creative David Gran CONTINUED ON PAGE 37. 20 JANUARY 2017 SchoolArts M E D I A @ r + s O ver the past few years, the Stu- dent Creative has developed a series of technical and creative challenges for students. This year, we are returning to our roots in simultaneously revisiting our first two projects, Paint the World with Light and Float. The reason for this pairing is simple: These projects are excellent introductions for students to really learn how the extremes of shutter speed can unleash the creative potential of photography and help stu- dents learn the fundamentals behind exposure. From Jumping to Floating "When you ask a person to jump, his attention is mostly directed toward the act of jumping and the mask falls so that the real person appears." This quote from photographer Philippe Halsman explains how his use of fast shutter speed photography captures a moment that would be otherwise impossible to see in any other art form, or indeed with the naked eye. Although inspired by Hals- man's work, the Student Creative has changed the emphasis of the project from jumping to floating. We can all jump, but floating suggests something different—something magical. This project invites students to infuse Halsman's approach with a sense of magical realism to create a self-portrait. To accomplish this, stu - dents should suggest a relationship between the subject and their envi - ronment, and include other elements that represent themselves into their photographs. Liquids, fabrics, pow - ders, and even small objects can add to the motion and energy of the final composition and create deeper tex - tual meaning. In addition to think- ing about what objects they could include with them as they floated in mid-air, students could be encour - aged to think about locations, color palette, and choice of clothing. Painting with Light Where Float invites students to create personal portraits with a fast expo- sure, Paint the World with Light asks students to create a portrait of their communities in a long exposure pho- tograph. Light painting is almost as old as photography itself. By moving a light source (such as a flashlight) through the space in front of a camera during a long exposure, one is able to literally paint an image into the pho- tograph. Turning the flashlight away from the camera allows the photog- rapher to highlight a subject or object within the frame. Now, with the versatility of digital photography and a variety of light sources at our dis- posal, we have the tools to take light painting to a whole new level. Exploring Exposure Both Paint the World with Light and Float will not only allow students to explore these creative processes through shutter speed, but to better understand how shutter speed is a critical factor in understanding proper exposure. Although these projects can be done with just about any camera or smart phone, they are particularly good for learning to more effectively use a DSLR camera. In manual mode, increasing or decreasing the shutter speed will teach students that they must com- pensate by adjusting the aperture or ISO. Using shutter speed as their starting point, they will also discover the trade-offs—opening up the aper- ture to allow more light to the sensor will allow them to create a shallower depth of field, while closing it will allow them to include more of their image in focus. They will probably want to keep the ISO low (between 100 to 400) to reduce the amount of grain in the image. These projects are excellent introductions for students to reall earn how the extremes of shutter speed can unleash the potential of photograph .

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