The Frame is Yours! Use it Wisely!

Art Week at Hila’s school. Hila’s home room teacher desperately sought parents who could pitch in. So, I thought, why not? Can’t be too difficult.

I Tweeted and Buzzed for assistance, but none came. Specifically I wanted to know the recommended dosage for sedatives – not a good idea to overdose in front of a group of 14-15 year olds.

I planned a three-hour photography composition workshop – “Building the Frame” and asked for ten participants. I got twenty! Not easy with such a large group but I declare it a success!

I gave them an intro to composition, stressing  The frame is yours! Use it wisely! Control what goes in, what’s left out, which way you’re looking and exactly when you freeze the moment for eternity. Rule of thirds, perspective, patterns, guiding lines, background, less is more and creating depth, displaying lots of photos demonstrating these guidelines. But I didn’t have too many expectations – you can only digest so many rules in one meal and at this age, breaking the rules is the norm.

Then we went out for an hour of shooting in the Hebrew University campus. Only three instructions; shoot with everything in auto, think only of composition and do not photograph each other – that’s too easy!

Back at school each student chose 3-4 photos for public display and critique by the group. Boy was I surprised! These kids really took me seriously! I could feel the thought that went into many of the photos. I could sense the planning before many clicks of the shutter. Sure, cats were a big hit, but many of the kids were courageous enough for straight on candids of strangers, got down on their knees and abdomen for low angle shots, isolated foreground elements with depth of field, searched for and found interesting patterns – they really did great work!

Afterwards principal Gilad asked me how it went, if his students are now ready for National Geographic. I said “no, but they’ve definitely learned that the frame is their own and they try to use it wisely!” I’m not sure he understood what I was talking about.



Filed under image, israel, Jerusalem, photo, photography, photos

2 responses to “The Frame is Yours! Use it Wisely!

  1. Johno

    Would love to see the images of the kids’ shots. I saw the buzz and tweet… i’ve just been swamped. sorry friend. I know you did great…

    but on thing… are those kids taking a picture of that cats butt?



  2. It seems that you and the students had a great experience. It’s great to teach them some basic principles of composition, it will serve them in the future.

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