Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Started a photography club at school  (Read 6144 times)
Stef_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 266


« on: November 11, 2005, 03:47:09 PM »
ReplyReply

Hello all,

A group of my friends have started my high school's first photography club. They surprisingly have a large amount of memebers: the initial number is somewhere around 90. Many of these people are very motivated and definitely not shy about taking pictures. Some of what they have done is actually not too bad considering that they are new to this. However, it seems like they really don't know where to begin. So far they have aranged for a monthly contest, but no real ideas of how to learn better photography.

I was hoping that this would be where you could help us out. Personally, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea of where to begin, what to start explaining to them. What should they know? I thought of starting with aperture, shutter speed and ISO and explain stops, but I haven't go a clue where to go from there. Any and all ideas and suggestions that you may have for the club would be greatly apreciated.

Thank you for your help,

Stefan
Logged
DiaAzul
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 777



WWW
« Reply #1 on: November 11, 2005, 07:12:25 PM »
ReplyReply

You could try looking through the following website. I think it will cover off the basic principles for most people starting out in photography.

Photo Seminar

Beyond that there are any number of online resources that can be plundered to give ideas and material for a photography tutorial.

I would also suggest that you get the students to work in groups of 6-8 taking pictures then critiquing each others work. What I would suggest is perhaps something along the lines of the following format:
1...Pick a subject, whether that is a particular photographic technique or some particular thing to be photographed.
2...Find some good examples that illustrate what students should be aiming towards. Give a brief talk and set the team a limited amount of time to go away and take some pictures.
3...After the timeframe get the groups back together and get them to critique each others pictures. Try and get the groups to explain what they like in a picture and why.

The most important element is to get the groups to do the work themselves and share information with each other in a structured fashion - a couple of presentations and talks (especially if you can get a 'pro' or field proven photographer to come in and present) are useful, but most people are in the club to meet other like minded individuals and share a beer or two (or several if it has English people ;-)

Over time help them to develop an ability to critique their own and others work in a structured fashion, which is perhaps the most important skill that they can develop early on. Once someone starts asking why a picture works, and how did the photographer manage to capture the image, then curiosity will drive them to start experimenting.

I helped set up a photo club in Paris and can send you a copy of the briefing document we used for a 'sunday shoot' if you are interested (PM me an email address if you would like a copy).
Logged

David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Gordon Buck
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 409



WWW
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2005, 07:24:08 PM »
ReplyReply

A popular feature at our photo club monthly meeting is a brief "photo tip" presented by one of the members.  Sometimes about equipment, other times technique, etc.
Logged

Anon E. Mouse
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 197


WWW
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2005, 06:07:53 PM »
ReplyReply

Let me see if I have this right. You are starting a photo club and you are the supervisor in charge of teaching photography, but you do not know anything about photography. This reminds me of a saying about good intentions and the road to hell.

I would start looking for people who can help you. Perhaps you can arrange a few local professionals to come in and give a talk. I would say if you don't know where to start, you are going to have a very difficult time trying to teach. Are there local camera clubs? Maybe they can find folks to help.

I hate to say this, but I can not recommend anyone teaching something that don't know. Because they are unsure of what they are doing, the teaching tends to be confusing and ineffective. Perhaps you can put the members in charge of the club and let them do all the work. Trial and error can be a great teacher. Let them set the goals and be responsible for getting information. However, if you try to set yourself up as the "expert", the students will see through that very quickly and will cause problems. The worst part is you may end up turning people off photography because an inability to teach effectively tends to make things appear more complex than they are. Just because you can take pictures and like photography does not mean you can teach it.

I am sorry if this seems harsh. And I apologize if I misunderstand what you are doing. But having spent 10 years in the classroom and seeing teachers of all abilities come and go, I cringe at the idea of what you appear to be trying to do. The idea that you have started this without a plan is not very encouraging either.
Logged
DiaAzul
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 777



WWW
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2005, 06:16:29 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
Let me see if I have this right. You are starting a photo club and you are the supervisor in charge of teaching photography, but you do not know anything about photography. This reminds me of a saying about good intentions and the road to hell.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=51206\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Something about stick and holding the wrong end springs to mind  

I think this is more about an enthusiastic bunch of self motivated students and Steff is hoping to inject a sense of direction leveraged from peoples experience on this board (and other sources).
Logged

David Plummer    http://photo.tanzo.org/
Anon E. Mouse
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 197


WWW
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2005, 06:54:12 PM »
ReplyReply

David, if it is just a bunch of enthusiastic people getting together, then I misunderstood the situation and I am confused by the reason for the original post. Perhaps Stef can give more detail to why she wants this information. It sounds like she is trying to put a photography program together, but does not understand photography herself. I assumed that teaching was part of this. But you seem to think this is not her objective.
Logged
boku
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1493



WWW
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2005, 08:51:40 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
David, if it is just a bunch of enthusiastic people getting together, then I misunderstood the situation and I am confused by the reason for the original post. Perhaps Stef can give more detail to why she wants this information. It sounds like she is trying to put a photography program together, but does not understand photography herself. I assumed that teaching was part of this. But you seem to think this is not her objective.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=51213\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Stef is a "he."
Stef has participated in many mature photographic discussions on this forum.
Stef is trying to learn more by teaching - a wonderful technique.
Stef knows his limits - I would consider his idea valid.
Logged

Bob Kulon

Oh, one more thing...
Play it Straight and Play it True, my Brother.
Stef_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 266


« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2005, 10:48:51 PM »
ReplyReply

Mr Kulon  DiaAzul, thank you for saving me the trouble...

Anon, you make a fair point about trial and error, but i think the first step is self critiquing. I have yet to see any work from the members so I do not know whether they have an 'eye for it or not. Whether I would recognize if they have the skill is an entirely different question.

And I am not the teacher, I am not even in charge. I simply wanted to have some good input and wanted to ask the people that know best what they thought.

Once again, thank you for your advice,

Stefan
Logged
dbell
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 131


« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2005, 02:39:17 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote
I was hoping that this would be where you could help us out. Personally, I wouldn't have the foggiest idea of where to begin, what to start explaining to them. What should they know? I thought of starting with aperture, shutter speed and ISO and explain stops, but I haven't go a clue where to go from there. Any and all ideas and suggestions that you may have for the club would be greatly apreciated.

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=51026\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I tend to favor critiques over contests, especially if there are lots of beginners in the group. Try breaking the larger group up into smaller groups to make sure that everyone who has work to show gets enough time. Even if nobody is an advanced photographer, people will know what they like and react to it, and there's value in that.

As far as teaching goes, I think you're on the right track, but don't overlook the artistic side of things. The students need to understand what the basic camera controls do and what to use them for and they also need to start internalizing effective compositional skills. If you're interested, I can try to be more specific about a lot of the exercises that I remember from my first photo class.

If you can bring in more experienced people to speak or do workshops, that's great. If you can't, there's material available on DVD. Suggest that the group go to museum exhibits and gallery shows and make sure there's a lot of discussion of what's seen. And keep everybody shooting; there's no substitute for experience.
Logged
Anon E. Mouse
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 197


WWW
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2005, 05:39:49 PM »
ReplyReply

Stefan, first am sorry as you are a he rather than a she. Second, thank you for the clarification. Self-guided groups can work. There is one problem that the group can be dominated by a few within it and this can cause friction amoung members. For example, the most dominant members can have a technical or gear-oriented bias and the can turn off others who are more intuitive and interested in more intangible qualities.

One good starting exercise can be to have the member bring in one or two examples of photographs they admire - not their own. You can then see the type of work that members like. You can see who like for formal of technical work and who likes more loose or "artsy" work. It is a good icebreaker as well and it gets away from problems of folks not having made any photos or are shy about their work. It will also get folks used to talking about pictures.

As mentioned, critiques are good. As are field trips. As far as discussions, have some good reference books around to solve things. This pervents dominate opinions if you as a group can dip into a book for answer. That way you are all students and no one is the "teacher." Some recommendations would be:

Focal encyclopedia of Photography
Photographic Materials and Processes - Stroebel, Compton, et al.
The History of Photography - Rosenblum

There are many others.

In the internet age, you should have a club web site. That is an easy way to have exhibitions. I would also try local businesses or the library to have one annual "wall" exhibition. It is nice to see work framed and mounted.

The primary goal should be to have everyone shooting. This is not as easy as it sounds. Not everyone can consistantly gernerate their own work. Especially over the long term. Weekly "assignments" is one way. A picture of the month contest is another (winner picks the theme for the following month). Have your club work with (or start) a high school newspaper and your member are responsible for the photos. List outside contests from magazines etc. Help community organizations documment events.

Anyway, there are lots of things you can do. I assume you have a faculty adviser. Run things by him or her to make sure you are not going to get into trouble - the law is a funny thing. But have fun.
Logged
larryg
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 468



WWW
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2005, 05:59:27 PM »
ReplyReply

http://www.psa-photo.org/

This organization helped me get a club started with sample by-laws and loaner materials for your club.

Just type in Camera Clubs or Photographic clubs on the web and you will get a ton of links to worthwhile information.

Good luck
« Last Edit: November 14, 2005, 06:01:19 PM by larryg » Logged
Stef_T
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 266


« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2005, 11:16:43 PM »
ReplyReply

The idea now is to have a monthly contest with the winner getting their prints framed professionally. I dont know where they got the money for that but supposedly that is the plan. We also have several display cases where we are planning to put our work.

I have a request to make, and I am hoping that it is not too much to ask. In the hopes of teaching them (and myself) the difference between a good and a poor photograph I would like to show them side by side two pictures of the same scene taken moments apart. One being a snapshot with no little thought given to asthetics, another when time was taken to set things up properly.

I realize that most people delete their poor images but I was hoping that the next time you go out, you could purposely take a poor one for demonstration purposes.  Obviously I wouldn't do anything inaporpriate with the pictures (sell or anything like that) but feel free to put a watermark on them. If you put an email you may even get an extra half dozen hits to your blog   . If anyone could do this then it would be extremely apreciated.

Stefan
Logged
dbell
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 131


« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2005, 11:28:53 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote
The idea now is to have a monthly contest with the winner getting their prints framed professionally. I dont know where they got the money for that but supposedly that is the plan. We also have several display cases where we are planning to put our work.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=51331\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't mean to overstate the case, but I'm really leery of too much emphasis on competition, especially if the group is not full of advanced photographers. Art is highly subjective and it's not a race. Beginners learn at different rates. How fast they progress in the first stages is often NOT a good indicator of how good they'll eventually get if they stick with it. Why use a structure that discourages those who take longer to develop their eyes or skills? You want to encourage people to develop their own vision, not to shoot what they think will win a prize.

IMO, the group would be better off spending the money on a bunch of matting supplies and some display cases (sounds like you already have the latter): get people in the habit of producing finished pieces, displaying them and seeing to how their peers react to their work. Rotate what's on display frequently. I agree wholeheartedly with whoever said that keeping everyone shooting is both paramount and difficult. Some people will progress faster than others and those who lag behind in the beginning shouldn't be made to feel inadequate (they could end up being better artists in the end). A few strong images shouldn't make anyone into a celebrity (even a temporary one .

Just my opinions.
Logged
macgyver
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 510


« Reply #13 on: November 23, 2005, 07:43:18 PM »
ReplyReply

90 members?  I wish my photoclub had had that many.

My 2 cents:

With that many people I'm willing to bet that there are several different types of shooters there: sports, wildlife, portrait, artsy, landscape, etc.  Try having people who specialize in different thing come and talk.  Someone who's only photo experiance has been taking pictures of rocks may find it interesting to hear about how to shoot a school football game (or not, just putting that out there).

Let us know how it goes.
Logged
davetran
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 3


« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2005, 10:10:25 PM »
ReplyReply

Hi there,

If you need resources to regularly print the works of your club, try to secure some kind of corporate or retail-level sponsorship.  Sending a letter, email or phone call to the right people (Epson, Canon, Kodak or your local retailer / printer) explaining your group's purpose within the school and benefit to the members, school and community, as well as a resource-related need (e.g., ink and paper) can give your club a boost.  At the very least you might be offered a student discount on supplies and gear in exchange for promo at your next community exhibit.

Good luck,
Dave
Logged
dazzajl
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 71


« Reply #15 on: November 26, 2005, 06:01:53 AM »
ReplyReply

Another thing I have always found to be quite a constructive learning process is group people together and have them shoot an image to a brief on a completely unautomated camera.

A very basic medium format kit would be ideal. Taking away all the aids really makes people think about each and every action required to create the image and slows the process down. Then there is enough time to allow plenty of discussion within the group. Also, this way people often feel more comfortable experimenting as you completely remove the possiblity for individuals to feel they have failed in any way.

D  
Logged
rabidog
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 2


« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2005, 10:53:14 PM »
ReplyReply

I think organising group field trips for your club would be helpful for some of the side-by-side critiquing you're interested in.  Taking the group to, say a botanical garden or a nearby park or wildlife preserve... you'd probably wind up with a lot of the same shots (with both good and bad spins) from your own group.

Or how about for an assignment, taking a picture of x building (x being an architecturally fascinating building near your school) on your own time and bringing in the print to compare with what other students have taken on their own time?  

I think the side-by-side example you want would work best if done with your and your classmates' own work to take in ideas about what you, specifically, might do better next time.  Does that make sense?
« Last Edit: December 26, 2005, 10:55:25 PM by rabidog » Logged
Jerry Segraves
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8



WWW
« Reply #17 on: December 29, 2005, 08:15:13 PM »
ReplyReply

Here in Central Kansas, we have the Central KS Photography Club and not only do we meet monthly, we also have guest speakers and presenters, we have member pages on our website, we get together for field trips, etc. and it's really fun and educational.
Logged

gr82bart
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 83



WWW
« Reply #18 on: December 31, 2005, 08:49:19 AM »
ReplyReply

I good way to bring out th creative juices is to limit the technical possibilities. For example, have everyone only shoot wide angle for an assignment, or only telephoto. Here's one only at one f-stop and aperture, or only between 5pm and 6pm. You get the idea.

Hope that helps.

Regards, Art.
Logged

Visit my website at www.ArtLiem.com or my online portfolios at APUG and Model Mayhem
Pages: [1]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad