Photo Week on #slowchated

It was Fourth of July week on #slowchated and what better time to whip out your smart phone and take some pics!  I was inspired by Nicole Dalesio (@magelacanela) and used (with permission) some of her basic instructions for taking better photos and letting your creativity flow.

I used Nicole’s TEDxFrontRange talk as our introduction.  Videos just work as an intro to big ideas.  Love that.  The big idea, for me, was less about taking pics but more about being creative.  We carry a powerful computer around in our pockets and purses but do we use these to stretch our amazing creative potential?  And let’s not get into the argument about being present.  I get it.  I’m not suggesting we miss the beauty of the journey and spend our time behind a lense ‘capturing’ the moment.  Nope.  That’s not it.  Nicole’s video actually suggests being more present than you would be by just being on the journey.  She suggests noticing everything.  Notice the world around you such that you see the details, light, point of view and then feel moved to capture those little moments.  Not a million pics of Disneyland, Yosemite or the camping trip.  That’s something different.

Then jumped in with a question about our own habits with pics.

The responses were numerous and varied.  @Jamisonluke keeps track of his class and has a GoPro too!  @MrLeBrun (like many of us) takes lots of pics of events trying for the amazing one or two, but tries to be present.  @mrsmikesell says her hubby takes lots of pics while she’s totally utilitarian: need a pic, take a pic.

But let’s get to the pics of the chat!  We started with ‘zoom with your feet’ one of the biggest take-aways from the iPhoneography session I attended with @magelacanela at an @nbcue event in May 2014.  Pinching the screen to zoom just makes for a poor quality photo.  Don’t pinch, just walk closer!  Duh!  Now there are many situations where this won’t work, but if you can zoom with your feet, you should!  Here are some examples from our chat:

And Barbara even added her own take on ‘zoom with your feet:’

Our next endeavor was #angle and #lighting.  Don’t hesitate to get down close, take a pic from above or below… #angle can make an image or scene uber interesting.  And lighting… don’t get me started on the rules I learned in junior high photography class… sheesh!  Play with #lighting… create a silhouette, use the shadows to make something amazing.  Here’s what we created:

And this, one of my favorites from the week.  LOVE how weird this looks.  You can’t tell if it’s huge, microscopic, under water or what!?!?  Alien plant species–#angle and #zoomwyourfeet

Not to forget the ED in #slowchated, our almost final question had to do with using pics with students.  Ross Lebrun shared, “A4: I’ve had Ss take pics of projects they’ve done with subs in the room and submit. Ensures they never lose their work!”  And Seena Rich added, “A4:I have had Ss excitedly share work w me,” and “A4:Had Ss take pics and document a session I led at PD,” and “A4:take selfies w Ss…they like it!!”  @mrbradfordtech shared, “A4: I used pics last year to have students document a class project, visually tell a story, and help build community.”  And this from @ajay460, “A4: did an amazing lesson with her K Ss. Taught a new letter & had them take pix of things that started w letter.”  And a discussion idea from @barblarochelle, “A4 During novel discussion Ss took pics of items characters might use or need during certain scenes & posted to Padlet.”  “A4 Pair Ss. Stare. Interview. Take 12 photos of partner. Pare down to 6. Turn into digital story. Courtesy of ,” from @teylaramsey.  Thanks all for some great ideas!

Then, just for fun, we messed with #filters and #apps:

And last but not least an great example of creative photography & student learning from @tborash: In the lesson, we cleaned loose feathers using a variety of detergents- magnified photos were helpful to compare detergents,” and the amazing pic:

And how could we not close with some patriotic pics?!?!  Day 5 was share a pic from the Fourth of July (very anti-the-rest-of-the-world, but I knew #slowchated could never compete with good ‘ole 4th of July festivities).  Enjoy!

A big thank you to Nicole Dalesio for allowing me to use some of her material for the chat!  Hope you enjoyed it, and if you weren’t able to join us, get your phone out, consider #angle, #lighting and always #zoomwyourfeet when you can!  It’s about being more creative for your own edification and considering more use of pics with your students too!