I recently returned from spending two weeks up in Maine at our church camp, that my husband and both grew up at and where we met. Needless to say, it is a very special place to us and we continue to volunteer each year. This year I decided to teach a merit badge for a week and it was a GREAT experience. I had 21 kids sign up for my merit badge class (which was about a 1/3 of the campers) and they were split into two classes. The subject was photography, of course, but I wanted this class to be more hands on and tactile then working in Photoshop. I also did not want the class to be a lecture format going over the technical aspects of photography. So what I came up with were some alternative photography projects that were easy enough for the 8 year olds and interesting enough for the teenagers. We had a BLAST!
First of all here are my classes!
Now for some of the projects we did!
Sun prints are fast and easy and no chemicals or darkroom required. You can get kits right from amazon.
Next we made Chemigrams. This involves photo chemicals and photo paper but no darkroom! Basically we dipped leaves into photo developer and pressed on the photo paper and then washed in fixer.
So cool, right?
Then we made citrasolvs, which are made by spraying the strong natural cleaner, Citrasolv, on national geographic pages which turns the ink to liquid and makes awesome effects.
We then used the citrasolvs to collage with. I asked them to incorporate the summer's theme, which is "Fearless" into the collages, but some forgot the "less" part, lol.
Our 4th project was the biggest and best! We made photo transfers onto wood. I had my husband pull some authentic Gander Brook wood from the burn pile and cut into pieces for the campers. Each camper choose a favorite image, which I had printed in reverse onto regular printer paper with a LASER printer (not ink jet). We then glued them face down to the wood, using a gel medium and let dry. Then came the hard part, which was removing the back of the paper with a wet wash cloth and our fingers. The first layer came off easy but then it became tedious as we had to continue to rub the tiny bits of paper away with our fingers. Our finger tips became raw and I had to keep saying that this was a lesson in PERSEVERANCE! The final step was to add a top coat of mod podge to seal them.
They came out great! Other lessons learned was that there is beauty in imperfection and to realize that the end product might not come out how you thought and that is OK!
Some close ups!
The best part of the whole experience was hearing what the kids said...
"I am so proud of my piece"
"I have done the best artwork I have ever done in this class"
"I think I have found my career."
"I am so happy with how it came out!" (from one girl who was very disappointed at how her photo transfer was coming.)
Thinking it may be fun to do a summer camp some time along these ideas here at the studio! Would you have a child interested in this? Or even yourself? Let me know!