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Archive 2013 · Photography and Childrens Literacy
  
 
gmff
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p.1 #1 · Photography and Childrens Literacy


Last year we had a Childs Literacy Day at the elementary school, I went to photograph the event. When I was there the organizer said to me "Hey George we will put on as a speaker for next year". I thought she was joking!! She was not joking, ahhhh. She just called to remind me that I would be the 3rd speaker next Sat. April 13th and I should not take over 12 minutes. I need to find some ties from photography to literacy. I have spent the last hour since the call trying to come up with ideas and have a few, I would be open for some suggestions if any one cares to help. I am an avid reader but mostly tech stuff, Shakespeare and stage plays. Thanks!


Apr 04, 2013 at 02:23 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · Photography and Childrens Literacy


Every image is a message that is being conveyed to its audience/viewer. The words on the pages of a book are chosen with specific intent to deliver its message that the author desires to convey.

We choose things like subject, composition, tone, hue, lines, shape, value, contrast, lighting, etc. ... those are our words, punctuation and grammar ... all to create an image that will convey a mood/message/memory to our viewer/audience. The artful craft of assembling words into a message/story is replicated in our craft with the same deft necessary to attract, captivate, and enthrall our viewer to a meaningful and memorable message being conveyed, remembered and valued, just as much as any great biography (portrait), novel (fantasy image), poem (moody scene) or scientific journal (forensic/photojournalism), etc.

You can write down some words on paper @ "Just the facts, ma'am." or you can wax poetic like Shakespeare or David, the choices made by the author parallel the choices we make as photographers crafting our own visual messages to be conveyed to our audience/viewer. The need to communicate the message remains constant, the medium and style are variable.

They are both a means of communication and the nuance of making such a communication in either the word form or the image form remains pertinent to the human condition of communication, be that verbal or visual. Advancing our knowledge and experience with using tonal value, composition, etc. provides us the tools for improving our image making. Advancing our knowledge and experience using words, tone, punctuation, pace, etc. (writing, reading) improves our verbal communication as well.

Words can take your reader to places that they can't get to by themselves. Our images can do the same ... whether a picture from outer space, a mountain top, a jungle, fall colors, spring bloom, deserted ghost town, old train station or a macro that reveals things unseen to the casual observer, both words and images can transport us to another time & place.


Tailoring to audience ... both can be fun/cool/relaxing/entertaining (elementary kids), and empowering (learning, growth), (rewarding) career $$/satisfying, communication/message ... in either case, literacy is a powerful thing, just like our images can be powerful too.

GL ... wish I could be there, it sounds very worthy. Tell it from the heart of what you aspire to gain when you read & what you strive for in creating an image for your viewer ... you'll do fine, just show your passion for both. Also, if you've got a chance, you might seek out a local "story teller" .. they could give you a few quick tips/practice at how to captivate/engage your audience (elementary kids) in such a brief time frame.



Apr 04, 2013 at 02:33 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #3 · Photography and Childrens Literacy


Who's your audience? If it's kids, then my suggestion is to use photography as a means of visual communication to both entertain them, and to educate them about how photography is used in communication. Specifically, with literacy, people/kids usually learn to read with Picture Books.

Honestly, if you're doing this for kids, any age from elementary to high school, use photographs that crack them up, yet educate them, and you'll be the highlight of the event.



Apr 05, 2013 at 09:02 PM
 

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Eyeball
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p.1 #4 · Photography and Childrens Literacy


This Adobe white paper might be helpful for some ideas:

http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/education/pdfs/visual-literacy-wp.pdf

You probably only need 2-4 relatively simple ideas to fill 12 minutes.

I agree with Ron about considering your audience. Even if it was adults though, I think a good approach could be using photos only backed up by your verbal guidance. Keep bullets and text to an absolute minimum. Ask questions or request impressions from the audience to keep them engaged.

Sounds like fun.



Apr 05, 2013 at 11:32 PM
gmff
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p.1 #5 · Photography and Childrens Literacy


I never did get back to thank everyone that contributed or even looked at the post. The event was quite successful, I had 200+ kids between the 3 10 minutes talks. Than I set up a booth that the kids came to. I talked about how every image creates a story and every story creates an image. I would project an image and have a kid come up with a story and why that story. One little girl came up with a "don't drop the cat on your brothers face" for the story about the lion photo, when her and her brother walked by I could tell where the story came from by the scratches it is a good thing that her dad is a Dr.
RustyBug, friscoron & Eyeball your suggestions combined to make this a wonderful experience for me and the kids & parents.



May 04, 2013 at 01:59 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #6 · Photography and Childrens Literacy


gmff wrote:

I talked about how every image creates a story and every story creates an image.


AWESOME way of describing it ... I hope you don't mind if I borrow it sometime (waxes much more poetically and significantly shorter than my version ).

Sounds like you had an excellent experience and I'm sure the kids were diggin' it too ... Suh-Weeet !!!



May 04, 2013 at 02:50 PM





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