Hello Ursula, welcome to Apug! Newt has a good plan, after all he teaches inner-city youth on a daily basis.
I used to hold a two week summer plan through 4-H where I live, first year it was with disposable cameras. I focused on creativity, what did the kids "see" and limited them to just a couple exposures per day for first week. Second week was organizing and presentation with a show on final day, and photo albums to take home. The projects weren't returned to the kids until after the county fair at the end of summer with whatever awards the fair judges presented them.
What is a master but a master student? And if that's true, then there's a responsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession.
Disposables are great, I've thought about doing the same thing with the local photo club just to get members to stop thinking about the tech stuff and start thinking about composition before dropping the shutter.
As to getting the most out of them, there is very little to mess with, just pick one that's appropriate for where and when you will be shooting.
For example I took a vacation to Hawaii a while back and took a dozen waterproof disposables. They worked great (in and out of the water) for all my daytime snaps (ISO 400 Kodak C41), but the type I took had no flash. It would have been nice to have had a second type with a flash for low light snaps. Like: http://www.ecamerafilms.com/Fuji_Qui...p/10123442.htm
As far as the actual class goes composition and lighting are the things that IMO can probably be taught well. Getting the students to see how the light is falling on the subject and how to manipulate the scene to get something good.
We had a local lady talk at our club a few months back, she has had the good fortune to shoot with people like Steve McCurry and others in the travel photography biz. One of the things she learned was that when you find a good subject person, you "drag them" to a good situation. Put them in front of a good background and pose them so that they are lit nicely.
The best shots these guys get are contrived, not candid.
There are lots of examples of great photographers who apply this thought. Jose Villa, a sucessful modern wedding photographer applies similar principles, Henri Cartier-Bresson did too, picking a setting and then waiting for the right thing to happen in that setting, the decisive moment if you will. Hurrell, Karsh, Joe McNally, ... the list can go on and on.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
hi ursula -
welcome to apug!
you can reload disposable cameras if you take them apart ( just remove the cardboard )
if you want to load it with your own film after you use the supplied roll. labs remove the
cardboard, remove the film and send them back to the company. i have a friend who hiked
the appalachian trail ... he used his own self rolled black and white and reloaded ... it worked great !
before you buy the "wedding pack" of disposable cameras, i would buy a few and try them out,
so YOU know the limitations of the equipment. some do well close up, some far away, and some in the mid-range.
i agree 100% with old n'feable .. work on aesthetics, not subjects ...
have fun !
(google wedding disposable camera and you will probably find a few people selling them ... built in flash is OK but usually over powers the
film if the subject isn't 10-12 feet away )
Thinking before taking a picture has nothing to do with the camera and everything to do with the photographer. (Disposable cameras certainly have never been burdened with the moniker of the thinking-man's camera.)
Welcome Home Ursula !
If you are located in the U.S., you might want to check your local
Target Store, if they have a Photo Center. My local store processes
35mm 36 exposures, and also provides an Index Print, and a CD, for $2.99.
I'm not sure if they would be an additional charge for a disposable camera.
And possibly ask the manager if the could offer a discount for the service.
Enjoy The Weekend !
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Pleased to see a new memebr, particualrly one who aims to teach kids.
If you plan on reloading disposables, check out this path in advance.
The few that I have played with reloading use a standard 35mm cassette, but it has a non standard central spool.
One end of the spool has a one way ratchet style coupling to mate with the edge of the film advance thumb wheel.
So you need to reload onto that spool. This could slow you down in terms of relaoding a whole class worth's of cameras one night.
Otherwise I wish you all the best with your education project.
my real name, imagine that.
WOW! thanks everyone ! lots of great tips! thanks a million to everyone!!! im at the other side of the pond in ireland.
@hikari - our budget is very low, so a cheap digital camera here is about 35euro, even ebay. i would need about 8 - 10 of them too, so that option is out unfortunately. i also dont think the kids would take it as seriously and also it cuts out joke shot and stuff like that. if they can only take a certain amount of shots, theyll be a bit more cautious, and want to do the shot right - well, im hoping to teach them that anyway, plus, going from my own experience, developing a film of pics i took is much more rewarding than looking at the back of a screen.
i am a bit concerned about the cost of developing tho. i actually have a film scanner, so if its possible just to get the negatives from disposable cameras (which is only about 3 - 4 euro here) i have no problem scanning the pictures in myself. i lost my job about 4 months ago, so i have plenty of time to do it and it will keep me busy!
you have all mentioned things i haven't thought of. we do have a photolab in our town, so ill look into the cost of that. i do know materials are quite expensive tho!
@ Newt - and the pinhole camera is a great idea!! the problem is is that i have never worked with a pinhole camera, and i dont know enough about it to be confident with it to teach others. the course is starting in about 3 weeks or so, so i dont think theres time for me to get to know how to use it properly. for now, since this is my first teaching experience, i want to stick with what i know :-) i do have tons of photography books too, and have been looking through them for the past few days and bookmarking photos i personally like, so i can show them my own preferance, they can look through them and pick their own favourites. i want to express how broad photography is, that its not all "top model" stuff, and that it can be anything. hopefully to build up their own confidence and individuality, but i will check out the library too!! for sure! also, maybe ireland is behind the times, lol, but i actually have come across a lot of cameras with 36 exposures, but if i could find cheaper ones with a less amount of exposures, maybe i could give them a camera every fortnight or so, and use them for different themes! again, depending on cost!!!
@markberandy - thanks to you too! the link you posted doesnt load up for me, but you're right, it is all about the composition, lighting etc. we'll be having our classes during the day, so im hoping the weather is good this year. (last year, here in ireland, we only got about 2-3 weeks of sunshine during the summer, the rest was rain and clouds!!!)
And i NEVER knew you could reload a disposable camera, and a valuable thing to know as i would love to use black and white film with them too!!! i was relying on software to do black and white, but the real thing is much better. going to experiment with the cameras i bought!
@tkamiya - with regards to the exhibition work being online - i never even thought of that either. what a great idea. ill have to talk to the project leaders, but if there was a link on their website that could bring you to the gallery or something. i know someone who can do websites too so VERY interesting idea
just a bit of extra info, the organisation im working with is one that helps and supports family members of prisoners or affected by imprisonment.
even though the exhibition probably wont be until the end of august, i will definitely let everyone know about!
Do a search for disposable cameras, the link I sent was to e camera films; they are in the USA but the cameras are $3 US for Fuji with flash.
Mark Barendt, Beaverton, OR
"We do not see things the way they are. We see things the way we are." Anaïs Nin
Good luck and please be careful when taking them apart especially the flash models as the capacitors can easily discharge if you touch the circuit board even if you have taken out the battery. Discharge the flash by winding on and depressing the shutter and taking out the battery quickly after, you can also use a insulated metal object to bridge the capacitor as well. Take them apart after you are finished with the roll as your film will be rolled in, its much harder to do it in the dark or a bag on an unexposed camera.
Some do have a teeth/gear style center post which makes using regular reloadable cassettes impossible. You can ask your photo lab for canister discards. You can easily tell them apart as the have very plain solid color text logos and have the toothed gearing on top.
Pinhole photography is very easy to play with, and very cheap to get started. Just a tube or a box and metal or foil to poke a needle through, having a darkroom though is important. (unless you build a afgan camera pinhole)
Keep things simple to start out if you are focusing on composition. Things like keeping subjects off center, watching out not to cut off top of heads, or hands, or if they want to, tell them where would be a good place to (not at the wrists or ankles lol). Teach them to use the whole frame up from top to bottom. If using the disposables make them aware of parallax and show them a diagram of both field of view from viewfinder and lens on upclose subjects. I do this when using compacts, will save you trouble later haha. Good luck!
As I first started reading your post, I was totally thinking Born into Brothels!! I'm happy you have seen it as it's a great inspiration and those children were able to prove their creativity despite the limitations they had. I first saw this doc when it premiered in the US. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Originally Posted by ursula
I think disposables are the way to go for an introduction, as it forces them to focus on composition and the subject manner. Many people forget that the subject is the most important part of an image and how it is presented within the photo. And by using film, it will teach great patience and focus to create that image!
As far as purchasing disposables... I highly recommend staying away from cameras that aren't name brand (Fuji, Kodak...) or those who don't already have a solid reputation or guarantee attached to it. At work, I've developed many of the "wedding pack" cameras jnanian mentioned earlier and also many no-name branded cameras that actually had NO film negative inside the cartridge loaded into the camera or even film pieces that were poorly spliced together, often ruining many images. I assume this "company" acquired short ends of some sort and just slapped them together for their cameras. Just some precautions to be aware of.
"If it can be written or thought, it can be filmed." - Stanley Kubrick