Developing the next generation of nature photographers

By having the kids explore nature with a camera,
I think it gives them the opportunity to really slow down and observe their natural surroundings. It’s just really fun, you know? It’s really engaging and they keep me on my
toes. They keep me curious about things. And we explore together. We learn new things together. They ask great questions. They’re really fast learners. My name is Kristen Grace, and I am the staff
photographer for the Florida Museum of Natural History. It’s really fun to watch the stages of growth
and frustration throughout the week. So at the very beginning of the week, they
come to class, they have a new camera. They have no idea what they’re doing, but
they’re excited to learn. We come out here to the NATL area, we look
for bugs, we play around with our macro settings. This is a great spot to do that. So encouraging them to sit with a subject
and really work it to make that right picture–the picture they want. But it’s in the summer in Florida, and we
spend a good deal of the time outside. So midweek, they just don’t know what they’re
doing, they’re tired of taking pictures. And we keep pushing, and we push beyond that. At that point we start pulling out tripods
and experimenting with slowing our cameras down, capturing motion, stopping motion, doing
some really fun, creative things, and it starts to spark up that creativity again. And then probably the gem of the camp is Friday,
when we go to Blue Springs. We have some underwater cameras that they
can play around with and cap it off with a refreshing dip in the cool springs. And by the end of the week, they’ve produced
an image that is museum quality. We print 8x10s, we mat them, frame them and
we have a photo show. And the minute they lay eyes on those prints,
they have so much pride in the work they’ve produced. And they can’t wait to share it. They stand tall, and they talk about what
they’ve learned, and it’s just like a light switch, you see a whole new child at the end
of camp. And I think that’s something they’ll take
with them for the rest of their lives.

One Reply to “Developing the next generation of nature photographers”

  1. Best camp ever! Kristen Grace is a brilliant instructor, and the assistants and junior volunteers for this camp are wonderful. Thank you for a wonderful experience for my kid!

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