Friday, May 21, 2010

Click! ...a Friday Book Look for National Photography Month

May is National Photography or Photo Month. (yes, another holiday) Since the month is fast getting away from me, I'm putting up a ....Tada!...Friday Book Look! Click: A Book About Cameras and Taking Pictures was written by Gail Gibbons.

According to School Library Journal:
Gibbons takes a complex subject and breaks it down into simple, easy to understand terms. She describes different types of cameras and their film, and explains what happens to film inside the camera and at a photo-processing center. At this point, the author states, "First the film is removed from the cartridge in a darkroom, lit only by a red light. Then the latent images on the film are developed by soaking the film in chemicals." In fact, film must be removed in total darkness or it will be ruined; a red light will erase latent images. Explanations of printing, negatives and enlargements, tips on the care of a camera and on taking photos both indoors and outdoors are provided. A very basic chronology on the history of photography completes the presentation.
This book is a perfect lead up to making a Pinhole Camera.
Kids love to take pictures. There are many types of throwaway cameras available for children to experiment with. There are even cameras made especially for children. But a fun and educational way to learn about cameras and picture taking is to make a Pinhole Camera. A pinhole camera is a very simple camera with no lens that lets light in through a small pinhole which is what makes the picture. For the history and some of the science of Pinhole Cameras check with wikipedia.

A pinhole camera can be made with recycled materials that you have at home. If you really want to make a pinhole camera that will take a picture then you will need a few special materials:Resin-coated 5x7 inch black and white photographic paper, developing liquid and fixer. Because of the chemicals this is not a project that small children can do for themselves. For the special photography supplies check your local photography or hobby shop.

While a pinhole camera is basically a box with a tiny hole, there are many ways to make the camera. Here are a number of links showing different ways to assemble the camera.
Highlight Magazine's Pinhole Camera is very simple and best for young children.

Very interesting directions for making a Lego Pinhole Camera.

This site has very good directions and pictures for Making an Oatmeal Box Pinhole Camera and good directions for developing the film.

Science for kids explains how the human eye works like a pinhole camera.

This is a really well done video on How to Make a Pinhole Camera out of a Juice box.

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