Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Beginning photography

What does a Ford logos have to do with natural history? Well, since I've been sharing memories of my early schooling which had a lot to do with my eventual passion for nature photography, I think this tidbit is part of the story.
The other day I went to pick up my son from work at the airport, and parked in a foggy drizzle with my front wheels turned sharply to the right.  That the left the Ford emblem on my steering wheel upside down.  As with so many random stimuli these days, I was reminded of yet another event that began to form my attitude toward public schools.  I got my first camera, a Brownie Hawkeye, at around age 6.  I didn't know much about how it worked. I wanted to get a photograph of one of my siblings in a way that looked like he was standing on his hands, a trick none of us could yet perform.  So, not knowing how cameras work, I figured I'd get my brother to stand on a chair and put his hands flat against the ceiling.  Then I'd take the photo with the camera upside-down.  I actually repeated this stunt during my senior class trip and had one of my classmates photograph me in a way that looked like I was standing on my hands - this took place on a small cruise ship in Chesapeake Bay.  So, the photo above is authentic, taken with the camera (phone) right-side up.  Stupid experiments like this can teach a lot if you get a chance to do them.  Elementary schools should give kids more opportunities to try to figure things out, how things work or why they don't work, and try to figure out things that are not already in some answer book or already known by the teacher.  Then the teacher can be a co-investigator.  We claim to value collaboration, but we don't allow much opportunity to practice it.

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