Sunday, November 21, 2004

When the Student Outpaces the Teacher.

When the student outpaces the teacher, it can be confusing, disconcerting, or intimidating. Or sometimes, it can be downright exhilarating.

A couple of weeks ago, I asked my Art 2 class if anyone would like to volunteer to take a few pictures for me, documenting one of our projects. Two students raised their hands. I directed them to our technology specialist, who hooked the boys up with a couple of digital cameras.

My background in photography is very limited, a couple of college courses back in the day when 35mm's ruled. I have no real experience with the digital stuff. Looking at these new cameras, without a users guide was enough to drive me to distraction.

Once I set Chris and Joe loose with the cameras, marvelous things began to happen. Both boys had an innate sense of composition and an understanding of their subject matter. The picture that they took made you want to look at them more closely, repeatedly.
Joe knows how to make objects and landscapes tell a story. Chris can capture a narrative in the human face and form. Each day i send them out on a new mission with the cameras, and they come back to experiment with photo editing.

My regret is that I don't know enough to teach them anything.
What I do know, is how to find someone who can.

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