Backyard Nature Activities: Human Camera

This activity is taught in Hike NS’s Re-Connecting with Nature workshop offered each year in locations throughout the province. This is a one-day, hands-on workshop for adults held mostly outdoors to improve your ability to lead and share an appreciation and understanding of nature with children and youth. We plan to have a schedule available in May for workshops hopefully scheduled in late June and in the fall, if possible.

Human Camera

Synopsis: Participants work in pairs with one being the photographer and one the camera. The photographer positions the camera to take neat photos of natural objects by rapidly opening and closing their eyes.

Set Up and Props: None. Pick a locale with good footing as one person keeps their eyes closed while moving.

Activity

1. Introduce Human Camera: Ask if anyone has brought his or her camera. Explain that you bought yours. In fact yours is not one of those expensive varieties.

2. Explain Camera Features: Ask one participant to stand up next to you and close his/her eyes. Introduce a person as a camera by noting film is inside the top (head) and it has two lenses (eyes). Shutters (eyelids) cover lenses and must stay closed until the camera is positioned just so for the picture. The picture button is either engaged by tugging on the ear or by having the camera make a fist and then picking up the thumb (you choose). The camera is versatile as it is a bipod and can be positioned. One must be careful when moving the camera about and positioning it as it is fragile.

3. Demonstrate Use of Camera: Carefully move the camera (person) with their shutters closed into a neat position so as to capture a picture. Demonstrate a close up where you manipulate the camera into a position and then tilt the head properly. Push the button and take the picture. Point out some of the other possibilities – sky shots up into the trees, close-ups on trees, close-ups where the camera is on its knees, etc. Emphasize the need to handle the camera with care. Emphasize safety when one person is leading the other in a pair with their eyes closed.

4. Split into Camera/Photographer Pairs: Split the crew into pairs with one being the camera. Ask them to take 6 pictures and then trade roles. Ask them to remember their neatest photo and encourage the photographers to be creative.

5. Encourage Photo Sharing: As pairs finish, encourage sharing of some of individuals neat photos, do this as a group when everyone is done if there is time.

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