The more creative pictures your students can take of their scenes, the more interesting they can present their stories.
Today, cameras are everywhere. On smartphones, tablets, and computers – even on wearable devices such as Google Glass!
Still, kids are often very amateurish when shooting photos, but they can easily be turned into creative photographers if you give them some inspiration. As all good photographers know, better shots save a lot of time editing later on – and that’s time you’ll save in the lesson.
Try introducing the tricks from this article to your class and see the impact on their StoryVisualizer creations.
1. Turn that camera!
Too often, all pictures are taken in landscape mode. By using the camera upright, you can get closer to tall objects or you can “zoom in” on details and leave out the surroundings.
Also, before taking the picture, get them to think about what kind of frame the picture will be used in. Will it be tall and narrow, square, or panoramic? Get them to adjust the camera orientation accordingly.
2. Use angles that are more dynamic
Try to vary the angles that the pictures are taken from. Does it add something to the story to use worm’s-eye view or bird’s-eye view instead of constantly using the same angle slightly above the table? Or how about taking a really close-up picture?
What will it add to the story if you tilt the camera when you take the picture?
3. Add motion
In general, diagonal lines add movement and create a more dynamic photograph than straight horizontal lines do.
The diagonal lines can also be created naturally without tilting the camera. A character’s posture can be diagonal, and thereby indicate movement, even though the other lines in the picture are straight. In the same way, you can construct buildings or other elements to indicate motion in the picture by including diagonal lines in them.
Use vertical lines to give a sense of upward movement. The height of the vertical lines gives a sense of something that might tilt or tip over.
4. Take advantage of invisible lines
Try to find and focus on invisible lines in the scene to indicate a character’s direction or line of sight, or to highlight an important detail. Later on, use the cropped picture on a backdrop that continues these lines.
The viewer perceives invisible lines subconsciously, and these lines can be used to rotate the composition in a particular direction, create movement, or connect different elements of the photograph. The invisible lines can also help to create the desired focus on a particular thing and thus support the story or the mood of the photograph.
5. Use forms in the picture as new frames
Straight lines, angular lines, or square shapes evoke something static and orderly. By placing curves or soft shapes in the picture field, it is possible to create a photograph that seems more alive and organic.
Try taking the picture through an arched doorway or gate in front of the scene or place a piece of white paper behind the doorway so it is easy to clip away the inside of the doorway and let the backdrop shine through.
Consider using white cloths as snowdrifts or green ones as bushes or grass in front of the scene. This will add some more soft curves to the picture.
Their imagination is the only limit
By being a little more creative with their camera work and thinking a little more about image composition, your students can easily add a lot of dynamism to their images – and thus to the story.
If you set aside a little extra time for the students to play around with the camera the first few times they work with StoryStarter, they will respond with more exciting and dynamic images in the future – to the benefit of their stories.