Tuesday, 23 February 2010

The Biting Wind

Llanelli Coedcae Comprehensive

In spite of the biting wind, we decided to carry on with our field trip to Burry Port, and what a time we had – short and shivery, that is! The minibus took us to the harbour, first to the east side and we thought it best to do the training part in the bus, which was just as well because, despite all of us being well wrapped up, we couldn’t stay out for very long. And nearly the first thing that happened was that my hat flew off in a gust of wind and landed in the harbour! Even I had to laugh.

Above: Coedcae kids braving the weather at Burry Port

It was good hat, though and I really missed it for the rest of the day. We took lots of pictures of the boats, the railings, the buildings and the sea (not to mention my hat in the water) before nipping back in the bus briefly to go round to the other side of the port where the old lighthouse is situated. Here we took as many photos as we could before making it back to the bus before we froze. Back at school, I did the normal thing of looking at the children’s three best pictures and was very pleased indeed at the quality of the work, even though some were obviously taken with shaky hands.

Maes y Morfa Juniors

A trip to the Elli Centre for the juniors was a really good idea. Lots of interior shots of corridors, details of fruit on show and other goods made for some interesting compositions. On the way back to the minibus we also took pictures of some of Llanelli’s most important buildings including Eglwys Elli, Ty Elwyn, the old cinema and the newly refurbished town council building. Great pics were taken today and I’m very pleased with the work as we looked at it on our return to the classroom. I’m certain we’ll get some very fine work next time we go out on our second field trip.

Ken Day, photographer

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Llanelli Coedcae Comprehensive and Maes y Morfa Juniors

Once again, it was a great pleasure for me to start a new project in different schools. This time, we're in two Llanelli schools, starting in the morning with Coedcae Comprehensive, then going on to Maes y Morfa after lunch. The class were so delighted with their cameras and couldn't wait to start snapping each other in the room. As usual, I introduced the ideas about landscape, with which we will be working, such as 'don't forget the big things'.

Above: Half the Maes y Morfa children happy with their cameras

That means, of course, the sky, the sea, the ground; and then there are all the things in the landscape that make each one special, like trees, roads, buildings, cars, people. We've got to think about why the things in the landscape are actually there. Why was the castle built on a hill? Why did they put the road in the valley? What do the hedges do? These questions will help us to take better landscape pictures.

Above: The Coed Cae class with the new cameras

Then we looked at how to hold the camera when framing and shooting. What are the important things? Keep it steady, hold it in two hands and squeeze the camera to operate the shutter. This way you help to stop blurry photographs. So, we practiced that by taking pictures of each first, then going out to the school grounds and snapping the trees, walls and buildings – not forgetting the people!

Above: The other half of the Maes y Morfa class with their new cameras

I was very pleased to see everybody's best three shots at the end of each session. It was a very good start to the project, with some interesting work. Next time we will go on our first field trip. Let's hope for nice weather!

Ken Day, photographer

Friday, 5 February 2010

Time in the Classroom

I never thought I'd be happy to spend time in the class room, rather than go out and take pictures; but today was the exception. We spent the day doing the first day of the computer training sessions at Milford Haven in both the comprehensive and the juniors, and while the weather did its worst, we were snug indoors.

Starting, as usual, with the comp kids, we learned how to download from the camera and how to create and name folders. This is very important to know, otherwise finding our work later will be nearly impossible. Once we had created the relevant folders for all the field trips we made, there was time to have the first go at looking closely at the pictures we have taken. There are so many that it will take quite a time to choose our best twenty. Once we have them, we will make the final choice of ten, which will go into the exhibition.

Having spent the time with the comp, Cheryl and I did the same thing with the juniors in the afternoon.

I must say that everybody from both schools did very well and taking a first peek at some of the images the children have made was very encouraging. I'm sure we will have a cracking show.

Next time we meet, we will continue working on the computers, making those first all too difficult choices about which pictures we think are best. The added challenge when we make the final ten to be exhibited will be to name the pictures and to say why we have chosen them.

Ken Day, photographer