Photography is allied to sketching and painting because the result of the activity is a "picture." Good photography is based on the composition of the picture taken, on the originality of the subject matter, and on the skill with which lights and shadows are combined. In general, the same rules of composition which have been given for sketching and painting hold true for photography.
A large majority of campers have cameras. Many will have instruments of their own for the first time, and they will need guidance to gain satisfaction from their photographic efforts and to know the possibilities of their particular cameras, no matter how simple the instruments may be. They will need to learn how to get satisfactory pictures that tell the desired story, and that lead the young photographers along the fascinating trail of photography in general. Experienced photographers who know their cameras will be ready for activities in a darkroom, and for projects that make use of their picture-taking skills, such as a series of pictures for the camp log or a movie for camp promotion.
This chapter is not designed to give instruction in how to take photographs, but rather to give help to counselors in guiding this activity as part of a creative craft program. Two excellent resources are Photography in Camp, a manual for counselors, and Picture Taking in Camp, a booklet for campers. There are always some counselors who have an interest in photography, and they can help with informal activities in the tent or cabin groups, or in special groups of interested campers. Some camps have a special counselor in charge of photographic activities, especially if the camp has an extensive photography program.
In photography activities, it is very important that the counselor be aware of the need to help the camper with the simplest box camera, and to gear activities to include him. Much can be done with simple cameras, and first enjoyment in photography will come with successful picture taking, no matter how elementary. Campers with more elaborate cameras will need opportunities to learn how to use the various features of their cameras to best advantage.
Here are some suggestions for activities that might be included in a camp program:
A hobby group or club may be formed by counselors and campers for those who are interested in learning about picture taking. This group may meet several times a week, or occasionally, as on a Sunday afternoon. It may be a "clinic" to which campers bring their problems in loading film or in which there is discussion of what makes a picture good. Informal talks, demonstrations of various types of equipment, evaluations of pictures, and similar topics may be included in the activities.
A day-by-day camera group may be conducted by a designated counselor, in the form of a "course."
A special bulletin board may help point" out good practices, and may be a place for exhibiting a selection of pictures taken by campers (Fig. XXI-1).
SUGGESTIONS FOR AN EXHIBIT ON HOW TO TAKE GOOD PICTURES
LOOK IN YOUR FINDER TO SEE THE, PICTURE,
PICTURES OF PEOPLE SHOULD.
PICTURES OF SCENES SHOULD.
A darkroom may be part of the camp equipment; the simplest equipment would include that for printing negatives, the rolls being developed outside the camp. Or the equipment may be extensive enough to include developing paraphernalia. An enlarger is a fine addition, and presents many possibilities for experienced campers.
Exhibits and contests may be held, especially in camps where the campers are registered for a period long enough to see pictures they have taken in finished form. This is seldom possible in a short-term camp. From such an exhibit, appropriate pictures may be printed by a group of older campers, to be used as banquet favors or to sell at the camp store.
A nature file of photographs of nature subjects found on the site may grow from year to year, this being a combined effort with the nature department. Nature prints, similar to blueprints, but made on photographic paper in a darkroom, may be made as part of such a file (see Chap. VII on Printing and Stenciling).
A picture story of camp may be developed by campers for use in the camp booklet or folder, or as promotional material.
A movie or set of colored slides may be planned, staged, and photographed by an advanced group.
Step-by-step or how-to-do series may be worked out in slides or black and white pictures, to use in teaching basic skills such as fire building and cooking.
Craft projects, such as lashed or bark frames for photographs, albums with leather, paper, or wood covers, and cases for cameras and gear may be developed by individuals or by groups (see Chap. X on Woodworking, Chap. V on Leatherwork, etc.) . Photography with floodlights may be part of rainy-day or campfire activities, if such equipment is available.
HOW DO YOUR PICTURES LOOK? HINTS ABOUT WHAT TO DO WHAT NOT TO DO