#1110 Creating Art Differently

Every class has students who would prefer to be doing something else.

In math class, some students would rather be playing football. In language, some students would rather be doing art. And in art, some would rather read.

Art Projects for Kindergarten

Art Projects for Kindergarten

I’ve been supply teaching regularly since I finished teacher’s college. In one period I was asked to have the students continue their pop-art projects (Andy Warhol-esque pictures). One student was clearly not conforming to the plan. He was just putting dots on his paper in a reluctant way.

I sat by him and asked how most new art forms started… He just stared at his paper and dotted defiantly.

I waited. No response…

So I offered an answer “By breaking the rules of art and trying new things… so you are creating new art ideas by breaking the rules.

He looked at me. “Really?

Yes!

I made a deal with him… He could create what he wanted but he’d have to create something, however exploratory… His art would need to have purpose. It worked. His slouch disappeared and he started working on art in his own way.

Collaborative Classroom

Collaborative Classroom

Collaborative Problem Solving and Tribes training are popular, current approaches to engaging more students in school and life. The theories involve working together to produce a learning environment where all are included or empowered. It works better than expecting all to ‘conform’. The result is a student or students who are more open to their learning process.

I started working with the ideas behind these theories over 20 years ago when I worked with youth and adults at Outward Bound. The work back then ignited my love of teaching people how to learn.

#1109 “I hate math.”

I hate math,” said a grade 6 student last week in a class I was supply teaching.

He was obviously not enjoying (or doing) his assigned math work.

So I sat with him and asked “What DO you like?”
He: “Football.”
Me: “… Well, you know, football’s got a lot of math.”
He: Pause…
Me: “… (In a commentators voice) And the Redblacks are 2nd and 7 from the 8 yard line… That’s math. What do those numbers mean?… Measurement!”

Different Intelligences (Gardner)

Football Math

“What about when the QB throws the ball? How hard does he need to throw the ball to hit the moving running back right on target?”  I drew a diagram to help make the point.
“That’s math…”

“… And how can you predict who will win the football game? That deals with statistics and probabilities… math again.”

The student looked at me, quietly. I helped with his specific math challenge and let him on his way. I looked back a while later. My football math talk had worked…

#1102 New Directions – Education

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all those celebrating.
We’ll be laying low over the winter break. Catching up, settling in and skiing!

It’s been a big year at HarryNowell.com that started on New Year’s Eve, 2013.
Merry Christmas!

Last New Year’s Eve I was inspired by a friend to apply to Teacher’s College. I had applied twice before in the 1990s. This time they let me in.

I’m halfway through Ottawa U’s Primary/Junior Bachelor of Education. Their On-SIte Program condenses six months of lectures into two and a half months and allows for a six month practical placement working directly in a classroom.

I’ve just spent three months working in a Kindergarten / Grade One classroom in a central Ottawa school. Our class has students from Burma, China, Russia, Hungary, Bosnia, Iran, Pakistan, Australia, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Mexico, far-northern Canada. It’s a diverse, challenging and amazing class.

Teaching in the primary grades attracts me because I get to teach more than math and language – I get to help little ones develop as people using drama, arts and engaged play based learning. I love it – where else can you get so much impact dressing up as Captain Barnacle, the pirate, to teach about number sense & counting coins with treasure? The students gobbled up the lesson.

I’ve always loved teaching – it’s been a big part of my business for the past 20 years. Teacher’s College is a good next step for me. My marks from the lecture hall have been… excellent. My classroom evaluations have been… excellent. I feel very fortunate to have met such good people this fall!

I start in a new Grade Six classroom with a similar demographic in January. I’m excited.

And I’m excited about my new direction. Seeing the possibilities available in traditional teaching has me smiling.

Harry teaching

Harry teaching

But what about photography?
The business will continue as Harry Nowell Photography and I will continue aspects of the business that I enjoy. I’ll continue to offer a few workshops, some stock assignments, some editorial and interesting artwork related to Watershed, SunStreaks and the big camera.

Thanks for your support over the years.
I can’t wait for 2015!

#1100 Student Success! France Rivet’s New Book

It always makes me smile when past students hit big milestones!

France Rivet completed our ProProgram and has just published her second book – this one chronicling the unfortunate treatment of eight Inuit who were paraded through Europe as novelties in a zoo. It didn’t end well for Abraham Ulrikab and his friends.

Four years of research has produced:
“In the Footsteps of Abraham Ulrikab: The events of 1880-1881”

Read more and order France’s book!
Félicitations, France!

France Rivet

France Rivet

#1091 Student Success – Online Photo Program

© Al G. 12 foot Challenge

© Al G. 12 foot Challenge

In July we offered our Online Photo Members a different challenge.

We said they could shoot:
• anything
• anyhow
• anywhere
… as long as this month’s photos were all within a 12 foot radius (ideally) centred around their back door.

© Judy S. 12 Foot Challenge

© Judy S. 12 Foot Challenge

I thought they might say:
“But there’ll be nothing to shoot!”
“Boring!”
“What about something adventurous?”

But they didn’t!
They got shooting and one member said:
“I had a blast with this month’s challenge!”

© Maisie - 12 Foot Challenge

© Maisie – 12 Foot Challenge

It’s harder than you’d imagine. A whole month of shooting within 452.29 square feet will stump even the most creative photographer. And that was the point.

We offered creative catalysts and ideas to bust through blocks interfering with their creative potential.

And their month’s efforts made me smile. Sounds like it made them smile, too:
“I must say that when I first heard your challenge for this month I just went brain dead.  I live 22 stories up in a building with a 6ft wide balcony  and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do.  But I surprised myself once I got started…”

© Jeffrey F - 12 Foot Photo Challenge

© Jeffrey F – 12 Foot Photo Challenge

Congratulations, everyone!

#1088 Online Photo Program – Photographing Water – Member Results!

© Jeffrey Furry - Classic Waterfall

© Jeffrey Furry – Classic Waterfall

Last month I presented our Online Photo Members the challenge of photographing water. We presented some technical tips and a broad suggestion of what was possible within the realm of water photography.

It is an amazing program and I have learned so much from it and from you.
CP

© Al Garner - Macro Water Droplets

© Al Garner – Macro Water Droplets

I thought most people would photograph rivers and waterfalls.

I was happy to see that, while we had some (excellent) rivers and waterfalls, people pushed themselves to photograph water in many different ways including bursting water balloons!!

© Maisie Ismail

© Maisie Ismail – bursting water balloon!

“… thank you for all the instruction and encouragement from the online program for the past year plus that I’ve been a member.” LR

I’ve learned so much in the short time that I have taken part.” JS

Members make me smile – I’m proud of them all!
I’ve seen excellent shots and excellent growth in skills!

© J Scott - Home studio capture

© J Scott – Home studio capture

#1084 Student Success…

I’ve been teaching photography for 14 years.
It’s always rewarding to see people develop and grow photographically and otherwise over the years.

Recently Jeffrey Furry offered a selection of work he shot over a year in one of our programs – we offered a new challenge every month with support and critique.

For the whole year Jeffrey worked hard to include an Inukshuk for every challenge. See his photos and comments below!

Jeffrey says:
I’ve been a member of the Harry Nowell on-line program since its inception.  Without intending to, I used an Inukshuk for 12 consecutive challenges.  With the exception of two, all were a 20cm tall high Inuksuk I received as a free gift from a landscaping company that made a handy prop for the various challenges.  The 12 photos below give a good overview of the variety of challenges we are given in the on-line program.

© Jeffrey Furry       ​Challenge – Backlighting – “overexpose the background to help bring attention to the foreground.”

Exposed for the Inushuk which was in full shade.  This was the first shot using the Inukshuk.  Saw the perfect light for the monthly challenge in my backyard so grabbed the first subject that was handy…

 

 

© Jeffrey Furry       Challenge - Backlighting - "overexpose the background to help bring attention to the foreground."

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Backlighting – “overexpose the background to help bring attention to the foreground.”

Similar conditions as the backlit photo but exposed for the Inushuk which was in full shade.

 

 

© Jeffrey Furry     Challenge - Festive

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Festive

A bit of a stretch to include the Inushuk for a festive theme!  Shot at F22 to maximize the star burst effect.

 

 

© Jeffrey Furry       White Challenge

© Jeffrey Furry White Challenge

Our challenge was to photograph something white (and get a correct exposure!) I decided to photograph the shadow of the Inukshuk against the snow!

 

 

© Jeffrey Furry      Challenge - Simple Studio Lighting - "creating lighting scenarios using lights you already have at home."

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Simple Studio Lighting – “creating lighting scenarios using lights you already have at home.”

Used two Ikea LED reading lights, one behind and below, the other immediately behind the Inukshuk “head”  Blue light on front is from my smartphone.

 

 

Ottawa Gatineau better pictures

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Candid Portraits – “capture an intimate, engaging portrait – and part of that involves NOT using your viewfinder. Period.”

Shot from the hip, no viewfinder.

 

 

Photo courses

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Slow Photos – “shooting landscapes – but with one twist – you must use a slow shutter speed.”

Brought the Inukshuk to a small stream behind my house.  Awkward location for my tripod, so forced to shoot at 1/sec braced as best as possible.

 

Gatineau Photography

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Fast Photos – “show the idea of motion through fast shutter speeds like 1/1000 of a second.”

Dragged the Inukshuk to a rushing section of the Gatineau River. Would have preferred a slightly faster shutter speed to freeze the water even more.

 

Ottawa photo workshops

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Photojournalistic storytelling – “telling a story within the context of a single photo”

Used a different Inukshuk this month, my neighbour’s cat on a large Inukshuk on their front lawn.

 

 

Gatineau pictures - classes

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – Social Documentary Storytelling
– “tell a story with many pictures about one subject.”

For this month, I spent the morning shooting the staff at a local bike shop.  Just to keep with the Inukshuk theme, I grabbed this quick shot of the Inukshuk in front of the store.

 

Gatineau photo ideas

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – New Perspectives – “Find something finite then shoot it at least 50 different ways without moving it”

Spent an evening shooting the Inukshuk from various angles with different focal lengths.  Took about 70 different shots, this was my favourite, the second shot of the evening.

 

Ottawa art class

© Jeffrey Furry Challenge – “Same Scene Variations: explore the effect of different qualities and levels of light on one subject.”

Shot a few dozens identical shots during different times of day.  This shot was early evening  with the sun setting behind the Inukshuk.  All shot from my deck with the Inushuk placed on a small step ladder to try and get a cleaner background.”

Nice work Jeffrey!
Thanks for sharing a year of your photo learning with HarryNowell.com!

#1079 Online Photo Class – May’s challenge

Last month we brought our online program the challenge of getting very, very close to their subjects.

© Chris Payant - Macrophotography class

© Chris Payant – Macrophotography class

With new spring flowers bursting from winter’s depths online members  got their camera’s clicking. But members captured more than just blossoms!

© Jeffrey Furry - close-up photography

© Jeffrey Furry – close-up photography

What members said:
I loved this challenge (my fave) and I found what I love to shoot the most (I think!) 
Your on-line program is absolutely great and I have to say I have learned the most from it because of the different challenges and just the way you teach it.
Thanks for your inspiration and sharing your expert knowledge.  You get us out of our comfort zone for sure.” CP

© Gilles G - Macro - different worlds!

© Gilles G – Macro – different worlds!

What a fun challenge! I have always wanted to try and get a shot of a field of dandelions and could never figure out how, but I finally got one thanks to this challenge.” JS

I’ve been teaching photography for almost 15 years and I never get tired of seeing people grow!
Thanks for the fun!

© Maisie I. Creative Macro!

© Maisie I. Creative Macro!

#1078 Student Success!

This week we were very pleased to hear from long-time photo student, Al Garner.

Al won a contest hosted by Darwin Wiggett‘s Oopoomoo!

Macro photography

© Al Garner – Spring Macro Tulip

Darwin is a well known stock photographer and photo educator from Alberta.

I was very excited. Al took his first photo workshop with us many, many years ago. He had some good photos for a beginner but, erm, had lots to learn.

Over the next ten years Al took many of our courses – some twice! Steadily Al gained valuable skills and confidence that helped him create beautiful work.

student photo success

© Al Garner – self portrait

Al says:
“Hi Folks: Something pretty exciting for me has happened. The website oopoomoo.com, which is run by Darwin Wiggett and Samantha Chrysanthou ran a contest. I submitted a photo and to my surprise and delight it was chosen as one of three winners.  The other two shots are amazing so be included with them is really nice. 

PS  special thanks to Harry for all the help and encouragement over many years!

 Al”

See Al’s winning photo and the other two winners at Oopoomoo…

Congratulations Al!
I’m proud of you!

#1071 Advanced Fundamentals – Photo Class Review

201405AdvanceFundamentals-23

© AlG –  Advanced Techniques – LightPainting balanced with night light

Last weekend we ran Advanced Fundamentals – a photo course designed to take people beyond the basics of “manual exposure mode” that we cover in Creative Fundamentals.

The idea of the workshop is push people’s skills beyond their comfort levels… just a bit.

photo fundamentals

©GillesG Exploring Shape, Line and Form

We offered:
• traditional exercises to help with composition, perspective
• unusual tasks to make participants think (and shoot) differently
• advanced challenges dealing with light, shape and form

Ottawa photo class

Advanced Challenges… How is the background (metal bars above) blurred and the portrait subject sharp? (It’s not done in post processing!) © AGarner

All in all, it was a productive weekend. We dodged the rain retreating into some underground and covered secret spots I’ve discovered over the years.

Enough from me…
Students said:

“I would happily recommend – urge – anyone interested in improving their photography to take one of your workshops.”

Gatineau Ottawa Photography

Finding Beauty in Chaos © GGagnon

“Harry is very attentive to the student needs and is always available to help and answer questions – The course took me out of my comfort zone… that is good.”

“Thanks again for a fun Creative Fundamentals 2 workshop. It was very helpful and it enriched my photographic knowledge beyond what I expected.”

Ottawa photo workshop

© ALG     Secret Spots shared with participants.