August 15, 2016

Magic Paintings

For our last trick, Magic Academy campers ventured INSIDE paintings from PAFA's collections. They began with a photo hunt, scouring the galleries for magical elements of paintings. Armed with iPods, they captured images that spoke to them - which tended toward the surreal and sparkly.

With a little cropping, a projector, and a nice dark auditorium, the kids were able to insert themselves into favorite paintings (which were then photographed again.) They took turns choosing which painting they wanted to step into, and jumped right into the paintings (in this case, hanging off one of the branches of "Tasso's Oak" by Peter Blume):

Magic, indeed.

August 6, 2016

Light Drawings (long exposure photography)

We made lots of cool stuff during our week of "Shadow Play" at PAFA this Summer, all (obviously) referencing light and darkness. In this particular project we investigated the qualities of line, by taking long exposure photos in a dark hallway!

If you've never done this before, it's fun and so easy and produces stunning shots! We used my digital SLR camera*, and with some experimentation, set the shutter speed for 15 seconds. The camera was set on a stool (poor man's tripod) and they kids took turns being photographers, directors, and light artists. And screaming about how spooky the hallway was. 

They experimented with a variety of tools,  making abstract shapes and lines in the dark, impatiently waiting to see the results! We used an LED flashlight (a little too much light for 15s), glow sticks (not *quite* bright enough, and found the BEST tool were little LED "finger lights" that came in a four pack at Dollar Tree (and even cheaper from Amazon here!)
Finding the perfect combination of lights and time exposure was like a (fun) science experiment, which I think really speaks to the artistic process.

The final cut of photos got printed on PAFA's fancy schmancy Epsom printer and looked muy bueno at our art show.

*I did try, in vain, to find an iOS app that could help us produce similar long exposure results so the kids could BYOD or at least play around with it at home. No dice. Hear me all you app developers?