What’s Outside Your Window – Exploring Photography

45 min activity

A 45-minute activity that is suitable for all ages. This activity can be simplified or extended to suit your child/children.

You will need:

Camera (if you have one)
Phone, tablet or iPad

Warm-up Activity- Taking a Photograph (15 minutes)

Before the child/children explore photography they need to think about how we do this and what it is we are looking to photograph.

What is Photography?

Is the art of taking an image and processing it. This may be digitally or manually. Photography can be used for many purposes a piece of artwork, for information and for celebrating moments. These are just a few uses.

Getting to know your Camera

Go through the points below with your child/children and discuss the different points with them.

  1. A digital camera has light-sensitive sensor that records the image on a memory card
  2. The back of the camera has a panel like a mini TV screen which shows you what you are taking and lets you check the results
  3. The lens focuses the light rays that come off the subject on to the sensor
  4. The shutter release helps you focus and takes the photo
  5. If you are using a phone or tablet familiarise yourself with the different image types and how to zoom in.

Taking a photograph

  • COMPOSITION – think about how you are going to arrange the subject or object you are taking
  • Will you have a background?
  • Where will the edges of the photo be?
  • Will you get in close?
  • Will the subject or object be dead centre? Or to one side?
  • Will your photo be horizontal or vertical?
  • Will you be pointing the camera straight on, upwards, downwards or sideways?

Top Tips

  • FOCUS – check your subject is really sharp
  • EXPOSURE – means getting the light right, too much light and the photo will look faded; too little light and the photo will look dull. Luckily most cameras are automatic and will give correct focus and exposure but don’t forget to hold the camera steady

Now it’s time for your child/children to have a go at taking a few quick photographs of whatever they choose. After each photograph and look at the above lists, can the child/children improve on their photographs and discuss how.

The advantage of a digital camera is that you can take as many shots as you like and delete the unsatisfactory ones. So don’t be afraid to experiment.

If you have younger children just focus on holding the camera still and choose an angle for them to take a photograph from. Younger children will need more guidance whilst taking a photograph.

What’s outside your Window ( 30 minutes Activity)

Now its time to take a look through your windows, what can the child/children see? Discuss what they can see, can they describe it?

Using the knowledge learnt in the warm up activity as the child/children to take a photograph of the view they see through the window remembering all the key points. They could try this through lots of different windows in the house. Also why not try out different angles. Discuss with the child/children what they see in their photograph.

Here are some examples below:

Take as many photographs as the child/children want too, thinking about the key points in the warm up.

Why not try going out into the garden into your view from the window. Choose a colour and photographs all plants and objects that are your chosen colour. Experiment with the ways to take photographs from different angles, close ups and composition etc.

Extension Activities

  • Why not try using a filter photography app like Hipstamatic on your phone or tablet. This is only compatible with apple but there are other apps that you can use on android equipment.
  • What about drawing a scene on the floor outside with chalk or on a large piece of paper and then taking a photograph with your child/children in the scene. For example an underwater scene and your child becomes a mermaid or a cityscape and your child becomes a super hero.
  • Ask your child to choose their favourite toy and stage photographs with the toy included in them. This could form the basis of a short story.