Batley Girls’ High School

Project: The Artistic Stars
Participants: 17 Year 7 girls
Partnering with: Batley Business & Enterprise College  and BBG Academy
Artist: Dawn Robinson

The focus for our project is Changing Perspective. Through photography we will be exploring types of perspective and how to create the illusion of space and distance in a photograph whilst providing a sense of scale within the picture. We are starting by looking at examples of images with different perspectives and examples of good composition.  Then we will learn basic camera skills, exploring the macro and flash facilities along with compositional techniques.  We will look at different types of perspective used in photography and through discussion and visual images we will discover how certain images have been produced. Practical camera use will allow us to experiment and try out ideas in readiness for our final session, when we will work on our best ideas and images for exhibition.

Session 1 – 15th January

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Today was the first session, all the girls were excited to be part of a special project.  We began by watching a slideshow with lots of examples of different types of perspective.  The ones that really got everyone excited were the ‘forced perspective’ ones.  This is where you can make things look really big, even if they are quite small.  We then went on to learn important things about the camera and how to hold it properly and all about the buttons and dials on it.  We had a practice and took lots of pictures using some of the ideas that we had been shown.  We took some really funny pictures, it was fun.  The students have just started working on ‘perspective’ in art lessons and their art teacher is planning to integrate the project with normal lessons.  Dawn – artist

“Today has been brilliant, taking different viewpoints of things, I hope we do this again”  

“Today was a really good day because we were learning how to take pictures from an angle and distance”

Session 2 – 12th February

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We started by reviewing the photographs that we had taken on our first session.  There were some good photos but some were a bit blurry or out of focus. We talked about how we could improve, holding the camera steady, finding a focus point and taking a few shots of the same thing to make sure that we got it just right.  We looked at the spider diagram that the girls had made in school showing where the best places to photograph were and set off with the cameras.  Before and after shots were taken showing the negative effect on the camera with the emphasis on object or views with a strong perspective.  The huge chess pieces in the auditorium looked really effective, as did the ceiling with all the lines.  The time passed so quickly, some great shots taken. Dawn – artist

“I really like working in pairs and going to different parts of school to take pictures, good places were the stairs, lockers and the glass corridor which have good linear perspective”

Session 3 – 5th March

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We had our last session in the IT suite, the girls needed to choose the photographs that they liked the best.  The final images will be put forward for the exhibition later in the year at Batley Art Gallery.  The girls took their time, examining images on computers.  When they made their selection, they wrote why they liked it, some girls picked images from the gallery visit at Cartwright Hall.  They then went on to alter some of the images using the filter gallery in Photoshop and then printing them out.   We went back into the classroom to work on the scrap books, putting in prints from session two.  The girls have been working in class on the ‘perspective’ angle and there are some great pencil drawings in their books.  Dawn – artist

The girls presented me with a folder full of wonderful comments about the project and what they had enjoyed and learnt.  Here are some examples:

“We enjoyed all the lessons with Dawn and taking photographs from different perspectives.  I feel lucky for this opportunity, I’d love to do this again, especially the visit to Cartwright Hall”.

“So far throughout the project, my favourite part was probably the visit to Cartwright Hall.  Our first session with Dawn was really interesting and fun when we photographed objects around the classroom

“Cartwright Hall was a spectacular trip where we photographed the different monuments like professional photographers! In addition to this, another fascinating thing was meeting different people from Batley Boys and Birkenshaw who were the same age as us”

Our third time seeing Dawn was an amazing two lessons discovering the interesting side of everyday, ordinary objects.  By doing this we photographed unusual angles and points using forms of perspective: linear, false, worms eye view and height”

“The Change Project gave our students an amazing opportunity to explore and work with such an exciting medium as the camera. The girls thoroughly enjoyed the project and took the lead with initiating ideas and outcomes. The spark in creativity which was encouraged by the freedom of instantaneous shots worked extremely well in encouraging leadership and ownership of the creative process. Fantastic!”


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