How does one interest children in learning a new skill? During the school holidays when kids put aside their books and look for more interesting adventure, is there something that can be used to keep them fully occupied while learning at the same time?
How about photography – mastering the rudiments of using camera and garnering the skills to take good photographs – can this be done with kids? You bet! Jumble Station recently handed over a digital camera each to five children of single parents telling them to go snap whatever catches their fancy.
First off, we drove all the way to Bukit Tinggi, near the Selesa Hillhomes near Genting Highlands where nature beckons and there are more trees and greens than humans. At the Cleft, a private home belonging to Pastor Chai Hok, we let loose the kids armed only with a small digital camera each and told them to snap at will.
Needless to say, they came back with photos of trees, vegetation, flowers, some household items and even the family dogs that were totally uninspiring to say the least. What they had done was to shoot blindly - anything and everything - without thought or coherence, without a hint of artistry.
Gathering the kids together Mary Anne drew on her long experience as a photo-journalist and gave the youngsters, a simple yet clear way of looking at photography in a different light. It kicked off with the manner of using and holding the camera properly, what each symbol on the camera was for and how to view things from a thematic angle – in this case, the patterns of nature. Rather than snapping at will and in a haphazard manner, each youngster was urged to snap the photos in a more creative, more artistic, more intimate manner.
This time, the results were a lot more impressive, Farah Nisha, 12, her little sister Farah Diana 9, and young Leyseree 11, all displayed a keen desire to improve their skills and the impact was abvious. Where before the pictures were bland snapshots, this time, the trio made an effort to find something interesting from each object and photograph that in an intriguing way.
Two older boys, Sivanathan and Robin Lee too tried their hand at photography and they too showed vast improvements in their way of looking and capturing items that carried the theme – patterns – pretty well. Their keen eye for the different colours and patterns were beautifully captured and given time and practice, they could well make this a delightful skill outside of their school work.
JS plans to continue this Photography with Passion project during the year end Christmas break where we plan to include more kids and make it a memorable outing of fun and excitement in the process. This means feeding the hungry youngsters, ferrying them to and fro from the photo spot and offering some attractive prizes (new digital cameras) to the more creative ones as well. We hope that more people will make this project of ours possible by donating the digital cameras they have stashed away unused in their homes or offices so that more kids can fully participate and learn the skills of seeing God’s and man’s creations in a totally new light! If you have cameras to donate for this creatively interesting project, do contact Mary Anne 016-2202958 or drop them at either of the two large cages located at the TNB substation/motorbike parking spot in Dream Centre itself.