My 4th and 5th graders are currently in the midst of a photography unit. We’re exploring the idea that “photographs can tell powerful stories.” We’ve talked about what makes a self portrait, discussed which photographs we love and why. We’ve looked at Pulitzer Prize photographs, Where Children Sleep, Humans of New York, and of course Reggie Broom Photography (hi dad!).
The other day we dove into some of the more technical aspects of photography. We learned about the root of the word photography and why exactly George Eastman is important. Then we spent some time comparing/contrasting different cameras: disposable, iPhone, DSLR, instant, point and shoot, etc. Someone brought up The Question of Our Age: “Why don’t the iPhone selfie camera pictures look as good as the ones from the back of the camera?” We talked about how megapixels are a big part of image quality–the more megapixels, the clearer the photo (to some extent, anyway).
As we talked a lot about cameras, I mentioned that I think it’s so crazy cool that as gorgeous as they are, photographs often can’t capture the utter magic that is this real life. Sunsets don’t look as pretty on the iPhone screen as they do in real life. No wide angle lens beats peripheral vision. As I went on about this for a minute, the kids got quiet until one girl piped up and said, “So… does that mean we have the most megapixels of anything?”
Yes. Yes it does.