When our school web project began we wanted to include PTA pages, which would provide those parents who weren't able to attend monthly meetings, the opportunity of seeing what happened. Since we were using conventional photography at the time, Seattle Film Works processed our film because they offered Pictures On A Disk service. The negatives and photos were delivered two weeks later, until they began offering Internet delivery. We then had to wait only three days to see our work.
Although this was satisfactory, my Principal Gino Silvestri encouraged me to investigate the purchase of a Digital Camera.
Given the fact we were using rudimentary machines we selected the Sony Mavika since it saves photos on a disk. A computer interface is not required. Pop the disk into a computer to view it on the screen, or use the extra-large viewing screen to examine the results. This camera also has a macro lens which allows us to record student's work at a close distance.
As a first project with the new camera, I asked my students to bring in photographs from home. We were able to publish some of these online: http://members.xoom.com/sjfeld/home/photo.htm
My own experience with photography has been varied. As a teenager, my fascination with photography began through my interest in magic. I was particularly interested in learning about special photographic techniques.
We played with split screen techniques with a super eight camera and produced The Giant Girl, which won the Kodak Teenage Movie Awards for Special Effects. Later I helped Martin Brest create the illusion of the Statue of Liberty Exploding for his acclaimed film Hot Dogs for Gauguin, while he was attending NYU. He attended the American Film Institute on scholarship because of this film. Later he directed Beverly Hills Cop, and Going In Style.
By participating in the Trump Village Camera Club Competitions my photographic techniques and darkroom printing improved. The portfolio developed as a result in these events, was presented to the Rochester Institute of Technology and I was offered a place in the first MFA program offered in Photography at RIT.
At that time I began working at the MAGI to help program the computer graphic primitives for the movie TRON.
I became a Community Workshop Dialogue Leader at the International Center of Photography, and developed Media Arts Curricula for The Audio Visual Training Center at Pace University.
I began teaching at Kennedy High School in the late eighties. In 1989 we won the Learning Technologies Statewide Competition for a student created project Da Vinci's Visions. It was at this conference where we met Lillian Schwartz who collaborated with us in our current Internet project Why is the Mona Lisa Smiling?
We used digital photography to record our project's dissemination process at the AT&T Make It Work Conference, and the School Tech Expo. We use the camera to document visitors who have come to meet us in our classroom from Russia and Denmark. We also recorded the Installation of our new computer lab. Furthermore it facilitates our ongoing multicultural dialogue exchange with Japanese students.
The immediacy of the digital camera makes it possible to review and edit on the fly. The photo manipulations and retouching possibilities makes this media a magical creative experience.
Why does Art Endure?
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Computer Graphics Curriculum by Steve Feld