catch-up

The blog has been difficult to post in the last week because the internet has been faulty at the school, but we’re back! Here’s a photo-look at what we’ve been up to:

Dave came in to talk to us about neuroscience and the way the eye works to communicate with the brain to send signals about what we see and what we construct. Turns out, our eye only really gathers information from a point the size of our two thumbnails together; the rest our brain fills in with what it can assume about what’s around us. “We are creating our reality at a cellular level,” he said, and demonstrated the tricks our eyes play on us with some pretty amazing optical illusions. The kids were a spectacular audience!

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The Yellow Band started constructing a huge camera obscura in the media room and research lab by covering all entrances to make it really dark.

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Trips to the darkroom have continued and are resulting in some beautiful black and white photos of life in San Francisco, from the perspective of a Brightworks student.

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The Orange Band visited the California Academy of Sciences and did a photo safari in the garden.

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Community Friday was a blast, as always.

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And Ellen made a thought-provoking, awesome Photograph art display in the art studio using the letters from a nearby photography store that (really unfortunately) recently closed.

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cow eyes

As part of their study of the eye, the Orange Band did a cow eye dissection to get a first hand look at the parts of an eye and the way it functions like a camera.

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The Red Band followed suit on Friday.

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the optics hall

As happens so often, the Exploratorium is one of the best resources for the arcs at Brightworks. This week, the Orange and Green bands visited the Optics Hall for a deeper exploration of lenses, optics, and eyes as they think about the mechanics of a camera.

The Orange Band went exploring with a focus on the eye, looking at the exhibits that experimented with dialating pupils, saw the white blood cells flowing through the eye, and over-saturated the cones in their foveae. They also observed a cow eye dissection in preparation for their own!

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The Green Band went to the museum with a focus on light. Their explorations led them through the light exhibits as a follow-up to a discussion they had on Tuesday about the electromagnetic spectrum and the questions they asked, like: “What determines different colors?”, “Why don’t we feel color when we can feel other kids of light?”, “How is light made?” and “Why don’t I feel light entering my eye?”

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Many of their questions were answered – which, of course, led to more questions. Endless curiosity.

manual, actual film

The Brightworks students have been presented with an incredible opportunity to print their own photographs in a darkroom in Soma, assisted by expert photographer and teacher Victoria. For the next few weeks, each band will be venturing out into the world to take photos with film cameras, then heading to Rayko to see what they were able to capture.

On Monday afternoon, the Indigo Band went for a neighborhood photo safari, and on Tuesday they visited Rayko to do their prints.

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Check back for their images and for more film adventures from other bands!

camera evolution

So many good things are humming along at Brightworks! On Monday, the Green Band explored the evolution and development of the camera, beginning with George Eastman and his Kodak camera and continuing to the development of DSLRs. Amanda writes,

“What originally began as a quick timeline and discovery activity quickly evolved into in-depth understanding, research, and expertise on a single iteration of a camera in camera history. We spent the greater part of the morning in pairs to become experts on specific types of cameras.

Ally and Khalia compiled their very own timeline of Polaroids.

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Amelia and Oscar started testing whether using one-eye versus two-eyes makes a difference when judging distance (re: stereoscope).

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Julian used his knowledge of mirrors to create diagrams of DSLRs.

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Audrey and Lucie drafted a list of qualities in digital point-and-shoot cameras.

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Frances and Kaia took apart an old Brownie to see how it works.

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adventuring

The Blue and Green Bands have been talking about the Rule of Thirds when taking photographs. Phillip reported, “Several students are interested in the historical implications of photographs and the more current methods of manipulating images digitally. Almost students are interested in taking better photos.” What better way to improve at something than to do a lot of it? Both bands went on an adventure yesterday to Glen Park Canyon to practice their new skills and learn about nature and landscape photography while focusing on taking pictures that emphasize lines.

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aidan pic

(photo credit to Aidan)

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(photo credit to Frances)

The Orange and Indigo Bands headed out to the Cliff House on Tuesday to see the giant camera obscura out on the edge of the continent. While they were there, they ran into Chris Honeysett, who is a photographer who uses wet plate collodion prints for his photos – one of the earliest forms of photographic development.

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The Yellow Band visited Pier 24 on Tuesday. Pier 24 is a museum dedicated solely to photography. Right now they have a couple of exhibits that explore found photographs and the modern way of taking pictures. The kids were immediately drawn to the room filled to the brim with pictures uploaded to Flickr in one day.

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(photo credit to Norabelle)