Since there seems to be an interest in the 5th grade macro photo project that I shared at the NAEA conference this weekend, I should share the project in its entirety here.
First I shared the Nikon Small World competition photo gallery with my students. Our big idea for 5th grade for the entire year is Globalization or World, and I wanted to show how scientific discoveries and technological inventions have affected the art world and vice versa. We viewed the 2009 competition finalists and discussed how the photos stand as abstract visual artworks, without knowing the actual subjects of the photographs. First we discussed the images as abstract compositions, then I described the macro/microphotography progress and explained that each of the images illustrates something microscopic that has been photographed and illustrated in a new way. Students were enchanted and sometimes disgusted with the subject matter of the photographs- like this one of an anglerfish ovary.
We discussed how an artist can use their composition to draw attention to something unnoticed and make it a significant and visually stunning image. Students then worked in table groups with one digital camera per group, taking turns photographing the art room on a macro level. I gave a very brief photography tutorial that included, turning the camera on and off, using the macro setting, composition and getting an image in focus, then I turned them loose with one challenge: Take at least one macro photo of something you think people should pay closer attention to in the art room. Here is a slideshow of some of the photos they took.
Students later used their macro photographs as inspiration for an abstract drawing using watercolor resist. These drawings can be seen in the slide show below.