Seeing Photography: through History, Perspective, Exposure and Optics

Rather than focus on a particular photographer, in this unit CPL volunteers will present four interactive, hands-on exhibits for students to explore the relatively new medium of photography. While learning the essential parts of a camera, students will get to see old wooden box cameras, polaroids, 35mm, and digital cameras on display depicting the technological changes in the camera over the past 175 hears. Using frames and a still-life display, students will learn about composition, perspective, and visual cropping. Photography means “drawing with light”, so students will place small items on photosensitive paper to compose a picture and investigate how light exposure will create a permanent “photo” of their composition. And finally, entering a life size camera obscura, students will learn about the human eye compared to the camera — using a pin-hole, a lens, and mirror refraction.

Volunteer Information

The Photography Unit functions differently from our normal lesson format. Instead of having volunteers go into each classroom over a period of a few months, the Photography Unit is set up for approximately 5 days at each school and each class will rotate through the exhibit during that time. This format also means that we need a team of photography volunteers to help out at each school- check the dates below to find a session that will work for your schedule!

Photo Lesson Plan 1.8.14

History of Camera Notes


Carnegie Picture Lab is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that focuses on art eduction in Walla Walla valley schools. Read more about CPL here .