Teaching Young Photographers at the Riverside Art Museum

This was a first for me, teaching 11 young photographers between ages 9 and 14.

We used:

  • 4 Dell laptops (2 photographers to a laptop )
  • Various digital cameras. Mostly point and shoot. Too many models to name
  • Adobe’s Photoshop Elements 7. Currently Costco has a coupon for $30 off, so you’ll be paying $50.


Day 1
step_magLearning names and faces are always hardest.

Borrowing from an old journalism instructor from my college days, who made me write my own obituary on day one, we started off with everyone doing a self-portrait.

Then we added a little bubble for introductions.

Day 2
We played with some lighting concepts, then everyone shot a Still Life: green apples, rattan and wooden utensils against a big banana leaf.

Day 3
Against a green chromakey backdrop, I photographed everyone in different poses and groups.

Using Photoshop Elements Quick Selection tool, I showed them how to select the green background, inverse the selection and then move the subject on its own layer onto a different background.


Day 4
We took a walking field trip towards the pedestrian mall downtown. We stopped by the Municipal Museum and the fountain at City Hall and my favorite coffeehouse Back to the Grind.

Day 5
Our final day was spent culling all the pictures we took and authoring a slideshow with music.


From a sampling of images from these young photographers and some of my own, here’s a slideshow.


Thanks Maggie, Stephanie, Brochton, Jared, Jack, Clarissa, Elle, Nikki, Zoe, Isaiah, Tyler for taking the class. I hope you all had fun.
Also special thanks to Ms. Lauren, Ms. Veronica Gutierez and Ms. Pamela Atkinson for all your kind assistance.

I don’t know about my students, but I sure learned a lot.

Whenever teaching with computers, say a prayer to the tech gods.

One of the most common issues with any lab setting is communication between the computers and a printer.

This is often compounded when the connection is via a wireless network.

After printing successfully one day, the next day I was down to just the one desktop that was hardwired via USB to the printer directly.

I suspect the way the laptops were configured via DHCP was the problem. Don’t know what that stands for? You’re not the only one.

Long story short, tech support told me that changing the way the laptops got their IP addresses took care of it. After they each were assigned a static IP address from the router, everything worked.

5 thoughts on “Teaching Young Photographers at the Riverside Art Museum”

  1. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. As a matter of fact, the Riverside Art Museum plans to offer the class I just taught, once-a-week over 8 weeks through November.

    We’re working out the exact dates. Looks like Tuesdays 4 pm to 5:30 pm. Stay tuned and I’ll be sure to let you know.

  2. Hi Peter, this looks amazing. Please let me know if you do it again!! Jordan loves to take pictures… I am so impressed with your work…

  3. It’s good to see folks like you working with kids to do fun and productive activities. Seems like they learned more about photography and cropping than even I know. Lucky kids! Keep up the good work, Peter!

  4. Jo… All of a sudden, I’m feeling the pressure to come up with good material instead of my nonsensical rants. But thanks for adding my blog to your blogroll.

    I really love how the internet can create communities of people who otherwise would never have contact with each other.

    Your work with the Latika Roy Foundation is very important and I’m very honored to be in contact with you.

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