Speeding bike, bubbles and lots of cameras

Alexis Chrispens captured me panning at 1/30 sec @f11 ISO 160 with 24mm lens.
Alexis Chrispens captured me panning at 1/30 sec @f11 ISO 160 with 24mm lens.

Whenever I get a new class of students I often come up a new twist for my activities during field trips.

It’s easy to do the same old tried-and-true demonstration or activity.

Somehow that doesn’t quite feel like I’m doing my best.

I like to dream up an activity that my students can capture with their cameras keeping in mind the following:

  • degree of difficulty: challenging but not too easy
  • our class met at 1pm so my priority was to find a spot where there was deep shadow and shade so we would could use lower shutter speeds. Fairmount Park met that requirement.
  • it has to push their understanding of equivalent exposure i.e why a particular set of exposure settings were chosen, in this case we used 1/30 sec between f22 and f11
  • esthetically what they are pointing their cameras at should be somewhat unusual or at least interesting especially since they had to settle on using me as the model

For our panning exercise, I  thought of introducing streamers or a string of balloons but in the end I felt controlling the bike, riding on the narrow path, dealing with strings and teaching would be a handful.

So, bubbles was the answer.

At the 99-cent store, I found a huge wand which allowed me to make bubbles with bigger than usual diameters to be the perfect answer.

Next time, I’ll probably recruit someone to sit on the handle bars and have them manage the bubbles.

Even though I can multi task, it was too difficult to dip the wand into the very narrow bubble solution container when the bubbles ran out while riding and talking.

By the way, excuse my self-indulgence.

No one else was around to ride the bike for my students.

Next: Lots of spinning and motion sickness