As I prepare for my travels abroad this summer, I also have to prepare my students. My attitude for my course is, the more we prepare now, the less time they’ll spend with their noses in a textbook while in Europe. Thus far, they’ve completed a couple of prep assignments and have been assigned some readings from their textbook.
Most of their prep work has been on their own. It’s not terribly difficult and is, in fact, prep. It includes things like packing their gear bags with the proper items and signing up and fiddling around with online photo services. (It’s a Photojournalism course.) It also includes running around campus and taking photos. One assignment was just so that I could see what level of creativity or non-creativity I will be working with. The other was to make sure they know how to operate and change settings on their cameras.
This week, I decided to hold a workshop for the students. Not unusual by any means… but! The subject this time around? FOOD! Yes, since we will be in an area well known for great cuisine, I wanted to make sure that they would be able to take a decent photo of their meals. (We are working with another class to provide visuals to accompany their writing.) So the night before I scoured the house for items I could use. I found my lovely glass salad bowls, place mats, napkins, utensils, and never-used wine glasses that have been sitting in the storage room since we got married years ago. (I knew they would come in handy some day!) The next morning, I ran to the grocery store before the workshop and picked up berry Gatorade, some salad, mandarin oranges, rice noodles, pound cake, and strawberries.
The result? Food, glorious food! Learning can be fun! Granted, it’s not food styling quality, but the idea was to use available lighting and use a more realistic presentation of food.