A great activity for youth is a photo safari.  With our Scouts, we hiked from Tom Campbell hill, just North of the Calgary Zoo, to downtown Calgary and back.  Along the way, we discussed what things to think about while taking a photograph and helped them learn more about their cameras.

Being late November, it wasn’t a bad day for a hike.  It was cool, but not freezing, so we were able to comfortably use our cameras without much worry about the batteries or our fingers getting too cold.  As it was, we had a few problems with low batteries to start with.

We started early, hoping to catch a good sunrise, but the overcast sky didn’t quite agree with us.  The rest of the day was filled with a lot of new discovery as the boys tried to be creative about their shots.  We encountered a number of birds and animals that really got them excited.  We found a stuffed frog that made for some amusement and started them off with something interesting to practice with.

We discussed how to emphasize the subject.  Specifically that you first must identify the subject.  Then simplify by  either making the subject dominate the picture, or remove items from the background that would detract from the subject.  When showing them their shots early in the day compared to later shots, they could see clear improvements.

I explained a bit about photographing buildings and how to keep the lines straight by making sure your camera is parallel to the face of the building.

Probably their favorite part of the day was the Chinese buffet at the end.  We were all both hungry and tired, so it was a good way to cap off a great day.

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