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32  MEMBERS DID THIS ACTIVITY

Filter Friendly

See how color and contrast influence the mood of photos.

Members will need smartphones and the ability to download apps. If not every member has a smartphone, they can work in partners or groups. If smartphones aren’t available, members can take photos on a digital camera, upload them to a computer and then use an online photo editor like PicMonkey or Canva.

WHAT YOU'LL NEED

MobilePhones
 

STEP 1
TIME: 15 MINUTES

Colors and Emotions

Do you think the colors of a photo influence your thoughts and feelings about it? Talk about it with someone or write down your thoughts. Take a look at this photo gallery from the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Do you think these photos are recent? What feelings do they conjure in you? Do you think you would feel differently about the photos if they were in color?

Next, check out this photo gallery from National Geographic. What are some adjectives you would use to describe the mood or tone of the photos?

Finally, look at the two versions of this photo. Compare the versions. Apart from the obvious, how are they different? Go back to the first question in this activity. What new thoughts can you add to your initial response?
Begin the session with a group discussion. Ask, “Do you think the colors of a photo influence your thoughts and feelings about it? Why?” Next, project this photo gallery from the Smithsonian Learning Lab. Click through a few photos. Ask, “Do you think these photos are recent? What feelings do they conjure in you? Do you think you would feel differently about the photos if they were in color?” Encourage members to respond to each other and ask each other questions so the discussion is less facilitator-driven.

Next, project this photo gallery from National Geographic. Ask, “What are some words you would use to describe the mood or tone of the photos?”

Finally, show members the two versions of this photo. Ask, "How does each version make you feel or think differently?"

STEP 2
TIME: 10 MINUTES

Change the Look of A Photo

Apart from black and white, do you think other color variations affect how you interpret photos? Here is a series of the same photo in many different filters from Instagram.

What do you think about the subtle changes in color and contrast? Filters are super popular on social media. Check out the article "How Instagram Filters Work, And Can You Tell The Difference?" Which filters are your favorites?

Ask members if they take photos with smartphones. Ask if they use filters. Call on someone to explain what a filter is. Ask if anyone has a favorite filter. Get those who respond to explain why they like their preferred filters. Don’t forget to participate in the discussion and talk about how you take pictures and if you like filters. If you are truly unfamiliar with filters, tell members and ask them to teach you.

Show this series of the same photo in many different filters from Instagram.

Ask members what changes they notice in color and contrast and how they think it affects the photo.


STEP 3
TIME: 15 MINUTES

Snap Some Photos

If you’re using a smartphone, download the app Instagram. Take a few photos and play around with adding different filters. Experiment by taking some photos of people and other photos of objects. Then trying different filters. Do you like some filters better for people and others for objects? What about nature? And how about if the photo is particularly dark or light?

If Instagram isn’t for you, you can adjust the saturation, lighting, contrast, shadows, or brightness to create your own “filter” effects.

If you’re not using a smartphone, take photos on a digital camera, upload them to a computer, and then use an online photo editor like PicMonkey or Canva.

Ask members to download the app Instagram. Encourage them to play around with taking photos and trying different filters.

If members are using digital cameras instead of smartphones, they can upload their photos to a computer, and then use an online photo editor like PicMonkey or Canva.


STEP 4
TIME: 10 MINUTES

Create a Filter Photo Project

Take a photo and save it three times, each time with a different filter. Choose filters that are drastically different and give a different mood or lend a different perspective to the photo. How do the filters affect how you feel about the photo?
After members have had several minutes to explore the app, set up a challenge. Assign members, or groups, a specific object or person, to photograph. They should develop a series of photographs of the same subject that look and feel very different because of the use of filters.

STEP 5
TIME: 5 MINUTES

Share Your Work

Share your filtered photos. If you want, you could create a collage of your photo with various filters.

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