On a perfect midlands afternoon last week six enthusiastic amateur photographers gathered at Corrie Lynn School to learn how to take photographs in the beautiful environment they live in, particularly the Mngeni River which is the lifeblood of millions of KZN people.
Dargle Conservancy believes firmly in inspiring the next generation to value the biodiversity and natural beauty of our valley and has for the past 6 years supported the creative environmental work of the Midlands Meander Education Project in Dargle Schools. This inspiring afternoon was funded by N3TC through the Midlands Conservancies Forum project to support better relationships between local schools and the Conservancies they are situated in.
Eidin Griffin (Dargle resident and Midlands Meander Education Project facilitator) ran through the basics (don’t shoot towards the sun!) and discussed the magic ingredients that make an interesting picture. After looking at different pictures each youngster was able to start to differentiate between a good photo and a bad one.
Everyone was given a ‘viewfinder’ rectangle made from black cardboard and went outside to practice looking through a lens. Each child got to handle a camera and learn what the buttons are for – how to zoom and focus.
Then it was off to the Mngeni river which runs past their school, to find some good shots.
After much balancing on rocks and giggles each photographer got a turn and in between taking photos tore off their shoes, climbed trees and explored the river.
Dumisane even managed to make invasive alien wattle look good!
The sun was shining and the river was sparklingly clear – an absolutely heavenly winter afternoon. Not that much further downstream, the water becomes polluted with runoff from intensive agriculture.
The kids were thrilled with their efforts and could quickly identify the better pictures from the not so good ones. The afternoon ended with a promise to meet up again the following week for another session. The best pictures will be entered into the N3TC Photographic Competition.
Eidin said afterwards “Watching them skipping along the dirt roads homewards I could see the new photographers stopping to ‘view-find’ pictures with their newly developed skills and very large smiles. Many thanks to the Dargle Conservancy for supporting this exciting and inspiring afternoon.”
BIg smiles in the Midlands sunshine!