These days, we're looking for ways to be present in the moment, fully sink into sensations, and unplug from screens.
Here's a list of a few photography activities to do with students or friends that ask you to zoom in and look closely (through a lens) at the world around us. And then maybe upload to Instagram.
1. Learn ABCs by finding each letter of the alphabet outside. A stick, a park bench, a shoelace all could form a letter. Snap a picture and then place them in order in a collage.
2. Channel Sister Corita Kent, who cut a small square viewfinder out of paper or cardboard. She practiced cropping scenes indoors and out. It filters for you, making every day objects into things of beauty because of your focus.
3. Study your pet. What is her personality? Do an in-depth character study and make a memory that captures her spirit.
4. Zoom in on found objects in the corner of your house or next to the sidewalk. Take a closeup photo. Perhaps manipulate it a little if you need to in order to place it in a setting. Focus on the object and blur the background. Tell a mystery story about how that object came to be there and what might happen to it.
5. Make a cyanotype, or sun print, on prepared paper. Arrange plants or objects on the paper, leave them outside on a sunny day, and the exposed paper will turn a brilliant blue.