Dare to Care

construct, create, communicate, collaborate, and think critically

01/Jun/2013
by Denise Krebs
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Photo a Day for the Summer

You are invited to join educators and others who will take a photo a day for the summer.

Check out the #JJAProject group on Flickr. I like Flickr because conversations ensue and relationships are built. Likewise, in case I get behind in viewing and commenting, I can find all the pictures in one place. Flickr is now free, with a one terabyte limit.  However, if you have another favorite way to share photos, like Instagram or TwitPic, that’s fine too. Just tweet out your pic to tell us about it using the hashtag #JJAProject so we can find it.

Two summers ago, Sheri Edwards told me about this June/July/August Project, and I gave it a try. I even wrote about it back then.

BEST PART: My experience in this group two years ago helped me to learn what a PLN was, as I began to develop online friendships with other educators. 

Today’s picture:
2013-06-01 New Computer

15/Jan/2012
by Denise Krebs
13 Comments

Taking Pictures with Words

In my driveway before the drive began

The roads were 100% snow covered in some areas, and I had precious cargo in the van with me–students on the way to a quiz bowl meet. There were dozens of photographs jumping out to be taken, but I had precious cargo and I couldn’t stop–we would have been late and there were several cars in the ditches.

Since June, I have been taking many more photographs. Most of them with my point-and-shoot camera, and I am no expert. However, I have gone from the one who didn’t have a camera, or if I did, the batteries were dead to one who is always prepared and on the lookout for photos.

Last summer I received a tweet from Sheri Edwards inviting me to participate in the June, July, and August Project (#JJAProject) which was started by some fellow teachers. After that was over, a few of us continued with the Teachers’ Foto Friday (#TFotoFri) once a week group. Now, about 20 teachers and I are attempting the #T365Project, a picture a day in 2012.

But back to my snowy road trip.  This was the first snowy day of the year and only the second of the whole winter! I was so taken with all the beauty, finding photographs everywhere I looked — from the quick sparks and snowy powder shooting up from the blade of the heavy snow plow in front of me to the gentle, intricate flakes falling and melting onto the warm windscreen of the van.

Today, instead of taking the pictures, I could only talk to myself about them.

Some more photos I missed…

  • Powdered sugar snowfall sprinkled evenly on the oxidized railroad bridge.
  • Hay bails lined up in formation with uniform helmets of snow.
  • Festive and frosted evergreens, missing during Christmas, now found interspersed among the bare deciduous trees.
  • Thin ice, now snow-covered, proved to me it was at least thick enough to hold the deer whose tracks ran down the middle of the river.

After a long day, we turned around and retraced our steps, the snow mostly gone after a sunny winter day. However, the images continued to come.

  • Reflective tape danced in the sun as the box cars and tankers rumbled by at a train crossing, train art graffiti occasionally broke the rhythm.
  • Golden grass, bent in the breeze, absorbed and reflected the late afternoon sunshine.

Without my camera, I discovered that my year-long photography adventure is making me a better observer, a better describer, and a better writer. As a literacy teacher, I couldn’t help but wonder if taking photos would have the same effect on students’ writing. What do you think?

Will a photography challenge help students observe, describe, and write?

When they find themselves unable to get a shot they long for,  will they take pictures with words?

One of the photos I took after I arrived at our destination.

05/Jan/2012
by Denise Krebs
1 Comment

A Winter’s Day Walk

Today I walked to the post office during my prep period. The weather was in the 40s, but it seemed warmer since the sun was shining and the humidity is low.

I have decided to enjoy the unseasonably warm weather.
I took tons of photos downtown by the post office.
I went to lunch recess outside.
It’s been a glorious day.

I never noticed these interesting doors. Each one on the SAME building!

31/Dec/2011
by Denise Krebs
6 Comments

My Favorite Photo Tools

On this New Year’s Eve, I thought I would share some of my favorite photo tools. The reason? I have photos on my mind today because tomorrow I start a yearlong photo-a-day challenge!

And now, on to the tools…The first three are not only free and easy, but they are also quick, for you can use them with or without creating an account.

BeFunky.com

My go-to online photo editor is BeFunky.com. It is fast and has many features for making photos beautiful. Some of my favorite effects are watercolor, oil painting, impressionist painting, underpainting and cartoonizer. Here are some samples…

Impressionism Effect

Using the Cartoonizer Effect

BeFunky.com Watercolor Effect

BigHugeLabs.com Mosaic Maker

Mosaic making has become a favorite for me. When I want to show a linear progression between photos, I make a one row mosaic. I wrote a blog post about how to create a mosaic from a Flickr set–easy! Here are some of the different mosaics I’ve made this year.

Photovisi.com

This is my favorite for making photo collages and a surprise winner for making text posters. What a cool site! I’ve included some of both kinds of collages I’ve made.

Flickr.com

The most important tool I’ve discovered this past year is Flickr. I have been using Flickr Creative Commons pictures and teaching my students to properly use them and cite them. Thanks to Sue Waters at Edublogs for teaching me the importance of CC images and making it understandable with this post about enhancing posts with images from Edublogs Teacher Challenge.

We are getting much mileage out of Flickr now, both as consumers and now producers. We used it so much that I now have two pro accounts on Flickr. One is for my own personal photos, and the second is for my students to upload their photos. Here is a post that Shiann wrote about how we have become contributors.

More Photography in 2012

Last year revolutionized photo taking for me! I used to lose my camera or carry it in my purse with a dead battery. On the rare occasion that I needed it, it would not be available and I wouldn’t have known how to work even the simplest point-and-shoot features.  Now, I love to look for possible images, I have read the manuals that came with my cameras, and I rarely leave home without a camera with a charged up battery!

I will look forward to seeing what 2012 brings for me in new photography tools and skills as I take on the challenge of a photo a day.

What are your favorite photo tools to use?

Do you want to consider a photo a day in 2012 too?

How about joining a small group of teachers who will be encouraging each other in the challenge? We are the #T365Project group on Flicker. You are welcome to join!

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