Pinhole CANmeras – Day 2

The following information will make a lot more sense if you have already read my previous post called Pinhole CANmeras Day 1.

filter added with Prisma app


Cameras begin to trickle back in on week 2 of this project.  Out of a class of 20 students, it is typical for 10 cameras to return the first week (more will come later).   Of those 10 students, it is likely that one or two will have installed the camera or paper incorrectly and need to try again. A quick peek is OK, but I generally ask students not to open their cameras until it is their turn at the scanner. While the 8 remaining students are scanning their images, the rest of the class rotates through three other photography centers.  See 4th Grade Choice Photography post.

As I mentioned in the previous post, I have an Epson Ecotank in my classroom. It may not the best photo scanner out there, but overall it has been a magical addition to the art room. During the first week of scanning, I ask our tech coach to help out with the scanning center (Thank you, Mr. Goguen!), so that I can circulate the room.  By the next scanning session, students are helping each other and we are fine on our own. I preset the app to scan at 300 ppi (the highest allowed on our iPads). If you have the option for 600, you will end up with better prints in the end.

While students wait for their turn at the scanner, I ask them to fill out a scan sheet that includes space for their name, location, date, and length of exposure.

sample negative scan


If you do not have access to Photoshop, Snapseed is a great, free iPad alternative. Students use it to crop, invert, and add contrast to their images.


The workflow that works for me involves having students save all of their work for the day to the iPad camera roll.  At the end of class, they select all of their work from the camera roll and add it to the class folder on Google Drive.  I ask them to use their name as part of the file name. I keep all of the iPads logged into the Art folder on Drive so that students do not spend time fumbling with passwords. This process works for me.  As always, you have to figure out what works for your classroom.


After students scan and edit their image they have an opportunity to reload their camera with a new sheet of photo paper.  This time, I encourage them to expose their image for two weeks or longer.  4th grade students now have access to the photo/scan center for the rest of the year. This is where the choice part of the curriculum comes into play. Interested students will continue to experiment with location and exposure times throughout the year.  Additionally, they are invited to bring in containers to try different camera formats.

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