A gateway for children to a world of awe and wonder

There is nothing quite like the power of a truly jaw-dropping photograph to stop us in our tracks. There are many such photographs entered in the latest Drone Photo Awards. Like music, painting and other creative and visual arts, photography is a powerful form of communication without words, able to generate emotional responses in viewer and photographer alike. Photographs can amaze us, move us and enlighten us. They offer us new ways of seeing and interpreting the world around us. They also provide a gateway to a world of ‘awe and wonder’ — to use that handy working definition of what we mean by spirituality in the curriculum. And in a world of smartphones and (relatively) cheap cameras, it has probably never been easier to introduce children to the wonderful world of photography.

The Drone Photo Awards, part of the Siena Awards, describe themselves as “the foremost worldwide competition about aerial photography and video”. The 2020 competition received nearly 14,000 images from amateur and professional photographers from 104 countries worldwide. The 2021 Gallery is online now and free to view. Categories range from Urban and People to Nature and Animals. In each category the website displays the winning photograph and other highly commended entries.

Taking an interest in photography offers so many benefits for children that are crucial for their development. It enables them, for example, to develop their creativity, to explore the world around them and to experiment with technology. Here are some of the benefits identified by the School Run website:

  • learning a new skill, which can boost children’s self esteem
  • encouraging planning and presentation skills
  • allowing children to display their potential through creativity
  • providing children with the opportunity to be innovative
  • giving children the opportunity to communicate their ideas, thoughts and feelings
  • stimulating children to develop their own ideas on design

The School Run website includes lots of subscriber-only content, but their ‘benefits of photography’ page does include some activity ideas and some videos on how to get started.

KidsCameraGuide.com is an excellent website specifically about children and photography, offering lots of ideas, support and encouragement for families. This page includes five project ideas.

Here’s another website offering 11 photography projects kids can do.

As we headlined our blog about children and astronomy, every child deserves the chance to experience awe and wonder. We wrote then about the ambition of Scotland’s new astronomer royal to give every child the chance to peer into the heavens by installing telescopes at Scotland’s residential outdoor learning centres where children traditionally spend a week in their final year of primary school.

The Drone Photo Awards website is a truly stunning collection of drone photography, essential viewing for any child — or indeed adult, for that matter. Whether it simply results in an ‘awe and wonder’ moment or whether it sparks a longer-lasting interest in photography and the visual arts more generally, it is well worth a few minutes of anyone’s time.

Image at the head of this article by StockSnap from Pixabay.

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