Carson High photography students learn from giant camera

Although most people can say they've used a camera, few can say they've ever been inside of one.

Photography students at Carson High School are among the few to be literally behind the lens.

Mikel Lopategui and his students made a giant camera out of a cardboard box and a piece of poster board. Students stood inside the camera and held the poster board in front of a tiny hole.

Images outside the hole were reflected upside down onto the white poster board, which served as the film.

"We made it so they can know how a camera works," Lopategui said. "A lot of them don't understand the process. They think it's magic when really, it's pretty simple physics."

The students each made their own cameras using a tin can and photo paper. By letting light in, the images were recorded on the photo paper.

The students later developed the photo paper to expose a print.

"They actually learn how to make a print and develop a print," Lopategui said. "With this one project, they're learning all the basics of photography."

Tasha Gonzales, 15, said she learned the fundamentals during the lesson.

"You have to be facing away from the light, otherwise, it will be overexposed," she said. "The smaller the hole, the sharper the focusing."

Danielle Giurlani, 15, took the class to learn more about the art of photography.

"I've always been interested in cameras," she said. "I wanted to learn how to take good pictures."

Although she said she did not learn how to take better pictures during Friday's lesson, still it was interesting.

"It showed me that cameras don't have to be in a little plastic box," she said.

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