Shadow Play: Making Pictures with Light and Lenses

Overview

Who thought shadows could be such fun? They are-with Shadow Play.

This lively science activity book shows you how to turn a cardboard box, a light bulb, and some Plexiglas into a shadow box, and then use the box to create fascinating shadows with everything from pieces of cardboard and wire to three-dimensional objects to clear glass bottles. Once you add a magnifying glass and make a few simple alterations, your shadow box becomes a box camera. By changing light sources and ...

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Overview

Who thought shadows could be such fun? They are-with Shadow Play.

This lively science activity book shows you how to turn a cardboard box, a light bulb, and some Plexiglas into a shadow box, and then use the box to create fascinating shadows with everything from pieces of cardboard and wire to three-dimensional objects to clear glass bottles. Once you add a magnifying glass and make a few simple alterations, your shadow box becomes a box camera. By changing light sources and switching lenses, you'll be able to produce all kinds of special picture images. Over fifty imaginative experiments help you explore some of the basic properties of light-and discover how studying shadows led to the invention of the camera.

Shadow Play is the perfect book for learning more about the world, or just having a great time. With it, you'll never look at a shadow in the same way again!

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Beverly Kobrin
When girls and boys engage in Shadow Play under Bernie Zubrowski's guidance they'll soon be Making Pictures with Light and Lenses. Mr. Zubrowski's projects parallel the explorations of artists and scientists whose discoveries led to the camera's invention. Young experimenters begin making shadows in natural and artificial light and proceed to experiments with a shadow box. They conclude with the construction and use of a box camera. Kid-tested at the Boston Children's Museum the projects are illustrated by Roy Doty.
Children's Literature - Judy Katsh
For serious investigators, this entry in the popular "Boston Children's Museum Activity Book" series contains a complicated set of exercises intended to explain the science of optics. Patience, precision and parental assistance may be the keys to success here. But, once armed with those tools, readers should find fun and enlightenment about light rays, lenses, shadows, art, and photography.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-8-With Zubrowski's latest book, children can learn about the basic properties of light and how the study of shadows led to the invention of the camera. The more than 50 experiments are grouped into three general sections: the first shows how shadows are made in natural and artificial light; the second describes how a shadow box is constructed and used in further activities; and the third tells how a box camera is made. The lists of materials needed include suggestions on where to purchase items that are not readily available. The directions, diagrams, and guided interpretations of ``What's Happening'' are easy to follow. The ``Further Explorations'' section that follows each experiment suggests related open-ended investigations. Safety notes are highlighted with an icon (a finger with a string tied around it). Shadow Play offers a wealth of interesting, creative projects. Although it would be possible for readers to work through them on their own, adult help will probably be needed, not only to set up and guide the procedures, but also to sustain interest and aid in interpreting results.-Carolyn Angus, The Claremont Graduate School, CA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688132118
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/1/1995
  • Series: Boston Children's Museum Activity Bks.
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 112
  • Age range: 9 - 13 Years
  • Product dimensions: 7.11 (w) x 9.03 (h) x 0.35 (d)

Read an Excerpt

People have been fascinated by shadows for a long time.

Some of the oldest pictures in the world are drawings in caves in France and Spain. Scientists estimate that they were done thousands of years ago. Most of these show individual figures rather than entire scenes. Since the drawings are in caves, it may be that these early artists might have started by making outlines of some of the shadows cast by torches and fires.

Making pictures has also been practiced by many artists throughout the world for a very long time. The content of the pictures has taken many different forms. Some are only outlines of objects. Some, such as those made by the aborigines of Australia, try to show all sides of a person or object at the same time. Others show scenes in which near and faraway objects appear close together, resulting in a picture very different from a photograph.

Starting around the thirteenth century, artists in Western Europe experimented with a number of primitive cameras that allowed them to produce pictures that were more realistic-sometimes looking like oil

photographs. Not only did these explorations help them understand how to produce pictures that were miniature replicas of outdoor scenes, they also led to discoveries about some of the basic properties of light. In some ways these artists were the first scientists of light.

The next major development in picture making was the invention of the camera and of light-sensitive film. In order to produce pictures of good quality, photographers and scientists experimented with lenses and with different kinds of chemicals on film. These explorations furthered the understanding of the special proper-ties oflight.

These early cameras were very primitive. It took a long time for the chemicals on the film to react to the light source, so the person or object being photographed had to remain still for a while. Because the equipment was cumbersome and the film and chemicals for developing the film were expensive, only a few people were able to make photographs at first. Gradually, easy-to-use cameras and film were developed and everyone could take his or her own pictures.

This book shows you how to use everyday materials to carry out explorations like those done by artists and light scientists of the past. It is written in three parts. In the first part, you will experiment with making shadows in natural and artificial light. In the second part, you will make and use a shadow box to do more controlled experiments. And in the third part, you will make and use a box camera.

These explorations will help you understand some of the basic proper-ties of light better-and will improve your drawing skills at the same time!

SAFETY NOTES: You will be using a slide projector in some of the experiments in this book. Don't let the light shine directly in your eyes.

You will also be using a utility knife to cut out cardboard. Ask an adult to help you-and handle the knife carefully

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