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Home-work: Educational Activities from the NYSM that You Can Do from Home!

Seneca Ray Stoddard

Seneca Ray Stoddard (1844-1917) was one of the first artists to capture the natural beauty of the Adirondacks through photography. He was instrumental in making the Adirondacks “forever wild” as a publicly protected area.

Check out our online exhibit Seneca Ray Stoddard Capturing the Adirondacks here: https://exhibitions.nysm.nysed.gov/srs/

AT HOME ACTIVITY:
Make your own pinhole “camera” viewer!
Materials: Shoebox or cereal box, wax paper, scissors, thumbtack, glue stick or tape, and a blanket.

INSTRUCTIONS:
Use a thumbtack to make a pinhole in the center of one of the small faces of the box. On the opposite side of the box from the pinhole cut a 2-inch square to use as an eye hole. Cut your wax paper into a 3-inch square and tape over your 2-inch eye hole.

How it works: The pinhole camera is a simple camera without a lens that creates a “camera obscura” effect. This effect is a naturally occurring optical phenomenon where the light travels from the pinhole through the dark box to show an image that is both reversed and inverted. It is the same process that real cameras use! Cover your head and camera with a blanket with the pinhole peaking out of the blanket, and look through the wax paper eyehole. Keep steady until you see an upside-down image.

OUTDOORS ACTIVITY:
Nature Walk: Stoddard believed that nature should be appreciated and protected. Find a local nature trail to explore with your family. What activities are people enjoying outside? How can we preserve the natural land around us?