School playground photo of “We ❤ worms”. I’m very surprised this picture turned out so great! Another one of my personal favorites. And a giant framed photo will soon be hanging in the school office until the end of times.
It was very difficult to illustrate the chalk drawing and make it straight while accounting for perspective. It took me about 3 hours, and I was flying around the playground backwards in the cold weather so much I think it gave me bronchitis.
Below you can see a picture of the chalk outline from the point of view of the playground. “We heart worms” appears incomprehensible. And the next aerial view shows Mrs. Krzysik surveying the chalk drawing and preparing to organize the students by grade and the color of their T-shirts. Due to the nature of kids, we had a limited amount of time to form the picture and capture a lot of smiling faces. Of course, when you want clouds, you get sun. And, I miscalculated the morning shadows since the sun was still in the southern hemisphere rather than due east, which created too much contrast and long shadows. We solved some of these problems by having the kids sit down. In the previous photo they were all standing.
Above is my diagram of the school playground with the school at the bottom of the photograph from Google Earth. And below is my location scout made from the roof of the school. Notice that it took about 5 seconds for kids to scream: “Scott Stoll is on the roof.” I think they’re a lot like prairie dogs.
I’ve been observing the weather, waiting for the snow to melt, hoping for a cloudy day to avoid the high contrast and shadows, and also hoping to schedule a time when the playground will be in the shadow. Among my challenges, will be:
- Drawing a giant picture in chalk
- Calculating the correct perspective and space for the students to comfortably fill the lines
- Organizing the students into groups of red and blue shirts. Fortunately the teachers are great at this.
- Accounting for all the unforeseen variables
- And accomplishing this all before everyone goes stir crazy and breaks formation.
I seem to learn all these things the hard way. If life was easy, it wouldn’t be new.