Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

Snip Snip Snip (Fujifilm FinePix XP140) By Astrid Young, 11 (Brookline, MA), published in Stone Soup May 2022

A note from William

Dear Friends —

Here is a link to the Brady gun control group. I just sent them $100. If not now, when?

"Snip, Snip, Snip" is an utterly brilliant photograph. Astrid Young has a photographer's eye. Look at how she framed the buildings to make the scissor joke more effective. Large pieces of fabric are often cut by placing them on a table and then, as the fabric is cut along a central line, each side, the right and the left, are pushed back at an angle in just the way the building seems to be folded in this photograph.

The picture we see here is not obvious when standing on the street. I am sure I would have noticed the scissor, would likely have taken a photograph of it, but I am sure I would not have found the angle that Astrid did that would have made the image memorable.

The photographic eye is the the eye that focuses in on a scene to frame it in a way that finds what is interesting. The difference between a "snapshot" and a "photograph" is intentionality. Astrid didn't just snap this picture. She thought about what she was doing. In this weekend project, I am going to ask you to use your phone or camera to frame an image to highlight something you find in the scene that interests you. Something that you might want others to notice.

Astrid’s photograph is "about" many things. There is the scissor joke, but there is a lot more. This photograph is also an exploration of light and dark. Note how the left-hand side of the building is in shadow while the right-hand side is in sun light. Note how the pole also has a bright white right side and a left side dulled by shadow. There are white window reflections in windows on both sides of the building, with an additional pattern of the white getting smaller in the windows on the left side of the building, windows that seem to melt into total darkness. The scissors are glaring white as is the right side of the pole.

This photograph also has very strong lines. The pole. The stone work on the right-hand side of the building. The window ledges. In your mind’s eye draw lines that follow the various lines you can find in the photograph. A lot going on!

Sometime today or tomorrow, I’d like you to pick up your phone, or a camera, and working in your house or outside, I’d like you to play with framing. Take four to 12 pictures of the same thing, experimenting with camera angles to highlight patterns in what you are looking at. Your camera angles don’t need to be as extreme as Astrid’s. Sometimes, just a slight shift in framing does the trick.

As always, if what you come up with is something you like a lot, then please submit it to Stone Soup for possible publication.

Connor Kiggins
Connor Kiggins, 12 (New York, NY)

From Stone Soup
May 2022

American Monarchy

By Connor Kiggins, 12 (New York, NY)

Every day upon waking up, I wish that the burden of school had never been thrust upon my tired back as I cannot keep up with addition, subtraction, fractions, and historic factions while strangers observe my every action five days a week, eight hours a day, our only vacation being one based around letting kids out to start working on their parents’ farms during the harvest season. And that tradition only stays so that we kids can have a mental break from school although soon we will go back and have our schedule wiped clear, making me want to break out and go have fun before I’m buried underground with a sign above saying rest in peace. And we are not even free three days a week, a freedom I think we deserve as many seem to forget that one day we will grow up and work maybe twice as hard as you and of course, let’s not forget that when you grow old, who else but your sons and daughters will in turn take care of you and yet one thing we won’t do is take your freedom like you take ours. And still we will fight for you even though you dump us in school as the people who are often referred to as “America’s future” find themselves in a government-required American monarchy, where the teachers act like dukes, the deans like princes, and the principal the all-powerful king, while we the future are insignificant peasants stuck in the king’s castle while being told we have to follow all his rules, while we toil in a classroom, making our humor and passion slowly dissipate as we learn about but do not obey the rules of freedom of speech and democracy while being instructed on everything from how to breathe and when we can go pee and not to put our heads on the table and being scolded for doing it twice by a hypocritical math teacher, and when I go to the graded class of musical theater he tells us that we cannot even go to the bathroom unless we are about to wet our pants, and that just so he doesn’t get scolded by our parents for putting their children in an embarrassing position in front of the class—making me feel that this American monarchy has gone too far and is going to keep on destroying our future, even though they already have by filling the sky with toxic gasses—all so they could get a fancy pen and with a few strokes decide whether we will go to college and be successful or end up in a small apartment while working at McDonald’s, all because the American monarchy said we weren’t smart enough to go to even the worst college, which is why at the end of the day, we can say that the American monarchy is a messed up system run by annoying narcissists, and if we want a future, school should be remade, from a monarchy to a children’s democracy.

To read more from the May 2022 issue, click here

Stone Soup is published by Children’s Art Foundation-Stone Soup Inc., a 501(c)(3) educational nonprofit organization registered
in the United States of America, EIN: 23-7317498.

Stone Soup's advisors: Abby Austin, Mike Axelrod, Annabelle Baird, Jem Burch, Evelyn Chen, Juliet Fraser, Zoe Hall, Montanna Harling, Alicia & Joe Havilland, Lara Katz, Rebecca Kilroy, Christine Leishman, Julie Minnis, Jessica Opolko, Tara Prakash, Denise Prata, Logan Roberts, Emily Tarco, Rebecca Ramos Velasquez, Susan Wilky.

Reader Interactions

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.