Creative Collective 005: Are You A Better Photographer Than A Middle Schooler? — Photography Challenge

Jonathan capturing pictures for his middle school art project.

Do you remember the television gameshow hosted by comedian Jeff Foxworthy called Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader? If not, the premise was pretty simple: answer questions from elementary school textbooks, with the most difficult questions taken from the fifth grade. Actual fifth grade students were on hand to offer help if the contestants should need it (and they always did). It turns out that most adults don’t remember the things they learned in elementary school—only two people ever won the million dollar grand prize. Those who lost had to admit on camera that they were not smarter than a fifth grader.

My 12-year-old son, Jon, is taking an art class in school, and one unit of this class is on photography. A project that he had to complete for this was to capture 10 photographs, each using a different and specific element of art. I let Jon use my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens attached. I did this same project right along side him, and I used a Fujifilm X-T30 with a Fujinon 35mm f/2 lens attached. Were my pictures going to be better than a middle schooler’s? How about you—are your pictures better than a middle schooler’s?

Let’s do this challenge together! There’s no prize, but it will be fun.

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  1. Khürt Williams · November 21, 2021

    Ritchie, I think my pictures are “better” than anyone with no photography knowledge and experience. I’m not sure the merit of the comparison, though. Is there anything about photography that is based on academic grade level?

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 21, 2021

      It’s more of a fun challenge, using elements of art in composing pictures. I thought my pictures would be better, too, but it turns out not always….

      • Khürt Williams · November 23, 2021

        I put better in quotes because it’s subjective.

  2. wwells0401 · November 23, 2021

    I cast my vote for Jonathan’s photos ;)…this is a great exercise. I copied the doc to my phone and will use this as structure for an outing with my son. Cheers.

    • Ritchie Roesch · November 23, 2021

      Yeah, I think that I will have to admit: I’m not a better photographer than a middle schooler. Have fun with your son!

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