Cultural Heritage, Games

Photo studio – how to stop time?

Purpose of the task is to recite the story of a more than 100-years-old photo studio from the Ochota district, to talk about the concept of time, phenomenon of its passing and finding a way to stop it, to explain to children what a camera obscura was and what a lens is and finally to develop children’s manual skills by creating a simple camera.


  • presentation showing photos of an old photo studio in the Ochota district; photos of Warsaw illustrating time passing; information about history of photography and lens as well as instruction explaining how to make a camera (to be downloaded).
  • plastic cup for example from the yoghurt;
  • black paint or black paper;
  • tracing paper;
  • magnifying glass for example reading glass;
  • scissors;
  • glue or adhesive tape.


Step 1

Use the presentation to tell the children about the Siemaszko Photography Studio and show them the pictures. Together think about the phenomenon of TIME. Try to answer the following questions: how do you understand the concept of time? Can time be stopped? How can you do that?

Photographs presenting characteristic places in the center of Warsaw and in the district of Ochota – from the past and from the present times – will help to understand the phenomena of the passage of time. The pictures will also help to understand the importance of the camera as a tool which can help us stop time – by freezing the moment on a photo.

Step 2

Using the presentation tell the children about the history of camera. Ask them if they can name the main elements of the camera and if they know what the camera lens is. Explain to the children the concept of lens.

Step 3

Prepare the materials. Then thinking it is 100 years back in time, make a simple camera based on a camera obscura. Discuss the results of your work. What can you see through the camera lens you made? At the end of the classes ask the children, what was most interesting to them and what they learned.

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The post was created as part of the project “Children get to know their district” financed by the capital city of Warsaw.


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