Follow “The Traveling Photographer” on location around the world. Richard Sobol brings dynamic image driven presentations to students in grades k-12. Currently offering audio-visual programs featuring first-hand encounters with wild animals, wildlife conservation projects, the protection of endangered species, peacemaking in a troubled world, as well as explorations within African and Asian Cultures. The programs can be tailored to fit your studies in science, natural history, social studies or the arts. The Traveling Photographer audio visual presentations and artist in residency workshops are highly popular at schools throughout North America,The Middle East and Asia.
“Our students were truly mesmerized with Mr. Sobol’s presentation and teaching! Through intriguing story telling and fascinating photography he brings the unique beauty and grace of people and all living things from all over the world into the lives of children. My students are fortunate to be able to work alongside Richard to learn how to take every day concepts and make them extraordinary through lessons in visual literacy and then writing compelling non-fiction narratives of their own.”
District Literacy Coach -East Longmeadow, Massachusetts Public Schools
All of the presentations share in the exciting career of a traveling photographer as I bring the students along with me to unique destinations around the world. In words and pictures I explain scientific and historical information while engaging students with vivid photographs and first person accounts of encounters on location with animals and people. Presentations include overviews of conservation projects and issues in Asia and Africa and specific talks on elephants (both wild and domesticated), the highly endangered African mountain gorillas and the rangers that protect them, sailing on a whale watch boat alongside the dynamic humpback whales, the importance and culture of Asian rice farming, an introduction to meet thousands of worms and learn how silkworms are farmed to create the most luxurious silk fabrics, meeting Cambodian children living in the backyard of the worlds largest religious monument as they share the mysteries of Angkor Wat, watching a new building rise up and exploring the people and machines on a construction site, and meeting the rural african farmers who grow coffee and bring religious harmony to an african village.
Richard has brought his classroom presentations and led workshops and artist in residency programs in schools throughout North America and the World. School visits can be designed to complement classes in writing, science, natural history, social studies or the creative arts and to appeal to all grade levels. Multi day workshops on story telling, non-fiction narratives, and digital photography are encouraged.
Fees: $900 for up to 3 programs per day
+ Travel expenses from Cambridge, MA
International Schools and Multiple School fees on request.
“Raising public awareness is an essential first step to conserving endangered species and eco systems. Richard Sobol has traveled the world for wildlife conservation.”
Promoting the award-winning book, Breakfast in the Rainforest, and then taking the time to collaborate and write a thoughtful introduction!
Presentations for all ages:
AFRICAN JOURNEYS ONE: BREAKFAST IN THE RAINFOREST
Join Richard as he shares photographs and captivating stories of his time on location with the people and wildlife of East Africa. Classes are enthralled to enter the thick rainforest as he brings them alongside as he treks up the slopes of Uganda’s Virunga Volcanoes to meet some of the worlds few remaining mountain gorillas. Your students will see animals come to life in Richard’s vivid close up photographs published in more than a dozen children’s books, and magazines including National Geographic, Audubon and Smithsonian. His dynamic presentation explores the challenges and adventures he encounters as he carries his heavy camera gear on this journey into one of the most remote natural habitats in the world. Showing vibrant photographs of this environments he tells the heroic tales of the rangers, scientists and caregivers who protect and study this most threatened species in the wild. A rare look into an even rarer primate species.
AFRICAN JOURNEYS TWO : GROWING PEACE – AN INTERFAITH INSPIRATION
This spellbinding story, published to rave reviews, takes place in a remote corner of Uganda where Christians, Muslims and Jews have come together to grow coffee in a spirit of cooperation and interfaith harmony. This is one of the few places on earth where religion is bringing people together as they help one another to move forward economically, struggling together to feed their families and find the money for yearly school fees for their children. It is a rare story of hope and faith set in a dusty rural african village. This lush visual landscape is combined with joyous African music and drumming from a newly released Smithsonian Folkways album. This theme can be woven into many social studies classes and inspires discussions on individual responsibility and becoming Global Citizens.
THE STORY OF SILK: FROM WORM SPIT TO WOVEN SCARVES
Students are fascinated to learn that it takes about 5,000 silk worms to create one silk dress and that these must be boiled (alive) to unravel the silk prior to weaving. Join author and photographer Richard Sobol as he picks up his camera and travels to a small village in Thailand for an in-depth exploration of the story of silk and the labor-intensive process of making it. From nurturing the silkworms to weaving the fabric and photographing local children as they proudly model the finished high fashion clothing, this story chronicles the amazing process of creating one of the world’s most desired fabrics.
THE MYSTERIES OF ANGKOR WAT: EXPLORING CAMBODIA’S ANCIENT TEMPLE
What mysteries hide inside this ancient Cambodian temple? Explore these fascinating ruins together, searching among the fallen, moss-covered stone slabs and wall carvings for clues that link the ancient Khmer people to present-day Cambodian culture. Meet the local children that lead the author as he discovers a little-known secret.
THE LIFE OF RICE: FROM SEEDLING TO SUPPER
Enter the rice fields of Asia and learn about the significant role that this tiny but important grain plays in both the cultural and economic lives of people. Photographer Richard Sobol invites students on a journey to Thailand to explore the life of rice: from the beginning of the growing season at the Royal Plowing Ceremony, to the hard work of transplanting and harvesting the rice plants, and finally ending with a delicious dinner—of rice, of course! Enjoy a firsthand account of one of the world’s most valuable and misunderstood foods.
Construction Zone is a story about craftsmanship, design, and mechanics as people and machines come together to solve problems and construct a building that many thought couldn’t be built. The project that I follow over the course of five years, from an empty hole in the ground all the way until it is fully occupied, is the Frank Gehry designed, engineering and robotics Stata Center at MIT in Cambridge, Mass. The sweeping glass, waves of metal, and angled layers of brick defy the conventions of traditional architecture and challenge the carpenters, welders, plumbers and engineers that designed and built it.
HOW TO BE A STORYTELLER
Share the step-by-step process of telling a story and developing a multi image progression of photographs, illustrations or moving images that detail a theme. Although students today are adept at taking pictures and snapping photos, they have not had much exposure to appreciating what makes a good photograph or how to assemble a group of strong images into an informative and entertaining story. The goal of this program is to help them understand the value of each image and how it helps to express the idea that they wish to share. They will see examples of books in production and explore how editing can influence the emotion and atmosphere of the storyline. This can be a single presentation or a part a multi day workshop ( best if spread out over at least two days or as part of an artist residency) and can be geared towards either advanced or beginning student photographers, film makers and writers. Students can work to produce stories that can be shared as digital presentations or as exhibits in the classroom.
CREATIVE EXPRESSION: A LIFE IN THE ARTS
Enjoy a retrospective of the Traveling Photographer as he moves from documenting wildlife and the trade in endangered species to construction work with Frank Gehry, and then to backstage at the White House. For thirty years as a photographer, writer and journalist Richard Sobol has evolved and changed as a creative artist to survive in a challenging artistic market place. He shares lessons and insights of the many opportunities that arise in pursuing a career in the arts, and being a working professional.
DISCOVER THE STORIES AROUND YOU: MULTI DAY VISUAL LITERACY WORKSHOPS
The goal of this artist in residency program is to give students experiences with VISUAL LITERACY and encourage them to LOOK, WONDER, ANALYZE, INTERPRET, APPRECIATE and DISCOVER. Working together we analyze The Traveling Photographer’s non-fiction texts and works- in- progress to understand how they are developed, written and edited.
This program can coordinate with the new Common Core Lucy Calkins writing curriculum as students learn how to create an engaging nonfiction narrative by choosing photographs and assembling them with corresponding text to develop a thoughtful story. Students are challenged to become an author of a narrative nonfiction or expressive story using digital photographs that they create or find from available resources. At the same time they learn from a visual professional about what it takes to recognize a good photograph.
…AND FOR THE YOUNGEST STUDENTS: A CHANCE TO MEET ELEPHANT TWINS
Gold Light and Gold Ray are the only known pair of boy elephant twins in the world! Photojournalist Richard Sobol has masterfully captured the twins’ playfulness, as he shows the twins feeding, bathing, napping, and learning with their trainer Pai. Elephant Twins transports children to Ban Tha Klang, Thailand, to play with the baby elephants and meet this unique pair of brothers!
Here is a link to a video created by students at The Leverett Elementary School in central Massachusetts after a four day workshop where each student created their own book with words and pictures- the video is made by these young storytellers and may have a few rough edges but they proudly showed it alongside their finished digital and printed products at our final assembly together.
DOZENS OF SCHOOLS IN MASSACHUSETTS, NEW JERSEY, MARYLAND, FLORIDA, VERMONT, TENNESSEE, VIRGINIA, ILLINOIS, PENNSYLVANIA, SOUTH CAROLINA, NORTH CAROLINA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, CONNECTICUT AND CALIFORNIA, AND AROUND THE WORLD TO THE AMERICAN SCHOOL OF GUATEMALA, BRENT MANILA INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, THE REGENTS SCHOOL BANGKOK, THE NATIONAL SCHOOL FOR THE DEAF-DOMINICAN REPUBLIC,THE BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL PHUKET, THE CONCORDIA SCHOOL SHANGHAI, THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF MONGOLIA, DURI CHEVRON INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SUMATRA INDONESIA, QATAR ACADEMY, INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF LONDON-QATAR, KING ABDULLAH UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY-JEDDAH KSA,NEW INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL BANGKOK, DULWICH COLLEGE BEIJING AND THE UNITED COMMUNITY SCHOOL SHANGHAI
TEACHER AND LIBRARIAN REFERENCES HAPPILY PROVIDED