The Human Camera Exercise
Human Camera is a dynamic trust exercise to improve observation skills and foster safe supportive relationships.
Form pairs and explain that one person will begin with their eyes closed, and their sighted partner will guide them physically around a defined area to focus their ‘camera’ on three random, yet distinct objects.
At each object, the sighted person will physically guide their ‘camera’ to look in the desired direction and verbally direct all of the other settings such as focus, distance and exposure.
The ‘focus’ will be signalling how close or far away the human lens should expect to extend their gaze as soon as their eyes open, and so on.
The ‘blind’ person keeps their eyes closed at all times, except for when they are taking the three snapshots. On “GO” the partner will open their eyes ever so briefly to capture a snapshot.
Their object is to retain a vivid image of each moment.
In an ideal world, the ‘human camera’ will capture the exact image targeted by the sighted person. However, the value of this exercise is underpinned by the relationship formed between the partners, more than the visual acuity of the captured images.
Re-gather your group, and invite a discussion about what each ‘blind’ person recorded in their mind’s eye. When ready, switch roles and repeat.
Moment of Reflection
- With practice, did you observation skills improve? Why?
- What surprised you about being a human camera? What feelings came up for you? Why?
- What might this exercise teach us about our observation skills?
- What might this exercise teach us about following someone else’s orders? What might this exercise teach us about developing trust in a group?