It’s that time again at the end of the semester when my Center for Learning in Retirement (CLR) students have to present their theme based project of ten 8×10 photographs and accompanying written essay. There’s no grade so people sometimes skip the essay, but always talk about what they did, and of course discuss each of their photographs during their presentations.
Some of my students have hung in with me for the three semesters I have been teaching and are threating to return in the spring. It’s very gratifying for me so see how they have grown over the last year and a half and I’m most appreciative of the friendships I have made during this time.
For those that follow my weekly entries and are familiar with my love of black and white film photography, it may come as a surprise that I was absolutely blown away by a particular project done completely in color with a digital camera.
My objective is not to push the use of film cameras or the production of black and white images made in a darkroom. Well, maybe someday! What I really want to accomplish is to get them to become more open to their surroundings, to look beyond their normal field of view for new and exciting possibilities. Maybe even get outside their comfort zones. Hence the concept of the project!
My student accomplished all the above and produced a truly sensitive, beautiful and thought-provoking series of abstracts made where she lives and in the locations she traveled to during the course of the semester.
The work was outstanding and worthy of exhibition; but just as important, she discovered a brand new avenue of inquiry for her photography that she will continue to pursue.
Perhaps an unforeseen result … but a welcome one that comes from a willingness to try something different and giving it your best shot.
She pushed herself to do something new and creative, and succeeded in meeting her goals. In other words, she is a photographer.