JOHNSBURG Three Johnsburg students have spent the summer looking at the world through a different lens; a camera lens, that is.
Allie Ordway, Hannah Jay and Samantha Shook, all going into 11th grade this year, have learned to view things in a new light thanks to a photography workshop taught by William Woody Widlund.
Woody met the student photographers last year while working on a project called The Face of Democracy where students were taught to interview and photograph voters at the polls on Election Day. The students snapped photos and interviewed. voters with questions such as, why do you vote and why is voting important to you?.
The Johnsburg students displayed their work, along with the work of students in schools in Minneapolis and Oakland, CA. After doing this, the Johnsburg students moved on to another project in which they took pictures of their own school and sent them to schools in India and Burma to show those students what an American school looks like; those students in turn sent pictures to the Johnsburg students of their schools.
These projects were so successful that Widlund decided to offer any Johnsburg students who were interested a summer photography workshop, and Allie, Hannah and Sam signed up.
The three have met once a week all summer in a basement room at Caf頓arah, where they went over the basic tenants of photography, concentrating especially on working with light. Each girl was lent an identical Kodak digital camera, along with a Holga, a little black and white click camera.
I would say, go photograph your world, then I would review their work, and after three or four weeks it became apparent where their interests were, so then I encouraged interest in these areas, said Widlund, They each took about 1,000-1,200 photos and we spent two weeks having them choose up to 15 of their favorites, which will appear in an exhibit at the Adirondack Lake Center for the Arts.
Widlund was very pleased with the dedication and creativity of his students.
Ive just been incredibly impressed with their photographic eye and their determination with this project. Theyve really shown individuality. commented Widlund. Ive just had a ball working with them and seeing how they see through different eyes.
Allie, Hannah and Sam said they felt that the workshop was a very special learning opportunity and each spoke enthusiastically of the experience.
Ive learned to take really good pictures, thanks to Woody; hes a great teacher. said Hannah as she perused a table covered with her photographs. She she finds herself drawn to taking pictures of landscapes and likes to stick to photographing single subjects, like her cat. But it hasnt been easy deciding which pictures to use for the exhibit, she said.
Its really difficult, but you pick what attracts your eye the most. Then you think of why you like it, that has a lot to do with it to, she said.
Sam, who has been interested in photography for some time, was eager to learn more about it.
Before, I just kind of took pictures and didnt really know why, and now, everything that I see, I think wow, that would be a really good picture she said.
Sam has focused largely on natural scenes and flowers.
The art of it has really taught me, it was a really good experience, she said.
Allie is attracted to photographing antiques and untouched, as they are scenes.
It was a lot of fun, and Woody has really made this an awesome experience for all of us she said of the workshop. I knew how to take pictures, but now when I take pictures I really know what I like and what the eye likes in a picture.
The girls not only used their own judgment in taking and naming photos and making selections for the show, they also relied on each other for criticism.
We do a lot of editing each others photos, we all contribute our input and help each other choose photos. said Allie.
The girls selections, along with some of Woody and Elise Widlunds work, can be seen at the ALCA (Adirondack Lake Center for the Arts) in Blue Mountain Lake in an exhibit entitled Photographic Voices that will run from October 12 to December 21.