Art Through the Lens

photographyartart2The word “photography” is derived from the Greek words photos (“light”) and graphein (“to draw”).

Through the ages art has typically been seen as beautiful paintings, mosaics, statues, architecture, or drawings, but technology in the 1800s developed a new way of capturing beauty – photography.

The camera opened a window for artists allowing them to capture a single moment with the click of a button. Instantly one could have a replica of the most beautiful sunset, children playing innocently in the street, or a snapshot of history.

The key to a good photo is “composition and lighting” according to Mrs. Susan Conway, BT photography teacher. Those basic principles have remained the same since the dawn of the camera. “But the things that have changed dramatically is the use of the digital camera and the programs to manipulate images,” said Mrs. Conway.  “Now we can see our photos immediately and make changes if needed.”

For many the love for photography began at a young age. Junior Emma Wheeler began stealing her mom’s camera. “The idea of being able to freeze a small fraction in time, a memory, fascinated me,” said Emma. “ It eventually developed into a full time hobby.”

Junior Eric Sidlovsky began taking photos when he would travel to different national parks around the US. Photography allowed Eric to frame his memories. “I see photography as an art because pictures do not always have to be a snapshot, instead it portrays a message and expresses emotion,” said Eric. “Photography was the only way to truly capture the moment I was in.”

Art has always been a way for students to enhance their creative abilities, and share their individuality with the world. It is important for all students to engage in some sort of art form during their high school career.

“Students learn to appreciate art in general from past to present, to develop their own personal means, and to express themselves visually,” said Mrs. Sharon Mueller, head of the BT fine arts department.

Blessed Trinity offers many ways to be involved with photography including Photography as Art, Digital Photography, and the Photo Adventure Club. All of these courses provide a way for students to learn to use a camera, and see photography as a way to express themselves. Photography students complete a number of projects that include completing photo shoots, developing film, and adding their own creative spin to photos.

Mrs. Conway’s favorite project she does with her Photography as Art classes is the pinhole camera project. “The students take an empty paint can that has a tiny pinhole drilled in it, they put light sensitive paper in it, and make photographs with the paint can camera,” explained Mrs. Conway. “ I think the students don’t believe it at first that an empty can with a hole in it will really take a picture. In fact, this past semester, we made a camera from a pumpkin. It took great pictures.”

BT junior Gabi Scaff developed a passion for photography by stealing her dad’s camera to take pictures of her brother and sisters. Taking photography classes taught Gabi all the ways a photo can be art. “To me, photography is an art because you get to express your feelings through a single piece of art, without any words,” said Gabi.  “It really allows you to see the world in a different perspective.”

Photography allows artists to focus on the little things that would not be catch the naked eye. The true beauty of photography is that even the simplest things can be portrayed as beautiful. “Anyone can shoot a beautiful photo of a sunset in Hawaii, and, yes, it is a beautiful photo,” said Mrs. Conway, “but it takes a real photographer/artist to make a beautiful photo of your backyard.”