Shutterbugs exposed to photography

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 6, 2003

The Global Studies program provides opportunities for students from the city and county school systems to discover new places, explore new ideas, do new things and gain meaningful experience along the way.

Phyllis Wilson, program facilitator, is always looking for different and exciting activities for her students. Their most recent unit of study provided more fun and learning than even she had imagined.

&uot;I wanted to find a way to encourage the students to look at the world around them in a different way,&uot; she said. &uot;And what better way than through the eye of a camera.&uot;

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Wilson contacted Bob Joslin, director of photography at Troy State University, and he agreed to instruct the students on the basics of photography and help them understand what makes a good photograph, Wilson said.

&uot;Bob Joslin was excellent and we all learned a lot about photography,&uot; she said. &uot;What we learned will help us to take better photographs and to appreciate good photographs when we see them.&uot;

After getting down to basics, the students were challenged to use their newfound eye for design and capture &uot;something neat&uot; with a camera.

&uot;We went to the Pioneer Museum of Alabama and I turned them loose with their cameras,&uot; Wilson said. &uot;Most of them used digital cameras, but one or two chose to use film.&uot;

Without any guidance, the students browsed the grounds looking for that one perfect shot.

&uot;With everything there is at the museum, it was rather interesting that several of them chose the same subject,&uot; Wilson said. &uot;I was impressed by what they captured with their cameras and we were all anxious to see what a real photographer thought.&uot;

Joslin had taught the students the basics and their work indicated that they were in tune to what he had to say, Wilson said.

&uot;Each student was asked to pick two of their photographs to submit for judging,&uot; Wilson said. &uot;We asked Bob Joslin to be the judge and he chose Shahla Ahmad's photograph of a farm house as the 'best of the show.' Adrienne Bazzell's photographs of the stream at the museum won the red ribbon.&uot;

TSU photographer Donald Norsworthy made prints for the students and Dan Fraley at Fraley's Frame Outlet matted them.

&uot;The students were amazed to see how a nice mat can improve the looks of a photograph,&uot; Wilson said.

Ahmad's photograph was taken with a digital camera and she used a tool on the camera to give the photograph a sepia tone.

&uot;We were almost about to leave the museum and I looked up and saw the picture I wanted,&uot; she said. &uot;I asked them to wait for me while I took the picture. And, that is the one that won.&uot;

Ahmad said as she walked the museum grounds, she was looking for something that would evoke &uot;some sort of feelings.&uot;

&uot;I wanted to photograph something from an unusual view or something that had a deep contrast of shadow and light,&uot; she said. &uot;I liked the feeling I got with the sepia tone. This introduction to photography has made it much more interesting to me.&uot;

Bazzell agreed that &uot;the more you know&uot; the more enjoyable photography can be.

&uot;I used film instead of a digital camera,&uot; she said. &uot;I wanted to photograph the stream that runs through the museum grounds but it had almost dried up. But, the dry stream bed made an interesting photograph.&uot;

Bazzell said that she, too, will enjoy shooting with a camera much more now that she knows more about taking photographs and the process of taking them from camera to paper.

&uot;After taking this course, I see things in a different way and I'm looking for things now that would make interesting photographs,&uot; she said.

Wilson said exposure to photography has opened the eyes of her students and given them a better eye for the things around them.

&uot;Some of them have expressed an interest in taking a class in photography when they get to college,&uot; she said. &uot;We would like to thank everyone who was involved in making this unit a great success. And, we want to thank Charlotte Gibson and the museum staff for allowing us to exhibit our photographs.&uot;

The students' photographs are on exhibit at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama through next