Latin School of Chicago

VIDI 2013

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Dear Friends, Photography is a very moment driven experience. The best photographers are intuitive, prepared and insightful. They know to choose their camera settings to achieve their desired results given the challenges of each unique situation. They must be aware that light, color, composition and any motion impacts the quality of the image they capture and the story they tell. Being a photographer can be challenging because at times we need to be invasive. We often feel the awkwardness of having to decide whether it is okay to take a photo of this person, this moment, or this situation. As photographers, we have to be curious, charismatic, and creative. Interacting with people, places and situations provides the best opportunities to use our cameras as tools to express and share our experience. This year for Project Week upper school math teacher Chris van Benthuysen and I traveled to Cambodia with 16 students to learn about this country's culture, history and religion. Of course, we did this with our cameras in hand, and, at times, were challenged by ethical choices of when and how to take photographs. Learning when to ask, how to ask, and deciding when to not take a photo, or even when to delete one you did take is part of the ethical choices that exist for any photographer. As photographers we not only see things; we witness them. Our photo serves as evidence of our experience and our choice to push the shutter and depict what we are seeing. There are times that we might witness something and decide this is not something I want to see again, or share, and there are other times when what we saw has a story or evokes a feeling or a memory that we are compelled to tell again and again. As photographers shoot their lives and the lives of others we hold up a mirror, or create a window into the time period in which we live. I encourage my students to use their cameras as a ticket to creating the life they dream of. I tell them: "Go where you will find things that interest you." For one student that may be observing jellyfish, for another, it is seeking out an old train car to serve as the background for a fashion shoot inspired by the movie Anna Karenina. Speaking of fashion, this year I worked with five students in an Independent Study on Fashion Photography. We ended our semester photographing the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Fashion Show. Through the help of one of our alumni, we were able to obtain press passes to the show, thereby getting a once-in-lifetime opportunity for a very close-up view of the event. Wow, what an outstanding hands-on photographic experience that was! In looking through this issue of VIDI, I hope you enjoy the photographs our students have been taking throughout the year. They certainly have had a wonderful time making them! Best, Betty Lark Ross Photography Instructor and Visual Arts Department Chair Project Week: Cambodia '13 Photos by: Jacob Pharoah #1, Maya Mickel #2, Alejandro Lopez-Black #3, Annie McDonough #4, The Cover Photo: Hannah Bishop #5, Justine Zimmerman #6 Life from an Alternate Perspective Kobi Walsh '13 "Often in life when facing seemingly impossible situations all we need to do is look at the issue from an alternate perspective."

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