Juniors, senior enroll in new elective; motivated by adviser, subject and art of photographyÃ‚Â | by MADALYNE BIRD
STA is offering a new Digital Photography class the 2009-2010 school year for current juniors and seniors. Students can earn either a half-credit in fine arts or a half-credit in computer science.The length of the course is one semester, where students are taught the technical and compositional aspects of photography. There is only one section per semester for this class, complete with only 14 students for the fall, due to limited amount of computers in the classroom.
‘I like how small [the class] is,’Â junior Sarah Wirtz said . ‘It’s very intimate and we get a lot of individual time if we need it.’Â
Publications adviser Eric Thomas who is teaching the photography class this year, has been proposing this class since his first year as a faculty member in 2002.
‘There used to be a photography class [at STA], but it was dropped after they got rid of the dark room,’Â Thomas said. ‘The kids in photography club have also been proposing a class. If I were only to get to teach one class it would be photo-journalism.’Â
After five years, Digital Photography has been added to the program of studies once again. During the course of the class students are taught three major ideas of photography: technical aspects, using Adobe Photoshop to edit photographs and rules of composition.
‘I love learning how to take better pictures using better techniques,’Â junior Alyson McNaghten said.
The class is given a new assignment every week, ranging from self-portraits to nature.Ã‚Â
‘I like being able to go out and have the freedom to take pictures of whatever we want,’Â junior Emma Steck said. ‘I like that it’s not really restricted.’Â
After students are finished taking photos for their weekly assignment, they upload them onto a computer and edit them in Adobe Photoshop. After they have completed this task they upload their narrowed selection of photos to Flickr.com. Students are also required to write a reflection on each weekly assignment, to be submitted online.
‘We’ve already nicknamed this class ‘Ëœthe best class ever’,'Â Steck said.
Once a student has successfully completed the course, they have the option to apply as a staff photographer for either the Teresian yearbook or The Dart newspaper.
‘I’m thinking about applying for a position as a photographer, ‘ McNaghten said. ‘I didn’t want to take journalism, but I liked the photography part of it, so I figured this would be a good way to get in to [the publications].’Â
However, it is not only the photography class that the students enjoy.
‘I think [Mr. Thomas] is an awesome teacher, ‘ McNaghten said. ‘He really knows what he is doing and he’s really passionate about the subject of photography. His excitement gets everyone else excited too.’Â