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Student Photography Assignment: Beauty, Power, Greed

  • September 29, 2010
  • by admin

Photographer Jens Honore was on site this week working with TGS students, instructing them on some of the fundamentals of photography. He also conveyed to students how powerful a single image can be, especially if it exploits the elements of “composition, light and storytelling.” In order to fully grasp the concept of photographic storytelling, the students were asked to work in pairs and capture images that represented the following concepts: power, beauty and greed.

The following blog post is written by Marta Guevara, TGS Teacher, as she observed the ways in which the students interpreted Jens’ assignment in their presentations to the class. NOTE: the students have selected nicknames for themselves for security and privacy purposes; those nicknames are reflected here.

As the presentation begins, I am sitting on the back of the room. I am not sure what to expect, but I know they haven’t had a lot of “official” time to work on this project. I am about to be blown away by their “photographic stories.”

BEAUTY
Yes, there is beauty in nature, and there are several shots to emphasize this point. They take it one step further and explain, “there is silence in nature, and silence can be beautiful.” Photoman and Demitrios continue, “yes, there is also beauty in the small of nature, not only the big landscapes.” They both show a picture of a bee on a flower, “it is beautiful,” they point out, “because the bee is doing its job. And thanks to this bee, we can have plenty of many more other beautiful flowers.” I have to agree.

Frosty and Polarbear have found beauty in nature because it is full of beautiful, vibrant colors, yet also humble. All the children nod in consent. Porcelaine and Lhaphu are now talking about the beauty found in the harmony between nature and civilization. “Daily life is beautiful,” says Lhaphu., “we can all relate to the beauty of everyday routine.” I stop to think. I always complain about the overwhelming pressure of routine. But she is right, I look at her picture, and it is true. There is something so calming, and beautiful about seeing people go about their daily routines.

Amidala and Benny see the beauty in selflessness. “The sculptor we met outside the office took the time to create something beautiful that represents love and peace. It is selfless of him to do so.” There is also beauty in what is simple, explains Isaac. He found beauty in the light reflected on the glasses in the kitchen, and his photography partner Pheonix adds, “I think his picture is beautiful.” We all agree. I can see the pride and respect she has for her classmate. I think it’s beautiful that she just openly praised to her young peer.

Dude and Kiwi remind us of something very important. There is beauty in knowledge and age. They show pictures of older people – including a picture of me quietly sitting by a church. As they all turn to look at my reaction. I hold my chest and give them a heart felt bow of thanks. I am moved. Spendlove, Freeze and Polarbear take knowledge to a special place, a beautiful picture of the library. “It is the main library here in Stockholm. It is beautiful to see all those books. All that knowledge in one place.” Once more, we all nod in agreement.

Part two of Marta’s post, “Power and Greed,” to follow.

 

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