Far too often do we begin our photographic pursuits lost in the envy of another's photos. Instead of honing our technique and execution, we focus on the stuff we don't have. Stuff... that's all it is... just stuff. Whether it be the lens to get that creamy smooth bokeh in the background, the full-frameMPs necessary for crisp resolution, or the flash necessary to light a picture, we all do it and its ruining our imagination. This is why I think kids can reinvigorate our sense of imagination and fun.
In the past few weeks CityArts has become a think-tank for the young artists and their corresponding PC pals. Often we see students thoughtfully look at their pictures and stop just long enough to revel in the joy and the smiles of their subjects, or perhaps notice something we were too blind to see, while our eye involuntarily scavenge the small screens for perfect composition and symmetry. In one case an energetic student ran up to each Providence student lauding the composition in his photo. He drew our attention to the face engrained in the architecture along the side of the building, which comprised of two window eyes and a door for a mouth. Clearly it was more exciting for him just to find than to beautifully portray, and even more enthralling to him that we didn't find it before him and I'm glad that he did; because, in more ways than one, his discovery marks the great hallmark of true photographic skill, this ability to point out the beauty in front of someone. It's a scavenger hunt of course. But it's not about quantity of quality photographs. Rather, it's about inspiring and that's why we're so hell-bent on approval (perhaps even if we do not say this outright). So how do we then enhance ours and the students' experience by working with what we have? Well, this past week we did so by teaching the students how to use natural light to illuminate our subjects.
As the semester goes on we have more and more light during our time at CityArts. More light also means more energetic kids looking for any semblance of an excuse to get outside. When the sun is low-enough on the horizon we call this, "golden hour," photography, which gets its origins from the warm golden hues that heavily illuminate subjects of interest. A few young artists managed to catch PC students taking advantage of this time period and out of interest walked over to see. As we encouraged them to advantage themselves this very short window of opportunity, many were very elated with the change in their photographic composition. One PC student peaked over their shoulders and saw the photo on their tiny canon point-and-shoots, and let slip out a, "oh sh**" they take better photos then I do, and I've been at this for a while." Inevitably, in that moment, my partner and I realized: you combine the innovation and imagination of a young child (perhaps our own "inner kid") with the resourcefulness of a seasoned photographer and you have a potent mix. All that other stuff falls by the wayside...
Danny Hentz, Providence College Class of 2017, Global Studies Major, Evolutionary Biology & Ecology Minor
Public & Digital Relations - Dee, Gretchen, Danny & Stephen