CHS students learn photography history, fine art skills | New

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If you want to take good photos, you first need to understand how a camera actually works. This is the approach Cullman High School art and photography teacher Elizabeth Miller takes with her students as they learn the fundamentals of photography from scratch.

Cullman High offers three high school photography courses as optional fine arts courses, building on the fundamentals of photography and training students to hone their craft and create their own portfolios before graduation. their diploma.

Students begin by learning the history of photography and researching famous photographers – and are even tasked with building their own camera obscura to learn how images translate. Students will also learn how to edit photos and the basics of composition.

“A lot of people don’t know how closely art and photography are linked. Without the invention of the drawing tool, the camera obscura, we would not have cameras today. My class made their own camera obscura out of cardboard and waxed paper, and then we walked around the school using them, ”Miller said. “We have just finished learning about the evolution of the camera. I have a small collection of old student cameras ranging from a 1939 folding camera made by Kodak to a 1972 Polaroid SX-70. I also have classic SLR cameras for students to study. .

In Photography 2, students learn about digital cameras, including shooting in manual mode, the basics of shutter speed, ISO, and aperture, and how to balance them to get the picture. perfect in different settings.

“I teach this way so that the students control photography like professionals,” Miller said.

In Photography 3, students work to perfect their art and create a portfolio of their work. If students are serious about pursuing photography professionally, they can develop the tools necessary to secure an internship with a professional photographer or start their own business upon graduation. Photography courses also work with directory staff to put these skills and talents to use.

“Students always seem to love this class and it is one of my favorite classes to teach. Anyone can be creative and it’s a sought-after feature in our job market today, ”Miller said. “Fine arts classes, including photography, help our students think outside the box and be able to solve problems. I believe this is one of the reasons why this course is so popular in our school, students don’t feel the pressure to be already good at their craft before taking the course.

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