Here’s a breakdown of what today’s schedule looked like:
Critique, Lecture: Composition, Portrait Exercise, Lunch, Instructor Slideshow: Sarah Meghan Lee, Shoot on location 1: Youth Center Paro, Shoot on location 2: Town Center Paro, Download, Edit, and Critique, Dinner, Instructor Slideshow: Thomas Kelly
This was one busy day! We started class at 9AM this morning…it’s now 10:15 at night and our kids are just now heading to their rooms. We have been all over the place and have seen and done so much in one day…it’s pretty hard to believe. Our critiques today were fantastic, with more exceptional imagery by our students. We have moved into pretty advanced territory with our focus now strongly on aesthetics and storytelling. The technical aspects are now firmly behind us for the most part…remembering to focus is still a little difficult when we’re caught up in a moment.
We discussed compositional guides today (Rule of Thirds, leading lines, patterns, layering, etc.) and got a chance to incorporate some of those rules in our portrait exercise before lunch. This time the students had to shoot 20 portraits of someone they didn’t know, each from a different angle (and not at eye level). All of this took place before lunch, and we hadn’t even hit the busy part of the day yet! All I can say is that I hope these guys are getting what they came for!
After lunch, Sarah Meghan Lee showed us her amazing and emotional work in her instructor slideshow, and then we got ready to go shoot. We headed first to the Youth Center in Paro sponsored by Save The Children to see what the organization is doing in the community. The center is small, with a library, internet facility, a couple of classroom areas and a recreational area. During our short two hours at the center, we saw a reading program, a computing instructional class and some students working on what looked like graphic design coursework. Impressive for a small facility with a small but dedicated staff, and we’re looking to see what the Thimphu Save the Children facility is like.
After our visit to the youth center, our students headed to town to have a look at the situation of public spaces in Paro town. They found a single park/playground that had fallen into disrepair. The park was surrounded by chain link fence with a single sliding gate wrapped in barbed wire that allowed access or exit from the area. As soon as we got into the park, it was hard not to notice the evidence of the local population of wild dogs. A lot of the playground equipment, constructed of wood, was broken or in such a state of disrepair that it was rendered unusable. In one instance, one of our students found a 2×4 board lying in the dirt with 3 or 4 nails sticking straight out from the board.
Once we got back to the workshop, we jumped straight into how to download and edit images. We had to drink our tea over our computers as we edited, much to the chagrin of the hotel staff who had been waiting for us already for some time. About an hour and a couple thousand images later, we were ready for the kids to share their stories. So as before, we showed their images and let them talk about the images if they wanted to. Not many offered comments, but the few who did were amazingly insightful about what they chose to share.
Now at this point, the instructors are pretty tired and getting hungry, so we simply had to break for dinner! Amazingly, we got through our edits and critiques BEFORE dinner! How, I don’t know, but it was amazing. We ran over for a quick dinner and then went back to the classroom for Thomas Kelly’s amazing instructor slideshow.
And now it’s 11PM…we’re getting going tomorrow at 7:30 in the morning. So now I’m going to sign off and see you guys tomorrow! Cheers!