We hit the ground running on the fourth day of the workshop and again began with a critique, having each student share the work they made at the Toronto Transit Commission from the day before. Students spent more time talking about each image in depth, particularly the technical aspects (like shutter speed and aperture) and what drew them to construct the picture, helping them understand why certain images worked better than others. As we empower students to find their voice in photography, we also encourage them to find their speaking voice as well. Hearing our students using new technical terms to describe their creative decision making is very exciting and true evidence of all they’re learning.
After the critique in the morning, we jumped on a bus and headed off to Valley Park Middle School to visit the GO Green Youth Centre, an environmentally friendly, non-profit summer camp that works with disadvantaged youth and teaches them to be ecologically sustainable in their own communities. As we arrived, we were greeted by Mike, the youth leader of the camp and a string of counselors who led each group to a different activity. We photographed some kids playing cricket, others learning archery, and a small group of campers face painting. Not only was it a great experience for the students to work on their technical camera skills, but it was also a great chance to push them outside of their comfort zones and into a different environment.
After running around documenting all the camp activities we returned back to the classroom and had lunch. Stefan then presented his documentary projects from New Mexico to the students. He explained the different types of images that go into telling a story and what life is like as an editorial photography in the Southwest. Following Stefan’s presentation, Fakahrudin, an advanced student, presented his slideshow from last week centered around Climate Change. It was a great opportunity for the beginning students to get another idea of what they are working towards. Saturday they will be proud presenters of their own photographic stories at our graduation ceremony!
To end the day the students and instructors got back to work and huddled around their computers meticulously curating images for one final critique. The students had a great day jumping head first into a new environment and made big steps towards honing their camera skills.