My school opened in 2004, and twelve years later there is still excitement when the school year begins. Every student matters and every teacher cares.
The students who attend my elementary school are kind of children you find most anywhere in America, with hope, dreams, curiosity, energy, and a great capacity for learning.
And yes, they like to have fun as well. While they represent many backgrounds, they almost all come from suburban and rural areas of northwest Georgia. And like any elementary school, some of the students at my school have special talents in music and a desire to make their voice heard. That's where I come in.
Even though I am the music teacher at Woodstation, I really sharing my interest in traditional film photography. I shoot film regularly for the school yearbook, and several students have expressed interest in learning how to shoot and develop film so that they also can shoot for the yearbook. So, this project is all about getting the film, developing chemicals, and equipment so that they can learn the process for themselves.
Ever since I began bringing my film cameras to school and using them to take photos for the school yearbook, I have had a number of curious students ask me about analog photography and express an interest in learning how to use a film camera and develop the film themselves. To satisfy these students' curiosity, I have formed the Woodstation Film Photography Club. Some very kind people have already donated cameras for my students to use, but now we need a supply of film and developing tools.
Students will be given a camera and a roll of film to take home and shoot as they please, but they will have some guidelines to help them make better photographs.
Then, we will develop their film using a monobath developer (which I will supply), scan their negatives, print their best photos, and display them in a hallway. Plans also include an evening gallery showing at the school for parents and the community. Finally, these students will become student members of the Yearbook Team and be asked to shoot photographs to be used in the yearbook.
Film photography is a process worthy of study by young students because it exists at the intersection of science and art. Through this club, students will be introduced to the art of capturing light and recording moments in photographs, while at the same time they learn about the science of light-sensitive materials and chemistry. Some students may choose to apply their compositional skills to digital photography, while others may choose to continue to shoot film and process their photos at home or at a lab. Either way, they will be able to experience the joy of photography as a hobby, a passion, or even a career.
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