Pocketful of Moomba

As you may or may not know, I spent this summer working at an academic enrichment program known as Exploration Summer Schools. Explo has three branches, the Junior program (grades 4-7), the Intermediate program (grades 8-9), and the Senior program (grades 10-12). I was the Web Photojournalist for the Intermediate program, located at Wellesley College. My responsibilities included:

  • Photographing students during classes, activities, main events, and trips.
  • Uploading and editing those pictures on iPhoto.
  • Downloading the photos to a program known as SlideShow Pro, where captions were created to give viewers a better understanding of what was happening.
  • Posting “Tweets” about what I saw in during the day, along with announcing the daily posting of the Explorer.
  • Using Coda, an HTML program, to update the website on a daily basis.

During the first week of training as Web Photojournalist, I was forewarned: “The classrooms are really dark.” In all reality, some of the classrooms had worse lighting than a cave. Using a flash was dodgy since I would have spent the entire summer removing red eye, so I opted for playing with my shutter speed and f/stop. The nice thing about this was I could make it seem like a place that was poorly lit (even with the lights on) seem a bit brighter. However, it was frustrating to try and find a balance between blur and the depth of focus in a shot. By raising the ISO on my camera to 1600 and higher, I didn’t have to worry about sacrificing either of those aspects in my pictures. I did, however, have to deal with “noise”.

Wellesley Campus is beautiful, and the Explo classes were sometimes a fifteen minute walk apart. I would photograph classes based on proximity so to cut down on my commuting time. What also helped were the campus bicycles I found. Covered in pink duct tape, these bikes would make my day much easier. I could zip in and out of a class up to three times a period which meant I could catch more than one lesson to photograph. This definitely came in handy when walking in at the wrong point of a lesson (a lecture versus an activity).

Some of the spaces where I was asked to photograph weren’t exactly “typical” either. Take a look through the gallery for some insider moments!

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