Photography and wildlife unite this summer in Jump Studios’ latest course for young people. To kick off the 2017 Summer Programme at Knowle West Media Centre we took a trip to Bristol Zoo Gardens with fifteen 10 to 16 year olds from the local area. Some young people were introduced to photography for the first time, while others had the chance to enhance their existing skills in creating, editing and exhibiting original digital photography. With majestic and exotic animals as their subjects, the group embarked on a challenging and inspiring two-day journey…
Day 1 started off with the young people arriving at Bristol Zoo and having a DSLR camera introduction from photographer George Hieron. The first lesson of the day was being briefed on how to adjust light settings for the dark caves they would encounter as well as the brighter outside landscapes. Sitting in pairs around a tall tree just inside the zoo’s gates, the group took turns in changing the settings before embarking on their excursion.
Although anyone with a camera phone can capture an image, during the session the young people were able move beyond point-and-shoot picture taking and understand the different capabilities of a DSLR camera (regardless of the level of skill they had with it beforehand.) The group concentrated on composition, focus and lighting to help them produce quality photographs – and having so many different animals and environments to capture on camera helped them test out lots of different skills!
With six hours of exploring and picture taking under their belts, the group finished the first day with plenty of material for the second part of the course which would include exhibiting their work.
Day 2 kicked off the editing portion of the course. The group discussed how to display the images and the theme they wanted to use. We welcomed Letty from Arnolfini who gave the group advice about how to creatively and strategically produce an exhibition. This part of the day saw the young people incredibly excited, bouncing ideas back and forth about how best to show off their work. In the end they decided to display their images from the least unusual animal to the most unusual. Although the exhibited pictures are unedited originals, the group also had the chance to learn photo editing skills which can be transferred to a range of different contexts.
The ultimate satisfaction undoubtedly came when the group’s parents came in to see their photographs hanging proudly in the KWMC training room; a feel-good ending to two constructive days leaving one parent to say it was “fantastic! It inspired my son to be a wildlife cameraman!”
Interested in trying photography yourself? Our after-school groups start back after the summer holidays on 11th September; visit the Jump Studios page or contact us on 0117 903 0444 or social media to find out more!