Monday 23 October 2017

Here's a lesson in creative vision

Photographer Sheila Fitzgerald was heartened by the results of a recent school mentoring stint on photography

I recently had the pleasure of mentoring 20 Transition Students from Boherbue Comprehensive School when I introduced them to the multi-faceted field of photography, and after arming them with a list of possible pitfalls along with some tips on composition, I sent them off to capture a series of images on their favourite theme.

The results were hugely impressive, without exception, and I was delighted that all of my students succeeded in producing images which adhered to the rule of thirds, good lighting concepts, and framing.

Each student chose a favourite photograph from their collection and with the help of their year teacher, Eileen Lane, and Art teacher, Aodaoin Cronin, mounted an exhibition in the School Mall.

Eileen Murphy from Boherbue (pictured right) was the overall winner, chosen both for her wonderful visual perception of sunsets around Maul and the imagination and life in her shots of animals on the family farm.

Matthew Collins from Ballydesmond was highly commended for his picturesque snow scenes and for capturing the rapt expressions on his little brother's face as he played in the snow. Second highly commended prize went to Clonbanin's Eimear Cronin for her study of the diverse cityscapes of Dublin versus the rural landscapes of Muckross, and her essay describing this theme was particularly good.

There was also a bit of healthy rivalry as John Paul Breen illustrated the superior land around Kiskeam compared to Boherbue ...

'I like this particular photo because of the symbolism in it,' he said in his essay, 'This is the boggier of the two fields, which is ironic because it's on the same side as Boherbue. Then on the other side we have a more idyllic field, the grass is that bit brighter than on the other side which is fitting as it is on the Kiskeam side.

'So this photo is basically a visual representation of the rivalry between neighbouring villages, with Kiskeam having the edge on their antagonists!'

I was dying to see what results this bunch of talented photographers would produce with some top of the range equipment, so at our final class I let them loose with my own cameras. The results were spectacular - with some unusual and creative shots making their way to a second exhibition in the School Mall!