All sixth graders take digital photography. Students learn the basics of camera function and how to compose a quality photo. Boys also learn editing and production techniques.
Seventh grade students learn the art of digital photography at a deeper level. They explore and apply the principles of element and design in creating striking digital photographs. Fenn teachers emphasize editing and composition througought the curriculum.
The unique qualities of traditional film photography are taught in the Upper School. Working in a dark room, boys are challenged to tap into the intrinsic aspects of developing a photographic negative into a work of art. The instructors teach a more in-depth, technical approach to this classic art form.
Student art exhibititions frequently highlight photography completed in photography class.
The sixth grade photography course introduces the manual operation and basic maintenance of a 35mm camera, including shutter speed, aperture, and depth of field. Students select the primary subject matter and include landscape, architecture, portraiture, still life, and sports photography, with an emphasis on proper exposure, thoughtful composition, and understanding light. Students develop their black and white film from negative to print in Fenn’s fully-equipped darkroom. During the latter part of the term, the students learn the basics of digital imaging. They use digital cameras, scanners, CD burners and photo quality printers to produce and manipulate images using the computer program Adobe Photoshop.
The seventh grade photography course begins with a brief review of the 35mm camera and the technical procedures in the darkroom. The students select their subject matter with an eye for composition, conveying what they see and feel through their photographs. Classroom discussions of technique and critiques of student work occur frequently during the seventh grade. Darkroom techniques and procedures are more advanced, and students concentrate on producing more refined “finished” prints. As in the sixth grade, digital imaging is offered in the latter part of the term. More time is devoted to the process of producing and manipulating multiple images, as well as exploring the complexities of imaging programs such as Adobe Photoshop.
In the Upper School, advanced film camera and darkroom skills are introduced, with instruction focusing on accessory equipment and black and white printing techniques. The class concentrates on refining shooting skills using the elements of art and principles of design to isolate the area of emphasis in the image. Students review the operation and maintenance of the 35mm camera, film selection, and basic darkroom techniques, then concentrate on refining their shooting and darkroom skills while being introduced to accessory equipment such as filters, tripods, trip cords, wide-angle and telephoto lenses, electronic flash, and strobe lighting. The class also offers instruction in advanced darkroom techniques such as dodging, burning in, flashing, pushing and pulling film, and high contrast printing. Later, the curriculum shifts to digital imaging, and instruction centers on SLR digital cameras, and advanced Photoshop methods. Building on skills learned in the Middle School courses, students take a more in-depth look into the hardware and software used in the digital photography process, with an emphasis placed on the manipulation, deconstruction, and reconstruction of multiple images. Students’ finished prints are displayed in the classroom, around the School, and in the Kane Gallery and Robb Hall lobby.