The Journey of a Thousand Miles

Our initial site

Guided by the Wallace Foundation’s 10 Principles of Success for Afterschool Arts Programs, Photo Perspectives launched a Freeport, Maine development site in October 2022 to pilot ideas and develop photo-educational materials for Middle Schoolers.  Freeport, and it surrounding communities, provide a diverse sampling of Maine’s characteristics.  While perhaps most well-known for being home to world famous retailer, LL Bean, tourists drawn to the small New England town also enjoy easy access to Maine’s coast, nearby mountains for hiking and fresh air, and community members who carry out Maine’s rich farming traditions.

Photo Perspectives did not choose Freeport as its initial site due to its picturesque setting or proximity to many things Maine, however.  Access to an instructor known to inspire made Freeport Middle School the perfect place to take the first step towards the goal of bringing extracurricular photography programs to Middle Schools across Maine.

 

Photo Perspectives - Freeport Middle School Instructor

Elaine DesPres, M.Ed.

Elaine exudes Photo Perspectives’ “Look, Learn, See” philosophy.  Early in the selection process, Elaine spontaneously wrote, “teaching students to slow down to look at the world through different perspectives is important to me. … some of the most amazing wonders of life are only discovered when you’re laying on your stomach.”  Elaine teaches 7th Grade STEM at Freeport Middle School as well as shares her love and extensive knowledge of the outdoors as a Registered Maine Guide.  

Elaine’s friends and co-workers describe her as the type of person who makes you better just by knowing her.  Her warm smile, positive attitude, and compassion allow her to see and capture light in this world even when things seem the darkest.  She lives the philosophy that thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle without diminishing its impact or life.

Areas of Photographic Exploration

Elements of Design and Composition
Students will learn and apply compositional rules related to the elements of design (e.g., leading lines, vantage point, texture, color, patterns, geometry, rule of thirds,) as well as the creative benefit of when one may choose to intentionally break them.

The Exposure Triangle

The relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, and how to manipulate it, is the key to unlocking the creative potential of the photographer. The photo on the front of this card contains no digital manipulation or tinkering. It is simply a product of understanding shutter speed.

Wildlife

We are hoping to offer at least one field trip to a nature preserve or animal refuge to practice wildlife photography skills.
Scenic/Travel
Capturing scenic photos representative of an area involves correct lighting, metering, framing, and composition.

Landscape

We will challenge students to think of landscape photography as more than a snapshot of a pretty area. Lighting, form, framing, foreground, and so much more go into an effective landscape shot.

People

Posing, natural light, taking someone's picture versus creating their portrait, self-portraits, framing, privacy rights, and much more will be covered as students learn how to capture the essence of the subject being photographed.

Black and White

We will explore the aspects of black and white photography that make it such a powerful medium of communication. Black and white photography serves as perhaps the best genrefor learning how to manipulate exposure and dynamic range to achieve the intended effects.

Documentary

Documentary photography is all about capturing the essence of a person, place, or event at a particular point in time in order to communicate information. One goal of our project involves having students document the life of a middle schooler and who and/or what from the larger Freeport Community brings them joy and why.

Narrative

Narrative photography, along with its closely related cousin, participatory photography, is about communicating one's own story or beliefs through photographic means. While we may tie most lessons in with those of documentary photography, we also would like to leave open the possibility of supporting an independent project by a student or students regarding a specific topic.

Experimental

Perhaps creative, infrequently seen, techniques would better describe this category. Experimental is a catch-all category for things that do not necessarily use mainstream photographic techniques. The cover photo here is not a painting, nor a digital manipulation. It employs ICM, intentional camera movement, to create the observed effects, and was shot on a beach in the Dominican Republic.

Concept

Concept photography is meant to include commercial photography, pictures with motivational quotes, or a combination of words and images to imply a specific message.

Humor

Sometimes funny or peculiar things happen in the world - a skilled photographer is able to think fast, frame, and capture such an event in a visually pleasing way. Do you not find the cover picture amusing or are you just jealous that pigeons in your community jaywalk instead of following pedestrian laws like those from Bangor, Maine?

Photo Perspectives' Social Media Feed Involving Freeport Photographers

Our Middle School Photographers are back on the path to explore their world and share their experiences so we may all, look, learn, and see.  We are still trying to raise money to fund a second site at the Indian Island School.  Any donation is helpful and are tax deductible.  This image was taken by one of our most talented people photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport

Our Middle School Photographers are back on the path to explore their world and share their experiences so we may all, look, learn, and see. We are still trying to raise money to fund a second site at the Indian Island School. Any donation is helpful and are tax deductible. This image was taken by one of our most talented people photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson reportedly once said “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” One of our Freeport Middle School Photographers uploaded this image of hers a few hours ago. ... This one cries out for caption suggestions #photoperspectivesfreeport

National Geographic photographer Jim Richardson reportedly once said “If you want to be a better photographer, stand in front of more interesting stuff.” One of our Freeport Middle School Photographers uploaded this image of hers a few hours ago. ... This one cries out for caption suggestions #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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An image from one of the newest members of Photo Perspectives Freeport Middle School .... I added the quote for all the amazing teachers who have helped light my way over the years - and to those who continue to do so ... #photoperspectivesfreeport #photoperspectivesfreeport

An image from one of the newest members of Photo Perspectives Freeport Middle School .... I added the quote for all the amazing teachers who have helped light my way over the years - and to those who continue to do so ... #photoperspectivesfreeport #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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Did you hear the one about the fish who went to speed dating at a restaurant?

.... He was looking for a gill-friend.

Colorful capture by one of our Freeport Middle School Photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport

Did you hear the one about the fish who went to speed dating at a restaurant?

.... He was looking for a gill-friend.

Colorful capture by one of our Freeport Middle School Photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport
...

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Our nonprofit uses the Wallace Foundations model "Principles of Success for Afterschool Arts Program" (https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx)  The first principle is to use highly skilled, practicing artists to serve as mentors/instructors.  Well, Ms. Humble Pie won't toot her own horn so I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures of our Freeport Instructor's  work #photoperspectivesfreeport

Our nonprofit uses the Wallace Foundations model "Principles of Success for Afterschool Arts Program" (https://www.wallacefoundation.org/knowledge-center/pages/something-to-say-success-principles-for-afterschool-arts-programs.aspx) The first principle is to use highly skilled, practicing artists to serve as mentors/instructors. Well, Ms. Humble Pie won`t toot her own horn so I thought I would share one of my favorite pictures of our Freeport Instructor`s work #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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This amazing shot was taken by one of our Freeport Middle School Photographers.  I personally think it is amazing - I'm not completely sure how she did it.  The club members were experimenting with food coloring, water, and glassware. #photoperspectivesfreeport

This amazing shot was taken by one of our Freeport Middle School Photographers. I personally think it is amazing - I`m not completely sure how she did it. The club members were experimenting with food coloring, water, and glassware. #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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One of the most exciting aspects of working with Middle School Photographers involves providing the right space for them to explore their creativity.  At an age often defined by self-consciousness, MIddle School Photographers sometimes hold creativity in over concerns about whether a concept is too different or will be seen as weird.  Our Freeport site is fortunate to have an instructor who draws the best out of all around her while celebrating each participant's uniqueness.  In this case, the photographer relented and shared this work with the instructor as something he found not up to his standards.  O am so glad he did.  Can you guess the common object used to frame this shot? #photoperspectivesfreeport

One of the most exciting aspects of working with Middle School Photographers involves providing the right space for them to explore their creativity. At an age often defined by self-consciousness, MIddle School Photographers sometimes hold creativity in over concerns about whether a concept is too different or will be seen as weird. Our Freeport site is fortunate to have an instructor who draws the best out of all around her while celebrating each participant`s uniqueness. In this case, the photographer relented and shared this work with the instructor as something he found not up to his standards. O am so glad he did. Can you guess the common object used to frame this shot? #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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One tough bird to be playing in the snow in sub-zero temperatures - equally tough is the Freeport Middle School photographer who braved the cold to get this shot. #photoperspectivesfreeport

One tough bird to be playing in the snow in sub-zero temperatures - equally tough is the Freeport Middle School photographer who braved the cold to get this shot. #photoperspectivesfreeport ...

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Photo Perspectives

Our Middle School Photographers are back on the path to explore their world and share their experiences so we may all, look, learn, and see. We are still trying to raise money to fund a second site at the Indian Island School. Any donation is helpful and are tax deductible. This image was taken by one of our most talented people photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport ... See MoreSee Less

Our Middle School Photographers are back on the path to explore their world and share their experiences so we may all, look, learn, and see.  We are still trying to raise money to fund a second site at the Indian Island School.  Any donation is helpful and are tax deductible.  This image was taken by one of our most talented people photographers. #photoperspectivesfreeport
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