Wide Open Workshops

Wide Open Workshops provide photo-educational opportunities for middle school and high school students.  The “wide open” designation holds dual meaning.  First, the workshops are wide open to any who fall within the population being served (e.g., middle schoolers at a certain school).  Participation requires no prerequisite photography knowledge or skill.   Anyone can capture reality in a photograph. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “there are no bad pictures; that’s just the way your face looks sometimes.”  Photography provides the opportunity to all to get out and experience the world, look at things from different angles, express oneself through imagery, and provide a starting point for discussion.  Techniques to achieve certain looks can be taught, but we seek to work with anyone who shows an interest.

Second, “wide open” reflects a photographic technique where the camera’s aperture (i.e., the opening that allows light to reach the film or sensor) is open as wide as possible which allows the maximum amount of light in within the shortest amount of time possible.  Properly performed, shooting wide open will often result in the subject remaining in sharp focus while the background becomes blurred.  Using this metaphor, our workshops seek to highlight specific subjects with a smattering of technical instruction in a short amount of time to produce a fun AND educational experience.

Middle School workshops teach students how to use the automated and manual settings on a digital SLR (single lens reflex) camera or mirrorless camera as part of an afterschool workshop facilitated by a teacher from the school.  Workshop members meet weekly with each month’s activities tied to a larger theme (e.g., our town, hope).  To maximize accessibility to interested students, each workshop will include a locked down social media network available only to the students, parents, instructor, school administrator, and Photo Perspectives Executive Director.  The online platform will allow the students to post work, receive constructive feedback, view instructional material, ask questions in a safe environment that is monitored and available for review by the teacher in charge