Think Tank programs tend to nurture the reward of hands-on experience, where students leave with distinct memories or physical representations of a given class. Students construct digital and physical models in 3D Design. They explore challenging experiments in Contextual Chemistry and leave with vivid memories. Video Production workshops culminate in final movies indefinitely preserved online. And, in the case of Applied Digital Photography, artistic visions are preserved both in print and digitally.
Photography perseveres as one of our most important forms of visual art and communication. As a hundred thousand stills compose an elaborate feature film, just one photograph may convey a profound concept, or perhaps a simple sentiment. For the final project in last semester's Digital Photography workshop, Tyler Trahan challenged his students to tackle the latter; how can you tell a story through a photo, and what will that story say? During class sessions students studied some technical elements of photography, such as exposure, aperture, depth of field, etc., and most importantly composition.
While discussing the workshop, Tyler explained that a still image contains more than what the eye instantly perceives. Beyond our immediate recognition of things, there are patterns that might instill a certain emotion. Curving lines are calming, Tyler explained, whereas perpendicularity signifies stability, and angles generate excitement. He encouraged the students to be aware of these patterns as they considered what they're final project would be about. Throughout the workshop they explored several theme-based assignments with an experimental approach. For example, when asked to capture motion in a photo, student Joshua Dick tied glow sticks to his sneakers and ran on a treadmill in the dark.
And so the students began to take pictures. Some were taken at home, some in and around Think Tank, and some were captured during a field trip to Rutland State Park where a decrepit prison camp remains from the early 1900s. In Sam Dodson's photo titled Ashes
(above), from a series that depicts pivotal moments in board games, he chose a diptych (two panelled) protrayal of a Jenga tower, first crumbled and then tall and complete. Tyler and I talked of the potential symbolism behind Sam's piece and how its title may signify a rebirth (if perceived from left ot right). Lydia Hart, a student not only fond of horseback riding but also quite passionate about the animals, chose to intimately document a horse and its environment at a farm. Trust
(right) is one of six images in a series. Again, Tyler pointed out the significance of meaning here. Lydia's connection to the subject matter is clearly conveyed. You can view more photos from Applied Digital Photography and more HERE
Tyler Trahan is a professional photographer and former Worcester Think Tank student. Visit TylerTrahan.com to view Tylers work and for booking.