Photography 101

Saturday, July 08, 2017 - By: Amelie E, Alex ‘19; Photo by Brent Lee

Every Brentwood student gets to choose his or her arts academic courses, arts electives and sports for the year. 

For me, it was really exciting. I am from Germany and it was my first year here at Brentwood. Being an international student and also having been raised in a different language and culture meant it was not that easy, especially when you have to choose your courses when you do not know what to expect and if your language skills are adequate enough. 

I was really surprised how many opportunities there were. The arts surprised me the most. I had so many options and was overwhelmed with choices. In the end, I decided to take rowing and photography. Both of these electives taught me so much and had a huge impact on my life. My arts, especially photography, taught me how important discipline and concentration is. 

This year we learned how to use film cameras. It was hard at first to learn all the steps you have to take before you are able to shoot and honestly I still make mistakes sometimes. Mr. Fletcher, our teacher, taught us what aperture and shutter speed are and how to use them properly. 

After taking the photos for our assignments, developing is the next step. For me, developing is the most challenging part because you have to roll your film onto a white wheel in the dark and use the required chemicals in the right order for a specific amount of time. When we are done with using the chemicals, the film has to dry and develop for 24 hours and only after that are we able to print our pictures. We then print a contact sheet of our photos so we can see what kind of photos we took. When that is done, we can select and develop our full sized pictures. 

Mr Fletcher surprised me every time with his creative assignments and ways of improving our photography skills. Most of all, photography taught me how important it is to look at the details. The world is so big that we sometimes forget the little things, which are often the most beautiful. 

Amelie E, Alex ‘19

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