Traditional Photography

Monday, May 04, 2015 - By: Ella B, Mackenzie ‘17 & Joe M, Ellis ‘17

My first experience in the darkroom entailed a tight chest as I anxiously gripped my sweaty palms only to open my eyes, overcome by a seemingly never-ending path of darkness. From awkwardly reaching around the darkroom, to loading reels, to tearing film, it has all been an incredible experience. Mr. Fletcher, the photography teacher, has taught students to open their eyes and find art in places they wouldn’t have thought to look.

 Brentwood has given me the opportunity to expand my curiosity and open up my eyes to the beauty of everyday life through the art of photography. As Brentonians, we are required to take traditional photography for one year before we qualify to take digital. At first I was taken aback by this rule; all I had ever known was a digital camera. However, after this year of traditional I have become a far more skilled photographer in both the digital and film aspects.

 Shooting with film makes you realize how much every photo counts. You learn to be more precise in your setups and not just snap at everything you see. At first this was difficult, but as my confidence developed, I was soon able to find creativity using angles and zoom in drafting unique works of art.

 At the beginning of every month we are assigned a project followed by a workshop instructing us in the skills we need for that assignment. We have done project themes such as learning how to use proper exposure, burning in and dodging, using light, and learning to focus on the smaller picture rather than the larger one.

 In the photography facility we are lucky to have two modern professional dark rooms, a large printing room, and a fully equipped studio room. In traditional photography we are taught how to work in the darkroom to develop our photos through a precise process involving various chemicals. Following the developing process, assuming everything went well, we are then able to move into the printing lab to bring our photos to life. 

The photography program at Brentwood offers an artistic outlet with an extensive range of skill levels to embolden everyone to attempt to grasp the art form that is film photography. This class has a wonderful atmosphere for young photographers all learning to harness their inner Ansel Adams.

Ella B, Mackenzie ‘17 & Joe M, Ellis ‘17

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