9, December 2008 § Leave a comment
I come to the Aegean Center from Athens, Georgia and am taking a “gap” year before heading off to college next Fall. I was drawn to the Aegean Center because of my interest in photography (as well as other mediums) and my desire to live abroad. Originally, I had planned to be involved in photography classes only, but the encouraging atmosphere of the Center opened me to attempting courses in which I was less confident. So, what once would have been a light schedule is now a wonderfully full schedule. I am taking basic drawing, figure drawing, Greek literature, Greek art history, Greek dancing, photo history, digital photography, silver photography, and a class on the camera. One of the many great things about my schedule is that I have at least one class with almost every instructor at the Center.
Working in both digital and silver photography allows me one-on-one time with Elizabeth Carson and John Pack. With Liz I am learning the art of the darkroom and with John the art of producing a fine digital print. The first step in both classes is making photographs. From our travels in Italy and our time in Greece I have accumulated a number of images, both film and digital, that I am currently working on.
During the first week, Liz taught all of the silver students how to develop film and how to begin printing. For many, this was a welcome review as almost all of us were out of practice and needed to be acclimated to the darkroom here. The best way to learn in the darkroom is to work when Liz is there, by just sitting down and exchanging ideas with her. Also, having her trained eye reviewing my test strips and proofs has helped me to train my own eye to see subtle differences in tonality and to see that even the slightest change can make a print look entirely different. I have progressed in my understanding of photography and enjoy working in the darkroom even if it means I am not outside in the wonderful Greek sunlight 24/7.
Digital photography is a whole different world from silver. Our digital class consists of about ten people and we meet twice a week. We learn about Photoshop and printing by looking at each other’s work and seeing the changes we have made to our images. We also spend time working with John individually throughout the week. When working with John, I typically open up an image that I have worked on and we discuss the changes I’ve made and different ways to make those changes. Often we play around with different modifications until we find the best image.