Woodland’s photography classes do not only educate students within the classroom, but they also provide students with hands-on experiences. After learning basic skills, students attend conferences and enter contests to hone their ability in photography. Classes are based on a hierarchy of levels to ensure students have a basis of understanding before advancing in the class. Beginning with fundamentals and moving up to the college level. Behind all of the action is Kristen Lengyel, head photography teacher at Woodland.
“Taking pictures is pretty awesome. I think it’s fun to get behind the camera and look for things that have really great composition or light, and just have fun with that,” said Lengyel.
The first class level is Photo 1. In this course, students learn the basics that every photographer needs to know. This includes the use of tools in Adobe Photoshop to enhance photographs. Students also learn how to coordinate a shutter speed and an F-stop to complement a composition. A fast shutter speed allows less light to travel into the camera, a slow shutter speed allows the camera to take in more light, and F-stops control how much of the picture is in focus.
Taking a step above is Photo 2, where students advance their basic skills through application to further their understanding. Photo 2 is an ECE course that prepares students with college class experience that can be used for college credit from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU).
If students want to take their passion for photography to the next level, they can take Advanced Photo. Students apply all the information retained from previous photo classes and work further towards sharing their photos with the world. Advanced Photo is an ECE class, meaning students will receive credits from the University of Connecticut (UCONN) as long as they pass the class.
The last photo class offered at Woodland is AP Studio Art, a slightly different option. Students enrolled in this class can create personal photo portfolios. The portfolios that students make allow them to share their compositions with others. Students can also earn college credit for almost any college. This can be beneficial for students who have an interest in photography as a potential career.
Lengyel’s goal in teaching photography at Woodland is to spark an interest in photography in her students. Lengyel believes in providing her students with as much creative freedom as she can give.
“It’s great to be creative and find how light fits into a composition,” said Lengyel. “Not just that, but it’s fun to go take pictures.”