Photo Treks 2009
Wed Oct 21, 2009
First Photo Treks Meeting
After picking up the trekkers at St. George School and Thomaston Grammar, we headed down to the Gamble Center to kick of Photo Treks and meet the rest of the group!
The ten Trekkers met the ten Julia’s Gallery students and those twenty students plus all the volunteers played some get to know you games and toured the Gallery itself.
Julia’s Gallery, a gallery dedicated to young artists, was exhibiting the work of several children from Matinicus Island and everyone took some time to get to know the photos a bit as fuel for our own upcoming photographic explorations.
After our tour of the gallery, Matt, our professional photographer and teacher from Maine Media, gave us a presentation on the history of photography.
Wed Oct 28, 2009
Maine Media Orientation
On this second Photo Treks adventure, we got to see the inner workings of one of the country’s best media schools, Maine Media!
After settling in and catching up, the students created a full values contract, setting up the parameters for the semester. With three prompts, the students decided, “what is the best thing that could happen during Photo Treks?” “how can I make those things happen for myself?” and “how can we help each other achieve those things?” Taking turns each student went up and wrote their answers to each question, then in a group we discussed what we were agreeing to together. After signing the contract, we went on a tour of the facilities.
Kate, the director of photography at Maine Media, gave us a great tour of the whole place, including the sound stage, where they film all of their movies, and the equipment room full of all of their cool filming tools. We also got to see the dark room facilities, where all of the black and white photographs are developed.
At the end of the tour, we saw our classroom, full of big screened Mac computers, ready to work their magic with our photographs!
Sat Oct 31, 2009
First Photo Taking Expedition!
On a very scary Halloween expedition, Photo Treks kicked off the picture taking at the Rockland Ferry, with help from our driver Monty and Bessie the Trekkers bus.
In the theme of working waterfronts, Rockland Ferry fits right in and the Photo Trekkers were there to document it all. Matt gave us all a quick tutorial on how to most effectively use our cameras, and we were off!
We spent the morning exploring the site, following Matt’s professional advice: “If you see something, anything, and think ‘oh!’ that’s a photograph. If you see something and it makes you think, ‘hm,’ that’s a photograph. Take it.” So the Photo Treks split up into pairs and wandered around the boats and old lobster traps, looking for those things which sparked their imaginations.
Our next meeting, we’ll get to put all those photos up on the computers and learn how to process them into beautiful photographs. Tune in next week…
Sat Nov 07, 2009
Commotion in Camden
Another successful Photo Treks adventure!
Today we went to the Wayfarer in Camden and got a personal tour of the marina. Our guide showed us the machinery used to take boats out of the water for the season, the holding space for masts of all sizes and explained the ins and outs of work at the Wayfarer.
It was a beautiful sunny day and the assignment for all was to take portraits and get a quote, like a journalist in the field. Going with the overarching theme of documentary photography, it was a great lesson in what it must really be like to photograph people respectfully and honestly. We got some great photos for sure, tune in next chapter to see what we do with them!
Sat Nov 14, 2009
Photo Treks ventures to Port Clyde!
Braving the rainy weather and gusty winds, the Photo Treks again boarded Bessie and pushed on to Port Clyde to see another facet of working waterfronts of Midcoast Maine.
Starting at the fisherman’s Co-op, we were lucky enough to get a personal interview with life long fisherman Randy Cushman on the docks. While he stood in his boat, totally at home amongst the myriad ropes, chains and equipment, we got to ask him all the questions we could think of. Methodically and automatically pulling his boat back and forth by it’s docking tether Randy told us of his family’s long fishing heritage, what fishing means to them and this community, how it’s changed in just his lifetime and what he sees future in the future of private and independent fishing. He even told us his own personal Perfect Storm story.
After the fisherman’s coop we walked down to the ferry and got a chance to hear the story of the ferry line, as well as a chance to see the gigantic Sea Trucks waiting patiently on the beach.
But we didn’t stop there… we went on to Herring Gut Learning Center, where Photo Treks volunteer and Herring Gut teacher Sarah Radamaker gave us a tour of the facilities, aided by Herring Gut student Brandon Toler. We saw huge tanks full of Tilapia big and small, and the hydroponic system their waste feeds where the students grow vegetables for the alternative ed. culinary program.
To wrap it all up, we rode down the road to the Port Clyde lighthouse and set against a backdrop of crashing waves, saw several Forrest Gump impersonations before loading up and heading back.
It was a great and exciting day, tune in for more on Wednesday!
Wed Nov 18, 2009
The Processing Continues
Another great day at Maine Media. The Photo Treks began processing their digital photographs taken on our expedition to Port Clyde, including the fisherman’s Co-op, Herring Gut and the Port Clyde Light House.
Half of the students worked on their photos while the other half worked on artists statements meant to hang in the gallery along with their photos. With some quiet time and space, each Trekkers artist contemplated three big questions to get their minds moving: What do you like taking photos of and why? What techniques do you find yourself using most often and why? What do you want people to know about you by looking at your photographs?
Later on in the session we all practiced a consensus decision making in deciding our next destination: Belfast.
Tune in Monday for a full update.
Sat Nov 21, 2009
The time went too Belfast
On a day that couldn’t decide to be either cloudy or sunny, the Photo Treks made the journey up the Midcoast to Belfast. Loading on to Daisy the Bus, all were ready for another day of working waterfronts. Thanks to our wonderful bus driver Monty, we got to Belfast with enough time to spare to make most of a consensus decision on the name of our gallery show… to be revealed to the outside world at a later date.
With only 45 minutes to get the job done, the Photo Trekkers split up in two groups along the waterfront, covering an impressive amount of territory in so little time.
There was not too much working going on, but the lighting and the sky provided ample creative potential in documenting the quiet waterfront.
In too short a time, the day was over and we all said our goodbyes before this Thanksgiving break. Tune in after Thanksgiving for an update on our technical procesess at Maine Media, and have a Happy Turkey (or Tofurky) Day!
Sat Dec 05, 2009
TREKKERS HISTORICAL MOMENT: Trekkers first ever Lady Driver made her debut this weekend as Meredith Lynt, our fearless Program Director, drove Daisy this Saturday to Owls Head and Rockland. Way to go Meredith!
Braving the cold and windy morning and with snow on the breeze, the Photo Trekkers headed down to Owls Head, stopping first on the wharf for a private chat with lifetime lobsterman and Lindsey’s Grandpa, Carl. After our chat a couple of weeks ago with Randy at the Port Clyde Fisherman’s Co-op, it was great to get some more information about what it’s actually like to work on the waterfront. Also, since Carl has been lobstering for so long, he could give some great insight into how life and lobstering have changed over the years. He even told us about his strangest ever catch; a huge slimy eel that took up the whole trap!
We spent a some time wandering around the docks for awhile, interrupted only by a strange low flying helicopter, circling not far away… Meredith jokingly said “look it’s Santa!” and she was perhaps the most surprised when we pulled into the Owls Head lighthouse parking lot to find…. Santa, in a helicopter.
The jolly man suggested we take a photo with him, so we piled in and got our first group photo, in front of Santa’s helicopter.
To wrap up the day after such an exciting lighthouse moment, Mere drove us all into Rockland to the breakwater, for 15 waterlogged minutes of photographing glory.
Sat Dec 12, 2009
Due to inclement weather, our Wednesday session of Photo Treks was canceled… to make up for lost lab time, the Photo Trekkers switched a trip to Isleboro with a full day in the lab at Maine Media. With hours to work, the students chose their three favorite photos for intensive editing and eventual printing.
While Mere worked in one room facilitating the process for writing thorough artists statements, Matt worked his magic with the photos and computers, setting us all up for a great final push before the set up for the show.
The date of the show is still to be determined, so keep your eyes and ears open for news!