Photo Treks offers an expedition for 8th graders that combines the outdoors and the art of photography. After deciding their itinerary, the students and a professional photographer embark on a 5-day 4-night journey together to a unique landscape in Maine; past programs have focused on the working waterfronts of Midcoast Maine and the woods and native culture of the Grand Lakes Stream Region of Downeast Maine. Students have then traveled to either Maine Media Workshops or Unity College where they learn to process their photographs and critique their peers’ work. As the culminating experience, the students present their photographs to the community through a print or digital exhibition. The purpose of the program is to provide an opportunity for students to learn how to document their experiences and landscapes via digital photography with support from local artists and mentors.
Thu Oct 06, 2011 Day 1
After picking up the St. George students from school, we drove to Oceanside West to pick up the rest of our students and our photographer, Matt. Shortly afterwards, with our cameras in our hands and our whistles around our necks, we loaded up the bus.
We had a short drive to Camden Hills State Park. There we had dinner, a camera orientation, and played games, all close to the fire to try to stay warm.
Fri Oct 07, 2011 Day 2
The next morning we woke up as the sun was still on its way up. We had breakfast in the chilly morning and hurried off to catch the 8:45am ferry to Vinalhaven. The night before, a tree had fallen in the road, blocking our way out, but luckily, the Camden Hills crew quickly removed it and we got to the ferry just in time to board!
On the ferry ride over we took lots of pictures of boats, islands, lighthouses, sleeping UPS drivers, other passengers, and anything that fell in front of our lenses.
We arrived at Vinalhaven at 10:00am where Karol and some of the other guys from the energy club were waiting to meet us. We picked up our wonderful rental vans drove up to the wind turbines.
After taking in a lot of information and even more photos, our stomachs were growling and we were ready for lunch. We drove back into the middle of town and ate our lunch at a gazebo. We then walked down to the ARCafe, a student-run cafe, to add to our PB&J lunches.
Having fully enjoyed some local desserts of pie, scones, and coffee, we had some free time to explore the Main Street area of Vinalhaven. We took lots of pictures while some people got ice cream, others went into bookstores, and some just wandered to see the sites.
The ferry ride home consisted of lots of face painting, using the paint Kelsea got for her birthday. Some faces turned out better than others…
When we got back onto the mainland we drove up to the top of Mt. Batty. There, we did some journaling as the sun was setting and of course, took many pictures.
Sat Oct 08, 2011 Day 3
On the third day we woke up to some warmer weather, which was a wonderful surprise. We then made the short drive to Prock Marine in Rockland. There we met Joe McGeady who told us about what they do at Prock and showed us around the yard so we could take some pictures. After taking many great photos there, we walked next door to Ocean Pursuits to take some pictures of their sailboats. By this time, it was getting quite warm so we piled into the bus and set out for Damariscotta.
Why Damariscotta? PUMPKINFEST! The town was celebrating pumpkins and they were everywhere. There were giant pumpkins and tiny pumpkins, and pumpkins being painted and pumpkins being shot out of cannons. We even saw a giant pumpkin parade with a pumpkin that weighed 1400 lbs!
Sun Oct 09, 2011 Day 4
On Sunday morning we drove down to Portland to visit the Portland Fish Exchange just in time for their weekly auction. After spending enough time in a giant cooler full of dead fish and turning them into works of art, we left to explore the Old Port. All of us smelling like bait…
Around the Old Port we got to check out some of the local shops, eat some food, enjoy the 80 degree weather, and of course, take some more pictures.
On our way home, we stopped at the Hatchet Cove Farm fundraiser. There we enjoyed some local food and drinks and were able to get up close to the farm animals. Some of us too close.
Mon Oct 10, 2011 Day 5
On our 5th and final day we woke up, broke down camp, loaded gear onto the bus, ate our last bagel and cereal breakfast and drove down the road to Maine Media Workshops. We spent the day there downloading pictures, editing them, asking for other opinions, making the very difficult decision of what 3 pictures we wanted to print and then the even harder decision of which 2 of the 3 will go up in the exhibit. With help from Matt, we were able to print out our pictures at the end of the day and see the art that we had spent the last 4 days creating. It was a great experience! Stay tuned for more information about our exhibit in the Jonathan Frost gallery in Rockland this coming January!