Socially Distanced Photography: A Review


Catherine Kreidler, Contributor, '21

As we all are very well aware, Covid-19 has affected  every single aspect of our lives; from family gatherings to store occupancy, from facial attire to social distancing, the list goes on forever. But more specifically, I want to address how it has impacted school, and one class in particular, AP Photography.  Where we once could learn and partake in the development of film, now the darkroom is no longer available due to its cramped quarters. This affects the curriculum for Photo 1 as well because one of their first projects involves film. Consequently, Ms. Lichty-Smith had to adjust her syllabus, getting creative with every class’s assignments. Our classroom moved locations from the small classroom above the art room to the wet classroom in the LAC.  Like every other class, plexiglass shields divide us from our classmates and masks are required. Even though these physicals barriers separate us from each other, our creative minds are still able to collaborate and engage.

Currently in AP, we just finished our collage projects which consisted of scraping together magazine pieces and then manipulating them by using materials like citrosolv, oil pastels, and paint. We had to create a theme and overlaying question which described our pieces as a whole. For example, one person in my class created collages about Hinduism while another portrayed the lives of citizens in Peru. For our mid-term, we were challenged to make a collage from a random magazine in less than an hour. The experience was nerve-wracking. Normally about two class periods were allotted to create a collage, so having to start from an entirely blank slate, was a stressful yet stimulating experience, to say the least.  Fortunately, I got lucky because I was given a National Geographic magazine that contained various pictures of animals in Antarctica like penguins, whales, and polar bears. My overall theme was the negative effect humans have on the lives of these arctic animals and how this can be seen in the wild. Since I was pressed for time, the only material I was able to use was Citrosolve, but because of the cardboard background and the torn edges of the pictures, a super cool pattern emerged, giving my collage interesting texture.

What we have learned from these past ten months is that people always adapt (no matter the conflict) and to not take life for granted because you never know when things are going to change. Hopefully, we will be able to return to school (and overall normality) soon because I don’t know about you, but I am eager to get back in the darkroom!