Oak Harbor High School students will have a chance to share their photography with the community next month.
As a part of the “artist of the month” exhibition, artwork that was created by the students in a photography class will be displayed at the Oak Harbor library.
Some of the work that will be on display was recently recognized at the Washington State High School Photography Competition. Five Oak Harbor High School photography students – Taylen Bader, Tyler Bolden, Alex Merrill, Isaac Schulz, and Ben Servatius – finished in the top 10% of the competition. Over 4,500 pieces were submitted in total.
Jana Jansen has been teaching photography, graphic design and yearbook production at Oak Harbor High School for eight years.
“They work so hard, they really deserve the recognition,” she said about her students.
Jansen’s photography classes are always full. She teaches about 150 students per year, in both beginning and advanced classes. The advanced students serve as leaders in the beginning class.
“I typically have between four and eight advanced students in each one of the beginner classes,” she said. “The students in those classes, they earn an art credit and a CTE credit.”
Photography classes are part of the Career and Technical Education department at the high school. In the beginning class, students learn how to use a DSLR camera and the basics of photography such as how to properly expose an image with shutter speed, aperture, and ISO, as well as how to compose an image. Advanced students learn how to use professional studio lighting equipment. Photography students also document most of the school’s events.
“The kids just love that,” Janssen said. “They love being involved.”
The library is displaying 20 pieces. They include photographic techniques such as double exposures and light painting. Some of the pieces were collaborations between several students, some were modified with Photoshop. Students are encouraged to take the cameras home and photograph their environment.
“Many students take pictures of our beautiful island,” Jansen said.
Student Matthew Ackerman said the idea behind his “Spooked Seagulls” image was “to capture Whidbey’s most iconic (and most annoying) bird in the way that most people end up seeing them, flying away after they were spooked, using a mid-range f-stop and a high shutter speed to capture the details of these flying gulls.”
Spooked Seagulls and the other students’ photography will be on display for the month of July at the Sno-Isle library in Oak Harbor.
The reason for having artwork displayed every month is to beautify the space, highlight local talent, provide artists with exposure to a wider audience and bring fine art to the whole community, according to library associate Natasha Vanderlin.