High school students place well in photo competitions
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – For Jeff Fairley, a senior at South Tahoe High School, taking an award-winning photograph is something you do just after rolling out of bed.
“I woke up one morning and I was like ‘oh god, I have to take a self-portrait by third period today,” Fairley said.
He wrapped himself in an American flag, pulled on his cowboy hat, sat down with his guitar and put the camera on self-timer. His photograph along with five others received honorable mentions out of hundreds of entries in a statewide photo contest. Another South Tahoe High student, 17-year-old junior Lauren Pickering, received the top prize in the contest.
Pickering’s self-portrait, a dashing glimpse of her light blue eyes with the rest of her face hidden behind a black scarf, is a testament to the talent of the school’s photographers. But Pickering doesn’t see photography as a future.
“I like it,” Pickering said. “I’m interested in it, but I don’t think I’ll pursue a career in it.”
Chris Garrett, a senior in Candi Lincoln’s digital photography class, earned a third place in California’s District 4 with his panorama of Lake Tahoe. After graduation Garrett will go to CalPoly in San Luis Obispo to study graphic communications. The digital photography class at the high school did help him with some skills, but he learned to stitch the photos together to make the panorama on his own.
“I’ve been taking photos for two or three years,” Garrett said. “I already knew a lot of Photoshop tricks.”
The photography awards aren’t the first honors students in Lincoln’s classes have received. Last year, student Aimee Pitcher won the fourth congressional district’s art competition with her painting titled, “Sapphire.” Even with the new Arts building to open in 2012, it’s more about the students than the facilities, Lincoln said. Her students have received awards using cell phone cameras, she added.
“I teach them how to know themselves,” she said. “First you have to know what you think and feel before you can work on expressing it.”
The art program has received tremendous support from the school district administration, Lincoln said.
“Ivone Larson and Dr. Tarwater have supported me immensely and the kids too,” she said. “I’ve worked in 13 school districts and I have never worked in a district that supports the kids as much.”