Students Develop Photography Skills

By Brandon Kong ’19 and Lin Lin Ni ’19

With the upcoming photography project, students are eager to experience for themselves the hobby Mr. Matthew Septimus advocates.

Mr. Septimus, a freelance photographer, makes occasional visits to Midwood to offer a broader scope on the field and his experience with it.

“I’m expecting Mr. Septimus to teach us how to use a camera and take good pictures physically, rather than verbally as he did in the past,” said Xin Zhen ’19.

With Mr. Septimus’s frequent visits to Midwood, he lectured to the students on the technical aspects of photography, such as perspective, as well as the less tangible aspects, such as understanding the subject of the picture.

Throughout the period, Mr. Septimus taught the students various techniques for handling the camera and capturing the desired aspect of a photo. Excited chatters and murmurs were everywhere when the students were told to pick up their camera to complete their tasks.

During the class period, students enthusiastically experimented with landscape and portrait lenses.

“When Ms. Kaczmarek told us Mr. Septimus was coming back, I was thrilled,” said Helen Hu ’19. “While Mr. Septimus was explaining to the class how to handle a camera properly, I found it really interesting because he taught us how to adjust the quality, change the lens, and it allowed us to understand how professionals follow this routine daily in  order to capture the image of reality.”

According to Mr. Septimus, a common misconception beginners have about photography is their emphasis on technical details.

“The technical things should be thought of the least, what really matters is what makes a good picture and that comes from the sensitivity of how you think,” said Mr. Septimus.

While the period was in session, the students were able to play around with the cameras, finishing the work Ms. Catherine Kaczmarek has assigned to them.

“Because of the long amount of time it took Mr. Septimus to teach us how to properly handle the camera and change the lenses, we didn’t have much time to experience the cameras,” said Hu ’19. “I hope there will be another chance like this in the future, having Mr. Septimus coming back and teaching us more than just the basics.”

The period lasted 45 minutes, but according to Mr. Septimus and the students, time flew by.

“The short amount of time really poses a problem, I need more time to get to explain things to the students,” said Mr. Septimus.

One of Mr. Septimus’s ambitions is to garner enough enthusiasm to establish a photography club which will eventually contribute to his plan to decorate the hallways with photos.

“I think that creating a photography club will let students be more enthusiastic about contributing to the school community,” said Brian Seetoe ’19.

Ultimately, Mr. Septimus only hopes to encourage students to look at everyday things in a new perspective.

“I hope that I’m able to encourage students to interpret their environment differently and pay attention to details instead of focusing on their phones all the time,” said Mr. Septimus.

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