School of the World
300 M Este 50 N De La Pops, Escuela del Mundo, Playa Jaco Costa Rica
Office (outside Costa Rica) +506.2643.2462
Office (Costa Rica)
It seems these days as though the old adage “A picture is worth a thousand words” is losing its merit. Sure, there are still pictures that incite that saying in its truest form, but with the advent of camera phones and apps like Instagram and picster it almost feels like the currency of photos has lost some value. In a sense the digital revolution has made everyone a photographer- and while this has lead to some great shots and a new level of electronic connectivity it sometimes feels like the soul of photography is getting a little lost.
The true soul of photography is art. Art is understanding how to adjust for the shot; how to set your shutter speed to account for the lighting or the movement, and positioning for the natural light so that it captures the emotions of the subject you are shooting. Art is creating depth in your pictures so that you incite emotion in those who will look at it. These are the tips our photography instructor, Carlos, gives his classes before he unleashes them upon a photo location.
Instructing a photography class how to take artistic pictures is only further emphasized by the uniqueness of the places that our photography class gets to go in Costa Rica. It would be easy to take our students to beautiful beaches and awe inspiring mountain top views as they are a dime a dozen here in Costa Rica. Yet for the purposes of experience and artistic expression in a more rare form Carlos takes his photo class to a local fishing village. “Don’t go around and take pictures like a paparazzi” he warns his students, emphasizing his point by making the noise of flashing cameras and then laughing. “The idea is, to capture something different, to create depth in your pictures.” With those instructions he sends his students off to capture the colorfully adorned wooden boats that riddle the beachfront, the intricacy of the stitching involved in hand making giant fishing nets.
Carlos makes his way to each student, reassuring the few who seem timid about snapping a strangers picture. “Don’t be worried. Everyone here is super nice” he says exaggerating the word super. Towards the end of the field trip he gathers up his class by a large tent so that he can explain to them what the people are doing. He explains to the students that they are making hooks for the bait they are going to put on there, ending his explanation by remarking that the process is “so cool” even though you know he has seen it done a hundred times before. That is what marks a great photography class field trip, the fact that even after seeing this place countless times before it can still provoke unique and creative pictures. Photography class here doesn’t just teach you how to take pictures, rather it teaches you how to create art by taking pictures.