Traveling with a group of Barrington High School students on a photography field trip to Chicago is a challenge I accept every chance I get. Barrington High School is one of the last hold outs for teaching film photography, leaving me to wonder if these kids really understand that they are surely the last generation to learn this art. It appeared they fully appreciated being in a very ecelectic area of Chicago called Bucktown, being with close friends (photography breeds camaraderie) and being with two of the coolest photography teachers to ever walk the earth (Mr. Dionesotes “Mr. D.” and Ms. Hargreaves “H”).
The student’s photographs won’t be ready for weeks, as the craft of film development is deliberate and the most beautiful creations take time. So, while I’d love to show those to you, I can only show you mine, which were created digitally. Here they are along with the assignment:
“Remember that no matter how stable or how fleeting your subject matter, it’s the final print that counts, so envision that print when you look through your viewfinder. Shoot to make a minimum of 35 printable negatives. Frame with clear intention; respect people and private property; represent your school well; make pictures with grace and intelligence.
You are on a scavenger hunt in that you are required not only to find subject matter in each of the following categories, but also to use it creatively in your arrangements of subject matter within the frames and your awareness of light.”
l. Slivers of Light
2. Adjacent structures 100 years apart
3. People dressed alike
4. Neighborhood surprises
And, my favorite, why is Bucktown called Bucktown? The answer: At the turn of the century, Bucktown was a farming community and Bucktown takes its name from the goats that roamed its streets at that time. Here are a couple of pictures of a beautiful fountain in a park, surrounded by heads of goats: