A snapshot of photo class
Orcutt Academy High School offers three different “art” classes in the art, photo, and video programs. Two of which; photo and video, are taught by Mr. McManus. Both classes teach students the basics of their respective art and allows students to showcase their talents with different projects.
Photo 1 begins by introducing students to the history of photography, and the basics of what it means to take a photo. This learning aspects of a photo like set design, lighting, and the components of a camera. This takes up most of the first semester, which then allows students to be creative in the second..
Mr. McManus explained that, “[The] second semester is about being able to apply all of the techniques learned in the first semester into taking actual photos. It’s filled with lots of projects which allow students to be creative and branch out”.
Photo 1 student and OAHS sophomore Kyle Maxwell has been involved with photography for many years, but still finds something in McManus’ class. “I liked learning about the history of photography, and the camera.” Even for students who are great at the craft, being able to formally learn about cameras and photography in a school environment is extremely useful. I love taking pictures on my own time, but it’s really fun to have a class period dedicated to it”.
While photo isn’t for everyone, it’s always great when the arts programs can reach dedicated students like Kyle. He obviously has a great passion for photography and even earned an award for his “halloween project” photo.
Of course, Kyle said that he would definitely take a Photo 2 class. “I love taking pictures on my own time, but it’s really fun being able to have a class period dedicated to it”.
Unfortunately last year’s Photo 1 class didn’t have the chance to take Photo 2 this year, as the former was so popular, there wasn’t room for Photo 2 to fit into the day. In order to get more people in at the ground floor and help everyone take a visual performing art to graduate, there are currently three Photo 1 classes. Combined with Mr. McManus’ video and yearbook classes, this fills out his time and didn’t allow for a Photo 2 this year. Hopefully next year, this outlet is restored and these students can continue down this path.
Despite almost everyone having a camera in their pocket nowadays, photography is often overlooked. But at Orcutt Academy, students who want to go further in the craft and express themselves through the lens, the photo class and Mr. McManus are here to help them do that. Mr. Mcmanus encourages all students to join his class and try out photography- they just might like it.