by Zenzele Barnes
the Durham VOICE
Last summer, SeeSaw Studios hosted a camp for aspiring young photographers. The workshops were held over two weeks, and five students attended under the instruction of Jock Lauterer, a photojournalism teacher and UNC-Chapel Hill.
I was among those five students. Jock taught all of us the ins and outs of using point-and-shoot digital cameras as well as things outside of the basics, such as not being afraid to take risks or pushing outside of your comfort zone to get a spectacular shot.
We walked around Central Park and the Old North Durham residential area as well as the Farmers’ Market taking pictures of people in their community — and we gathered some great pictures of such ordinary tasks such as: kids playing basketball, talking with neighbors, walking dogs, meeting on the corner to talk, and much more.
The camp really opened our eyes to how even the most simple of things can translate so well when put through the lens of a camera. We were all shocked at how friendly people were when they realized what we were trying to do — which was to take pictures of the community and not invade their personal space.
Everyone at the camp became quick friends, and at the end of each day we would review all of our pictures and give constructive criticism on each one to help each other grow and expand our understanding of photography.
At the end of the second week we showcased our best photographs at an exhibit at SeeSaw Studio, which was attended by an impressive crowd. Not only were there parents and friends, but also there were citizens of the Durham community coming out to support us in our ventures.
It’s little gestures like these that make us realize how closely knit our community really is.
Adviser’s note: The SeeSaw PhotoTeach lessons were part of the Northeast Central Durham Community VOICE outreach effort, supported by the UNC-CH School of Journalism and Mass Communication and funded by a grant from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. Special thanks to Wolf Camera of University Mall, Chapel Hill, for exhibit prints.