Allie Von Spreckelsen
Age 14, Grade 8
M.S. 51, Brooklyn
Art Teacher: Amy Flatow
Digital black-and-white print
I used to think photography was more about the pretty pictures, beaches and flowers and happy things. But now I've come to realize that it's more than that. It's about telling a story within a picture, it doesn't always have to be pretty. It can say something about society or social issues/injustices. I see pictures all around me everywhere I go. My art teacher for the past three years, Ms. Flatow, taught many techniques, how to use a camera, and most importantly, the significance of using light. This photograph was from my Mood Lighting project. Because the whole project was based on the use of light, a challenge I faced was getting the perfect lighting on my subject. It was also difficult to make the lighting match the
mood of my subject, but I was creative with the lighting, angles, manipulation of the lighting, and position of my subject, and finally Helena matched the vision I had in mind.
This project was inspired by cinematic mood lighting. As preparation, students explored stills from Hitchcock films, classic silver screen films, and the contemporary film The Artist. They explored how a light source can be manipulated using various reflective modifiers. Prepped and ready to go, students worked in small groups, acting as directors and photographers, to create their personal vision for the shot. Students assisted their directors by modeling or following instructions to assist with lighting. Allie used costumes to enhance Helena's appearance. She emphasized the rich textures of costume to create an image that has the feeling of a Renaissance painting.