Monday, August 4, 2008

Stories from Punta Arena, the summer program Left the humidity at the border

I love the Arizona heat.
"Art you nuts?"
No, actually.
After the humidity of Guaymas that I embrace when I go in the summer time, the dry heat (even in monsoon season) is a nice respite. It is rewarding work, but working in the morning heat and humidity for a mere three hours, feeling like a zombie for a couple of hours that follow, while attempting R&R in the air conditioning while pouring down two or three liters of a hybrid of Gatorade and Electrolyes is tough duty.

Talented Crew
The crew returned home after a two-week program in Guaymas that reached about 60 kids in fun, education and school supplies for the coming year. They left the class with a goodie bag of crayons, pencils, markers, rulers, Elmer's glue and, of course, a few treats. They all had great time as far as I could tell and learned something about creativity and mutual respect with their peers.

Finally wrapping up the image package after shooting something like 2,500 frames over the two weeks. It is time consuming work that allows reliving some of the fun moments over the course of the project.

The trip reconfirmed my view of Renee as being among the best teachers I know. Her enthusiasm, her methods of reaching individual kids, making them feel success while having a great time, her use of tools like the community circle in a fun way to teach kids how they should not only treat each other with respect, but how to work as a team to accomplish goals, is inspiring.

As a deacon and a professional teacher Herve reminded me of his gift of teaching faith and teaching practical things with a perfect balance of focus and fun (he did attend clown school at Ringling Brothers, once upon a time).
The rest of the crew, Harvey, Gabriella, Cassandra, our Mexican helpers like Alberto, Alma, Gabby and others, are the role-players who do some of the important heavy lifting under leadership of Renee and Herve, also deserve credit for another successful program.

Technically speaking...
This trip was an opportunity to compare my own similar work of five years ago and now to see quantifiable improvement in my skills as a photographer and photojournalist.
Assignments are rarely so similar that you can do such a direct comparison.
This was the best of both worlds, bringing to bear greater skill and creativity while photographing something that matters.
Of course, in such a field, improvement over time is the norm. If in such a craft as photography, if you aren't improving, adjusting, changing, then your craft is in danger of becoming rote and therefore more a job and less a passion.
Fortunately this remains a passion.

On my website you will find a larger collection of photographs from this trip, including some new fine art images that are available for purchase.
If you have enjoyed this Summer Program blog please email me your feedback or post under comments.