Photographers develop personal styles

Danny Ogranovich, Staff Writer

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Mr. and Mrs. Duck, senior Fiona McLaughlan’s ducks, sit by a pond in McLaughlan’s backyard. The ducks were some of McLaughlan’s subjects. Photo courtesy of Fiona McLaughlan

A California Sea Lion suns on a rock in Carmel-by-the-Sea, Calif. Junior Carolina Pospischel took a photo of this animal while traveling with her family. Photo courtesy of Carolina Pospischel

The younger sister of senior Lexi Dejneka holds the straps of a bag across her face. This photo was taken using double exposure, a technique Lexi enjoys. Photo courtesy of Lexi Dejneka

After returning home from school, senior and photographer Fiona McLaughlan did not expect to see the mangled bodies of her dead ducks covered in blood, lying in piles of ripped feathers across her backyard. After escaping their enclosure the night before, each duck had been mercilessly torn into shreds by an owl. Not only had McLaughlan lost her beloved pets, she had also lost some of her most valuable photography subjects.

McLaughlan is one of several students in a class nicknamed Photography 4.5, which is an extension of Photography 461 despite being in the same block. Photography 4.5 is the highest possible photography course at Glenbrook North. Multiple students in Photography 4.5, as well as Photography 461 and Photography 361, have done work outside of class to increase their photography portfolios.

According to art teacher Robert Milkowski, many of these students have begun to develop their own style.

McLaughlan said her style attempts to evoke different emotions in viewers.

“The goal is to look at the picture and be like, ‘What is going on?’” said McLaughlan. “I want them to question why [the subject] would make that face or why they would feel that way. I want them to ask questions, not completely come to a conclusion. I want them to kind of linger on the image.”

According to McLaughlan, one such “emotive” photo was of a speeding ticket she received while driving to pick a friend up from school. Afterward, the two of them took the ticket home for a special kind of photoshoot.

“We were basically just beating [the ticket] up,” said McLaughlan. “We had just put it in the grass and started to take turns hitting it, and I was taking some photos. It wasn’t very effective, so we eventually decided to burn it.”

Junior Carolina Pospischel, a Photography 461 student, said she is also trying to develop her own style after having learned the photography basics. Her personal philosophy is to take pictures as they come rather than planning photo opportunities.

“Remember to be in the moment,” said Pospischel. “Don’t go out looking for pictures: pictures will find you.”

According to Pospischel, her week-long tour of the west coast gave her one such “in the moment” opportunity. On her way to Hollywood, Calif., she and her family made an unexpected stop at a town off the coast of southern California called Carmel-by-the-Sea, which is where she took some of her most memorable photos.

“We saw this gorgeous beach, and we were just like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ so of course we stayed there for a while and kind of played in the sand,” said Pospischel. “I had my camera with me, of course, so I got a lot of great photos. It was all very exciting.”

According to senior Lexi Dejneka, a Photography 361 student, one of her best photography memories happened spontaneously in Northbrook.

Dejneka said earlier this year she was by Willow Hill Golf Course and decided to spontaneously drive all the way up to the top of the hill. From the top, she could see all the way out to downtown Chicago.

“I didn’t know if I was allowed to go up there, but I just kind of drove up there,” said Dejneka. “It [looked] so beautiful, so I took a picture.”

According to Pospischel, all types of photography still need to follow the same basic rules.

“It can’t be boring, and it has to have a story behind it,” said Pospischel. “It [must] be connected to something so that when people see it they really go, ‘Wow.’”

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Photographers develop personal styles