Turf, Lights, Field and Photography


On Sept. 25, 2015, Norfolk Collegiate officially opened the turf fields and turned on the lights in celebration of its new athletic complex. Now our students have taken to the fields in more ways than one; this way just so happens to be with a camera. 

Shortly after the opening of the new fields, students in our introductory photography course begin a project titled Photography & Photoshop I. With the project they explored digital cameras. Learning to control the focus, aperture settings and shutter speeds, students grew to understand the technical elements of capturing an image.

“My photography is inspired through my love of sports,” said Ashby Larkin ’18. “This prompted me to want to show different aspects of sports, not just the athletics being played, but the objects in sports.”

Our students’ photography will be featured in the exhibit Turf, Lights, and Field as a collection of images by Collegiate’s freshman, sophomores and juniors at the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum beginning Sunday, Jan. 17, with a reception at 3 p.m. The exhibit will run through March 27.

Assignments quickly shifted from procedural to compositional and students discovered ways of changing their vantage point and playing with the rule of thirds, a guideline that suggests an image be divided into nine equal parts by equally spaced horizontal and vertical lines, and that important compositional elements should be placed along their intersections.

“Students have learned how to work like a professional photographer,” said Jennifer Schero, Middle and Upper School fine arts teacher and gallery manager. “They’ve learned how to deal with a specific theme, work with deadlines, edit and critique their work, print their photographs and now how to exhibit their work.  It has been a wonderful vehicle for learning about each of these steps.”

The exhibit explores the subtle nuances of the game; students use their photographic eye to tease out the details of what it means to be an athlete.

Throughout this project, students have used the new fields for practicing more than athletics; they were developing their photographic eye.

"When I first started with photography, I would just take a camera and simply point and shoot at objects,” said Gabby Allen ’19. “Now I know how to use the camera and use different techniques to make photography special.”

Upper School students are currently importing their photographs into Adobe Photoshop, where they are learning how to manipulate their work.

“I learned how to use tools in Photoshop like dodge and how to change the saturation, which changes the color,” said Sarah Kirven ’19.

“I learned what makes a photo good or usable,” said Harrison Fuller ’17. “And how to look for things like focus or what is in the background.”

“Exhibiting ones art is the last step in ones journey through the artistic process,” said Schero, who is also the Treasurer of the Virginia Art Education Association. “Much like publishing a written work, the progression demands students to be critical of their work, which then enabled them to grow confident in their strongest images.  Unlike a competition, there is no juror to evaluate placement or merit. This is a group display which showcases the talents of all the students on an equal level.”

“I am very excited,” said Ellie Maus ’18. “I think, speaking for all of us, this is a new opportunity for us and it is really exciting to be a part of it.”

For more information about the exhibit, contact Jennifer Schero at jschero@norfolkcollegiate.org.