THROUGH THE LENS: Fallin students create photo exhibit from classwork

Published 11:00 am Sunday, April 9, 2023

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Special to The Democrat

NATCHEZ – The term “a win-win-win-win” was appropriate for the students and instructors of the Digital Media Technology Program at the Fallin Career and Technology Center.

The students in a variety of secondary school grades learned the fundamentals of photography, from framing, camera settings, rules of thirds and fill-the-frame and more.

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Then, they took those skills “on the road,” traveling through Natchez with the intent of creating pictures that represent “My Natchez.”

Next, they returned to the studio to apply all the skills and images they learned in their Photoshop-edited pictures.

Finally, they and the instructors created a beautiful exhibit from their photographs.

The public can see the exhibit beginning Tuesday, April 11, at the Judge George W. Armstrong Library on South Commerce Street. The exhibit will run through April.

“These students went on a journey that, I hope, will affect them for years to come,” said G. Mark LaFrancis, the teaching artist in the class. “They traveled through the aspects of the camera, through the history of Natchez, though the intricacies of editing and the creativity of making their exhibit. They learned about people, places and events of Natchez which many had never experienced before.”

Among the photo stops were the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Forks of the Road Slave Site, the Natchez Museum of Afro-American History and Culture, Natchez in Historic Photographs, The Natchez Bluffs, where one of the new river cruisers happened to be unloading passengers, and Memorial Park and the Veterans Memorial.

“The students were not told what to shoot, but to photograph subjects meaningful to them,” LaFrancis said. “They were briefed ahead of their trip that the exhibit would express their Natchez.”

Teacher Laveria Green said, “In Digital Media Technology we get to touch the future.” Green added, “When given the opportunity, young people rise to meet the challenge. I am thankful for the privilege of helping my students reach their potential.”

The exhibit was first shown at a recent Natchez Adams School Board meeting.

Other exhibits produced in the class were A Photographic Study of the Natchez City Cemetery, Faces and Hands (which depicted portraits of individuals and their hands showing their interests), and Shadow Stories (photos around the community of just shadows).

After the exhibit concludes its showing at the Armstrong Library, it will be relocated to other places in Natchez. In the fall, students will begin work on another project.