Friday, March 7, 2014

Then and Now

Editor's note: In the following weeks, you will hear and see images from our students themselves: their thoughts and reflections on the course, their work, and the work of others. Come back often to see what is happening in the Lambton Digital Photography program.

Then and Now by Mary Miller
The anticipation leading up to the first day of class back in September 2013 seems a fleeting memory now.  It is hard to believe that in a few short weeks my time at Lambton College will draw to a close. I arrived expecting to learn everything about photography, but I am leaving with so much more. In my two years at Lambton I have learned a great deal about a subject I thought I already knew: myself.

I teamed up with the Culinary Arts Program to photograph their themed creations. This week represented Italy.
                                                                                                 Photo By: Mary Christine Miller
Upon my arrival for the first day of class, the first thing that struck me was the monumental age gap between my classmates and myself. We were a class that spanned from aged 18 to 52. And I was the 52. That having been said, I was overjoyed at how seamlessly I became a part of the group.  All I can figure is that it was the right mix of good people and a common passion for the material at hand. Over the past couple of years, we faced many trials and tribulations, and as I look at my class now I think we all share a common sense of pride at having “weathered the storm”. Indeed, our class has slowly shrunk from 24 to a motley crew of 10. We all have our strengths and our failings. But I can honestly say that my cohort brings out the best in me and my work, and hopefully I do the same for them. There is a word for that: family. We have become a family.

I am exploring a more creative look at photography. This photo is an abstract of reflections framed with cedar shingles.
                                                                                     Photo By: Mary Christine Miller
 I’m not precisely sure when it happened, but I do know how it happened. We have been guided through this experience by the best group of instructors anybody could ask for. Richard, Dave, Don, Troy, Mark, Lorrie and Erica have all done their part to help us grow, realize our vision, and push us to better ourselves. I’m constantly surprised at just how far they are willing to go above and beyond in order to see us achieve our goals. It was clear from the onset that not only their approach to the material, but their approach to us as fledgling artists was calculated and coordinated. If any group of people could serve as role models for a strong team, it’s them.

More abstract exploration while having fun with light painting.
                                                 Photo By: Mary Christine Miller
That all having been said, the last thing I expected to gain from this experience was the insights about myself that have begrudgingly come forward these past two years. When I started the program, I did so because I felt like my work had gone as far as I could get it on my own. Worried that I was stagnating, I decided to give myself over to my passion full time and let others challenge me in ways I wasn’t expecting. Nonetheless, it was hard for me to see the progress I was making. But with perseverance, and the perspective that only time can give, I’m proud of how my work has improved by leaps and bounds. I never could have expected the directions it would take. Before I was fascinated by the living world around me, the beauty of a natural landscape. But now I have come to embrace the more creative side of our art, and thanks to the support of the Culinary Arts program, I have founds a love for photographing their culinary creations.

A fun composite highlighting our New York adventure.
                                                Photos & Manipulations By: Mary Christine Miller 
More importantly, I’m proud of how I have improved by leaps and bounds. When the class took its trip to New York in the fall, I was almost crippled by anxiety and doubt. Could I keep up? What would become of me if I didn’t? But with the support of our leaders and my new found family, I realized that if I only trust myself to find my way in the world (and in Central Park) I can do it. In hindsight, the New York trip has summed up my time here at Lambton. It began with a great deal of uncertainty and doubt. But by giving myself freedom to try new things, trust in myself, and rely on others, I have seen things I never thought I would see - most of all in myself.

Again a team effort with the Culinary Arts Program. This week represented Canada.
                                                             Photo By: Mary Christine Miller

An early evening New York sky, shot from the top of the Rockefeller Centre.
                                                                  Photo By: Mary Christine Miller

1 comment:

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