Teens focus on media classes

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 12:00 04/12/2013
Students
SHARPER IMAGE: Manawatu College students, from left, Carla Whittaker and Jayden Moore, both 14, with Yvonne Taiaroa, 13, check out cameras donated by UCOL’s school of art, photography and design.

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Some of Manawatu's media-minded students can be more snap happy, thanks to a rehoming camera scheme.

UCOL is working with low-decile schools around the region, including Whanganui, to pass on retired course cameras.

The institute's school of art, photography and design's regular equipment upgrades mean a surplus of gear.

Senior photography lecturer Ian Rotherham said that rehoming those cameras in schools seemed to be commonsense.

"We've got to look at our local areas and ask where we could do a bit more . . . and it's better that someone has them in their hands and is using them."

Manawatu College, in Foxton, welcomed the arrival of five Canon 450D cameras yesterday - worth about $1400 each retail when they were purchased four years ago.

"Having more than one of these devices means it isn't just one person who knows a bit about photography, it opens it up to the whole school to use in the contemporary media," Mr Rotherham said.

The students already have a good grasp on subjects where comprehensive camera use is needed, like dance, drama and media studies, but with no photography course and limited resources, the image capturing capabilities were scarce.

That's set to change now, with the school's head of drama and dance, Elizabeth Reid, planning ways to incorporate the new cameras into classes and extra-curricular activities.

Media studies teacher Annie Kearney said it was great to have the support from industry leaders, enabling students to get a taste of quality image-taking and professional photography.

Her class journalism unit requires students to profile a local character and write a two-page feature on them, with photos.

The extra resources would lift the level of work produced, she said.

"A lot of the time they just get their phones out and take these photos that aren't in focus, but now [with the cameras, they] would be able to ensure they get some quality photos and useful experience producing them."

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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