Photographing LALA

One of the main ways Departures represents Los Angeles' neighborhoods is through photography. Capturing people, places, objects, and even specific moments allows space to be reinvented and realized through digital murals.

For Youth Voices, students learn basic principles of photography and are asked to shift focus toward themselves and their neighborhoods, and to begin to frame their worlds through different visual modes.

Last week, the Youth Voices photography workshop at L.A. Leadership Academy (LALA) focused on teaching students how to tell stories using their photography. They first discussed framing and composition and were presented with a variety of photographs meant to exemplifying space, focal length, depth of field, rule of thirds, exposure, shutter speed, light, and color. Then, they were sent to produce a set of photographs to best represent their school, by taking pictures of moments, people, and objects to develop a more critical perspective about their everyday lives. By photographing their campus, students were able to re-examine the people and things they see on a daily basis. Showcased in this set below is a sample of what they captured.

These images tell the story of a unique school in an old Spanish Mission-style building nestled in a residential area within Northeast Los Angeles. From the school, you can see an incredible view of Downtown L.A. through rolling hills. Before L.A. Leadership moved to this location, the building was the home of a school for pregnant teens (as shown in the black & white photo). Posters showing great social justice leaders who helped shape the school's mission to foster and educate the future leaders of tomorrow are featured on the walls. We see students in classrooms, portraits of some of our Youth Voices student producers, and some great photos of the graffiti murals.

After the activity, students were asked to capture the community outside their school with whatever photographic device they could get their hands on -- digital or film camera, cell phone, smart phone, iPod - whatever. The goal being, to create a photographic essay using only 12 images that represent a familiar path that they take. The projects are currently in production, and an example from one of our seniors is below. Click below to see Allan's journey from home to school as he travels by bus from Boyle Heights. Enjoy.

Next week we will explore video, in our second of three multimedia production workshops.

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Video Interviews 101 at LALA

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