Monday, October 13, 2008

Samantha, 8th Grade, RYSS

I really like this picture because it has my shadow and me showing the peace sign. You can see my bracelet that says Panda. That's my second favorite band. In my shadow, you can see I have a camera in my hand while I'm taking this picture. If you look very closely right by my finger, there's a red line. I don't know what it has to do with my picture, but it's a really cool red line. Also, if you look at my hand, you can see a drawing of a smiley face with vampire teeth, and under that face, it says, vampire.

Samantha, 8th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Ramiro, 7th Grade, RYSS

I like how the shadows are showing what we are doing and thinking. I like how they are running one way and we another way. In the picture, there are four of us, each one doing a different thing. The reason why I took this image is because it shows how each one of us is thinking. I'm the one who's making the peace sign. I think that in the world, there should be peace. What I also like about the image is how it shows someone's foot. What is cool in this image is how everyone is at different angles. What I mean by this is that some of us are facing forward while others are facing to the side. I'm inspired by this picture. I really think this image shows who we are.

Ramiro, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Lucia, 7th Grade, RYSS

I really like this picture. It shows a lonely, mysterious angle. I took this picture by accident when I was trying to take a picture of the building on the other side of the fence. It also shows small parts of branches that have started to grow on the fence. The picture makes me feel like I'm in a mystery movie. It shows the sad mood of someone passing by. I really like this picture because it shows the mood that I had when I took the picture ... sad.

Lucia, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Leimy, 8th Grade, RYSS

When you look at a tree, the leaves are what make you happy. I really like this picture because green is one of my favorite colors. When I saw this tree, I looked straight at the leaves. I really like the shape of the leaves and especially if you turn them around, they look like teardrops. I am very attracted to leaves because I like the way some are green and when seasons change, they turn yellow, red, orange and other colors. I like the fact that they have little veins. Leaves are like humans. They drink water and breathe. They give us life. Without trees and leaves, we probably wouldn't be alive right now.

Leimy, 8th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Kelly, 7th Grade, RYSS

I like this picture because it is of my two friends who are acting weird and just playing. And I caught them posing and checking themselves out in their reflection. On the left is a yellow line of the parking lot. It was the day after it rained, so there were still a lot of puddles. In the background of the reflection, you can see the sky and the clouds. I think this looks cool. Another reason I like this picture is because it ends at their knees. I took this picture because my friends always make me happy. When I look at this picture, it makes me think of all the good times we have had and will have in the future.

Kelly, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Julio, 7th Grade, RYSS

As you can see, the sun can be seen in my picture. To give you a clue where the sun is, you need to look at the black-colored cloud. The reason the cloud is black is because of the reflection of the camera. Since I like clouds, I decided to take a picture of them. When I saw this picture in the digital camera, I was surprised how the sun looked. The clouds were awesome. When I see pictures of clouds, I feel happy. I never thought that a picture of the sun and clouds would look this amazing.

Julio, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Jonathan P., 7th Grade, RYSS

This picture is great. I like it because it shows nature and life. What I like about it the most is the point of view. It is awesome from the side, and you can see the sun's reflection. I like how it's showing the sun, and you can see a reflection of a leaf. The sun hitting it shows a lot of detail. Also, you can see that the background of the picture is blurry. This is because I concentrated or focused on the leaves. When I took the picture, I knew it was going to come out great. I tried to focus the lens close so the background wouldn't show, just the leaves. The picture makes me happy. I think it's because of how I focused and the angle. I feel great about it. Though I haven't expressed my feelings too much, it's a good job, and I like it. This picture reminds me of science which isn't my favorite subject though plants look good if you really look at them. It depends on how you look at them. This picture describes living things in nature. It shows the fresh air and how the hot sun shines. It happens often, but the plant still lives if it has water. You can also see the branches in the left corner.

Jonathan P., 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Jonathan B., 7th Grade, RYSS

I like this picture because of the color. The symbol of the car is very interesting. You can see the shadow on top and the sun reflecting. Under the symbol, you can see the black line. This means that I took a picture of the trunk of a car. Blue is my favorite color, and this car is my favorite type.

Jonathan B., 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success, Houston, Texas

Jazlyn, 7th Grade, RYSS

I like this picture because of the warm bright colors. The flowers have a mysterious shape to them. They look spunky and unique. I felt like I had to take this picture because it just opened my eyes with the colors. It is really cool because the smell of it is fresh. You can see the flower has five different layers of shapes. One looks like diamonds, then a yellow spot on top of a white spot, and pink big circles with a spot of orange-red. These colors make me happy because they remind me of summertime. The green, fresh look of the leaves make the flowers stand out. Nature is so pretty.

Jazlyn, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Ivan, 7th Grade, RYSS

I like the shadow and the shape of the tree. I also like it because it shows some other plants and their shadows. You can see some of my surroundings, and you can see me taking the picture. I also like the picture because of the green color and the way the orange and yellow colors come out of the green. In the background, you can see some shadow of the fence and other things behind the fence. On the top left, you can see the white car at a distance leaving like if it was running away from the flash. On the tree shadow, you can see a lot of leaves. I like the shape of the tree because it looks like a monster about to eat you. It looks like one tree, but there are actually two of them.

Ivan, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Geneva, 7th Grade, RYSS

I think this picture is very cool. I like it because it shows my reflection in the window of a car. If you look at it, you can see every detail in the window as if you were looking at the real me. You can also see the reflection of the camera flash. My friend Americo helped me with this picture. My friends said that it was cool. At first, I wondered why everyone was thinking this was a good picture. It was the reflection. You can see the clouds, and you can see my hair moving because of the wind. You can also see my sweater and the actual colors of everything that I am wearing. Some pictures you take will come out very unique.

Geneva, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Francisco, 7th Grade, RYSS

This photo is special because it shows the result of a recent disaster ... Hurricane Ike ... that happened in Houston, Texas. I took this picture because it looked very interesting. It demonstrates that the wind was strong enough to bend and even break a big tree. When I came to school, the tree was knocked down on the school fence. The school called some people to come and cut the tree into many small pieces. This picture is also interesting because it shows shadows of the tree and some other shadows. When I took this picture, I felt kind of sad because of all the people who died in Hurricane Ike.

Francisco, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Daniel, 7th Grade, RYSS

I took this picture because it really shows the sport I like. It shows sports in life and how the human body works. The cool thing about this picture is that this boy is running in a kind of slanted way. His shadow is on the concrete. As you can see, he is not looking at the ball. He is looking at the goalie to trick him. If he looks at the goalie, the goalie is going to get confused on which direction the ball will go. So, the boy is looking straight at the goalie to shoot the ball in only one direction, and score a goal. As he runs, there is nothing he could do but to fool the goalie and run faster. The sun is hitting behind to the side of the boy and the ball, so the picture looks really cool to the point it looks really artistic. This picture makes me feel good because I like soccer. I actually like football too, but soccer is my favorite.

Daniel, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Americo, 7th Grade, RYSS

This picture looks like one you might delete, but I like it, and I dont want to delete it because it's not ordinary. It is a picture that has a lot of potential because the people are one way and the shadows are another way. It really looks like a picture that has no way of making it to the big time, but maybe it could. The lighting in the picture is great. It shows human nature in things we normally dont think of doing. It shows how we walk and how we want to touch or see something we want to try. It also shows us the natural and unnatural things that are man-made or God-made. It shows how we don't mean to do things, but can actually get something good out of them. It dosen't mean that all of the non-thinking things are bad. And the picture also doesn't show who took the picture if I'm the guy with the bracelets. So, I did take the picture, and I took it on purpose, but it looks like an accident. When you have a picture that you took by accident, look at it and it may be amazing or a good picture.

Americo, 7th Grade, Junior Academy, Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [RYSS], Houston, Texas

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008-2009 School Year LTP - Open Theme

This second school year ... 2008-2009 ... is a continuation of the Literacy Through Photography[LTP] project under the auspices of Houston International FotoFest.  Last year's theme was self-portraiture, and this year's blog theme is open so students will be able to take pictures of objects/subjects as they see fit for self-expression through the photographic medium and writing about the images.  

Eisenhower Middle School [Wyckoff, New Jersey] and Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [Houston, Texas] will continue their participation in the LTP project.

The students will go out with their cameras and document objects/subjects of their choosing. They will analyze their images under the guidance of their instructors and write about them. They will then post their images and descriptive writing to the blog for comments/feedback from their classmates and students at each school.

Last school year's LTP project culminated in a physical exhibition at the Houston International FotoFest galleries [May 11 - 22, 2008].  The blog approach was exhibited as a PowerPoint presentation.

Instructors and LTP


Harold Olejarz is Art and Technology teacher at Eisenhower Middle School, Wyckoff, New Jersey, U.S.A. He began his career as a sculptor and exhibited in Soho, NYC, in the early 1980s. His work evolved into Performance Art and his living sculptures installed themselves in museums and public spaces in the US and Europe from 1985 to the early 1990s. He has been exploring digital media as both an artist and an educator since 1997. “Capturing the Moving Present,” an essay by Harold Olejarz, is included in Video Art for the Classroom, a National Art Education Association publication. Olejarz has made presentations on the use of digital media at state and national educational conferences.

Tom Chambers is Technology Applications teacher at Raul Yzaguirre School For Success [Junior Academy], Houston, Texas, U.S.A. He was Visiting Lecturer in Digital/New Media Art for the Fine Arts Department at Zhaoqing University, Zhaoqing, China, 2005-2007. He was Executive Committee Member and Juror (2003 - 2005) for the International Digital Art Awards (IDAA), and was instrumental in expanding the content of the IDAA to include New Media Art, and served as on-line New Media Director (2004 - 2005). Chambers has been a documentary photographer and visual artist for over thirty years, and he is currently working with the pixel as Minimal Art (Pixelscapes) which begins to approach a true, abstract, visual language in Digital Art.

Tanya Heard is Art/Photo teacher at T. H. Rogers School, Houston, Texas.

2007 - 2008 school year participant:

Dorian Gillespie is Art teacher at Southmore Intermediate School in Pasadena Texas. Prior to coming to Southmore, he taught at Bailey Elementary. He decided to teach and mentor students in the arts in order to give them an opportunity to learn and advise them of the many career choices an artist has. Although he did not teach art at Bailey, he was able to incorporate many art lessons into the curriculum. He has taught after school art classes for the University of Houston Clear Lake as well. Rather than become a professional artist, he decided to mentor as a teacher.

This blog was a part of the FotoFest LTP process:

2007 - 2008
2008 - 2009
2009 - 2010

Literacy Through Photography (LTP), the educational component of FotoFest International (Houston, Texas), is a writing program designed to help classroom students achieve better communication skills through the use of digital or film-based photography.

FotoFest has combined with the instructors and schools to pursue a pilot program ... blog approach ... for LTP.

Students increase visual and verbal literacy while building cognitive thinking skills, self-esteem, and awareness of each other. The LTP curriculum provides students with meaningful subject matter to help them write about their own photographs, their own lives, with confidence.

This blog, founded by Harold Olejarz and Tom R. Chambers continues to be a significant tool to help students with their written expression.