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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Brighton High photography, art students use Antelope Island for landscape assignment

Mar 01, 2018 10:08AM ● By Julie Slama

A Brighton High student spots a porcupine to photograph as the AP photography and art students visit Antelope Island State Park for their landscape assignment project. (Adam Fernandez/Brighton High School)

About 35 Brighton High School AP photography and art students spent one January day taking about 350 photographs of a rustic ranch and a wooden dock overlooking the Great Salt Lake at Antelope Island State Park.

It was the setting for their landscape assignment, said teacher Adam Fernandez.

“I’ve taken students there for 10 years and each time we go, there’s a distinctness to it, whether there’s snow or frost or it’s warm as it was this year,” he said. “About 90 percent of my students haven’t been there, so it provides them a unique experience.”

From the hundreds of photographs taken, art students will select two to create mixed paintings. 

“The students can use watercolors, pastels, oil, colored pencils, Sharpies — whatever they choose to illustrate what they want to capture,” he said. To become AP students, the juniors and seniors needed to take two prerequisite art classes, commonly painting, drawing or digital photography.

The photography students will look for unique angles and perspectives they’ve captured and edit their selection to their top 100. Some may have gotten shots of wildlife, such as bison, owls and porcupines, while others used a macro lens to get the details of the rustic setting.

These collections will go in their possibilities for their AP portfolios, which are due in the spring. The portfolios   

“We select 12 pieces that show a breadth and concentration of their work. We want to see a good variety from portraits to action, from sports to close-ups from surrealism to advertising photography,” Fernandez said about the photography portfolios. 

With the art portfolios, students submit their ability to work in several mediums — pencil, pastel, ink, watercolor, spray paint, chalk, oil and others.

The pieces also show a concentration of one subject matter that illustrates their talent. For example, Fernandez said it might be a series of 12 black-and-white photographs or a watercolor collection of their landscape pieces. 

“I can give my best feedback, but the best advice they get is that of their classmates. They critique one another and then, narrow down their 10 favorites out of the 100. We’re our worst judges since we usually have emotional attachments to our own work,” he said.

The AP students’ work isn’t just to be placed in a portfolio. Fernandez has students enter the Canyons School District art show in March as well as display it at Brighton’s own art show in May. Students also submitted work to the 46th annual Utah all-state high school art show at the Springville Museum of Art in January.

This is the second field trip for Brighton photography and art students. Fernandez said in September, they went to the state capitol to take architectural photographs and to learn about perspective.