Student photographers in the spotlight at art show

Jan 10, 2018

One look at a Barbie doll and its projection of feminine perfection was enough to form Hannah Arruda’s entire senior AP Photography project.

The Dartmouth High senior’s photography project explored the consequences behind the “ideal” body image, framed by Barbie’s iconic shape and size. She recruited her friend Sophia Sousa, who appeared in many of her photographs, to highlight insecurity and shyness about physical appearance.

Her photographs feature Sousa in various self-reflective positions, from “Too Small” written above her breasts to a juxtaposition of a young celebrity's makeup and Botox-treated face hiding her own.

She arrived at her topic after doing some soul searching last year.

“You see it in everyday life - in television and movies - and people never talk about it,” Arruda said.

Arruda was one of more than two dozen students showing off their artistic works at the school’s AP Photography show. The annual show is held a week before the end of class, explained art teacher Sue Brunette.

Student work included three types of photographs: composition pieces, which highlighted a single theme; breadth pieces, which demonstrated the use of artistic elements and principles; and five final quality pieces.

Although classes began in September, students spent the summer working on their final portfolios with a “photo a day” assignment. In class, students organized photo shoots, and took work home to find inspiration outside the classroom.

It all leads up to the submission of a final portfolio for grading. Students will hand those in next week.

Dane Ashton used his love of cars to snap and edit photographs capturing shadows and reflections. Most of his photos were sourced from classic cars he spotted in and around Padanaram, from 1956-1958 Chevrolets, to a vintage Volkswagen van he has dreamed of owning himself.

He added grain into each photo to give off an aged look. It helped set his photos apart because photographic technology can produce sharp and lifelike photos, but the vintage look is not as common, he said. It was painstaking with all the photos he took, however.

“I took so many photos, deciding which ones I liked… I had a difficult time,” Ashton said.

Andrew Fernandes found beauty in engineering and nature for his photos.

“I tried to combine manmade objects and nature, and how they interact with each other,” Fernandes said.

He captured photos of rust and decay taken in his backyard amongst old junk. He used macrophotography in many of his favorite photos.

“I like to see the nice textures in my photos,” Fernandes said.

Ethan Garcia’s inspiration came from his love of travel, both around town and to more exotic locations. He used line progression to draw viewers into his photos, which were predominantly landscapes taken outdoors. Using the outdoors as a photo studio does have its challenges, however.

“The lighting was hard,” Garcia said. “Trying to find the best time of day to get the best lighting was the hardest part.”

Some students like Julia Kehoe were unsure on the direction of their photos. She originally decided on a window and door theme, but changed over to light instead. Her photos represent both. Most were taken just from walking around in search of interesting subjects, she said.