Henry Wolf Photography Workshop Puts Students Behind the Camera

Photo: Adrienne Lee

Last month, 16 talented high school students converged on the ADC for the annual Henry Wolf Summer Photography Workshop. Now in its sixth year, the course is designed to give New York City public high school students the opportunity to meet and learn from top photographers. It is generously supported by a 10-year grant from the Henry Wolf Foundation in honor of the renowned graphic designer, photographer and past ADC president. Computers for the week were provided by Tekserve.

Participants came from five boroughs and twelve schools for a crash course in editing, lighting, storytelling and framing. Along the way they got lost in Chinatown, befriended several dogs, and engaged in quite a bit of hair-whipping:

Photo: Chenelle Ramos

The week started off with an introductory Photoshop course led by college instructor Camille Budgen. On Tuesday, Shannon Taggart demonstrated her experimental portrait technique, which turns her subjects into ghostly apparitions. The resulting photos kind of freaked us out. “Ooookay, I’m done,” said Nathalie Torres from Mott Hall Bronx High School, looking uneasily at the phantom on her camera’s LCD screen.

Below, workshop leader Tom Starkweather poses for a faceless portrait by Jesus Alvarez. Jesus is the official photographer of Mott Hall Bronx and is already beginning to do professional work as an event photographer.

Photo: Jesus Alvarez

Dan Nelken’s studio lighting seminar on Wednesday morning introduced the students to studio flashes, reflectors, umbrellas, and a little photography history. (Fun fact: the first camera flash was invented before electricity, and was created by the ignition of magnesium powder and potassium chlorate.) The ADC’s Fatboy hammock was a favorite hangout turning breaks, but Zachary Gayle from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts was the first person to pull it into a shoot.

Photos: Monica Romero

Occasionally we ventured outside into the 90-degree heat. ADC Young Gun Ross Mantle took the students to the Hudson River waterfront. The High Line proved to be pretty great for people watching, and Carla Tramullas led us to Chinatown on Friday to work on street photography. The Henry Wolfers were a little hesitant to photograph strangers, but they ended up capturing some interesting moments. Kyleea Tuitt (Queens High School of Teaching) found this guy sharing bites of his lunch with his dog in the park:

Photos: Kyleea Tuitt

Photos: Ravena Rampersaud

Photos: Steven Muriel

Photos: Zachary Gayle

Field trips to the International Center of Photography and The New York Times Magazine, where we met with Design Director Arem Duplessis and members of the photo department, enhanced the hands-on workshops. The week culminated in a photography exhibition at the ADC featuring prints of the session’s best photos. It was attended by friends, family, teachers, and Jesus’s pet parakeet, Kevin.

Thanks to all the instructors and students for making it a memorable week. We can’t wait for next year!