Bega High School students open Our Place photography exhibition at Bega Library

Four Bega High School students have trained their photographic eye to capture the essence of their home town in the Our Place exhibition. 

Over a period of four weeks, Akita Waplington, Kiara O’Bryan, Jess Smith and Alivia Boreham snapped the places and faces that represent the Bega region.

the result is collection of images that tell the towns personality, from early era tin roofs, farm fields, plant life and the people that live in the town that give it its character. 

Their photographic endeavor was part of a Links to Learning workshop run by Bega Valley Shire Council’s programs and partnerships officer, and photography enthusiast, Scott Baker. 

To create their final images, the students learnt how to use digital SLR cameras from scratch, considering factors such as shutter speed, depth of field and composition. 

“There was no using the auto function, we were going right back to those traditional techniques of photography,” Mr Baker said. 

“As a result they really understood the camera settings and how they can be used as effects within a photo.”

After they captured their images, they enhanced them with Photoshop and processed and printed them for display. 

Jess thought she would never get the hang of using a camera, but by the end of the workshop she thought it was “awesome”.

“I didn’t expect everything to come out so great, but we did it in the end,” she said. 

“Now that the workshop is finished, I just want to keep following my my hobby and passion, even if I’m just using my phone to take photos.”

Kiara and Atika said the workshop ignited a love of photography that they also hoped to continue. 

Links to Learning is administered by the NSW Department of Education and partners with high schools to deliver their workshops.

Links to Learning has also run workshops at Narooma High School, scripting a hip-hop video clip, and Eden High School, producing a short film. Bega High School hosted the program’s first digital photography workshop.

Links to Learning program facilitator Julia Willson said the workshop encouraged creativity in the students, which increased their confidence.  

“It’s full on for teenagers in the modern world, so programs like this let them focus on what they want to do” she said. 

“I’ve seen the girls grow so much, I think they all deserve a huge congratulations.”

The photo exhibition will run until October 24 at the Bega library. Prints are available for purchase.