December 12, 2014 9:45AM
For Pitt State senior Hannah Boldry, the lectures and demonstrations in her photography course at the Kansas Technology Center were only going to get her so far.
“Being in the classroom and learning about photography in that environment is just a starting point,” Boldry, a graphic design major from Shawnee, Kan., said. “Unless you can get out of the classroom and actually get your hands on a camera, you’re not going to fully understand.”
Fortunately for Boldry and her classmates, getting their hands on camera equipment is now commonplace in the GIT photography program, thanks to a donation of more than $30,000 worth of new equipment. The anonymous donation, received in April, included new, state-of-the-art cameras, lenses, lighting and backdrops.
The students put the equipment to use in a variety of ways during the fall semester.
“We were able to give the students new cameras to use and put them out on various projects,” said Assistant Professor Andrea McConnaughey. “That’s something we weren’t able to do before. With this new equipment, the students’ experience has really taken off.”
Boldry was part of a group of students who was invited to photograph the inside of the Colonial Fox Theatre in downtown Pittsburg.
“That was an incredible learning experience, because it’s so dark in there,” she said. “We really learned a lot about camera settings and lighting. Plus, because the theatre has so much neat history and architecture to it, we were able to snap some interesting pictures.”
Boldry said she and her classmates appreciate the donation of the new equipment.
“As students, it can be difficult to fully grasp just how lucky we are to have people who will support our programs in this way,” she said. “I think we sometimes take that for granted. But I can definitely say that we appreciate this new camera equipment, as it has allowed us to learn a lot more than we could have ever learned in the classroom.”
Other projects included a photo shoot at a local concert by the popular ‘80s cover band Members Only.
“That was a unique experience,” McConnaughey said, “and it was also one where lighting and proper camera settings were vital to good pictures. These aren’t just point-and-shoot assignments. The students really have to get into the camera and learn what it takes to get the photos you want.”