This past Monday, Creatives For a Change held an hour-long photo walk where students received instruction on the topic of nature photography. Six participants gathered in front of Deerfield Hall and traversed through a nature trail along Principal’s Road.

The walk was led by Raghad Surour, a fourth-year student studying CCIT with a minor in cinema studies and professional writing; and Yasmeen Alkoka, a second-year CCIT and professional writing student. Alkoka and Surour are both primarily self-taught photographers and videographers for the club. Surour disclosed that besides photography, she is equally interested in filmmaking. Alkoka is chiefly interested in photography.

CFC’s photowalk emphasized a more “hands-on” learning experience for participants, wherein they received group and individual instructions regarding their photographical work during the walk.  Participants were encouraged to bring any photographical device, such as a phone or camera, to the walk.

On the hands-on aspect of the event, Surour explained, “We didn’t want it to be another lecture.”

Surour focused on capturing natural landscapes. Time was spent on explaining unique angles and working through functions on a participant’s specific phone or camera. However, instruction on basic photographical skill sets were also introduced to participants.

“All the basics like ISO, F-stop, shutter speed, getting the right angle, and lighting were the centre of our discussion,” said Surour.

One participant on the walk, Celine Polidario, a second-year art and art history and CCIT student, described the walk as “relaxing,” and added that it was a good opportunity to meet other photographers.

Polidario, who used a Nikon camera with a 50mm lens during the walk, has taken studio photos for her classes at UTM. However, she admitted to not possessing experience with nature photography. Consequently, Polidario appreciated the nature path chosen for the walk, stating that it also brought light to “underrated [campus] scenery” that should be deserving of more attention.

In terms of the quality of instruction, Polidario commented that she received personal advice from Alkoka while taking a close-up photo of a leaf.

In terms of advice, Polidario added: “Keep taking pictures, photographers are always searching for that ‘one picture.’ Sometimes, it takes a hundred shots just to get that one shot. Also, shoot in a manual setting so that you can refine the settings to reflect your personal style.”

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