Eleven students traveled with director of journalism Ellen Austin to London for ten days of photography course and practice. (Provided by Ellen Austin)
Eleven students traveled with director of journalism Ellen Austin to London for ten days of photography course and practice.

Provided by Ellen Austin

Harker journalism lands in London to attend photography course, report on street life

June 18, 2019

LONDON – Journalism students from Talon, Winged Post and Harker Aquila visited London from June 7 to June 18 for an opportunity to learn about and practice documentary photography while also meeting with professionals in the field.

The trip was chaperoned by director of journalism program Ellen Austin, director of alumni relations Kristina Alaniz and director of upper school dance program Karl Kuehn. Eleven students went on the trip: rising seniors Eric Fang, Kathy Fang, Nina Gee, Anthony Xu and Jessie Wang; rising junior Anna Vazhaeparambil; and rising sophomores Carter Chadwick, Esha Gohil, Alysa Suleiman, Arely Sun and Nicole Tian.

After arriving on June 8, the group spent the weekend wandering around different areas of London under the guidance of Texas-based photographer Mark Murray. Through taking photos at a variety of locations, such as Hyde Park and the Speaker’s Corner, they not only developed a basic understanding of street photography but also were able to explore the city and the people in it.

Following the weekend, the students took a three-day short course on documentary photography at the London College of Communications (LCC), taught by senior photography lecturer Max Houghton. She spoke about various modern techniques used to enhance a photographer’s work, while also teaching about the incorporation and history of older artistic methods.

The group also heard from Cocoa Laney, a current student of Houghton’s, and Anders Birger, a freelance documentary photographer who explores themes of humanity and human connection in his work. He introduced ethical topics to the journalists and demonstrated his process of taking photos through his stories from the Sichuan earthquake of 2008 and the Al-Tawhid Brigade in 2012.

On the third and final day of the course, they met MA students at LCC and listened to presentations of their portfolios, before showing a compilation of their own selects from this trip in return. At the end of the class, students gave gifts to their mentors, and the college presented each student with a certificate for completing the short course.

The journalists then spent their remaining days implementing these new concepts in their own photography as they traveled to interesting spots in London. From watching a live performance of “Henry V” in the Globe Theatre to visiting Cambridge and buying antiques at Portobello Market, the memories made and knowledge gained has left a lasting impact on the students, something they will carry with them into the future.

“I learned a lot about myself, and I enjoyed getting to know everyone on this trip. I made a lot more friends this trip and that really means a lot to me,” Nina said. “Getting to know the people on this staff next year and fostering a bond before the school year starts is important to both our development as a staff and our camaraderie for the rest of the year.”

Nina Gee
Provided by Ellen Austin
Members of Talon, Winged Post and Harker Aquila work on coverage at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Hyde Park, London. Eleven journalism students traveled to the United Kingdom from June 7 to June 18 to participate in a photography course and shoot street photography.

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