FEBRUARY 26, 2013

Yes, Dispatches From State Street was AWOL for a little while there. But now we're back, and boy do we have some exciting news to announce: we've just begun a collaboration with Professor John Nordell and his students from Digital Photography I and Digital Photography II, and they'll be sharing their work with us on a semi-regular basis. And well, we think that's a pretty sweet idea. In fact, we think it's so sweet that we'd like to start sharing a whole lot more of the excellent work that AIC students and faculty are churning out all the time. So, if you'd like to write, photograph, or video something to share in this space - or just suggest an idea for a blog post about something cool that's happening on campus - shoot us an email, and we'll be ever so grateful.

Nordell, who's been teaching in an adjunct capacity at AIC since last fall, is relatively new to the world of higher education. Prior to his arrival at AIC he taught for five years at the Hallmark Institute of Photography. Before that, however, he made his living as a photojournalist, travelling the world capturing key moments in political and cultural history. (Over the course of his prolific career, he published work in Newsweek, Time, the New York Times Magazine, the Christian Science Monitor, and many other outlets.) Now Nordell is in a position to pass on some of his real-world experience to students who may have academic backgrounds that have nothing to do with photography, an experience Nordell says he relishes.

In the near future, Nordell plans to teach courses that take advantage of the powerful recording, photography, and editing tools that are so widely available on today's smartphones, tablets, and home computers. In the fall, he'll be teaching a course called Digital Storytelling, a new offering from the communications department that focuses on crafting stories using a combination of videos, images, and soundtracks.

If we're being totally honest, that class sounds, well...really cool. So check it out and report back, or at least check out these pics. The photos we've included today were mostly snapped in Digital Photography I, a place where students get hands-on shooting experience while learning basic photography principles. Enjoy the shots, and remember to start thinking of ways you might be able to help this blog capture more of the AIC experience.

Photo of a photo of a photo. Professor John Nordell takes a picture of Nikole Williams. Cosrick McDonald holds the computer. Photo by Devon Mitchell.

Sun smile. Naomi Noda's portrait of a woman in the sun. Noda says, "I took this picture from a lower angle in order to make her emotion stand out and have more sun light on her face. The clear blue sky draws attention to her expression."

Jump man. Elliot Hardy III poses for a photo taken by Megan Lanier-Gomez, who explains, "This was a new idea that was introduced in class where we had to capture an object that looked as if it was frozen. So I decided what's better then a flying shot with a clear blue sky."

Up. Photo by Ebony Emanuel.

Tanning bed photomontage. Phoebe Lettington combined several photos in her Digital Photography II course in order to produce this one vibrant image. "This was the first time I ever really used Photoshop, so for me it was a pretty exciting thing to make. I love the color that the bulbs give off, the intense blue color makes the photo," she explains.

Professor John Nordell, Cassandra Bennett, and Cosrick McDonald. Photo by Devon Mitchell.

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