We set out to create a course that would give our students the opportunity to engage with their surrounding world and the technology available through multiple mediums and in a creative manner.
As such, our students have exceeded expectations, creating documentaries, stop motion animation and a number of creative assignments in the film component of the curriculum.
The student photography course has consisted of multiple field trips and on-campus theory classes engaging in composition, lighting, technical operation, framing and movement. The students have covered themes from architectural and landscape photography to portraiture and still life. As a result, they have created some phenomenal work culminating in an end-of-year showcase magazine and numerous features in The Phuket News’ “Island View” section.
The students have also started to explore graphic design and are building in proficiency in programs such as Photoshop, Lightroom and After Effects, to name a few.
QSIP’s mastery learning philosophy – tailored teaching that ensures each student has mastered a topic before they move on to the next – means the students have the opportunity to constantly hone their skills, to try new concepts and experiment in order to reach their end objective. This philosophy works perfectly with the creative arts as there is no single direct or rigid path that needs to be adhered to, but rather a roadmap to success that has new routes added and is constantly evolving. As the students find new ways to relate to the content, the process evolves.
The curriculum moulds and adapts to meet their needs in assisting them with the end goal as opposed to focusing on restrictive rules within the path. Students can thus engage with the content on their terms with the flexibility needed to present the information as relevant to them.
An example of this was an exercise where the students needed to photographically recreate a famous painting. They wanted to integrate graphic design in order to better get the final effect that they needed, and thus the assignment evolved to include Photoshop compositing. This not only gave the assignment a new learning objective but also created a larger landscape for creativity which would have been restricted by sticking to the parameters of only using photographic methods.
We have also been building our own on-campus studio. We have a full lighting setup which has allowed students access to lighting in order to experiment with different studio-based photography with the ease of not having to outsource or leave campus. As a result, the students have not only become proficient in taking photos and videos but also in setting up a studio to suit the particular needs of their shoot.
The school year culminated in the creation of a photo book. All work in this publication is student created, and the quality of shots after only a year in practice is very impressive. The students have shown a great understanding of the core concepts taught and have used them to execute some high-quality work. The book, titled Picture This, can be found on sale at the school and is a great coffee table conversation piece. You can see some examples of the fantastic work above.
The amount of talent in such a small pool of students is staggering, and the growth that they have shown in the past year is impressive. We look forward to their continuing progress and more amazing work from them in the year to come.
– Warren Murray
Warren Murray is the Marketing Manager for QSI International School of Phuket. For more information, visit www.qsi.org/ thailand/pkt