Summer Intensive 2013 – Week 11

This is it. The last week of Summer Intensive and as expected, the students put their hearts, souls and cameras into their final projects and presentations.

The week began on Sunday evening with a comprehensive review of all the Photoshop techniques they’ve been taught in Edit classes with open lab time thrown in later in the week. In Photo Studies there were assignment reviews and critiquing of their final assignments for landscape photography. The Lighting classes involved critique of their location lighting assignments and comprehensive review of all they’ve learned about studio lighting throughout the course along with plenty of open studio time for the students to create images one last time. Output was strictly all about open lab time and the final push to produce images for their final assignments as well as personal work.

VanNortwick_MG_3882In Visual Studies a major highlight of the week, and for the course, occurred as each and every student was required to produce and present with an artist statement their final project in front of their instructors and peers. This is always an inspiring and interactive process as feedback is given by all in the room to allow the student to witness the impact of their work on others. They have worked hard to make their presentations meaningful expressions of their own unique vision and voice. The presentations are often a celebration of everything they’ve learned and experienced during the summer. The staff and students alike were moved to tears, laughed in belly-aching fashion, and taken to places never seen before through the eyes of each individual. All are to congratulated for their amazing accomplishments!

Yet, the week wasn’t over yet. With all the curriculum completed, the students attended one last lecture and presentation – this time by Canon Explorer of Light and incredible landscape/stock photographer, Darrel Gulin. His thirty-year body of work is mind-blowing and his presentation will no doubt leave the students inspired throughout their life-long photographic endeavors.

And the culmination of their experience, graduation ceremonies will happen on the University of Montana campus in the spacious Music Recital Hall. Open to everyone,  the ceremony includes inspirational final comments from various instructors, chosen representatives of each student group – A, B, C & D –  along with slideshow presentations of student images from each graduate. Always an emotional and celebratory time for all involved as this is the final experience of Summer Intensive.

And in conclusion, we honor and thank each member of this years’ fantastic group for trusting us with their photography education and professional goals. Some will continue on in the following two sessions of the Career Training program – Professional Studies and then Advanced Intensive. Others will leave Montana entirely and head back home, and the local graduates will return to their pre-SI lives here. None will be the same, however. All will carry with them life-changing memories, images and skills that are an inevitable result of their commitment to attend this experience, and of their passion that unites us all – photography.

We salute you, Summer Intensive Class of 2013. Once again, from all of us at RMSP, thank you and a heartfelt congratulations to you all!