A new photographic project at The Dock
Picture Me Project is a digital photographic project with artist Anna Leask that acknowledges the artistic talents of children/ young people with an intellectual disability, specifically The Leitrim West Cavan Branch of Down Syndrome Ireland and their families. Supported by The Dock, Creative Ireland and Leitrim County Council.
Children with Down Syndrome can be exceptionally visual in their learning and understanding. The photography project gave the young participants an ideal outlet to express themselves creatively. Anna Leask and the new photographers used the latest technology to facilitate members to meet, learn, and share using a range of online tools.
You may struggle to hear my words but looking through the camera lens you can learn what interests me. With my pictures, we can share a point of view. So see me not as a person with a disability, instead picture me as photographer!
a little philosophy for photography
(With a very special thanks to the teaching and enthusiasm of Anna Leask.) Alice
Picture Me Project developed in two stages spanning Spring through to Winter of 2020. The feedback from the first stage displayed both the importance and the rewarding benefit to the participants and their families so a second stage was created to allow more young people to take part.
I enjoyed the photography course, we learned a lot of ways to take the best picture and how to enhance our pictures. Some were challenging, for example, holding the light reflector and taking the picture. It came at a perfect time when we were all restricted to our own areas, it gave us something to look forward to each week, seeing friends and knowing they were all doing well and keeping safe from Covid 19 made me feel good.. Jason
Different photography terms and methods of photography such as macro, portrait and landscape were introduced. The two groups of young people were particularly creatively inspired and fascinated by Macro photography, examining the different forms, composition, depth, lighting and exposure that can be achieved creatively.
Over these nine months, the budding photographers have documented their walks through the lens exploring how different light can be, depending on the time of year. As days got shorter in winter the photographers examined lighting at home by creating their own home-made lightboxes to photograph objects.
I just wanted to say a massive thank you for everything you have done. The whole project from the get go has been amazing and given us a new hobby (walks take longer cause there is always a pic to be taken. We have all learnt so much. Words just cannot explain how grateful we are for your expertise; you are amazing with our group. Thank you. Séan and Marie
Abstract photography was used to further examine different textures and what creates an interesting photo. By using items from around their homes to obscure the lenses on their smart devices they were able to create unique patterns, shapes and effects.
The young photographers used their hands as a form of portrait and also looked at family portraits. Lastly, double exposure photographs were used as a unique way to reflect, process and evaluate the project in a fun way. This involved incorporating their portrait and layering with their favourite photos taken during the Picture Me Project.
The young photographers created digital portfolios of their work created over the whole of the project to showcase to their families and friends. In December, their work was part of a youth exhibition " Observing Plains"
The third stage of Picture Me DSI was self led, giving the photographers more independence with the choice of what they photographed. They looked at developing their skills in composition, Macro photography and editing in particular. Examining the colour wheel, picking out colours that have an element of design and arranging compositions by setting up or searching for objects in their environments.
Colour balance, contrast, and complementary colours were used by the young people to create visually interesting photographs which will be curated by the group to create a larger group work.
It was fantastic!! Macro workshop was a fantastic start considering the stage of Covid restriction we were in. It was early days of lockdown, the weather was beautiful and nature was putting on its show. I constantly now go on walks and look closely at so many things that I would have quickly passed by and thought to myself how lovely that is. But now I stop, I zoom in, I snap and I have something to look at later. Aisling & Paula
Anna was so natural on zoom and her interaction with us was excellent. It was all very visual, so perfect for Isobelle and me! Anna was perfect, and we would love to work with her again. We learned so much and are eager to learn more, thanks to Anna. Isobelle and Michelle
Anna has provided the most informative classes. We signed up to do the course expecting to be going to Carrick to The Dock. Alas, Covid 19 made Anna and The Dock change the way of teaching. Initially, that was a disappointment but little did we know the fun we were going to have. Anna has a great understanding of our children with additional needs and her patience is unlimited. Mary and Niamh
What a fabulous project and I loved how all the photographers got to express their interests and passions from behind a lens- a picture says a thousand words came to mind several times during our journey through this project. Anna thank you for all your time and support, you made photography very accessible. Séan and Marie
We have all learned loads again and it certainly brought out talents we may never have realised our children have. Looking forward to the exhibition. Niamh and Mary
Thanks so much, Anna for your patience and happy demeanor at every workshop, it was uplifting. Dean and Linda
It was very rewarding, and the timing was great, it was always something nice and uplifting to look forward to. Anna was full of inspiration and always cheerful. We enjoyed it a lot. Thank you for introducing Jason to photography. It was a great course, with easy to follow audio and written instructions as well. Excellent delivery. Thank you Anna. Jason and Margaret