Ian Lockwood

MUSINGS, TRIP ACCOUNTS AND IMAGES FROM SOUTH ASIA

Archive for March 2010

World Water Day… Visions from the Western Ghats

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Lower Falls, Courtallam 1995

Devotees bathe in a waterfall fed by the first bursts of the South West monsoon in the south Indian spa of Courtallam. More images of Courtallam are posted here: http://highrangephotography.com/

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2010-03-22 at 4:28 pm

The Art of Capturing A Shadow in A Milo Can: Pinhole Photography At OSC

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Self-portrait with Gee by the swimming pool. One of Cecilia Kim's fine pinhole images.

For the last two years I have been running pinhole photography as a part of the Wednesday elective at program the Overseas School of Colombo.  The program has matured and it has now grown into an activity that is student-run with me providing some direction and support through two student leaders. Developing student initiative and leadership has been an important part of our Creativity Action and Service (CAS) program at OSC. The OSC art department supports the pinhole elective and we make good use of the spacious darkroom that is located next to the main studios. The senior student leaders Shamith, Cecilia and May are about to graduate in a few months and have now been succeeded by juniors Alice and Caroline. All of them have done a superb job with the activity and the group has produced some stunningly surreal work. We currently have our 2nd exhibition on display at OSC.

Our process combines traditional pinhole photography with a digital finish. We use Milo cans and other sealed containers to create a camera that can expose a piece of black & white photographic paper. For paper, we use Ilford RC multigrade paper cut to fit the container. The shutter is a simple piece of dark, lightproof paper attached with masking tape. Getting the exposure right takes trial and error and we always seem to run out of time in our short hour+ sessions. The paper is developed using traditional chemicals in our darkroom. Later the images are scanned and reversed digitally using Adobe Photoshop. Further manipulations can be done of course, but the students have worked to present the images in their raw, basic form.

Steps in making a pinhole image: Setting up the camera (a milk tin here), exposure, development and finally scanning and digitization

Portrait of Alice in the art studio by Aparna (2010)

Self Portrait series #1 by Cecilia Kim (2010)

Self Portrait series #2 by Cecilia Kim (2009)

Early trial and error pinhole images from 2008

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2010-03-16 at 4:08 pm

Using GIS in the OSC Geography Curriculum

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This year I have been implementing a program to incorporate GIS skills in my geography classes here at the Overseas School of Colombo. It started with an intriguing presentation by David Brian of the Chinese International School during a DP Geography workshop in 2007. I was hooked and returned with ideas that were woven into a proposal. This took a while to get approved but last year the school invested in ESRI’s Arcview 9.3 platform. In the last few months my students in the grade 10 and 11 Geography classes have  completed dynamic projects using Arcview 9.3. I am learning on the go with them and it has been an exciting educational adventure. I made the posters (above and below) for GIS Day, which we celebrated with great fanfare on November 18th 2009.

Soon after Grade 10 did an extensive study of the nearby Talangama wetlands to look at landuse patterns in this growing eastern suburb of Colombo. We were fortunate to get excellent baseline data from the Urban Development Authority’s GIS lab, which is located in neighboring Battaramulla. We did two class visits to Talangama using a GPS, cameras and simple field notes to gather information. Later the students compiled the findings using the UDA data with ArcMap. This was turned into a landuse map and incorporated into a small A3 poster using Adobe’s InDesign (a great program, but one that took a while to get the students used to). These are some of the student posters:

Talangama landuse posters created by the Grade 10 OSC Geography class

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2010-03-01 at 4:19 pm