Tahlequah Daily Press


September 4, 2012

Student photographer uses art to relax

TAHLEQUAH — With today’s technology, anyone who owns a cell phone can be a photographer, and just as quickly, a special moment or funny or embarrassing experience can be downloaded and broadcast on the world wide web.

But for some people, a camera is like a paint brush to an artist or words to a writer, capturing nuances of light and shadow, shape and composition, emotion and tone and expression.

“Any photo could be taken as a piece of art, but for it to be a good piece of art, you have to use different composition techniques and know how to get the right exposure,” said Ryan Beck, photography student at Northeastern State University.

Taking photos is a way for him to relax.

“I like trying to see things from different perspectives, and I get to do that in photography,” he said.

This summer, Beck was one of 10 students who took a photography trip to Boston, July 3-9, with Mike Brown’s advanced photography class.

From daylight to dark, students walked, rode the subway, and traveled on trains and ferries, exploring all the home of Harvard University had to offer.

Beck’s photographs of Boston were exhibited alongside those of his classmates at an art show at the NSU John Vaughan Library Aug. 13-31.

It was his third art show.

“It was really nice to see everyone’s best work up for everyone to see, so we could share our art with the NSU community,” he said. “The trip was really an inspiration. I wanted to participate in this class because it’s a great way to see the world, and it’s a great experience for a photographer. I learned how to talk to random strangers, and how to be a better photographer.”

Being in a major historic American city like Boston offers endless opportunities to challenge a photographer’s eye.

“I liked just being in Boston; it was a great experience and it was a great change in scenery,” Beck said.

Mike Brown is one of two photography teachers he’s had in college, “so almost everything I have learned about photography, I have learned from Mike.”

“Mike is very personable, and never tells you that you took a bad photo; he just tells you how he would take the photo, and that has really helped me,” said Beck

This is his third year taking photography classes at NSU, after taking one class in high school at Inola. He is a media studies major with an emphasis in photography.

Photography is something he started doing on a vacation.

“I just picked up a camera and loved it,” he said. “I took over 300 photos [on that vacation], and decided that’s what I wanted to do for a living.”

God and his parents are his biggest inspirations, and his favorite subjects to shoot are nature and landscapes.


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