Western Michigan University

Claire Wheeler

Claire Wheeler
ART 3470: Digital Photography I
Digital Prints; 10″ x 6.7″

I have recently been introduced to many important current reform issues regarding the American education system such as: No Child Left Behind, School of Choice, Accountability based on testing, and the quality of teaching in public education. As I thought about these issues, I began to relate them to my own experiences in high school. This work is part of an exploration of my old, beloved, failing high school.

6 thoughts on “Claire Wheeler”

  1. I think their is a lot to be said about these images, and how unique each one of those marks on the stage is. The eroding and decaying nature of the stage and the thought of how many people have left their mark on it. Not unlike your own passing through that school system. I enjoy how you “set the stage” for us with the large image of the area and capture the natural lighting very well, and then give us the close up image of the decay and destructed nature of the stage. I would love to see more images from that school addressing the same issue.

  2. I’m wondering how these images change within the context of the other photos from this series, because they don’t read explicitly as being set in a school. This auditorium seems like it could just as likely belong to a city hall or community center or some other public building.
    Secondly, I think you could benefit from narrowing the focus of your project. Right now it seems to be situated between the political and the personal, in a way that’s a little disconnected. Having a clear idea of what you’d like to communicate will help your content to reach your viewer, visually.
    That said, I think pairing a detail shot with a wider, contextual shot, is helpful in understanding the setting, but maybe you could add just one more piece of information, with a third photograph… or maybe the others in the series will clarify the location.

  3. Big fan of the first image, really enjoy how you captured the natural lighting and the composition is great, the aisle leading your eye to the stage and then the podium and the rest, its great. For the second image the texture is great, it really speaks to your idea of your series on how the schools system is degrading gradually throughout the states. Good work would love to see more.

  4. I am really interested in your theme and I think the first picture is very strong and really reflects your idea. The top image is strong because of how you sat towards the back to capture the repetition of the chairs. Also the lighting is very strong. The second image is strong as well. I like this idea of zooming in to show how old or destroyed the rooms where people learn become. I like how you show the underside of what looks like a nice lecture hall.

  5. I think these photos are good. I agree in the fact that this doesn’t immediately come off as a school stage, but would also be interested in the rest of the series. It is a tough subject to tackle, but also one that is very relevant and controversial. I enjoy the compositions of the photos, especially the first one.

  6. The lighting in the top photograph is really great. I like that you have captured the lighting from about the curtain but have also captured the light that highlights the top of the chairs and the podium. I also enjoy the bright pop of color through the chairs. I’m not sure that I can really see a connection between your concept and the photographs, but I may be mistaken, are you exploring your high school as you look back on memories and then taking photos to express those memories…or are you looking at your high school as a representation of the things you’ve learned? I think you’ve done a nice job capturing the photos, you may need to work on the concept a bit.

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