Digital and Smartphone Photography Workshop

On October 24th, the Grade 11 Media Arts class and the Grade 10 Communications Technology classes participated in a Digital and Smartphone Photography workshop at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Students were taken on a tour of several galleries and instructed on how to use their cell phones to take pictures. We spent the afternoon browsing a variety of galleries. The first photographs we saw were done by artists who were competing in the AIMIA|AGO Photography Prize. There were four photographers in this gallery, all from different countries around the world: Russia/Ghana, Haida/Canada, Japan and Uganda. We were shown all of their different styles of photography and then were able to cast our vote in the end! Each was very interesting in their own way and the students seemed very inspired by the very different types of photography by each artist.

Next we went on to see a gallery called Every.Now.Then: Reframing Nationhood. This gallery focused on artist’s depictions of Canada from the perspective of those that have been left out of the dominant narrative. In addition to photography, there was painting, sculpture, fashion, video art and more in this gallery. Students used this gallery, and the photographs in the AIMIA Prize gallery, to practice their photography skills. As they took photos of the art, they were encouraged to focus on using the Rule of Thirds and different angles to photograph the works of art.

The tour ended with analyzing some famous European works of art, such as Massacre of the Innocents by Peter Paul Rubens, and understanding the techniques and tools that the artist’s used. Students also put their critical analysis skills to good use by interpreting the message of the painting.

Overall it was a great experience touring the AGO and the student’s left feeling inspired!

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

The Shoreline Clean Up is an initiative that started in 2002 to help clean up garbage around Canada. The Shoreline Clean Up is now the largest and most popular environmental initiative in Canada. The students at the YMCA Academy participate in this initiative every year by cleaning up a site in downtown Toronto.

On October 6th, the students of the YMCA Academy participated in the Shoreline Clean Up at the Don River near Riverdale Park. The students left the school around 12:10pm and took the subway to Broadview station. Then we walked to the park where we ate lunch. We really liked eating lunch in the park as a school because we don’t get to do that very often. It was a really nice day and it was fun being outdoors together. After we ate lunch, we firebolted to the playground and climbed up many tall scary structures. From the top it was terrifying but lots of fun. Once we finished playing, we got into our advisory groups and listened to Rein about the rules of the clean up. He told us where we were all going because each group went to a different location along the river. Zoe loudly reminded us NOT to pick up any needles. Then we walked to our locations and got down to cleaning!

Two students from each group had to keep track of what garbage and recycling we were collecting. They had to do this because we had to send the data to the Shoreline Clean Up organization. These students were from Katie C’s Grade 11 math class. The rest of the students helped to pick up every single piece of garbage that we found. Zee and Andras were taking photos of us cleaning. Some of the weirdest garbage we found were tires, a fisherman’s jacket, a dead salmon, a broken umbrella handle and a pair of rollerblades. In the end, we had a fair amount of garbage and recycling. The garbage bags kept ripping so for next year, we should double bag the garbage or get much stronger bags.

Overall, the day was a success! It was really great to come together as a school and play a part in cleaning up our city.

Check out more photos from this event on our Facebook page!

Written by: YMCA Academy Students