Big Island of Hawaii: Teaching

Students from SOPC on a field trip to Mauna Kea.

Students from SOPC on a field trip to Mauna Kea, Hawaii.

Teaching photography makes me a better photographer. No doubt about it – and a better person. I study and take days to organize my notes and photos to share. The students take it all in and then begin to produce creative shots that make me proud and jealous at the same time – proud that I had something to do with their success and jealous because I wish I had taken the photos they just produced. I’m a better person once I muzzle my jealousy and revel in their victories!

This year I taught two schools at The University of the Nations on the Big Island of Hawaii. During the second week, that just finished, Vivian joined me to co-teach, as she has done since 2008.

Students from 13 different nations made these schools truly international. I find the blend of languages, accents and cultures inspiring and exhilarating. The directors of the two schools are Susi Childers and Dennis Fahringer, both veterans of many schools run in various countries around the world with Dennis now on his 40th photo school! Other photographer friends teaching at the schools include Stanley Leary, Bill Bangham, Greg Schnieder, Robin Rayne Nelson, and Esther Havens.

To the students and staff, “Mahalo”… a Hawaiian word that means thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, and our respect.

Many thanks also to sponsors that donated gear as prizes for the students:

Think Tank Photo  Maker of awesome gear bags, accompanied by superb customer service!
Peak Design  Some very creative gear designers here!
Roberts Camera  One of the best camera stores around…ask for Jody!

Check out the photos of the schools and some student work below. These students and staff come from these 17 nations: Australia, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, China, England, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan and the USA.

Students and staff from SOP1 taking part in a lighting demonstration.

Students and staff from SOP1 taking part in a lighting demonstration.

Kongs Shamaki, from Nigeria, with his new Think Tank Photo bag.

Kongs Shamaki, from Nigeria, with his new Think Tank Photo bag.

Me along with students and staff of SOPC on the top of Mauna Kea. ©Copyright Nadia Otake

Some students and staff of SOPC and me on top of Mauna Kea. ©Copyright Nadia Otake

Photo ©Copyright David Maracle

Photo ©Copyright David Maracle

Photo ©Copyright Victoria Ney

Photo ©Copyright Victoria Ney

Photo ©Copyright Renata Gomez

Photo ©Copyright Renata Gomez

Photo ©Copyright Kaylee Walding

Photo ©Copyright Kaylee Walding

Photo ©Copyright Jessie Toney

Photo ©Copyright Jessie Toney

Photo ©Copyright Abby Beard

Photo ©Copyright Abby Beard

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