‘Stop-action’ assignment fills Dance Light Lens display

Dance Light Lens poster design by student Brittany Hoban, photo by student Mike Conway.

Dance Light Lens poster design by student Brittany Hoban, photo by student Mike Conway.

Alison Malek, Staff Writer

James Wildeman, a photography director at Madison College, assigns a dance photo project every April for his advanced photo students.

This year, after seeing the photo results hung up in the hallway, Chris Gargen, had suggested making a gallery show in the Truax gallery.

“I was pleased to be asked and see the honor of getting our department’s work in the gallery,” Wildeman said.

The show, on display for much of November, was titled Dance Light Lens.

Wildeman teamed up his advanced photo students with dancers from dance schools around the area. He reserveed the Mitby Theatre stage and spent approximately an hour setting up two photo-shoots (high key/ low key). Then, they were ready to start upon the arrival of the dancers. Each photographer then shot about three different dancers.

“One of the things I ask my photographers to do is ‘stop action,’” Wildeman said. The dancers went through the same leap multiple times to make sure the photographer got the image they wanted.

Prior to becoming a photography instructor at Madison College, Wildeman was a full time commercial photographer.

“I shot many different things. Anything from food to fashion,” Wildeman said. “It was always just a great experience of all the things a photographer can shoot, it’s the most rewarding. I wanted to pass it on to my students.”

Wildman also explained how he wanted this exhibit to show off his students’ work.

“We want to show what our students can do, so that people can become aware of our photography program,” Wildman stated. “These are beautiful images, and the new gallery gives us the opportunity to show them off.”

Wildeman believes this will not be the only time in which the photography department displays their work in the gallery and forsees other shows in the future.

“Other faculty members have their ideas on what they want to see,” Wildeman said.

Wildeman credited those who helped in the show, including the dancers, whose talents helped make the photo assignment possible.