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Photo-imaging students test $100K-worth of camera equipment

Langara professional photo-imaging students look into their viewfinders during a recent trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta.
Langara professional photo-imaging students look into their viewfinders during a recent trip to Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta. Photo by Edmond Lu.

More than $100,000 worth of photography equipment and 30 years of experience in bird photography were on loan to students of Langara’s professional photo-imaging department as they spent last Wednesday at the George C. Reifel Migratory Bird Sanctuary in Delta.

Big-name camera brands loaned cameras for students to test

Representatives from Canon, Nikon and Vancouver-based camera store Beau Photo brought specialized equipment suited for bird photography just for the occasion.

John Gordon, an experienced bird photographer and photojournalist, accompanied the department on the trip, offering his expertise in the field and helping the students and faculty find rare birds like the great-horned owl and red-tail hawk among the sea of mallards and sparrows.

“Take on everything you can,” said Gordon, kicking off the day with some advice to those in attendance. “Try new things in your photography.”

Much of the faculty was also present, both instructing students and taking the chance to learn from the experienced bird photographers themselves.

“We must expose our students to as many different facets of the industry as we can in the two years they are with us,” said photography department chair Catherine O’Brien-Bell.

Students wielded their heavy, cannon-like lenses worth thousands of dollars with enthusiasm, pointing them at everything in sight, be it a bald eagle or a fellow student.

Langara photography program is glowing with positive reputation

The reputation of the photography program at Langara is partly why they were able to secure the equipment and experience to make this trip possible.

“Langara is one of the top photography schools in the city right now, if not the top,” said Jason Kazuta, a representative from Beau Photo.

The department organizes one of these trips each year, so students have the opportunity to attend twice in the course of their two-year program.

“Having a second go at it is definitely way more fun,” said second-year student Gaelan Glenn. “I was looking at my stuff from before and some of it looked pretty bad.”

The outing was a welcome reprieve for all.

“School is stressful, especially right now,” said O’Brien-Bell. “If nothing else, the day was good therapy for everyone involved.”

Reported by Edmond Lu.

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