Coping with an unpredictable illness, Joei has learned to appreciate the lessons life has to offer.
The winning submission of this year's New Year card contest was the result of senior Mitchell Pavlak's favorite pastime: macrophotography, or high-magnification photography. "The image is a compilation of some of my favorite snowflake shots, selected from the last few winters," he explains. "Although each was shot individually, my thought was to give the impression of a scattering of snowflakes, with different shapes, sizes, and orientations." He shot the snowflakes from just three inches away, on a black velvet backdrop that he stored in the freezer beforehand to impede melting. "I photographed them outside and was careful not to breathe on them."
With a particular interest in computer science and neurology, Mitchell says what attracts him to macrophotography is that it lies at the intersection of science and art. He is drawn to the technical aspects of the art form, and enjoys the process of disassembling old cameras and building his own lenses. "During our last snowstorm, I was out photographing snowflakes with the most recent macro lens I built from parts I salvaged," he says. "The lens combines several glass elements with a helical focuser and push-pull zoom, which provides a unique view of the snowflakes."
Mitchell was the first high school student whose work—Water Lens—was accepted for display in New Jersey Photography Forum's annual exhibit last year. This year, he is taking his first photography class—Photography 2—with his advisor, Mr. Boyd.
Returning to the subject of his winning New Year card design . . . a panel of Pingry faculty and staff judges—who had a very difficult job in selecting just one concept among dozens of creative submissions from both campuses—thought Mitchell's work delivered! The card and its New Year wishes were delivered to over 2,500 mailboxes, just in time to ring in 2018!
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