MTU students explore cell phone photography

HOUGHTON — Visual and Performing Arts students at Michigan Tech are taking a uniquely simple approach to photography. In a recent project, students put their fancy cameras aside and shot photos with their cell phones.

Cell phones have quickly become a major part of everyday life over the past couple of decades. We use them for banking, for navigation, checking emails, browsing the web and the list goes on and on, and the possibilities are endless.

As technology progresses, they become more capable and we use them for more things. One market that has been completely transformed by the cell phone industry is photography. Michigan Tech professor Anne Beffel has not only taken notice, but she also implements the use of cell phone photography in her teachings.

“So many times in art school or art classes we give students a frame work, and it’s sort of like a recipe. And then they get out of the class and they don’t have anybody to give them recipes. And here my goal was for students to capture something that was interesting enough to pay attention to with out editing,” said Beffel.

Beffels requirements are simple: no filters and no photoshop. Just find a beautiful subject, point and shoot.

“The inspiration for my pictures came from when I was camping with my family and the sun was just kind of barely peeking out and it was still bright outside so it’s kind of a cheery picture,” said Maria Corona, one of Beffel’s students.

“My pictures the first one was taken at scenery wildlife refuge. The other one was taken at the beach right at breakers up here in the Keweenaw Peninsula. Both pieces were taken around sunset. Next thing I know my phone was filling up with a bunch of pictures,” said Jake Devries, another one of Beffel’s students.

Photos from the project are showcased in the McArdle Theater hallway.