White Mountain School Field Course Student Photography Winners

Last month’s Field Course classes sent White Mountain students all over New England to learn various, in-depth subjects outside of the formal classroom setting. Some student groups even ventured as far as Arizona and even abroad to Nicaragua to learn site-specific lessons and to gather experiences that only certain places can instill.

Besides teaching values of being present in one’s surroundings, place-based awareness and other instruction that only an off-campus trip can create, our Field Course classes this fall also exhibited our students’ artistic and competitive spirit and flare! Before departing campus, the WMS community was notified of a photography competition.  Students and faculty were encouraged to submit their very best photographs – to be judged by art faculty – taken from their Field Course trips.  Below are the first, second, and third place winners.

Thank you and congratulations to Nathaniel ‘20, Nessa ‘18, and Banner ‘18 for winning this year’s fall Field Course Photography Competition! Thank you Nathaniel for your essay and to Nessa and Banner for their descriptions of their photos.

1st Place – Nathaniel ‘20

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This picture was taken on the summit of Mount Agamenticus. Mount Agamenticus is located in the southern section of Maine near the towns of South Berwick, Wells, Ogunquit, Eliot, and York. The mountain’s watersheds, streams, and ground springs provide water for the towns of York, South Berwick and Wells. We were a part of the Land Conservation Field Course with the main topic of mountain biking on the land. The photo wouldn’t have been taken if it was not for Nate Snow, WMS’ Associate Head of School and our Field Course leader, and all of us deciding to ride up the mountain and then ride back down on the road.  When we were at the summit, I looked at the view and saw the sunset which was ultimately featured in my photo (above).

I talked to Nate and he helped me get everyone together quickly because we didn’t know how long that shot might last.  We all had a plan of putting our bikes above our heads but then we had some problems with bikes falling and hitting each other. Eventually after a couple of tries, we got the photo (which I had to edit a little bit so people could see our faces and not just our silhouettes). The idea of the Field Course was to learn about how and what people do to conserve land and protect it.  On this Field Course, I learned that our campus is adjacent to land that is managed by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forest. This is the oldest land conservation group in New Hampshire.  Currently, they don’t allow any mechanical recreation on their land (only walking and hiking). Our plan was to give a presentation on Conservation with mountain biking as the focus and try to convince them to allow the school to adopt a trail or make a trail.  The trail would be used for mountain biking and then would be tended to by students using sustainable tools.  Hopefully they will allow us to mountain bike or do some trail work to help not just the school but for others that also mountain bike.

2nd Place – Nessa ‘18

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The photo with the wings was one of my favorites. I was on the orienteering Field Course in Vermont, and in our downtime we ended up playing with camera settings and headlamps. This particular photo involved a red headlamp, three people, and a six-foot-long stick.  Good times.

3rd Place – Banner ‘18

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I went on the Hydropower Field Course in the Forks, Maine – a big whitewater kayaking and rafting destination.  To take this photo I walked out onto the gravel bar with a tripod and set a long exposure.  I had to take it a few times to get the exposure right.

By Eliot Taft, Assistant Director of Admission and Communication

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