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Focusing on Fort Liard

Daron Letts
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, Aug. 29, 2009

ACHO DENE KOE/FORT LIARD - Youth in Fort Liard captured hundreds of digital photographs of their community earlier this month.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Michael Needlay flashes the peace sign in this image shot by Blair Kotchea during the Frozen Eyes Photographic Society's youth digital camera workshop in Fort Liard. - photo courtesy of Blair Kotchea

The young artists participated in a Frozen Eyes Photographic Society workshop series from Aug. 3 to Aug, 9.

"It was probably the most successful program that I had run in terms of engaging the older kids because they're a difficult group to interest in much," said recreation co-ordinator, Roslyn Firth. "But, they participated in numbers greater than I'd ever imagined and produced some really beautiful photographs."

Society members David Pritchard and George Lessard of Yellowknife led the workshops. The pair brought 12 cameras and other specialized equipment to share with the youth. Pritchard opened the workshop with an instructional introduction to the cameras and the art of photography.

After learning the camera basics, the youth fanned out around the community, shooting almost everything in sight, including shots of family, friends, trees, animals, architecture, vehicles and even each other.

"After the first day more and more kids became interested," Firth said. "It was fantastic. They took pictures of just about everything in Fort Liard. They all enjoyed it very much."

A lot of the young people took more than 100 photographs. Dylan Steeves returned from his outings with almost 900 pictures.

Each photographer picked their five favourite photographs at the end of the workshops. The group took about 12 hours to select and editing the massive collection.

The workshop series was sponsored by the NWT Arts Council. The society may return to the community to lead another workshop series soon.

The society formed in 2008 with the goal of providing hands-on photographic experience for young people throughout the NWT. Society members have provided similar workshops in several communities around the territory.

"I would like them to come back in the fall," Firth said.

An exhibit of the young photographers' work goes on display at 7 p.m., Sept. 3, in the cultural room at the Hamlet and band offices. The photographers will attend the event.