RHP offers a series of very popular photography classes providing a variety of options for skill development in this area of artistic concentration. Students at RHP have the opportunity to learn the basics of photography for their personal use or to continue through grade twelve where they will complete semi-professional portfolios. Students from the school have won numerous awards for photography from the Scholastic Arts Association.
The head of the photography department is Rebecca Kandel-Scott, who attended graduate school at the California Institute of the Arts. Her photographs have been included in numerous publications and featured at exhibitions in locations ranging from Beverly Hills to El Salvador to Budapest, Hungary. She is also a free-lance graphic designer whose work has been featured in a variety of media from mystery novels to toy packaging.
Ms. Kandel-Scott encourages students to use photography to explore their own communities and the greater world around them. She also explores the connection between photography and other disciplines, encouraging collaboration and the use of original photography in other school projects.
Eighth graders take Introduction to Photography and Design. This course provides an understanding of the universal elements of photography and graphic design. Students gain an introduction to art history, camera functions, and Adobe Photoshop.
Photography I, II, III & AP 2D Design provide a broad base for a thorough exploration of the art as well as an introduction to photographic art history. Photography I offers a full exploration of taking and making a photograph. Projects are designed to give students grounding in all major functions of the camera, studio lighting and black and white darkroom techniques. Photography II marries more advanced and non-traditional darkroom techniques with more work with Adobe Photoshop. Students learn both traditional and contemporary methods of combining and altering imagery. Photography III and AP 2D Design are devoted to the student's independent exploration of the art. Students are expected to complete several self-designed projects with the goal of assembling a final portfolio for submission to the AP Exam, college of their choice, and the Scholastic Awards Competition.
Yearbook/Design for production teaches the universals of graphic design. Students gain an understanding of Adobe imaging software including Photoshop and InDesign, the latest technology for design work. Projects explore a variety of methods for using these tools to create magazine advertisements, books and board games. Additionally, we work to product the Rolling Hills Prep yearbook and Literary Magazine. Students learn about page design, layout, photo selection, editing, marketing, and theme development, along with writing stories and taking photographs.
The school is equipped with a fully-functioning black and white darkroom and excellent facilities for photography students. In keeping with its green commitment, the darkroom uses a state-of-the art filtration system, custom designed to recycle all the silver from the chemicals used in the darkroom and return a clean product to the sewer system. In addition, used film and paper is recycled, which is good for the environment and provides enough revenue from recovered silver to offset some of the costs of the recycling program.
Ms. Kandel-Scott says, "I enjoy providing students with a combination of artistic and real-world marketable skills. As they learn camera techniques, Photoshop and other programs, I see that they have abilities that will serve them well in the future. Of course, I also love seeing students develop an eye for framing and an enthusiasm for taking pictures that will last them a lifetime."