Morgan Peterson: Thanks for cameras

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— I am writing this letter as a response to the article written by Jack Weinstein in April (“High school seeks manual film cameras for photography class,” April 28 edition of Steamboat Today) that asked the community of Steamboat Springs to donate manual film cameras to the high school in support of its photography program. The response that the article provoked from this community has been incredible. We already have received approximately 30 cameras, several tripods, two enlargers and countless lenses and bags.

Jay Mogil and Craig Olsheim have graciously donated several hours of their time going though all the equipment, as well as replacing all the batteries. We currently have enough equipment to furnish each student in one of the film photography classes with his or her own camera, interchangeable lenses, a flash and a camera bag, which is so much more than we have been able to provide in the past. However, we have two film classes, so if you are reading this letter and thinking about the lonely manual film camera sitting in your closet, please take it down to Mogil’s on the Mountain in Dream Island … we might just be able to furnish every student in the film classes with their very own manual camera.

Thanks to these donations, the film photography students will be able to more effectively learn about manual functions such as aperture and shutter speed, which will allow them to truly understand the roots of photography, and in the end, it will make them better digital photographers.

I just have to say that I feel so very lucky to live in such a generous and supportive community. When I moved here two years ago, I didn’t know a soul. I had just accepted an art teaching position during an economic crisis and was entering a world of uncertainty. But from the moment I pulled into Steamboat Springs I have been greeted with open arms. This community cherishes its children, believes in education and continues to prove its loyalty to the arts. Thank you for everything you do to support our schools and our students, and thank you for recognizing that film photography still is important and for supporting our students in their quest to learn about this dying art form.

Morgan Peterson

Steamboat Springs High School art teacher

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