Lessons with the Spring Creek After School Program’s Media Club

By Amanda Moses

Lights, camera, action! It’s one of the most heard phrases uttered throughout the film industry, and at the Spring Creek After School Program’s Media Club students are learning these crucial concepts in digital media: lighting, equipment, and content.

Teen Central (TC) Director, Lonai Mosley and TC Teaching, Artist, Eileen Level are teaching the basics of photography to  fourth graders every Wednesday and Thursday in the lower level of the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC),. This fall, the children are learning how to operate the camera equipment, frame their photos and recently the importance of excellent lighting.

Three point lighting was the topic during the most recent lesson, focusing on how to enhance a subject through light positioning.

“Say if the subject is standing here,” Mosley said, pointing to the center of the BSC’s lower level cafeteria. “The key light is facing them, so that the fill light is off to the side. Why do you think that is,” she asked.

Isaiah raised his hand, “I think the light is intentionally crooked,” describing a light fixture in a 45 degree angle.

Delilah followed up with his answer by adding, “They have the fill light there to get more lighting from a different angle and to make sure there is not too much of a shadow.”

Mosley applauded the students’ answers, and explained the components of the three point lighting: a Key light is set at 45 degrees, a fill is placed opposite of the back light, and the back light showcases the hair and reduces shadows.

 “So basically, if you just have the key lighting for one bright light, you would have a lot of shadows, but you would also look flat or washed out. When you use a fill light and a backlight, it helps add dimension to your subject. So now you will get to see shadows,” Mosley said, adding, “Sometimes a key light is a spotlight too.”

After the lesson, the children were separated into groups of three where they each took turns experimenting with lighting the TC Media Lounge. Complete with a backdrop, the students were able to control the brightness as they framed their classmates for portraits.

Haley wants to be a choreographer when she grows up, and she believes these sessions will help in her future.

“I can help with lighting for photoshoots and videos. It’s great that I can learn photography skills,” Haley said proudly.

Michelle wants to create her own YouTube videos, and shared that lighting can help highlight her subjects.

“I have a tiny ring light at home, but I need to have more so I can have three point lighting, so there are not too many shadows,” Michelle said, “I like learning new skills and angles and when I’m older I will know how to do it like a pro.”

Photos by Amanda Moses and students in the SC After School Program’s Media Club

Amanda Moses