Sophie Saunders

Staff Reporter

22 December 2021

Picture this: The glistening water of the Chesapeake Bay, the unique glass of the aquarium, and the fast-paced city of Baltimore. These were just some of the sights that were seen by Atholton’s photography students. 

In early November, Atholton’s art department conducted a field trip for all photography students to go to the Inner Harbor.  Throughout the trip, students went to the UMBC art gallery, took photographs both in and around the Inner Harbor, as well as explored Baltimore with their classmates. 

Mr. Brenfleck, the teacher chaperone on the trip, conducted this trip so he could allow students “to get out of the school, breath some fresh air, get fresh places to take photographs, [and receive] a chance to see professional photographs.”

When the COVID pandemic first began, field trips were removed from the high school experience. For over a whole school year students were not able to attend any field trips. At the beginning of this school year, HCPSS began allowing teachers to conduct field trips, under safe COVID protocols. But this decision was recently revoked, therefore all field trips through January 15th have now been canceled.

Attending field trips is always an exciting experience for students. When students Tanvi Gangisetty and Hallie Getty found out about this opportunity they couldn’t be more excited. Not only did this field trip enhance their photography skills, but it allowed them to go somewhere new and explore.

Getty, a sophomore who is currently taking Photography I, “liked [how she was] able to take pictures freely on our own and explore the city which was interesting.”

Atholton’s senior Gangisetty had a bit of a different experience on this trip. Due to COVID, Tanvi missed the second half of her sophomore year, as well as her full junior year. During this time, she missed out on many exciting high school experiences, one being the ability to attend field trips. She took part in this same trip sophomore year but believes that she grew significantly since then. Throughout the course of her sophomore year, her “photography skills were just really basic,” now she is able to  “see different perspectives [and] different patterns in the photos [she takes] now,”

It was Getty’s first photography field trip, she still felt that “it was good to branch out and take photos in a new place instead of just staying where we normally are.” She enjoyed taking photos in Inner Harbor and is excited to get her photos developed soon. Her favorite photograph that she took was of a crisp pattern that was printed onto stairs. She thinks that the developed photograph will look “pretty cool”

Mr. Brenfleck has taken his photography students on a plethora of field trips in the past. He and his students have been to Baltimore, DC, New York, and beyond. He has conducted these field trips for at least 20 years now. 

This is one of the first field trips that was conducted at Atholton this year, and sadly maybe one of the last. With COVID cases increasing, more and more field trips are being canceled. 

For Tanvi Gangisetty, this “was an experience that [she] was looking forward to from 10th grade,” and was glad she could attend again.

Posted by ssaunders

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