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Barbados Youth Learn Photo Skills


Photo by Dominique Bonnett

What a way to spend spring break: 20 students chosen from nine public schools had a unique opportunity to document their environment with photography during National Geographic’s Photo Camp: Barbados.

Over four days and nights, Geographic photographers Sam Abell and Matt Moyer trained their young protégés to photograph, edit, and design a portrait of water on the Caribbean island, using techniques they themselves have used on assignment shoots.


Photo by Sam Abell

Abell, Moyer, and the Photo Camp staff helped the students to expand their understanding of water issues on the island, then explore and express those issues visually. The students’ work focused on four themes: water scarcity, water conservation, the beauty of water, and how its forces have shaped the island.


Photo by Sam Abell

In partnership with local newspapers and community organizations, the Photo Camp inspires young people to explore their communities through the camera’s lens, and to share their vision through public presentations and exhibitions across the United States and throughout the world. From Washington state’s Olympic National Park to Botswana to a Ugandan refugee camp, South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation to Costa Rica to post-Katrina New Orleans, the program has trained hundreds of students. Next up for Photo Camp: Biscayne National Park at this week’s National Geographic-National Park Service BioBlitz south of Miami, Florida.


Photo by Daniel Bowen

Here’s more work by Barbados Photo Camp students, along with some of what they had to say about the experience.

Sometimes we may feel in the dark, but every little detail of light makes a big difference, point of view matters, and we all have a story to tell… The camp helped me understand that. – Neesa, St. Michael, Barbados


Photo by Melanie Grant

I now know the most simple things can make a wonderful picture. – Tyrel, St. Michael, Barbados


Photo by Khadija Best

Coming into this camp, I thought “What more is there to know about photography?” But then I learned that I was wrong.… There is more to photography than just a click. Photography is composing, light, timing, detail. To me, photography is art. Photography is life. – Melanie, St. James, Barbados


Photo by Dominique Bonnett