OKLAHOMA CITY –Visual artists – painters, sculptors and photographers – each see the world in a unique way. Each artist births their art through a personal world view. And when that artist is young, this view is often filled with questions, color and energy.
Such is the story for nine of ENN’s student photographers.
Each photographer, all high school age or younger, has spent the semester learning the basics of photojournalism.
By fall, they were ready for a challenge; a serious one.
All nine photographers were tasked with an idea that, at first, seemed simple: photograph a 24-hour cycle in Oklahoma.
The assignment proved to be more difficult than they expected.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, October 24, they set out to show life in their state during a particular time cycle. Their photos could cover any subject – provided people in the photos were identified and the time was logged.
For some, transportation was limited and, of course, the Covid-19 pandemic hampered their efforts. Each student, however, overcame those handicaps and each excelled. The assignment also gave me, their instructor, a chance to participate with them. I took the final 9 p.m. to midnight shift.
The results became this project. Twenty-four hours, nine student photographers, one pandemic and limited public access. What makes this project so unique is the images are viewed through the eyes of high school students.
Their collective vision is unique. It’s a view of Oklahoma that isn’t dark or menacing but instead, bright and active and, on occasion, even humorous.
It’s also a way to remind us of the power of art and light. For me, my students have reaffirmed the fact that, more often than not, the simple act of being human is quite profound.
ENN is proud to present its first photo documentary: Oklahoma in 24 Hours.
Editor’s Note: To see full size versions of the photos, without captions, click on the photo to load the entire gallery. Photographers participating in this project include: Alexis Adams, Bekah Disney, Hannah Rose, Keagan Blakley, Ashton Sullivan, Kelcey Stevenson, Chris Rabourn, Nathan Ritter and Trinity Rutledge.