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westsidestory iowa city west high school

2901 melrose ave.

iowa city, IA 52246


because life photos by Cameron Cook

Pages 4-5: Framing Pages 6-9: Shutter speed, aperture, ISO Pages 10-11: Portraiture Pages 12-13: Lines Pages 14-15: Light Pages 16-17: Perspective Pages 18-21: Free form for more coverage go to



LEFT: Olivia Read ’17 taking a picutre through a window at West High School during an excursion from fifth period. This was the first day we were let out of the classroom, and we were eager to get all the pictures we could, as we were under the impression they would all be due at the end of the week. Nature intervened, and due to cancelations and delays we had much more time. TOP: Ben Bliven ’17...I don’t know what he’s doing, but he’s on the front steps of West High School on day I know many of us would rather be inside. Little did we know that the weather was due to become even worse (cue suspenseful music). The Polar Vortex, a climate change driven phenomenon no one had heard of until last month, arrived shortly after.


TOP LEFT: Lily Westemeyer ’17, subject of 2 of 3 photos on this page, caught in a camera ambush from behind a corner at West High School, location of all photos on this page. The problems with having phones for cameras include not being able to get a clear action shot, which is why cameras were later available to borrow. JUST LEFT: It’s really, really bright outside, despite the temperature being in the single digits. Sometimes not even the sun can help. TOP: Lily completes a cartwheel for the nice, fast shutter speed camera I finally got my hands on. I didn’t plan it, but she ended up right underneath the “Great Students” lettering on that wooden panel.


Shutter Speed & ISO FEBRUARY 2014 7

TOP LEFT: My brother, “almighty” Julien Cook moves to attack me for photographing him at our Aunt’s house. I find that he often does not wish to be photographed, which is why he is my favorite subject. LEFT: My cat wakes up from a quick nap in my room; I’m afraid to say I woke her up. She was unhappy and began meowing, which led my mother to feed her dinner early. Needless to say she was very hungry the next morning. TOP RIGHT: This is a shot of some flowers my mom got. They’re lilies, and smell sort of like cloves.


Aperture & ISO FEBRUARY 2014 9

TOP LEFT: My esteemed brother returns, this time playing with Legos downstairs at home. Those two minifigures wouldn’t usually fight (they’re on the same side), but he knew I was taking a picture, and didn’t want the scene to be as boring as it usually is. LEFT: Lily poses for a weird impulse picture, unaware that I would use it in this portfolio. MWAHAHAHAHA. She is currently not speaking to me, but I figure she’ll forget in time. TOP RIGHT: My father, Bob Cook, practices his guitar in our living room. This is a rather rare occurrence, even rarer than my brother consuming all of his vegetables, and therefore something I felt I should chronicle.

10 FEBRUARY 2014

Portraiture FEBRUARY 2014 11

12 FEBRUARY 2014

Lines LEFT: An unnamed member of the West High School faculty or staff walks down the main hallway as seen through a door-mounted window. This was also taken our first day, and I was disproportionately thrilled that I got a shot with so many lines. I didn’t really even understand most of what we were doing until shortly before the project was finished. TOP: Our friends Lily and Olivia, and new addition to the material, Christina Dai ’17, waltz down the hallway in search of material for photographing at West High School.

FEBRUARY 2014 13


TOP LEFT: Lily twirls a glow stick around in a star shape. She carries it with her wherever she goes, which, while strange, was useful that day. LEFT: Sun glares off of a car window in a parking lot at West High School, which made me wonder who even parks in that parking lot. It’s by the courtyard. Why? I don’t know. TOP RIGHT: The shadows of me and the aforementioned Christina on our way across the icy West High courtyard.

14 FEBRUARY 2014


Lighting FEBRUARY 2014 15

TOP LEFT: A view of the presently limp American flag outside West High School, as seen from the fancy entrance. LEFT: This is what locks look like to little kids. This one is on a cabinet in West High, but you can imagine at as one on a cookie jar for effect. TOP RIGHT: Roof of West High; I may or may not have skipped the trip to the roof and taken it out a window. There actually is a way to get to the roof, but it’s barred off and I haven’t yet found the opportune moment to go explore, you know?

16 FEBRUARY 2014

Perspective FEBRUARY 2014 17

Free form The snow melts under the sun at North Bend Elementary School in North Liberty. On the left, the snow is packed down enough to hold the weight of children, including my brother who this time declined to appear in any of my photos. I’m afraid the earlier photo turned him against any of my endeavors. On the right, snow melt pours down a drainage pipe, the droplets forming what looks like the bottom half of a stick-person.

18 FEBRUARY 2014

FEBRUARY 2014 19

TOP LEFT: Someone pushes the button on a West High School drinking fountain. Admittedly a waste of water, but it’s a cool effect. LEFT: A view of a table, seen through a water filled vase containing a flower. This particular flower smelled fine, but we did find some lilies that smelled a bit like cloves, which are pictured earlier. RIGHT: This is the view from my window on a cold, school-less morning. Understandably, I had nothing to do that day, and so decided to catch up on my photography. Notice the lack of people outside; this is due to sub-zero temperatures. If anyone asks why I took any of these photos (even though I find the captions to be very informative), there is one reason that can be applied to every single one of them: Because Life. 20 FEBRUARY 2014

Free form FEBRUARY 2014 21

Because Life  

Photos by Cameron Cook