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RACINE — The Prairie School’s Center for Developing Excellence’s STEAM Academy, in collaboration with the Racine Creative Center, offered the photography class “Downtown Racine — Through the Lens of Sustainability” to students in grades seven through 12. The class was held Sept. 12-14.

This unique opportunity provided students the tools to analyze the sustainability of Downtown Racine through the use of photographic artistry.

Shooting through a lens ball, students photographed different locations and resources Downtown Racine has to offer and related them to the “3E’s” of sustainability — environment, economics and social equity.

The class allowed students to experiment with and learn about the relationships between social well being, economic vitality and environmental health, understanding the dynamic balance that exists among the elements of sustainability as they relate to the community.

Students were asked to bring a camera, DSLR or an iPhone. Cameras were provided for those students who did not have access to one. If an iPhone was used, it needed to have the capability to shoot in RAW format using an app such as ProCamera.

Equipment supplied to the students included the lens balls, computers with internet access with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop, photographic paper, printer and mounting and matting supplies.

The agenda for the class on the first day included “Introduction to Sustainability,” “Introduction to Lens Ball Photography” and “Selecting Suitable Subjects” (3-5 total) using Google Earth. On the second day of class, students shot in the field and downloaded the images onto computers. During the third class, students perfected the pictures using Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Photoshop, printed and mounted the final pictures.

Students who participated in the class will display their final projects during Party on the Pavement from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Racine Creative Center, 440 Main St.

To view additional photos of the class, go to


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