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A picture is worth a thousand words, learn more at upcoming photo story class

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Do you enjoy taking photos? Do you have a story or stories you want to tell? An upcoming “Photo Story” class is a great opportunity to learn how to use your camera to tell your stories. Whether you want to create a legacy for family, make a gift book, display your art or just have fun, this workshop will open your eyes to new ways of looking at the world.

The Commons at Central Hall, as part of its Lifelong Learning Center curriculum, is offering a 6-week course on Mondays starting July 15 from 3:30-5 p.m. taught by local photographer and artist Bruce Towl. Towl has spent his career telling visual stories through drawing, painting, large visual installations and photography. He believes that visual images help to simultaneously focus and expand people’s minds and work differently than words. We all have stories which can start from a feeling, an experience, a cherished memory or an idea that we want to express. And since each of us experiences life in our own, very individual ways, sharing our stories is how we begin to see our connections to each other and build relationships.

As a story unfolds, we connect verbal or visual images, discover insights about ourselves and the world around us, make choices to leave certain things out while emphasizing certain other things, all led by what is the story we want to tell. It is uniquely ours.

The Photo Story course will encourage participants to explore the stories that are most meaningful to them, to learn the basics of telling a good story, and specifically to explore ways of telling a story using photographs (with or without captions). Photographic techniques will be discussed including how the camera eye differs from the “mind’s eye,” light, structure, sequencing and editing. Students will bring in digital photos each week to share and edit with the class. There will be an opportunity to print a selected story which can be part of an exhibit at the conclusion of the course.

Interested students will need access to a digital camera or a smartphone. If you are interested but do not have a camera, please let us know at the time of registration. The fee is $40 for six weeks which will include the cost of photo printing. Scholarships are available. To register please call The Commons at 343-3018 or email info@centralhallcommons.org.

This course is one of several current efforts in the region exploring storytelling from many angles. The Thompson Free Library has an oral history project titled “Voices from HOME,” which is collecting and archiving audio stories from local residents. The Voices from HOME project is also sponsoring an oral “Story Slam” Aug. 1 7 p.m. at at The Commons at Central Hall. The Lifelong Learning Center at The Commons is also currently holding a 6-week writing workshop facilitated by Joe Siccardi in which people are honing writing skills as well as exploring poetic forms.

Other forms of creative exploration such as songwriting, poetry, dance and painting may also be explored in future storytelling efforts. People interested in either teaching a course or taking one in these modalities are encouraged to contact Tara Smith at The Commons.

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