Photo classes create time capsule for bicentennial

Photo classes create time capsule for bicentennial

All Upper School photography students captured images related to 24 themes for a time capsule that will be opened by ‘Iolani students in 2063, when the school celebrates its bicentennial.

The goal of the project is to show future students what life was like at ‘Iolani during the sesquicentennial.

On her assignment sheet, photography teacher Mrs. Alison Uyehara Ngo '86 wrote: "The celebration of ‘Iolani School's 150th Anniversary is a perfect time to create a photographic time capsule, in which we capture the school in its present state. How cool it will be to open and view this 50 years from now? Technology pushes our world to evolve faster and faster every year. With your artistic lens, can you capture both the spirit and details of the times? When the time capsule is opened in the future, the viewer should feel your point of view, your aesthetics and your heart in the images."

Each class was broken up into small groups of three or four students. The groups randomly selected a topic via a blind draw, brainstormed all the possibilities, decided on a strategy and went out to take lots of pictures. Finally, each student edited and printed two images associated to the topic.

Mrs. Ngo also gave these tips:
  • "Don’t worry about recording all the facts. This is not necessarily a historical documentation."
  • "Think big, but also think small. In other words, don’t limit yourself to the first thing that comes to mind about your topic; and at the same time don’t forget to hone in on interesting details that might be much more descriptive than cluttered compositions that try to include too much."
  • "Look for design elements, unusual vantage points, effective composition, flattering or dramatic lighting and color use that has impact."

The themes were: consumption, relationships, style, structures, technology, Lower School life, communication, hangouts, construction, educator, changes, support, "Green," the arts, K-12, infrastructure, athletics, academics, extra curricular, trends, tools, longevity, diversity and natural.

To ensure that these images will be viewable in 50 years, they needed to be made technology-independent. Probably the only way to achieve this was to print out hard copies, rather than rely on current digital media to be compatible with the devices of future. Printing on archival materials with pigment-based inks and storing in an acid-free environment also will be vital to support longevity.

Students added a title and date, along with their names and graduating years to the bottom of each document to make it a permanent part of their prints.

Here are a few examples of the students' artistry: