Photography – Shutter Power

Presented By Cecil Henry
Category: Arts
Delivery: Hybrid
Start Date: Tuesday, July 12, 2022 at 5.00 - 7.00 pm
Status: Course Full

Who Should Apply

Black youth, resident in Ontario, who will be enrolled in any of Grades 10, 11, or 12 in September 2022.


There is ample evidence of the versatility of photography in its impact on our lives and in the variety of opportunities and the possibilities it provides. Photography stands out for how it influences our ability to remember things, record history, shape scientific research, as a foundation for employment, and as a versatile form of artistic expression. Photography can reproduce minuscule items larger than life, it can capture distant objects as if they were closer and its multipurpose application can capture the imagination and interest of all – young and old. Photographic images are ever-present in our lives, always demanding our appraisal, our appreciation, and our curiosity about the technique used and the artistic expression adopted. On top of all this is the therapeutic impact photography offers to mental health and wellbeing.

This course will introduce you to the science and art of photography. Learn how to compose and shoot a terrific and powerful image. Understand the challenge of composing and capturing images in different settings – such as in the theatre, sports field, weddings, cityscape, political demonstrations, for fashion magazines, and the great outdoors. Don’t forget portraiture. Acquire the technical know-how about manual exposure controls, lighting, photo editing, and the optimal use of a digital camera. See this SummerUp photography course as a way to build an admissions portfolio should you wish to pursue post-secondary studies in media, to contribute to your school’s newspaper or yearbook project, as a platform for a social-media enterprise, and as a stepping stone to a new business. Learning will be hands-on, and you will have use of the photography studios at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre. At the end, you will exhibit your work in a Red Carpet Show. Come learn to be a storyteller.

Why this Matters

SummerUp’s Photography – Shutter Power course will provide Black youth with a platform for exploring the technical and creative aspects of photography. The course will provide hands-on interactive learning regarding the fundamentals of photography – from the creative to the technical, from the hardware to the software. Youth will be taught a variety of photographic techniques including portrait, macro, urban-scape, and composition. As well, they will learn to edit images using Adobe Photoshop. The course is open to any interested student irrespective of previous skill level.

The course offers:

– insight into photography as a personal, social, and creative activity (e.g. family photos, self-expression, personal creativity, seeing one’s world through a camera’s lens).
– knowledge of various styles of photography (e.g., portrait, landscape, street/urban, low-light),
– knowledge of a Digital Single Lens Mirrorless [DSML] camera (e.g. settings, the exposure triangle [ISO/Aperture/Shutter], composition, manual modes, autofocus and metering modes, shooting RAW vs JPEG),
– fundamental knowledge of photo-editing using Adobe Photoshop, and
– a study of photo composition – ‘positioning the objects in the frame’.

Here are the opinions of three students who took this course in summer 2021:

Student #1: “I think giving opportunities like this to students is a great idea. I felt this course gave more hands-on content and more feedback than an actual photography course in school and it has allowed us to continue to practise outside of school and learn for someone whose main job was in photography. It also allowed us to connect with like-minded students and form new connections”

Student #2: “I think this program was amazing and I am very happy it exists because it allows for us young students in the Black community to have a voice, speak out and most importantly learn fundamental life skills and skills pertaining to the program we chose! It’s also a great avenue to meet other young intelligent Black youth with the same interests as us!”

Student #3: “I thought it was educational. I learned so much about photography, the different genres and even the basics (using aperture, shutter speed, ISO)of photography. :)”

Your Pathway to Discovery (subject to change)

Here is a high-level outline of SummerUp’s Photography – Shutter Power program.
Week 1: Photography fundamentals; using a camera simulator; photo studio experience (at Centennial College)
Week 2: The ‘exposure triangle’ – ISO, aperture, shutter speed; photo studio experience
Week 3: Photography in natural settings; photography’s impact on mental health; outdoor event (TBA)
Week 4: Metering and metering modes; composition; photography field trip to Niagara Falls, Ontario (to be confirmed)
Week 5: Light in photography – front light, side light, and backlight; photo studio experience; Red Carpet Show featuring work by students.

Admission Details

Who: You are a Black youth, Ontario resident, and you will be enrolled in any of Grades 10, 11, or 12 in September 2022. You have a demonstrated interest in photography and wish to expand your knowledge and skills. You may also be interested in exploring a career in the photographic arts and in applying your photographic skills in a practical way – such as visual expressions of stories, people, and situations. You want to use the camera to tell interesting stories to the many communities to which you belong (e.g. school, Black community, organizations, etc.). You have a suitable computer and reliable access to the Internet. You are willing to commit to attending all scheduled learning sessions (see dates and times below).

Admissions Process: All eligible applicants will be considered for admission. Refer to application deadlines at Applicants will be required to attend an orientation session.

Start/Stop Dates: SummerUp will offer Photography – Shutter Power in hybrid mode over a span of five weeks starting on Tuesday, July 12 and ending on Saturday, August 13. Online classes will be two hours in duration and span from 5.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m.

Meeting Pattern: On designated Tuesdays and Wednesdays, this course will meet online between 5.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. Saturday sessions will be in-person, and will have longer hands-on learning hours which will be revealed to accepted candidates. Outside of scheduled classes, students will be required to undertake independent photoshoots in various settings and will have opportunities to consult course faculty Cecil Henry about their work.

Applicants must commit to meeting on the following learning sessions:

Week 1: Tuesday, July 12; Wednesday, July 13; Saturday, July 16
Week 2: Tuesday, July 19; Wednesday, July 20, Saturday, July 23
Week 3: Tuesday, July 26; Wednesday, July 27; Saturday, July 30 (outdoor fieldwork)
Week 4: Tuesday, August 2; Wednesday, August 3; Saturday, August 6 (outdoor fieldwork)
Week 5: Tuesday, August 9; Wednesday, August 10; Saturday, August 13
Sunday, August 14: Red Carpet Show – The work of students will be presented online to family and friends.

Dress: Inasmuch as some classes will be delivered in-person and given that appropriate dress is a part of the learning experience, we require students to dress appropriately. While on campus, each student will be provided a T-shirt which must always be worn. On field trip days (rain or shine), there will be walking, so comfortable shoes are a must.

Required Tools
To do well in this photography course, students must have ready access to the following:
1: A suitable computer and reliable Internet access. Students who do not have the required computer should request a loan of this device from their high school.
2: Some equipment will be loaned to students by the SummerUp program.

Mode: Hybrid (i.e., a combination of virtual and in-person sessions).


Cecil Henry

Cecil HenryCecil Henry is a professional photographer/videographer and an entrepreneur. Currently, he is the owner and senior photographer/videographer for the company

His journey into the world of photography started at a young age with film and progressed to Digital Cinematic Photography & Videography. With over 21 years of experience utilizing a cinematic style, heartistically photographs clients ‘in action’ at their special events. Cinematic style communicates Cecil Henry’s ideas in a dynamic visual manner.

Very early in life, he discovered that the art of photography has a profoundly positive effect on his mental health and wellbeing, and now recommends photography as an effective antidote to current pandemic-induced anxiety and stress.

Cecil Henry’s body of work includes written articles which were published in wedding magazines (Dream Bride), a photoshoot with the Toronto Raptors basketball team, and photoshoots at a variety of significant events in the GTA’s Black community. He also takes pride in voluntarily tutoring Black youth in mathematics and science in a program jointly sponsored by York University and Tennis Canada.

SummerUp is a program designed to serve and support the personal and professional aspirations of Ontario’s Black youth. The program is developed and presented by the Lifelong Leadership Institute (LLI), and it is primarily funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education. The quality of the SummerUp experience is assured by the contributions of a diverse group of individuals, educators, institutions, and corporations – all of which are committed to championing the well-being, development and advancement of Black youth.

The Lifelong Leadership Institute also offers the Leadership by Design program which provides extensive leadership-development opportunities to Black youth.


The SummerUp 2022 program is primarily funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education.