Ms. Anne McDonnell, Year 7 Teacher
"With the school’s focus on students’ wellbeing I jumped at the chance for Room 11 students to experience photography workshops in nature. It has long been acknowledged that being in nature is good for one’s general wellbeing and this opportunity to experience moments of wonder around the school was certainly very rewarding for students. It is hoped that a spark of creativity has been lit so that in future years these students will marvel at the beauty in the world; that they will find joy in everyday scenes - from watching a pigeon scrounge for titbits, to appreciating the exquisite colour, fragrance and symmetry of a flower in spring. What this experience has shown is that one doesn’t have to travel far to find beauty as it’s all around us - in the backyard or even the school grounds. We sincerely thank Tushar for providing this unique opportunity."
Whaea Pare Paul, Whanau Leader
He Pua Mai I Rangiatea Teachers (Rumaki Reo Unit)
Capturing the vibrant beauty in our school community has been an incredibly rewarding activity for our students. They feel confident and in control of the camera, while having a carefree spirit. They loved exploring the camera settings to create different image effects and played around with angles and light.
They understand that time ages and affects nature in different ways. Getting a close up on the most intricate details of the living world has helped them to notice and appreciate nature’s textures and myriads of shades.
Our students are proud of their images and understand that they can be script-writers, producers and directors of their own visual stories, through producing breathtaking photos that speak much more than a thousand words.
Dillon Rungan, Deputy Principal
Epsom Normal Primary School
It has been an absolute privilege working with Tushar and IMAgEN8 since 2019. His passion for nature and photography provides a creative lens for students to explore and appreciate the natural world through the human eye and eventually captured it for eternity via digital tools. Students have thoroughly enjoyed the detailed workshops outlining each step clearly in the process of nature photography. Tushar’s positive manner and mutual respect are at the core of IMAgEN8. The high trust model of allowing students to use cameras and digital software to edit photos is an exceptional experience that every child should experience throughout their early years of schooling. The school community which includes our principal, Ateel Sudhakar, staff, students and families all look forward to the publications that Tushar creates to showcase our student’s talents accumulated throughout the year. On behalf of ENPS we are truly appreciative of IMAgEN8’s vision and commitment to appreciate nature through photography to preserve our natural paradise for generations to come. Toitū te marae a Tāne-Mahuta, Toitū te marae a Tangaroa, Toitū te tangata. If the land is well and the sea is well, the people will thrive. Ngā mihi nui!
Voice of the students
I have learnt that if I try really hard at something lots of times I can make an amazing photo.
I learnt how to use a camera, take lots of photos not just one, importance of focussing, how to put an element into our photos, light, distance from subject, and angles.
I love being near water and the way it makes me feel. I zone out for a second. I love going to the beach, or a river, or seeing an amazing waterfall. I love taking photos of the water as well as I like the way the water can change. It can be very dramatic or very subtle.
Mrs. Julie Miller, Year 8 Teacher/Team leader
This year more than any other it has been important for our wellbeing to pause and be in the moment; this is what the Imagen8 photography experience has given our students. Looking through fresh eyes at the abundance and beauty around us is so soothing for the soul, it cultivates appreciation, calm and gratitude - all so very important for resilience. What a privilege it has been to have Tushar working alongside our students - mentoring their development in nature photography and giving them the opportunity to view our school environment through a rich new lens.
“Look deep into nature then you will understand everything better.” - Albert Einstein
Ateel Sudhakar, Principal
Epsom Normal Primary School
I am delighted to witness the sacrifice, enthusiasm and commitment of Tushar Sharma who has fostered a love of nature in the young minds at our school. Our children have been working with Tushar for the past two years and have deepened their understanding and appreciation of the physical world over this time. They have demonstrated their talent in the photographs featured in this book which are captioned with their writing gems. Interspersed among the photographs, is a selection of environmental writing pieces which showcase the creativity of our budding ENPS writers. The diverse nature of the images captured in this book reflect the diversity we celebrate at our school, where we have 50+ ethnicities.
I am confident you will applaud the strengths the children have displayed while working in the photography workshops. Term 4 is a time to celebrate our children’s learning and the children who have contributed to this book, Tushar Sharma, Gail Colby, and Dillon Rungan, are to be congratulated for their leadership.
My hearty thanks to IMAgEN8 for their generosity.