The student photography exhibition currently up in the Leverett House dining hall grants a glimpse into the lives of several of the House’s closet photographers. Julia E. Rozier ’08, Matt W. Smith ’07, and Jason Pan ’09, all self-professed amateurs, all have pieces in the exhibit. This the first time any of them has ever had their photographs on display in a show, despite being involved in other facets of the arts world at Harvard.
Rozier and Smith both submitted their photos on something of a whim after seeing an announcement encouraging Leverett’s hidden photographers to send images in for the show. Pan had heard of it through his tutor, Laura M. Bacon ’02, who’d done a little pitch for it at their first entryway meeting.
Smith: The tutor announced the photo exhibit, and I had some framed photos sitting around. I figured, hey, why not? It was very spur of the moment.
Rozier: It wasn’t really something I was planning for, but when they welcomed everyone to submit something, I handed in a bunch and had them pick one.
In fact, Rozier says that she doesn’t know if she’s even “into” photography yet.
Rozier: I’ve never had any classes or formal training. For me it was a matter of getting a digital camera for my birthday and going nuts. I was really camera-happy. My friends would make fun of me for being the paparazzi. Before I’d really only taken pictures for the sake of documenting things or for my family.
Smith, who doesn’t have any formal training either, says that he got interested in photography through his friends, while Pan was introduced to it by his cousin.
Smith: I got involved mainly through friends who also enjoyed it and did it mostly for fun—I mean, I still do it for fun. My girlfriend is also really interested in photography and she has shown me a lot. I’ve been taking photos for four years, but I’ve never taken any formal classes.
Pan: My cousin is a professional amateur photographer. He shoots for local newspapers sometimes. All my training is from my cousin, basically. He taught me a lot through experience. I learned by playing around with the camera and all the settings, just generally by actually doing. He has a lot of great equipment I get to use when we go on trips together.
Pan shot his contribution to the exhibit, “Upper Antelope Canyon,” in the location of the title near Page, Arizona, while on just such a trip.
Pan: It was one of our destinations. My cousin had looked up good places for landscape photography in Utah and Arizona. We spent a less than a week, maybe three to four days, taking pictures at all the different spots.
Rozier took her photo, “Muñeca,” while in Honduras with Operation Wallacea.
Rozier: We were on a five-hour hike up to the camp on a conservation expedition, and during our break the little girl in the picture came over and offered us her teddy bear. She walked back over with her doll later so I grabbed my camera and took a picture. She was so cute!
Smith captured his image of the Hale Observatory on a trip to the Palomar Mountains while he was working for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.
Smith: We went in at dusk when the sun was just setting and the light was coming through. Watching them open the dome up I thought about how it was such an impressive sight. People don’t tend to think of telescopes or large mechanical structures as interesting or as beautiful, but seeing the how massive it was, standing nearby thousands of tons of steel, I wanted to capture how impressive it is to look up at that at twilight.