AMSR News

Who We Are: Photographer, Scientist, and Contributor to Campus Life
Posted 12/16/2013 07:42AM

Olly Liu can frequently be found shooting video on campus, from soccer games to Pro Vita, to Prize Night and Graduation. He also participates in Kids for Kids and just submitted work to the Intel Science Competition. Mr. Moodey describes Olly's contributions this way: "His films consistently showcase his talent in not only shooting film but also his excellent grasp of video editing. The highlights that he produced were extremely popular and viewed by thousands of people around the globe.  Olly's work has been more than entertainment; it has been extremely valuable to the soccer program's recruitment efforts.  We are fortunate to have had such a remarkable talent as a part of our soccer program this fall."

His advisor, Dr. K, has this to say about this remarkable young man: "When Olly got to Berkshire School, he was a pretty quiet young man.  When he leaves us this May, he won't be a whole lot louder.  But don't mistake that lack of volume for a lack of impact. Olly has achieved at the very highest levels in terms of his academics and his artistic vision.  In addition, and this is what makes him a truly special member of our community, Olly has found ways to support many other initiatives on campus, from managing sports teams to covering campus events with the IT department to editing Pro Vita videos long into the night. It has been wonderful to see Olly blossom, in his good-natured and inimitable manner, in so many areas of life under the mountain."  

Recently, Olly was honored by the publication of his phtographs in Shanghai Magazine, a development that delighted but did not surprise photography teacher, Mr. Banevicius, who has watched Olly's photography skill progress to this point. The magazine is described this way by shanghailist.com: "Shanghai Photography has a bit more of that gritty, urban stuff you hipsters love -- high contrast, moody black and white as well as blurry, neon-bled color shots, arty shots of construction sites, etc... The strength of the magazine is the diversity of photographic styles contained within its pages."

See the slideshow of Olly's photographs here:

Read Olly's Artist Statement here:

Photography has been my hobby since my trip to Canada six years ago. The vast and majestic landscapes really drew me into the world of photography. Since I was living in Shanghai where pollution was already a serious issue, I wanted to capture the great nature of Canada in my pictures and take them back to China, to remind me how beautiful the earth can be. The little camera reminded me of the moments I had there and sparked my interest in photography.

When I came to the US three years ago, I started to learn photography systematically. From film camera to digital SLR; from abstraction, night photography to portraits, sports and settings; from darkroom photography to Photoshop, the process of learning photography transformed my interest into a love. To take good photos, I need to think outside of the (black) box. I love to explore, so supermarkets, churches, schools, and museums all became my classroom. I once read that, “What makes a good photographer is experiencing life and the world around you and having a story to share with people through your photos.” I venture through streams to create my own images. Gradually, I also realized that a good image does not only need to be visually appealing, but also needs to have theme, stories and even philosophical ideas. Thereafter, the relationship between humans and nature has constantly been a theme in my pictures. 

For most of the pictures, I used the Canon 40D and edited them with Photoshop CS5. Most of the pictures shown were shot in China, Canada and America. As a high school student, I want to address the majestic nature from a high school student’s point of view. Because I like black and white pictures, I work to reduce the prevalence of color in order to emphasize the structure and the concept behind the image. Compared to color photos, black and white photos underscore the contrast and lines & shapes of the image and leave room for imagination.

I like landscape and abstract photography the most, not only because these pictures are very accessible, but also since these themes reflect my inspiration while also giving full play to my imagination. For example, in my creation “pondering,” spring is industrial waste, while deadwood represents part of the natural cycle. The gap represents our rapid industrialization, which has created a fissure with nature. What should we do next?  That is for you to think. Photography is about providing insights that make people think differently and exposing a view that others usually don’t consider. 

Berkshire School

245 North Undermountain Road
 |  Sheffield, MA 01257
 |  T: 413 229 8511

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