Taylor Jones. Dear Photograph. Age 18. 2013 Silver Medal, Photography.

What does America look like to teenagers today? To answer this question Lens is inviting high school students across the country to create a 21st century portrait of America by turning their cameras on their neighborhoods, families, friends, and schools. Teens, ages 14 to 18, from all areas — whether you live in a rural, suburban, or urban community — are eligible to submit photos to the “My Hometown” project.

The resulting collection of photographs will be shown in an interactive gallery that will be sortable by geography and theme. Lens will also highlight select images in a series of posts on their blog, and many of the photos will be archived at the Library of Congress! How awesome is that?

Interested students must submit photos here under the supervision of a photography class teacher or program instructor by the May 1, 2013. For details on how to submit, check out  this Lens Blog post or email lens.projects@gmail.com.

Have fun snapping away!

“I am inspired when looking back at old journals and sketchbooks. Seeing the progress I’ve made and remembering where I started is a huge source of inspiration and motivation, especially when revisiting and reviving old themes in my art.”
– Courtney Buckland, Project Administrator at the Alliance/Scholastic Awards

We recently joined Instagram! And since then, we’ve seen a lot of amazing photos of art and writing by talented teens, which got us wondering: what’s the inspiration behind them?

So, we’re asking all of you to snap a photo of your creative inspiration using the hashtag #AWmyinspiration. It could be a photo of your favorite album, a favorite quote, or even some fun street art – whatever inspires you to be creative.

We’ll even feature some of our favorite submissions right here on our blog and Tumblr page!

If you’re not on Instagram you can still share your inspiration by posting your pic on our Facebook Timeline or tweeting it to us at @artandwriting using the same hashtag. And be sure to follow us on Instagram to see creative inspirations from our staff (like the one above)!

We look forward to seeing what fuels your creativity!

Spring is here and with it, an opportunity to click and shoot with the pros at the International Center of Photography’s Teen Academy! NYC-area teen photographers, you have until tomorrow, Friday March 29, to sign up for these classes that begin mid-April and run through June. For film buffs: ICP Teen Academy is one of the few remaining photography schools in which you use real film and have access to a darkroom to develop your photos! Scholarships may still be available (http://www.icp.org/sites/default/files/exhibition_pdfs/icp_teen_scholarship_application_s13.pdf) but you must act fast!

Nicole Valmana. Smile for the Rhino. Grade 8, Age 14. 2012 Silver Medal, Drawing.

There is a lot of confusion about image resolution — what is DPI? What is PPI? How do you calculate them and why do they matter?

Here’s a case-study:
Let’s say you want to print a digital image to a size 4×6 inches. What should be the dimensions for your digital image?

The first thing to know is that 300 DPI (dots-per-inch), is the standard “print-quality” resolution: let’s work backwards from there. Read More

Yes, the autumn leaves are falling here in New York, but if you’re an aspiring high school filmmaker, photographer, dancer, jazz artist or simply multi-talented, this is the season to spring into action! Future Artists of the New York City area (that includes all boroughs, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut…you get it, as long as your distance from NYC is “commutable”) are invited to attend an open house at NYU Tisch on September 22, 2012. If you can’t make it, read all about it and apply here for one of the five fabulous free programs that will take place on Saturdays from February to May 2013.  Don’t dilly-dally—the deadline is October 15! For more information, please visit http://students.tisch.nyu.edu/object/futureartists.html.

By Adam Ali, 2012 Gold Key winner and ASAP Award recipient

Adam Ali, a rising senior from Chicago, IL, will be the first to tell you he’s a city boy. Yet this young photographer is keen to show others neither soaring skylines nor the picture-postcard views his commercial peers capture. Instead, Adam uses his lens to highlight little-noticed aspects of urban environments.

I’d like the viewers to notice what they usually ignore,” he says, “To be reminded of what they’ve abandoned.” Read More