Photography Expedition: AFRICA

Africa Newsletter
Summer Kulusich (POLAHS ’22), was the recipient of the Namibia Wildlife Photography Expedition scholarship – an incredible 22-day study abroad program in Africa. The excursion, which included photographing wildlife like elephants, hyenas, giraffes, and oryx on safari; kayaking in Walvis Bay; and climbing the dunes of the Namib Desert, was funded through the generosity of a private POLAHS donor. Through an application and interview process, Summer was selected for the scholarship by her POLAHS Digital Photography instructor, Mr. Erick Miseroy. Her award also included a laptop, camera and lenses, and travel gear! Summer has an innate skill for photography and a passion that was discovered during her time at POLAHS. 
Read about the experience in her own words below. 


My first year of Digital Photography was challenging because we were learning from home during COVID. However, once I started my second year on campus, everything changed. I fell in love with photography. Mr. Miseroy taught the class in a way that inspired us and showed us how we could eventually make a profit in the field. It was always FUN! I spent as much time as possible shooting at Pixels, the school’s photo gallery and workshop space. This fall I’ll be attending community college, while working on photography jobs for POLAHS and other community businesses. 


Throughout our stay in Africa, we visited 6 different locations: N/a’an ku sê Foundation; Sossusvlei National Park; Swakopmund; Damaraland; Etosha National Park; and Okonjima Nature Reserve. In Swakopmund I met Fatima, a hard-working mother creating jewelry and carved items out of wood alongside her husband, to make a life for their two daughters. I was in awe of how loving and welcoming they were during our two-day visit in town. There I tried my favorite foods of the trip - oryx and springbok. 



Traveling alone taught me many things including patience, awareness of your surroundings, and staying informed. The airports are always changing routes and gates, and leaving my family for the first time to catch three planes in a row was more difficult than I anticipated. 

New Skills

Simone, our photography expert on the trip, helped me put my photography classwork into action and gain confidence in my skill level. We used time-lapse techniques to show the sun setting behind the dunes at Sossusvlei, took landscape shots, and used camera traps to photograph the beautiful wildlife.
It would be impossible for me to choose a favorite photograph from my Africa series. One image that I’ll never forget shooting was the Himba Tribe. We couldn’t communicate with words because of the language barrier, but our interactions and observations were very real. 


To my donor, and those who helped along the way: there are no words to explain to you the excitement, love, bravery, and gratitude I felt on this trip because of your contributions. I could never thank you enough. I am forever grateful for not only your kindness, but the opportunities that you make happen for students like me to experience a trip that could never be done without people like you. Thank you! 
Summer's Africa photography series will be on display at Pixels this fall. Stay tuned for information on the gallery's grand reopening!
Learn more about POLAHS’ Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways – CLICK HERE