Seniors Kelley "Ping" Hackett and Eileen Palmer have been hard at work with their independent studies in photography. The final result of their semester-long endeavors are on view around campus until the start of Winter Break.

Hackett, an art history major and visual arts minor, will present an exhibit called "Sporting Life," which centers on images of three Bowdoin female athletes: Tiernan Cutler '11 of the women's soccer team, Jay Greene '13 of the women's ice hockey team and Alex McLain '11, a lacrosse player and nationally-ranked competitive kayaker.

Hackett describes her subjects as "all artists, friends or coworkers."

Sports have clearly made a huge impact on Hackett's work as an artist and on her outlook on life.

"I learn life lessons and analogies through sports" she said. "The show shows how sports have influenced these separate girls' lives."

At the same time, the exhibit will demonstrate a multidimensional side to the three female athletes, showing not only their athletic abilities but also how they combine these talents with other interests.

One piece, Hackett explains, depicts Cutler in full soccer uniform, with a yearbook balanced on her head like a soccer ball. The photo was taken on Farley Field and demonstrates how Cutler balances her life as a soccer player with her duties as editor of the yearbook.

"They all took different lessons [from sports] than I did," said Hackett. "Alex was big about enjoying the journey, not the final destination. Jay, whose whole life has been about how she's seen as either a hockey girl or an artist, and Tiernan, captain of the soccer team or yearbook editor."

Putting the project together took a lot of hard work and initiative. For example, McLain was photographed by Hackett while the two of them went out on the water.

Hackett hopes the exhibit will reveal a side of her subjects that might not have otherwise been obvious.

"I'm hoping that these girls are seen in a light that they haven't been seen in before," she said. "A lot of Alex's friends know she is a paddler, or they've seen her kayak on her car, but [they] haven't seen her in a boat. With Jay, her whole hockey team doesn't know she's really into sculpture and art classes."

Palmer's exhibition differs greatly from Hackett's.

A math major, Palmer decided to structure her independent study in a way that would "combine math and photography."

"My initial idea was capturing numbers within images, which wasn't working out," said Palmer. "So I decided to create what I call games, where within each game I choose some parameters that determine how the photos are taken."

Palmer said that each "game" contained anywhere between five and 16 photos, and the parameters for taking the photos differed from game to game. In one game, Palmer used three specific parameters that structured the way the photos were taken.

The first parameter dictated how many minutes apart she could take each image, which she determined by a randomly generated number.

The second parameter, another randomly generated number, determined the number of steps she could take in order to take the image. This parameter allowed some flexibility as Palmer explained, "I could walk in any direction."

Lastly, Palmer's third parameter determined the angle of the camera when taking a shot.

Parameters changed from game to game and Palmer created a variety of rules about a subject's pose, camera positioning, and a host of environmental factors.

Palmer explains that the parameters allowed her a degree of structure which helped her to generate ideas but did not limit her creativity. The flexibility of the parameters also allowed her to change her concept when she became tired of a certain idea.

Palmer attributed much of the success of her work to the guidance of Visiting Assistant Professor Meggan Gould. She describes Gould as "incredibly helpful; she's really honest with you and always tells you what's working."

All of Palmer's images were taken using color film with a manual SLR, and she developed her prints at Rite Aid.

Both artists' exhibitions can be found in the Fishbowl Gallery, VAC through the end of the semester.

Hackett's project is also on view in Morrell Lounge, Smith Union.

Palmer's work is also available at