Counseling / Guidance / National Merit Recognition - Commended Students by Montgomery Township High School (mtsd.k12.nj.us)

Commended Students placed among the top 50,000 scorers of more than 1.6 million students who entered the 2019 competition by taking the 2017 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT).

Last night we attended our final Montgomery High School Bands Spring Concert. Our daughter and our youngest, Kiran, is graduating this summer and in the fall will start attending Oberlin College and Conservatory in Oberlin, Ohio. Oberlin, where she will be studying the classics, awarded her a scholarship.

Montgomery High School Wind Ensemble —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.002 sec at f/5.6, ISO12800), © Khürt L. Williams

Kiran started with the High School Band program in her freshman year, qualifying and playing with the marching band. She initially played alto saxophone but switched to baritone saxophone. She was very excited to be in the band. She had challenges making friends in high school, but the band provided her with a home. She worked hard and eventually became a band captain. She loved giving back, volunteering to play in any band program for which she qualified. She played in the Marching Band at football games, the Stage Band, the pit band at high school plays, the Wind Ensemble for concert performances, and marched with the band during Veteran’s Day observances at Montgomery Park.

Montgomery High School Wind Ensemble —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.008 sec at f/5.6, ISO4000), © Khürt L. Williams

Last night during her the final performance with the Wind Ensemble, she introduced the piece of music the musicians were about to perform. The music, Unquiet Hours, was composed by David Biedenbender. The musicians dedicated their performance to mental health and Kiran was chosen to explain to the audience the challenges of mental health and the reason why the band decided to dedicate their performance to mental health.

—FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.009 sec at f/5.6, ISO12800), © Khürt L. Williams
Kiran talking about mental health and introducing the next pice of music, _Unqiet Hours_. —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (55 mm, 0.011 sec at f/5.6, ISO12800), © Khürt L. Williams

Last night after the final performance with the wind ensemble and stage band, the band program director, Mr. Adam Warshafsky, announced that some of the band students had were awarded National Merit Scholarships. We were pleasantly surprised to learn that our daughter, Kiran, was one of them.

We are so proud of her and what she has accomplished for herself.

Montgomery High School Band Graduating Seniors —FujiFilm X-T2 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR @ (16 mm, 0.010 sec at f/5.6, ISO12800), © Khürt L. Williams
The Master’s Home

16 °CMostly Cloudy

This morning, I ventured out to Rojo's Roastery for a cappuccino. There wasn't much activity on Palmer Square.

I am enjoying experimentation with Fuji Film Simulation recipes for my Fuji X-T2. This one from Ritchie Roesch is a simulation of Ilford HP5 Plus. This image is SOC.

After having lunch1 with Michael at PJ's Pancake House I took a leisurely route through Rockingham and Rocky Hill toward home. My mind started to think about the images I had captured and drifted to thinking about street photography.

Is street photography still street photography if the principles are practised indoors? Let's take a look at what James Maher wrote about street photography.

Street photography at its essence means candid photography of people and humanity. A street photograph has to be a real, unposed moment. However, the term itself is inherently unclear and clunky. For instance, a person does not have to be in a photo for it to be considered a street photograph. Trying to define street photography is almost like trying to define what sweet or salty is. You can’t fully describe it, but you know it when you see it.

I took note that Maher's definition does not mention the word street until the second sentence. However, he does admit the term itself is vague. If street photography is meant to show the photographer's subjective view of the world can that goal be accomplished inside a mall or other building? What if I removed the street from the equation but focus on all the other aspects of that type of photography; i.e. candid photography of people and humanity?

He goes on to write:

There are hints, feelings, ideas, stories, or questions. These photos are meant to prompt the viewer. Whether street photography depicts reality or not can be disputed, but I would argue that it depicts the reality of the photographer.

I started thinking about this because Skillman does not have a downtown, a street where people walk about their daily lives. Hopewell and Princeton have a walkable downtown, but Skillman, Hillsborough, West Windsor, South Brunswick, North Brunswick, and Plainsboro do not. This morning and this afternoon after taking photos of customers, I looked at the results and it occurred to me that they had elements of street photography.

Who are these people? What is the relationship? What are they talking about? Then the fears kicked in.

What if they see me taking this photo? Would they be upset? Would they complain to the manager? Would I be asked to leave?

What do you think? What do you call photography that many of the elements of street photography but is not which is not conducted on a street and has no walking around?


  1. I had two eggs with several strips of bacon. And lots of unsweetened ice tea.