A Camera and Plane Ticket Make for a Fresh Perspective

We’re on vacation! Bronx Science students share their holiday travels and photographs.


Sophie Poritzky

The glowing, lit-up Eiffel Tower stands in front of a midnight blue sky. Sophie Poritzky ’21 loves taking pictures from unconventional perspectives. She says, “I love how photography can capture a really special moment and keep it forever, both physically and in my memory.”

After a taste of relaxation during Thanksgiving Break, students were giddy as they waited for winter vacation. It was just a matter of working through three short weeks before being free from the rigors of school. As Friday afternoon, December 20th, 2019, approached and as students then stepped out of school for a well-deserved vacation, many students were grateful to finally be able to take a break and reunite with their families. Others were fortunate enough to travel and indulge in their love for photography while away.

Aerin Mann ’21 traveled to Germany and England during winter break. “Aside from visiting family, I love experiencing new cultures and ways of life,” she said. Sophie Poritzky ’21, who visited London and Paris, said, “I love to see new countries, speak new languages, and try different cuisines!” Elizabeth Obrusnik ’22 appreciates the fresh outlook that traveling gives her. She said:,“I’ve been skiing ever since I could fit into ski boots, and every winter season it feel[s] new all over again. Travelling and experiencing lifestyles unlike my own always makes me put my life into perspective, whether it makes me realize how fortunate I am or how routine my life sometimes feels.”

Elizabeth Obrusnik
Elizabeth Obrusnik ’22 captures the effect of aerial perspective, which makes the small mountains behind the chairlift appear faded and hazy.

When asked to choose, Bronx Science students are often torn between nature and urban areas. It’s not hard for blasé New Yorkers to get tired of the city after living here for years. But once they leave, nothing quite compares to its energy and bustle. “The city is too congested, and it’s nice to get out sometimes. Nature is easier to capture [in photos] than urban areas, but eventually, you get tired of trees and grass,” said Emma Nguyen ’21. Mann doesn’t have much of a preference either. For her, the weather is a big determining factor. “I hate the cold with a burning passion,” she said, laughing. So while skiing and mountains may not be for her, her favorite things include surfing and exploring. “That’s why I love beaches and warm places like Costa Rica.”


“There isn’t much to do [in Costa Rica] but go to the beach, walk around, and observe my surroundings. Being in nature reminds me to take a step back, while being in the city forces me to have tunnel vision,” said Aerin Mann ’21 .

Photography is an essential part of travel. It preserves and amplifies the most beautiful moments away from home. Fluid and attached to no one location, it adapts to the individual, giving it more value than any other hobby. 

Aerin Mann
“Scenery and greenery really calm me down, while the city forces you to take a more limited outlook,” said Aerin Mann ’21. Here, she captures a serene but colorful moment in St James Park in London, making the best of both worlds, natural and urban.

“Photography is a huge part of my life,” said Mann. She started taking an interest in it at summer camp when she was only nine years old. “I would develop film in a darkroom. I could only do black and white, and the equipment was really old, but everything just continued from there.” In her small amount of extra time, she likes to look for places in the city to develop her film. Like other young photographers who care about having a digital record of their experiences or simply like to post on Instagram, she says she takes pictures partly because her family does not —“everyone [is so] focused on being present and in the moment. So there was nothing to look back on from when I was younger, and I wanted to change that,” said Mann. “It’s been really cool watching my [photography and my life] change over time.”

Obrusnik agrees—“As my style changes, so can the pictures I take, and therefore photography isn’t something that could ever get old. I’ve taken on many hobbies that eventually lose their appeal, but photography keeps me interested.”

So the next time you feel inspired, reach for a camera. Maybe you’ll discover the hobby (or the love) of a lifetime. At the very least, you’ll have something to remember an otherwise transient moment.

Elizabeth Obrusnik
Elizabeth Obrusnik ’22 snaps a bench and a snowboarder that add color to an otherwise bleak scene. She loves photography for its timeless appeal. “It’s something that’s actually really fun for me, which is rare because I get bored of almost everything,” Obrusnik said.
Elizabeth Obrusnik
A snowboarder sits on the slopes, contemplating the vast landscape in front of him.
Sophie Poritzky
A wonderful view of Paris is at hand from the top of the Sacré-Cœur Cathedral. The Eiffel Tower stands tall, far into the pale horizon.
Sophie Poritzky
Poritzky peers over the city known as “The Big Smoke” from the London Eye. Water droplets on the window enliven the gloomy cityscape.
Emma Nguyen
Emma Nguyen ’21 enjoys taking photos with her DSLR camera when she travels (to Montréal, Canada, in this picture). “I like taking photos because it makes me look sophisticated. Looking at your own photos and playing around with lighting is also super fun!” said Nguyen.
Montana Lee
The sun pierces through heavy clouds, illuminating a spot where tiny adventurers walk on a frozen Lake Pleasant.
Montana Lee
When I walked onto the frozen lake, I didn’t just see the vast expanse of ice, the low, flat clouds, and the sun piercing through—I could feel it. I love photography for helping me to preserve such a sublime moment.