This class has gone by incredibly fast and I feel like there’s still a lot more I would love to learn and accomplish. As an inspiring photographer who dreams of making this passion a full-time gig, I’ve learned invaluable tools and techniques and have been inspired even further by many forms of photography. This course has reminded me that I have a lot to learn, but I am also far from where I first started. Overall this course has been one of my favorites so far and I am very pleased with the outcome and all the things I’ve learned and will be able to actually apply to my career path in the future.
One of my favorite assignments this semester was the Studio Lighting assignment we did in class. Before taking this course I had some experience with studio and I really wasn’t a fan because I felt like it restricted my creativity compared to on-location shoots. As we learned how to set up a studio shoot and the different effects we could get by adjusting our lighting, it quickly became something so new and fun to me.
Another one of my favorites was the trip to Walnut Grove Park. I was intimidated by this assignment at first because my 50mm lens focus decided to not work with me anymore… However the turnout of the pictures were even better than I had imagined. I also felt like this assignment forced me to get out of comfort zone and work on composition skills without shooting a model.
…AND THE WORST
The Panorama assignment proved to be a challenge to me. I understood the concept and was very excited to see what ideas I could come up with to accomplish this assignment and hopefully make it something out of the ordinary. However I had trouble remembering the technical details and making sure that my camera orientation was don’t right while shooting. When I went to edit the photos I was a step behind myself and couldn’t figure out what I had done wrong. I wouldn’t consider this to be my worst work or least favorite assignment but it was one that proved a bit of a challenge for me.
Photobooth Project from Shayla Penera on Vimeo.
My classmate Tiffany Mohasesi and I got together to carry out the Photo Booth Project where we were assigned to photograph different people in our community. Although we had a whole week to get together and take photos, we let Spring Break get the best of us. After a refreshing break and a visit to the Museum of Photographic Arts, we decided to head back to Balboa Park to capture the portraits.
At first the task didn’t seem too difficult, we knew there would be lots of people at the park so we just had to get them in front of the camera. Now we know that’s easier said than done…
Some people didn’t have a problem with it at all, and others took a little convincing. For a good 15 minutes there were denials after denials and I began to feel discouraged. Tiffany and I knew we had to switch up our game plan so we moved from a few locations until we planted ourselves in front of the iconic Balboa Park background. We figured this would have been a more successful spot because there were already people stopping and taking pictures there. I realized that taking the time to explain our project and why we were there encouraged a lot of people to join in and participate. I figured that maybe if people found a connection or reason to help out a couple of college students that they’d take a step out of their comfort zone and help us carry out this art project.
We got to know a few of the participants and where they were from. Our first participants were a friendly couple from East LA visiting San Diego for the day, they were eager to share their experience of living in LA and what they liked and disliked comparing San Diego and their hometown. A few participants were traveling with a cruise ship and we had noticed them because of their biking gear and helmets, but no bikes. The participants were both from different countries and had somehow need up working on the cruise ship together. After a slow start we experienced a rush of people towards the end of our visit to Balboa Park. One of the participants had shared the his father suffered from alzheimer’s. Instead of participating in the project itself he was much more concerned of capturing a portrait.
I loved this project because it allowed me to get out of my comfort zone and work in settings that enabled me to go with the flow and be spontaneous. A lot of the participants were happy to share their stories and a little background, many of them were visitors of San Diego and we all bonded over how great the city is and all the places there are to see. In the future I could definitely see myself doing a project like this showcasing the faces and places of my community.
I took advantage of the warm colored natural lighting right before sunset. The sun covered the little neighborhood in bright light beams and allowed for some pretty magical lighting. We had a chance to play with LED lights and diffusers to experiment with manipulating the light. Above are a couple of portraits I was able to capture with natural lighting and LED lighting. I wasn’t sure how I would like to effect of artificial lighting during the daytime but I realized how it could be a useful tool to compose photos. Overall I’m happy with the portraits I was able to capture and the lighting that was accomplished.
The park definitely showed signs of the season with a mix of old foliage and new blooming plants around the pathway. All of the textures and different colors were also something that drew my eye. Since my primary lens had a bit of a malfunction the week prior, I had to use another lens that I wasn’t so familiar with. Even with this minor setback I feel like I was still able to use in camera aperture and ISO adjustments to capture the certain effects I wanted.
Above are five selected photos from our studio session during class last week. We had a chance to take our cameras in studio and photograph our fellow classmates and their guests. Before this assignment I hadn’t really been a big fan of in-studio shooting. I had an impression that it was a little too “one-dimensional” and my composition skills were not enough to make things interesting.
After practicing studio lighting and seeing the different effects we could get it really ignited my interest in studio creativity. I realized that it could be completely different from on location settings, and that’s a totally good thing! Adjusting the lighting by turning one off or turning it away from the subject gave the photo depth and mood and it was all at our control. As far as pursuing photography as a career, having studio photography skills is something that is very important. More specifically in fashion photography it will be a strength I can offer once I develop my skills with studio lighting and setups.