Best and Worst of Shayyy

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.

THE BEST… 

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.

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Night Photography

We had a chance to experiment with Night Photography techniques where we focused on how to control aperture, ISO, and shutter speed to create different night photography effects. I was very surprised with this topic and became a lot more interested in night photography than I initially thought I would. I love to shoot with natural light and have a somewhat high-key lighting style, so when the topic of night photography was brought up I knew I would have a lot to learn and experiment with.

In the beginning of our shooting session I was shooting in Manual mode with a high ISO within the 400-800 range, a medium shutter speed, and a wide aperture of 2.8. I was also using a fisheye lens that I was able to get my hands on through the schools check-out services. Altogether these made for some interest photos but they still weren’t looking like the examples we went over in class, so I slowed down my shutter and magic happened!

Overall I’m pleased with how the photos turned out although I wish I got to play a little more with blurred lighting . The techniques I learned here with the help and advice of the guest Navy photographers will also help me to shoot in low-light situations in the future.

 

Navy Guest Speakers

Photography has the ability to conform to all branches of life and today we had the chance to see the work of Navy photographers and hear their experiences as navy photographers.

I never thought that photography and the Navy would be a pair, but then again cameras and phones seemed like a funny combination at the start as well. Surprisingly enough both Ben Lewis and Arthur Marquez both started off in the Navy with other interests. Ben’s experience with photography started off with videos, in which he learned how photos could take the emotion behind a story or moment and capture it in a single frame. Arthur had began his career in the Navy as a diver and then crossed over to underwater photography.

In both of their experiences they hadn’t realize show much photography would have an impact on them. It’s inspiring to see that these photographers found their success in photography in different ways. Even more so it’s relieving to know that even photographers with years of experience still feel like they have a lot to learn, to me it conveys that this skill is an ongoing learning process that can always start but doesn’t have to end.

Photo Booth Project

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.

Museum of Photographic Arts. San Diego, CA

I had a chance to visit the Museum of Photographic Arts and see the rest of Balboa Park, which one poster suggested was the “jewel of San Diego.” The exhibits they had to view at this time were Seeing is BelievingDisorderIndia and The Picturesque, and one more that wasn’t open for viewing on that day about photographer Ansel Adams.

I wasn’t sure what to expect because I had never been to a photographic museum before or even a photographic gallery. I had an idea of how things would work but once I got inside MOPA I was pleasantly surprised by what was in store. The first room was the “Seeing is Believing” exhibit that showcased different ways the photography was previously implemented and the historic techniques that were implied. There was one part of this exhibit that I really enjoyed which was the 3-d (I want to call it a stethoscope, but I’m not 100% on that) “viewing spectacles” that used two images to create an in-depth photo. mopa_night_facade_by_jennifer_dery_crop

My favorite exhibit over all was “Disorder,” each photo captured pulled me in to view the
details and read the details in the plaques. The concepts behind the creative photos were very intriguing to me and sparked a lot of interest in finding more information on the topics such as endangered honeybees. I was very impressed with other photos in the exhibit that included images of civil disputes and living conditions of others all around the world. With the composition tools we’ve been trained to see in class, I was able to recognize certain aspects in the photographs that made it a strong and intriguing photo.

A visit to the Museum of Photographic Arts at Balboa Park, San Diego has definitely encouraged my interest in photography. Taking a walk through a gallery and viewing the photographs and different styles by other established photographers was like a creative refresher. Being able to read the concepts behind the photos and then observing the photo to see how the photographer may have composed that allows me to reflect back on my own skills and gain new perspectives.

Discovery Lake Park

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.

 

Flashy Lights – In Studio

 

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.

 

Environmental Portraits

The photos above are my take on environmental portraits that I captured during class time and outside of class for the assignment. These types of portraits are very interesting to me and I realized that a lot of thought and planning before hand goes into these kind of moments. I needed to make sure I could capture the subject in a setting that was able to show the viewer a genuine perception of what they do or who the subject is.

For the first photo with my classmate Cameron, I chose to capture him on campus being that he is a first year student attending CSU San Marcos and it would be a classic memory to document. We chatted before hand and Cameron mentioned he is a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and that they were hosting events on campus throughout the week. When I got to the setting I felt a little nervous since it was during U-hour and a lot of students were on campus, feeling a little hesitant with the crowd I feel like it affected my ability to compose the photo as strongly as I had hoped. All in all I am still happy with the way the photos turned out and this photo assignment gave me a lot to learn and work with.

The following photo was one I was able to capture during our session in class. The subject is an employee at the USU Marketplace who was eager and happy to take a photo. I was initially attracted to the fridge that held organized drinks as the background. With the small isles it took a few tries to position the subject in a way that didn’t show distracting pieces in the background. I felt it showed enough story to the photo and still allowed me to capture my simple style.

Walnut Grove Park

Photos taken from  a park near the university, at East Olive St. and Sycamore Dr.

The rainy weather from a few days ago cleared the spring pollen and dust from the air. The hills surrounding the park were glowing from the afternoon sun and altogether made a perfect setting to capture photos.

What immediately caught my eye was the large grass field you drive past when you first arrive at the park. As I started photographing my eyes became attracted to the little buildings and greenery that surrounded the field. My five best photos from this shoot include composition techniques such as spot coloring, harmonious colors, leading lines, and patterns. Having a second round of capturing photos with composition techniques in mind helped to train my eye in noticing different subjects in different perspectives. Overall I am pleased with what I was able to capture, I feel it offers a peak into the setting of the story; the vibrant colors show the coming of the season and the time of day that add to the mood of the photos.

Proof of Photography

What I heard in this video:

  • power
  • perspective
  • inspire
  • change
  • hope
  • overcome
  • connect
  • universal
  • emotions
  • moment

What I felt from this video:

  • emotion
  • passion
  • excitement

Seeing this video reminded me again of the power that photography has; how a photographer is able to put a memory in a bottle whether it’s simply for themselves or for the entire world to see. It inspires me to keep finding new experiences that magnify my excitement and make myself feel little in a big world. The video was put together in a way that I believe would excite anyone whether their interested in photography or not.