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.
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.
The film Everybody Street exposes the ideas behind the photographers and photographs they produce of “real life.” The film mentions how some photographers paint their scenes in studio while others let the scene come to them.
There were a few points mae by the photographers that really stuck out to me in this documentary:
- “Being behind the camera makes you not a participant, you’re an observer.” -Boogie
- “[When photographing the street you are] responding to things and you learn what they mean to you” -Joel Meyerowitz
- “[Photography] is a way of reading your culture.” -Joel Meyerowitz
The intention of photographers can be many things, but one thing is common in the idea that we all strive to share our perception with the world and hope that it makes them feel something. Whether we want our viewers to feel happy, sad, to take action, or to relive a memory; there is all a bigger picture to what we capture.
Watching this documentary has opened my eyes to a new meaning of photography. Sometimes it’s not all about vanity and a perfect picture, in fact most times it won’t be. There are many things still yet to be discovered and photographing these memories are one way to put time in a bottle for all to see.
New York University graduate Richard Renaldi is an internationally celebrated photographer who’s most recent work titled Touching Strangers has had viral success. This particular series includes photos of strangers in New York sharing intimate moments under the direction of Renaldi.
In this series Renaldi was not only able to capture the subject in a compositionally pleasing way, but somehow everyone involved walked away with a greater feeling. New York is known as a fast moving city full of strangers moving to and from; Renaldi was able to break down these barriers and connect these individuals in unordinary ways, using his vision and camera equipment.
This shows how powerful photography can be as a way to tell a story and connect people in ways they may not have been connected before. The photos themselves give a sense of unity knowing that these are complete strangers, who put away all assumptions and ideas to cooperate in making this art piece. Renaldo’s style captures showcases the subjects with boldness and simplicity at the same time, allowing for the story to unfold on its own.
Ian Ruhter’s career as a photographer started out no more different than many other photographers; he had the same equipment, same lenses, and similar ideas to many other photographers on the market. Again just like many other photographers, Ian hit a plateau and it continued to deflect his interest in conventional photography and lead him to his unique and uncommon photography practices now.
Ian’s journey as a photographer truly took off as he set off to create a giant mobile 1800’s inspired camera in the back of a vehicle that resembles an old school ice-cream truck. Ians work became a culmination of the ideas from the past and the technology of the future. From here Ian was able to reconnect with his passion and continue to make art that had purpose and meaning for himself.
The message I got from this idea was that sometimes it takes a daring and bold step to get out of your comfort zone, and more often than not it could lead us to something even greater than what we could expect. Further, it shows how separating yourself from a crowd can be what makes your work extraordinary and unforgettable.
The book Letters to a young artist by Anna Deavere Smith is a collection of letters and advice on “making a life in the arts.” This particular letter I read was about Confidence and how we choose to go about it. To exemplify her idea she shared the perception of confidence made by a competitive bull rider named Brent Williams.
Brent highlighted that we should value determination over confidence, although confidence is never a bad thing to possess. Determination requires more than confidence because it involves trying and putting action to your confidence.
My favorite part of this letter and the piece that really stuck out to me was Brent’s mention that having determination also means having doubt and humility. To me this means that we allow ourselves to put our best food forward, with just enough doubt to help us think critically and move with intention. I take this advice with me and hope to apply it to my work, remembering to keep humility and always keeping my eye open to new things to learn.
What I heard in this video:
What I felt from this video:
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.