This course was the most interesting/fun elective that I have taken yet. I enjoyed the various activities and photoshoots as well as getting critiqued about my work from my classmates. Professor D makes this class enjoyable. She is on top of her students with work and allows us to makeup our work when we did poorly on an assignment. She really encourages her students to try new things in the world of photography. Also, bringing in the guest speakers was awesome because it opened my eyes to see how photography can not only be a career but also a passion. She makes an effort to help out students anytime they need as well as responding to any questions that we may have about any assignments. One thing I would change would be the museum visit to MOPA. It’s easy to take field trips locally but difficult for students to travel far. Overall, badass teacher and I would definitely take her class again!
These photographs were taken April 11th at Walnut Grove Park. It was partly cloudy this day which made it easier to utilize the artificial lighting that I had. I used my iPhone’s light as well as a flashlight since I didn’t have the ability to use the reflectors that were provided in class. I wanted to get a photograph of my dog playing at the park but it was difficult because my light sources were not strong enough to make a difference on camera so for that photo, the reflection of the sun through the clouds was the light source. However, for the rest of my 4 photographs, my iPhone and flashlight worked perfectly for this assignment. It was challenging at first to find things to photograph but once I started walking around the entire park I was able to find things, both nature and man made to shoot.
I took these photographs using my iPhone on April 30th and May 1st. I used a taco bell box with an LED flashlight. This shoot was interesting because my models were very interested in these photographing technique. I wanted to capture the difference between ages of an infant baby to a 27 year old’s skin. This is why I chose to use softer editing on the children and harsher on the adults to capture the age differences. My models were ages 1, 2, 5, 19, and 27 years old and no one is a relative of one another. This was a fun shoot because I never thought we would be able to use our iphone’s while photographing for this class. I really enjoyed seeing how I can manipulate light sources to create a high quality image.
The two assignments in particular that I enjoyed were the diptych and triptych shoot as well as the night photography shoot. My diptych and triptych photographs were all taken in Glamis, CA because my family and I were going on a trip there that weekend. I found it really fun trying to find images that connected in some way to each other. My triptych images were of various patterns that are in the desert. It forced me to step out of my usual “photographer brain” of pointing and shooting an image and instead made me think outside of the box. My diptych wasn’t as creative, in my opinion, it was an obvious comparison between the dune buggy and the tire. Overall, I am really proud of my work from this assignment and I loved pushing myself. Another one of my favorite assignments was the night photography shoot. When I started taking photos and constantly changing my ISO and shutter speed it took me about 30 minutes to get the right setting in order to take clear photos. I was getting frustrated with myself during this assignment because I didn’t know what I wanted my subject to be. With the help of my fiance he came up with good ideas to help me. After finding the right settings to shoot with, it was a fun process playing with the shutter speed and lighting at night. It quickly became one of my favorites because this was the assignment that helped me understand how ISO, shutter speed, and aperture actually work together. It made me like shooting in manual mode because I understood now the awesome images that can come from knowing how your camera works! My least favorite assignment was the pictorialism project. For some reason I couldn’t get into this assignment creatively. I was not pushing myself and I ended up taking photographs of flowers and palm trees. I am not happy with my work on this assignment because it was hard for me to understand in photoshop how to create an image that looks like pictorialism. I felt like I didn’t put my 100% effort into this assignment only because I wasn’t fully understanding it.
I am excited to share that I finally created a small book of my photographs from the past year. Ever since I received my camera as a Christmas present, it kickstarted my passion for taking photos of my life adventures with my fiance and dog. From the salty ocean in San Diego to the dry deserts of Ocotillo Wells we often go camping and enjoy outdoor activities. This book has allowed me to showcase my favorite images as well as show how I have progressed as a photographer.
This shoot was a difficult one for me. I didn’t know what I wanted to photograph or portray in these photos. I went with plants, a view from worm’s eye and then bird’s eye view. It was fun using photoshop which I have never used before with editing. I used the image blur on both as well the noise such as the scratch and dust filter. The flower photo on the right I added a oil painting filter very light to make it seem like a canvas painting.
I visited the MOPA museum in Balboa park on Sunday April 14th. I was excited to visit this museum because I have never been to Balboa Park. When I first walked into the exhibit I first noticed the interactive camera to the left of the front desk. So many people were standing in front of it testing out the technology and how one camera can make lots of tiny photographs. I walked over to the Australian’s defining place/space art. I was so drawn to the 4 main photographs because of the details that were in each of them. I loved how there were flying saucers, giant animals, humans riding animals, laser beams and pure mayhem. They were so out there and like nothing I have seen before that I just sat and admired how they could fit so many elements, people, actions, expressions, and animals in one photo. I was excited to see what the rest of the images were. I saw the first collection of artists and was not as interested in their work. In particular Axel Poignant’s photo of a man standing in the kitchen looking off to the side. I didn’t understand the meaning, nor the expression. These photos didn’t make me question anything which I like when I look at art. I like to view an image and be taken back with the details, emotion, creativity, etc. to really make me think about the piece which is what Polly Borland did for me. Her photographs caught my eye immediately. Her images made me feel uncomfortable in a good way. I was trying to understand what her message behind these human stockings. I loved her color palette choice with the red pop of color and the stockings that mimicked skin. It was a little sexual in one, but I believe it made it beautiful. I was also drawn to Trent Parke’s images. He took photos of people on street corners and made them black and white. I love how he pixelated the photos and made the images blurry. Normally I like clear and bright art, but his photos worked for me. You can tell they are people, but you can’t see their facial features. He was my inspiration for my sunglasses photograph. You can see that it’s a person’s face but who? That doesn’t matter because the photograph is portraying a beautiful landscape seen through his eyes. I also liked Polexeni Papapetrou’s photos. They were bright and colorful and he was my inspiration for my port-a-potty photograph. The flowers surrounding something beautiful like a person’s face was one of his photos. Therefore, I thought I would use that with a twist and put something ugly and not beautiful such as a port-a-potty in the middle of blooming flowers. Moffait was also another inspiration photography for me. One image was of a motorcycle rider looking out into the ocean at a boat. I used this as a guide to photograph my dog staring down a seagull.
My photo booth took place in my vista neighborhood on March 9th, 2019. I set up the American flag as my backdrop and I asked my neighbors to take part in this photo shoot. I tried to make my backdrop mobile so that I could bring my shoot to their home and take the photos outside of their garages. I found this to be easier because I felt like I wasn’t asking them to walk to my house for the shoot. I live in a cul-de-sac, but I don’t personally know a lot of my neighbors. This activity made me step out of my comfort zone to talk to people that are in my community and get to know them a little better. I would either go door to door asking them to participate in this photo shoot or I would catch them coming home from school or work. Most of my neighbors were very willing to take part in this activity. After I explained to them what is was for, they seemed to support me. Although many were willing, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t have to do some convincing at first. Many of the moms didn’t want their photos to be taken. They would complain about their appearance, but I would just try and make them laugh. I did have many people ask me in to their homes which was kind of them but for safety reasons, I would decline. I would just tell them that for the project, I needed to photograph them outside in their front yard. I did have one family that I knew well enough to feel comfortable stepping foot in their home. They insisted their photos be taken inside because they wanted their cat to be apart of one photo (which is not shown because of the poor quality). As a photographer I found it very difficult to say no to people. Even though I wanted most of my photos to take place outside, I couldn’t say no to this family. I ended up setting the flag up against their sliding door and using that as the backdrop. The mom didn’t want her face to be shown so she just drank her wine to hide her face. This was the most difficult to shoot because their lights in their home were so yellow that I had to keep adjusting my ISO and shutter speed to make the photos clear and not so yellow. Overall, I enjoyed this activity even though it was weird at first, meeting my neighbors and interacting with them was fun and I’m so happy that everyone took part in this photo shoot. https://youtu.be/xFb1pNd9P9w
After watching the Robert Mapplethorpe’s documentary I didn’t realize that there was a line between what pornography is and what fine art is. His decision to express naked individuals in ways that would not normally be excepted in the 80’s was interesting to me. During that time period it was seen as not acceptable to have these images be art. Regardless of society’s standards of art, Robert wanted to fully challenge that idea and push his audience into seeing fine art in a different light. I fully respect him for following his passion and not being mainstream. He also suggested that his art is not pornography because porn is physical and fine art is not. The images didn’t make me uncomfortable because it’s the human body. What made me uncomfortable was some things he paid with the organs such as the devil. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and Robert is an amazing artist for not photographing what was “normal” and creating his own fine art.
This shoot was a fun one for me! It was very difficult at first to try and find the right shutter speed that will capture what I wanted. After messing with my camera and adjusting the ISO and shutter speed many times, I found the right setting to shoot the photos I wanted. These were taken March 29th, 2019 in either my neighborhood or backyard. My subjects included a flashlight, strobe light, a truck, fire, and firefly lights. It was a challenge trying to come up with ideas to shoot in the dark but once I did it was pretty cool! I will definitely be using these shooting skills in the desert when we are camping.