Concluding our studio shots for the final class project, I worked on the composition for my shots. Using a 10 x 8 document for my canvas, I split my camera shot of my phone with a photo of a actual handheld digital camera. Doing this I scaled the two photos proportional to each other and used the transform tool to warp the phone to match up with the camera’s reflection. For the end result I was able to capture to the look and feel of my objective for the final. I will go back to this composition and use new dimensions for my document and also sharpen my subject as well as blacking out the background if needed.
For the second shoot of the final project for our class, I was able to shoot. Luckily being able to shoot first amongst my classmates, I was able to find a sweet spot for my set-up fairly quickly. After tinkering with a separate light and the overhead light, I turned my only light source into a soft-box attached overhead onto a boom. With a black backdrop, the devices that I was shooting had no problem standing out in the light. Using a black plexi table top to sit underneath my devices, I was able to get a clear and good representation of my idea. My reflections were clear and crisp. I had to make sure to clean the plexi after every device due to the dust which could dropped and later appear in the photo. Another essential tool that helped tremendously was a tri-pod. I may go back and re-shoot some products to get better results. In the end, I believe I did a good job reducing the shininess that occurs when shooting several electronic devices. For my next shoot, I plan to finish up my shoots and get to printing.
For the first shoot of the final project for our class, I was unable to shoot. Due to high demand of the studio I began to participate as a model later during class. Working with Kelly-Ann on her shoot I was able to take mental pointers as to how I would I want to shoot my own project. Aspects that I believed worked well in her favor include a fierce back-light complimented with another side-light to create drama within the photos. For next week, I must really expierment with the angle of incidence to reduce reflection in my photos from different devices. I will attempt to use a black mirror to use elegant reflections but I must understand that shiny things are better shot in soft light to keep the bright highlights in the shine from blowing out. I will have to make sure that my setup is not in direct light to avoid shininess.
The Chinese Photobook at Aperture
Prior to entering the exhibition at Aperture, I had a small clue as to what I was getting myself into. I was instantly amused and excited to find the specific works on display that tackled issues like culture, lifestyle and history. The works at the Chinese Photobook unveiled new aspects about its dynamic culture, dramatic twists in politics and it’s rich diverse heritage that allow it to be better understood and better represented in a foreign light. The photographs depicting the history of China during numerous years were very different.
In my opinion, the section that shined a pivotal moment within Chinese history at this exhibition was the photographs taken of Chinese Leader Mao Zedong. At a first glance, you can visualize the decisions the photographer took in great thought about he whereabouts and how he was representing those whereabouts to those not familiar. The thought-process in how he chose the angles used in the photographs reflect the attitude of the country’s people. Certain aspects are put into place to reflect Mao’s impression on his people as an almighty, culture-defining leader, and one who was looked up to an idol and was highly respected. From a low angle it gives us the impression as if we were looking up to him.
The scenery complimented the lighting choices, which happened to be always fully lit and mainly focused on his face, even though most shots that were taken outdoors. The background past him were usually not in focus and not as bright as Mao was which made him look much more radiant in comparison. The people featured in Mao’s photos were applauding the man, praising him. The photographs captured Mao at several points of his life, political events and non-political tasks or activities.
The way the photos of him were arranged and framed reflected how the exhibition wanted us the audience to experience Mao. It reveals the different stages from his life as if his life was to begin from the start of his term all the way to the end, producing a visual and interactive record of his reign. I was able enjoy these portraits of him, mainly due because due to elements of photography that were used back then and how those elements continued to be used today for special and particular projects.
The exhibit featuring Jimmy Nelson’s photos at the Bryce Wolfowitz gallery were show-stopping. The presentation nailed the atmospheric feeling from its photos. Nelson’s interests in diverse cultures were explicitly depicted through the emotions of the models, and locals of where they were shot.
The fact that Nelson’s photographs were composed of very vibrant, saturated colors and high contrast, says a lot when reviewed in a broader sense in the gallery. His choices challenge the idea of social equilibrium within this culture since each of the models expressions was very firm. The facial expressions of the models draw you into each photo and help you as the audience want to question their culture and environment. Nelson made key, tough decisions that proved to be successful in showing a lot about the culture. The best photo in my opinion included the men afloat on what looks like to be different rafts. For one moment it feels as if the world halted and the water was a standstill while Nelson captures this shot. The decision on what to focus on was questionable at first for me, but after reviewing the photo for a longer period I began to take on small cues as to why the photo was shot in it’s format.
The levels of detail within the photos featured are astounding and give the audience an “I could have been there myself” type of feelings. Nelson tries to introduce a new level of significance by propelling them to the focal subject of his project using different ranges of composition. Lighting choices for the human subjects are critical to delivering his message by defining the culture for the world to witness, instead of the culture being just mentioned and later to be forgotten. The photo-series feels much more like representation then a description.
The Public Eye
The last exhibit of the Public Eye was based on the influence of sharing and how fast-paced our world around photography has become. It explained the different methods photographers went through to be able to share their work, whether it is by crowd sourcing, photojournalism, social networks and or others. This exhibition only reassured photography’s importance in modern day America alongside the strides made with the tool around the world.
Looking back at photography, it has definitely come a long way and the differences between how photos were shared centuries ago to now be astounding. Photography is a much more open subject now then even as far back as 10 years, simply due to people being more accessible to them.
One particular photographer that I noticed was Ethan Levitas, who shot “Frame 21. His subject is being shot from what looks like a bird eye’s view, but in actuality it’s in front of a NYC security camera. Using what looks to be the camera’s peripheral vision, the photographer is able to capture unsuspecting subjects or split-second reactions from people with a good eye.
As for my final project, I want to capture emotion and vibrancy. I want my photography to be vivid and lively. I’m not too sure what I will be focusing on regarding composition but I will work on making sure the lighting is in sync or consistent within the photos. I’m looking to refine my abilities as a photographer and mash up my skills to build up a well-thought photo series that could potentially work for a advertisement of some sort.
Career goals upon graduation
My career goals include furthering my education to it’s maximum potential, working on particular projects to further my portfolio, work with younger and older creative people to get both sides of a prospering industry, follow-up with a internship or work as a free-lancer.
After reading both poems, I believe e.e. Cummings is trying to exemplify the relationship between a man and his new vehicle towards the sensation of having intercourse with a female, as if they shared a similar drive or motion. When Cummings says “just as we turned the corner of Divinity avenue I touched the accelerator and give her the juice,good” I believe he was deliberately describing the intensive humping experience of riding a fast new vehicle in which you have complete control over whilst the thrill with having intercourse with a brand new woman. The following poem by Phillip Levine, the poet is mentioning the hidden ugly truths about a city that once prevailed in US business in the boom of the automobile, while social injustices and poverty struck those who needed help the most. In the grand sense of a fueling economy, America sometimes pushes it’s issues aside to tend to later if it can make the country or city a couple more dollars. To provide the economy what they need, we’ll sacrifice the community issues and let the cities culture deteriorate as the factories keep on burning for more dollars.
In a compare and contrast sense, the two poems represent both a negative and positive feeling when you consider the thought of a vehicle and what it can offer you and in the same way take away from your own life or others.
I think Susan Sontag is using the metaphor of Plato’s cave to depict the stationary role of photography in the modern day by proclaiming which images can influence the audience’s attention. It can potentially affect what we have already seen in the past and will directly influence what we would want to see in the future. Instead of feeling like the world is out of our reach by physical boundaries, photographs allow us to witness the world as a whole through our heads using memory and as a anthology. Being capable of viewing photos digitally via smartphones is the new way of collecting photos internally, a way to collect the world and actively share amongst people that we love and follow. In a sense, the confinements of the cave are being changed everyday with every new photo that is viewed through a gallery, digitally, or via printed substrate.
The relationships between the metaphors for mortality in the Dutch life paintings are clear, and are applicable to visible key aspects such as the moth on the apple and the insect laying dead near what looks like a ripe and delicious bunch of fruits. The colors used to depict the fruits in Ruysch’s painting strengthen them against the dark backgrounds, also viable in Huysum’s painting when compared. The levels of lightness used within the paintings are present to deliver the metaphor in a manner that could be more easily understood then a rather typical message.
Using the past style of Dutch still life paintings as well as applying the influence of the Vanitas art into his photo campaign, Hector Canales presents his idea of a metaphor for mortality using portraits along side military objects and veterans. I believe his methods could have been executed better. I feel like there are other objects that can better represent what could have possibly affected mortality especially if you are relating it the modern Iraq war. Several objects include the smartphone and it’s prominent stand regarding personal freedoms and what it could mean in a nuclear-armed world, the relationship between health hazards from war and health issues here at home, aswell as some struggles some veterans face after serving their country akin to some struggles Americans have been facing after being laid-off from work.
This form of advertising utilizes a meaning or appearance that their subject is known for in it’s significant industry, and applies the motive that the corresponding product will be just as “good”. In direct relation, the subject is the exemplifying aspect of the product and will represent this product to the world and the market’s audience. It is not creating a new meaning for it’s product, but using a meaning that is very known and dear to us(audience) and one that we can relate to.
The intended message for Microsoft’s “a tribute to 25 Years of Office users” was to exemplify how modern day life has evolved quickly growing into the 21st century and how Microsoft’s software has changed people’s productivity in their workplace or background. The denotation-connotation relationship is shown through Sandro’s photography by expressing how well the Office software has developed over time to help within the duration of one’s person’s life whether it was building data for spreadsheet or simply building a presentation for a class. The expressions shown from the subjects reinforce the idea of confidence, strength and resilience that Microsoft products offer to its market base.
Sandro’s uses a wide range of light from front-lit, side-lit, backlit and even directional-diffused light. They seem to work within the campaign’s agenda in my opinion. The texture is emphasized due to the light hitting the subject from an angle. I’d say that most of the photos are using are using selective focus and a mid-range of depth of field between background and subject. For the most part, the overall images use an eye-level viewpoint, making the relationship between subject and audience more easily relatable.
When applied to the metaphor of mirrors and windows, I definitely think the campaign is more of a mirror then a window. The use of rule-of-thirds when looking at these photo’s make you feel as if you could be one of these subjects, getting shot on your big game date, while your company breaks new industry standards or when you develop the next greatest videogame blockbuster. Within that moment, the lighting used in each photo stands as triumphant aspect of each photo, as if each subject has just won a new achievement. The achievement doesn’t seem to be a surprise to any one of these subjects, but the certainty in their expressions allows the audience to understand that hard-work was put in to place and no luck was involved, only the expertise offered by Microsoft through it’s Office software to be a helping-hand for each of our subject’s successes.
After observing both Crewdson’s and Winogrand’s photographs, I carefully concluded which photo was the mirror and the window by using four points of comparison. At first I looked at the lighting for Winogrand’s photo which seems to be frontlit, compared to sidelit in the Crewdson’s. Along with the lighting both photos offer different types of texture, Winogrand’s being emphasized and Crewdson’s being more minimized. When observing focus and overall depth of field, I’d say both photos are sharp overall. Another aspect that both photos share coincidentally is a similar viewpoint, which is at eye-level.
When applied to the metaphor of mirrors and windows, I’d say that Winogrand’s photo is more of the mirror over the window because of the direct lighting and how emphasized our subject is in comparsion to Crewdson’s, which is more of a window or viewfinder peering into what life may be like somewhere else.