Professor Michals

Author: Andy Montesdeoca


Link to Mila:

Topic: What is it about? What genre of photography interests you and would you like to explore: street photography, food photography, portrait photography

Portrait photography and setting up different backgrounds

What purpose will it serve in your portfolio? Do you want to highlight your

conceptual thinking, your design sense, your lighting skills

I want to highlight my design sense, knack for color, lighting skills

Subject Matter: Literally what will you shoot?

The concept will be family, chosen and biological. I want to shoot my mom and siblings sitting portrait style, but I also want to include my friends and community

Style: What will it look like? How will you use photographic style to communicate

emotion and point of view? Find at least one example and include at least one

image with your description.

I will be using a backdrop, color and fabric to be determined, outside in a park or simply on the sidewalk. I want joy to be the primary emotion that comes across; I will achieve this through shooting my subjects laughing, embracing, etc. The image I’m including is a reference for how I want to set up the portrait: with a colorful backdrop.

Lighting: how will you light your project? This may be daylight.

I will be shooting in daylight

HW 1 – Andy Montesdeoca

This photograph was taken by Christopher Gregory-Rivera, a Puerto Rican photographer. This image is a part of a series titled Hurricane Maria, in which Gregory-Rivera documents the destruction the year the hurricane hit the island in 2017, and then again in 2018–just one year later. This photograph is meant to display the quotidian nature of Caribbean life–one can see paradise while doing the dishes. Within the context of the larger series, this photo is from 2018, which displays the aftermath of Maria. By demonstrating the proximity of nature, Gregory-Rivera is demonstrating to the viewer the duality of nature: its beauty and destructive unpredictability.

I chose this photographer’s work because a lot of his work is set in Latin America, namely the Caribbean. Being of Latin American descent, this work deeply resonates with me and captures my experience. I can see this photo and feel like I have been in this kitchen, I know this tile, this sink. I have seen this view while looking outside of my parents’ kitchen window. To be in parts of Latin America is to deal with the contradiction of being amongst some of the most beautiful natural sights and smells, eating amazing fruits I can only name in Spanish, all the while contending with extreme levels of poverty. In Gregory-Rivera’s case specifically, seeing this paradise in shambles due to the lack of government response on a local level, and as a subject of colonization by the US Empire.

This photograph demonstrates 3 elements we discussed in class: a frame within a frame, figure to ground, and contrast of light and dark. These three elements all work in conjunction to highlight the palms in the center of the photo. The window acts as a frame; the contrast draws our eyes to the plants outside the window. Nature is the subject, this ever-present force and reality for Puerto Ricans, whom inhabit this small, precarious island.

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