Author Archives: JArjune

Human Trafficking



America has an understated epidemic of young people being pulled into the prostitution industry, a problem that most people assume affects remote regions of the world only. However, there are rehabilitation efforts aiming to heal the abuses these victims suffer and reintegrate them into society with prosperous futures. These efforts would benefit greatly from people being generally informed and working with authorities to rescue the trafficked and persecute the traffickers.


Communication Problem:
Human trafficking in America is a subject most people are not aware of, and so they should be made aware to recognize potential victims and offer them an escape from their captors.


Image Ideas:
Because of the article’s emphasis on aiding and healing victims of human trafficking rather than the ugly realities they have endured, I feel that showing human connections is the best way to go in portraying the intent of the article. Photographs of individuals expressing care and love for one another as human beings and type that is a call to action to join the movement dedicated to turning the tide on these crimes.

Final Project (Repurpose)


Due to rapid climate change, animal species around the globe are going extinct. However, because of the diversity of life on the planet, predicting which species are at greatest risk is a difficult task. Some creatures will not be impacted severely in the near future, while others will disappear outright if measures are not taken to lessen the damage done to the global ecosystem. If patterns continue to follow their trend, the rates of extinctions will increase thusly, threatening all forms of life regardless given enough time.

Image Ideas: Still life of a globe, acrylic ice and water to simulate melting. Copy: “It’s Not Too Late”. Dire lighting, dark and moody and dramatic. Conversely, harsh light can be a metaphor for the unchecked heat trapped in the planet’s atmosphere and can be paired with effects done in post, such as backgrounds of burning forests and bodies of water that have been rendered dry due to changing weather patterns.


Paper towels, acrylic ice, water bottle (with water) globe


First Week Results:

I found that the globe was very reflective in this week’s shoot. Most of the shots are marred with a glare that has to be rectified for next week’s shoot. There are a few salvageable photographs that can be given a type treatment, but the idea still has some room to grow and be realized.


Second Week Results:

The reflectivity of the globe was mitigated this week through distancing of light sources and a more complimentary setup that allowed for more dynamic photography. The ice was used more effectively by being stuck to the globe, keeping the base out of the shot entirely while there was a greater emphasis on running water and falling ice. The use of colored backgrounds also make the resulting photographs eye catching and impactful.

Third Week Results:

The third week was spent pursuing the idea of photographing a polar bear and penguin without a preliminary concept as to how this would be done. After a thankfully brief period of experimentation, a concept of shooting the water in a tray with the ice and animals emerged and led to some strong results which utilize the strengths of still life photography. The water, ice and subjects warranted some interesting lighting setups and poses that ended up being very convincing.

Driving Shoot

Summary: e.e cummings ‘ poem is a metaphorical recollection of a woman losing her virginity as told from the perspective of an awkward narrator. He uses the imagery of starting a car and enjoying a ride to frame the tone of the experience, whereas Phillip Levine’s poem is more about confronting a grim reality through passing by its unfortunate effects day after day, as one would driving to work. In Levine’s poem, the figurative person written about wonders what has become of Detroit after returning from parts elsewhere, and realizing things have taken a turn for the worse.

Communication Problem: How does one take the same toy car and impart an awkward, youthful take on it, then reverse and show something very downtrodden and depressing.

Image Ideas: On the principle of tonality, brighter colors and high key lighting would best match e.e cummings’ work, while more dramatic low key lighting would fit Levine’s poem. I feel the camera angle and cropping would be closer and intimate with e.e cummings’ poem while the contrary would create a lonesome feeling for Levine.

Results: The car I brought in, a 1957 Chevrolet, had such a personality in the shoot. When going for something somber, the red paint was still vibrant where light fell on it, but it was the surroundings that really gave the image its connotation. Very rarely did the color become defused based on the settings of the camera. It was because of this, the bright positive images shined through almost literally. The photographs in shadow are strong in color contrast as well as light and dark, the red comes through in a very impactful way, and broken up by darkness, the car takes on a forlorn, lost quality, which I think lends itself to Levine’s work.

Potato Shoot

Summary: Technology in agriculture has advanced to the point that genetic information is as ubiquitous as software, and can be developed as such, turning plant life from actual “life” to a commodity that happens to be derived from organic processes, rather than manufactured ones. Caught in the confines of these advancements are the actual farmers who plant their seeds, at the consequence of having to endure great economic stress to maintain a farm in the first place. Genetically modified seeds can solve a myriad of problems that can cut down the expenses of being a farmer, but a farmer is then bound by laws and policies at the mercy of the people who engineer these plants, which can be just as expensive when it becomes clear that much of what these “copyrights” cover is outside of a farmer’s direct control.


Communication Problem:  How much control does a person have over nature? Can people lay claim to a technique of modifying life, and hold others accountable when life, true to itself, behaves unpredictably and results in an effect not intended?


Image Ideas: An ad for potatoes, as with any ad, is much easier to convey than an idea. There are common tricks in existing media concerning Idaho Potatoes. I have Denise Austin to thank for the connotation Idaho Potatoes have with sunshine and open fields because of those old commercials that used to play when I was younger. Shooting the potatoes lit by warm light, just slightly yellow to be pleasing to the eye and not overly so to be taken as a photographic mistake, is my first instinct. As for the book cover, I think something more neutral and questioning is in order, as the author does not rally against GMO foods, but he does leave a sense of foreboding at the end with the idea of corporate handling of the future of food production. Corporate to me brings up clinical lighting that’s pale and cool with some deep shadows, which means I will be going after some uneven lighting ratios.

Results:  The stations this week were very interesting exercises in how to use light and reflections and color to create interesting effects, let alone compelling compositions and moods. While I feel I only have one example of my original idea that I can’t really use because it does not fit the criteria of the website specifications, there are many unintended but pleasant photographs that I can use for this week’s project. There was also an interesting after effect of using a green filter over a green table, in which the table itself turned blue in photographs, which was very surprising and something to keep in mind in the future. 

Social Media Addiction

Summary: People are spending a lot of time on social media networking sites, and it’s not entirely their fault. Social media is designed in such a way as to instill addiction into its users, either by providing a ludicrous amount of content to sift through that continues to build, or by building up habitual responses through enticing lures, such as notification numbers.

Communication Problem:  Is social media use inherently good or bad? Is it good because it allows people to communicate with those they couldn’t talk to otherwise and enjoy online content conveniently, or is it bad because it thrives off of an addicted user base and is designed to exploit people prone to addiction?

Image Ideas: Barring use of actual drug imagery, I will hone in on something very related to social media: games. Specifically, craze mobile games that make their companies money by keeping their players leashed via waiting for features to unlock and limited lives that only renew every so often. Because of these barriers, people who are hooked on the game are willing to do or pay anything to advance, which creates a vicious cycle of exploitation.

To show this metaphor in photography, I think a portrait shot that is slightly over exposed would represent the “euphoric haze” that one’s mind is in when they are enjoying such a thing, even though it may be unhealthy. The subject would be enraptured with their phone, overjoyed, but utterly oblivious to the world around them. I would then add cartoonish icons and details such as a score counter in post to create that effect of a video game, blurring the boundary between the virtual world and the real one. The copy would read something like, “Life is a stage, not a game. Limit your social media use.”


Results: My original idea ran away from me, as I forgot this would be a cover for the article with the type already provided. In that case, the idea that my group went for was that of showing how overpowering social media addiction can be through visual metaphor or acted out scenes. The dark background and moody lightning conveys a more direct message about how social media is harmful to a person’s life.

Headphones and Hearing Loss

Brand Summary: Skullcandy is a brand that has a distinctive name that stands out on its own, but that’s not all it has going for it. Being specialized for Bluetooth, Skullcandy headphones allow one to  listen to music while having full functionality of their smartphone, all in one convenient unit. The audio quality is also a “treat” for the ears, hence the name of the company.

PSA Summary: People who use headphones regularly are experiencing hearing loss due to excessive volume, aging as young as 18 to 44, and the article urges regulation of use to preserve one’s hearing.

Intention: Provide emphasis on Skullcandy’s compact design and convenient features, in addition to its quality of sound. For the PSA, stress the importance of moderation in use so as to not cause irreparable damage to one’s hearing.

Image Ideas: For Skullcandy, photographs of my subject multitasking while “listening” to their music come to mind. For the PSA, images of the headphones half-on a person still struggling to hear a conversation manifest.

Results: Despite some troublesome technical difficulties, I think the shoot went well. The exercise in lighting ratios was juxtaposed very well with a practice in mood lighting. 1:1 ratio lighting was very flattering for an ad, and it would have complimented many products, not just headphones. The moodiness that more uneven ratios created, in addition to a dark background, definitely works well with a foreboding and cautioning PSA.

Healthcare For All Summary

Photography: In researching images used by healthcare providers, I noticed that in terms of color schemes, there were a lot of whites and blues, and very rarely were reds involved unless they were part of a banner or icon invoking the imagery of “healing”, such as crosses and bandages. People, when they were involved in the layouts, were overwhelmingly positive and upbeat, and only ads serving as PSAs showed anything in a negative light to dissuade certain practices. On the subject of lighting, there were never harsh highlights or glaring light sources in the ads I saw, instead they used diffused lighting to create a calm, inviting image that was easy on the eyes.

Communication Problem: Health Care For All New York’s mission statement , to me, conveys a sense that the company is a stern benefactor for people under its protection. While on one hand, it’s a priority to show the calm, inviting side of a healthcare provider, it is also a priority to showcase the uncompromising service of HCFANY.

Image Ideas:
Smiling patrons with HCFANY’s added to the composition in post.

Results: The warm, happy and inviting aspect of healthcare ads got through a lot more than “uncompromising”, I would think. The photographs taken were all complimentary portrait shots, and some were even lit in classic photo studio styles such as Rembrandt and butterfly lighting. Even then I am pleased with the results of this week’s shoot, and I believe the group produced enough material for their HCFA ad. My subject having a band-aid on during the shoot was very fortuitous for me, because it went very well with the topic.


Lower Manhattan Revival Summary

Summary: The article speaks of how the lower district of Manhattan has recovered in various ways in the years after the September 11th attacks, such as neighborhoods in the area becoming wealthy destinations for businesses, while also tackling the issue of how the site was repurposed by the officials who owned the land; and how they negotiated with the estates of the victims to make sure the memory and respect was preserved.

Communication Problem:

The Manhattan of today is far different than the Manhattan of fifteen years ago. How does one reconcile the destruction of 9/11 with the reconstruction effort, and how does one show how business has returned to the area without forgetting the tragedy that came before.


Image Ideas: There will definitely be a visit to the 9/11 memorial site. Other historical sites nearby, as they are today, are also compelling possibilities.

Results: While the ideal of reconciling the past and present was applicable to the project, it was not so overt as to include the harshness of the attacks that brought down the Twin Towers. There was an emphasis on showing how lower Manhattan has changed utterly to being a place of living in the wake of disasters, of families going about their days and people going about the city with their pets.

What is the Point of College Summary


The main idea of the article is that there is a schism in the perception of what college should accomplish with those who enroll. The split is centered around the idea of preparing students for a future in the fields in which they study, and the idea that colleges are where people should be able to discover themselves without fear of persecution. This split then goes on to dictate what students learn, and how they learn the material. The question the article poses is whether or not is conducive to meaningful knowledge.

Communication Problem: The inherent difference in the pragmatism of utility and the idealism of utopia.

Image Ideas:
Heavily impersonal visuals, such as cold lighting and an emphasis on machinery to represent utility. Bright and more lively, human expressions for utility.

Unfamiliarity with the camera equipment resulted in some less than ideal shots, and most of them did not satisfy the criteria of environmental portraits. However, a few standout examples were produced for further revision and modification.