Author Archives: CliffordH

Final Project Brief: Soda vs. Water

The Article:

Summary: The article ”¬†Water vs. Soda Pop” by Elle Paula¬†is extremely informative. The article is essentially a list stating the benefits of drinking water. It’s quite self-explanatory. The article covers everything from water improving our moods to water increasing our endurance.

2: My audience ranges from 20-50. This is because the article discusses people who are athletic and active.

3: My approach will be literal. The photographs will show the direct effects of drinking water as opposed to soda.

4: My images must include people. Their facial expressions and body positions will be key.

5: I can literally use anybody.

6: N/A

7: I will use broad lighting and butterfly lighting. Broad lighting will be used for the water shots and butterfly lighting will be used for the soda shots.

8: I particularly want the soda shots to look somewhat dull. The subject must have a dull face expression and I’d like for the background to be black. I want the water shots to be in front of a white background. The subject will be energize, hydrated, and happy!

Results of 1st shoot: I believe the pictures came out successful and accurately depicted the tone and mood I was going for. Both of my models handled their tasks really well!

Result of 2nd shoot: The 2nd shoot was specifically to photograph a water bottle and can of soda. The water shot should be enlightening and “airy” while the soda shot should be dark and grim. Everything went as planned!

Topic Nine: Sex Trafficking in America

Summary: In the article, “Human Trafficking in Our Own Backyards,” Leith Merrow Mullaly discusses one of America’s worst current social issues. The article gets straight to the point by stating that sex-trafficked individuals come in all shapes and sizes. In other words, they can be, “Literally the girls who live next door.” Probably what’s most surprising about this article is the fact that it’s a topic based in America, out of all places. We usually associate sex trafficking with other countries. The article is eyebrow-raising indeed!

Communication Problem: My image needs to send across a very dramatic message. The image must be tense, emotional, and controversial.

Image Ideas: Considering this social issue is based in America, I’d like to have the American flag somewhere in the shot. My idea is two have an image of one hand grabbing the arm of another person. The strong grip of the dominant hand grabbing the other person’s arm should represent the idea of a dangerous individual pulling the victim somewhere. ¬†Faces aren’t necessary for the shoot.

Results: I chose to photograph the topic of hands instead.

Topic Six: The Botany of Desire

Summary:¬†The article “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World” by Michael Pollan, expresses the idea of approaching plants as software. The article stresses that the equipment given to farmers in order to grow, maintain, and protect their crops, are the same equipment that drowns farmers in dept, unhealthy soil, and soil fertility issues. Probably the quote that sticks out the most is, “Now we’re about to find out what happens when people begin approaching the genes of our food plants as software.”

Communication Problem:¬†The image that should accompany this article is one that compares potatoes to “inputs”. The image should denaturalize potatoes by placing them next to chemicals, electronics, and man-made products.

Image Ideas: My idea is to bring in pieces of RAM (random access memory). RAM is found inside of computers and they’re a form of computer data storage. In the article, that author uses the word input to make potatoes seem like data instead of food. So what better way to represent this article than by actually bringing in data? I’ll place the RAM besides and inside the potatoes. In terms of doing the advertisement for Idaho Potatoes, my idea is to glorify the potatoes with a red and blue background. I’ll also love to add an American flag sticking out of the potato.

Results: I loved the different kinds of setups all the teams were able to work with. The use of color gels made the photo shoot much more visually stimulating. I looked forward to rotating to a new setup to experience how different the lighting, colors, and background will turn out. I was able to successfully achieve my image idea on several setups!

Topic Seven: Toy Cars

Summary:¬†The poems “she being Branded” by e.e. cummings and “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968” by Phillip Levine are both beautiful pieces of literature. Both poems contain metaphors, which add to the mystique, charisma, and tone of each poem. e.e. cummings’ poem talks about the experience he had with a car. Furthermore, he describes it in a lustful, erotic way. Interestingly enough, it made me wonder whether it was meant to sound sexual or if my mind was just perverting his words. On the other hand, Phillip Levin’s poem speaks of a place that has drastically changed. As he passes through a run-down neighborhood, he stops and reminisces on times gone.

Communication Problem: The image that should accompany these poems should match the tone of each poem. For e.e. cummings’ poem, the toy car¬†be shot to be sexy. For Levin’s poem, the toy car should be shot to look old, run-down, and dirty.

Image Ideas: The idea I had for e.e. cummings’ poem is to have the car posed at a 45 degree angle from the camera while the lighting is pink, romantic, and inviting. To make things more suggestive, I can even focus on the “headlights” or back bumper. For Levin’s poem, I want the image to be sepia. Everything should seem rusted, old-fashioned, and vintage. I may rub dirt on the car to give it more of a dirty feel.

Results: I’m satisfied with how the images turned out. For “she being Brand”, I chose an image that shows a lone, red car on piece of cloth, which is supposed to represent a road. The road symbolizes the drivers intimacy with the car, considering there are no obstacles in his way and no other cars on the road. For “Coming Home, Detroit, 1968,” I’ve chosen the image of an old car with its headlights on. The car is sitting in “snow” which is essentially small pieces of crumbled looseleaf paper. Street props were used in the background to give the image a more busy, urban feel.

Topic Five: Social Media

Summary: In the article ” Social Media Addiction is a Bigger Problem Than You Think”, Mike Elgan explains some of the tricks and ingredients that make social media so addicting. He discusses FOMO, or the fear of missing out, and the need to always check our notification number. Nevertheless, he concludes by telling us how to kick the habit.

Communication Problem: The images that accompany this article should show the miscommunication that looking at your phone can cause. For example, imagine an image where a student is looking down at their phone while another student is talking to them.

Image Ideas:¬†After discussing concepts with a partner, he made me think of some great ideas. Social media can be thought of as a drug. It’s a habit that many adults and young adults are simply obsessed with. My idea is to have a person looking at their phone, while another person to looking over their shoulder, being nosy. Another idea is to have one person looking at their phone, while another grabs their hand trying to get a glimpse of what’s on their phone. This is social media addiction at its finest.

Results:¬†Quite frankly,¬†capturing the right images came with many obstacles. Even an hour after setting up, me and my group continuously ran into technical difficulties. It all started when the flash simply wouldn’t fire. We are aware that the camera wouldn’t flash until it focuses on something, but even with the camera focused, the flash wouldn’t fire. Roger decided that our wireless flash wasn’t working and we were given the wire, which connects the camera to the power pack. Even with the wire, we still faced difficulties keeping the wire jammed into the camera’s socket. Furthermore, our camera constantly experience a color issue, even when auto white balance was turned on. Many images came out extremely orange.¬†It was a tricky shoot!

Topic Four: Headphones

Brand Summary:¬†I’ve chosen to use Skullcandy headphones for this particular project. Since the beginning of Skullcandy, they’ve always¬†marketed their colorful, street-art inspired headphones to people who are physically active. This includes skateboarders, snowboarders, skaters, etc. With every product release, they release a plethora of colors which appeal to their demographic. Skullcandy makes both over-ear headphones and inner-ear headphones. Lastly, I’ve chosen their brand because I’ve been a Skullcandy user for nearly a decade now.

PSA Summary: Essentially, young adults are listening to music using headphones three times as much as older individuals. Also, young adults who report heavy headphone use also report more hearing problems.

Image Ideas:¬†To promote Skullcandy, my idea is to have a partner posing with the headphones and enjoying them. The subject must be “in the zone” and visibly smiling. Skullcandy’s ads are always vibrant and energetic, so my photography must reflect that.

Result:¬†The lighting setup was tricky to perfect. My group had to use a large black board to block the light seeping from the ceiling lights above the computers. In addition, the camera settings were also a challenge to get right. I don’t have much experience using the light meter but I’m learning more and more about it with every class.

In terms of shooting the photography, I loved that we had the option to shoot in either a white or black background. I decided to use the black background for my hearing lose ad and the white background for the Skullcandy ad. This is simply because the different backgrounds convey different moods, tones, and attitudes.

Topic Three: Health Care for All

Summary: Firstly, the companies I viewed were Anthem, United Health Group, and Aetna. After scrolling through several health care company sites, I began to notice a striking similarity between them. All of the company websites contained extremely positive photographs. This includes people smiling, looking up towards the sun, and doing energetic activities. In addition, adults were often seen playing with their children. In terms of lighting, almost all photographs seemed to be very bright. This creates an enlightened feeling in my opinion.

Communication Problem: In terms of promoting Health Care for All, I believe the image must express a feeling of self-worth. The image should show an individual doing what they like to do, whether it be hiking, reading a book, painting, or even laughing.

Image Ideas:¬†I’d like to capture an image of an individual happily reading a book. But my image idea will vary depending on props that can be used.

Results:¬†My initial plan was to have a partner happily reading a book. This would radiate a feeling of joy, relaxation, and comfort. Nonetheless, it may look too much like a promotional advertisement for a local library more than a HealthCare ad. So in that case, I chose to use an image of my three partners. Considering they’re of various races, I thought this would describe “healthcare for all” perfectly.

Topic Two: The Lower Manhattan Revival

Summary: This article focuses on the rebirth of New York City’s fallen gem,¬†the¬†World Trade Center. Before the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Center not only served as New York’s pride and joy, but they represented¬†the pinnacle of a successful business expanse. Nicknamed “the center of the universe”, the World Trade Center and the neighborhood around it was glowing with new opportunity and hope. Nevertheless, the article goes on to discuss¬†the financial and economic growth that gradually emerged after the attacks. The most interesting quote I read from this article was from the father of a fallen firefighter, Lee Ielpi, who stated,” Not rebuilding something big would in some way show these terrorists that they had succeeded in some way.”

Communication Problem: We need to communicate that Manhattan has developed much more than where it was just a short 15 years ago. As a matter of fact, the article shows that the number of people living in Lower Manhattan has tripled.

Image Ideas: An active metropolis. Feet quickly walking along the sidewalks in abundance. A sunset representing that there will always be beauty despite the tragedy of past events.

Results:¬†I’m extremely pleased with my results. The weather was ideal for taking photos outside and I tried by best to take full advantage of it. My objective was to show the residential side of Lower Manhattan, since the article stressed the resident population increase since 2001. I took many photos of people doing things that you wouldn’t expect in Lower Manhattan. I saw people reading books, walking their chickens (yes, I saw that), and buying from street vendors.

But when I saw an ice cream truck, I knew it had great potential to accompany the article “The Lower Manhattan Revival”. I stayed in front the ice cream truck for at least 15 minutes waiting for the perfect moment. For the second image, I¬†used¬†a photo of two gentlemen playing chess. After most of the class went back to City Tech, I pointed my camera at John, one of the chess players. He turned to his opponent and joked,” If I had a dollar for every time someone took a photo of me I’d be rich.” After he finished his match, I went up to him and asked to play against him with a dollar in my hand. I ended up playing chess with John for at least an hour.

Topic One: Utopia U vs. Utility U

Summary: Firstly, a Utopian is an individual who has hope. A Utopian looks out their college window knowing that there’s a bright future ahead of them. In contrast, there are two primary visions that explain modern-day colleges and universities. These visions are Utility and Utopia.

Utility U. deals greatly with reason and respect. Utility U. is a place where students question and evaluate their surroundings. On the other hand, Utopia U, is the overall quality of their experience. Lastly, Utopia U. is a safe haven, where though and ideas are expressed freely.

Communication Problem: The main thing we need to communicate is the contrast between Utopia and Utility. Utopia is more about positivity and hope, while Utility is more about the stress and utilities dealt with in a college environment.

Image Ideas: Me and my partner brainstormed about the concepts and ideas we could use for Utopia U vs. Utility U. In the end, we decided that our Utopia U photo would involves clones of ourselves enjoying a conversation. Meanwhile, our Utility U photo would be clones of ourselves staring at the camera, representing a sense of isolation and oppression.

Results:¬†We had issues with our concept from the get-go. We realized that in order to successfully photography our concept, we needed to take several photos of each other in different positions while holding the camera completely still. A tripod would’ve been ideal for the situation. Still, we tried our best.