Brianna Vasquez’s Post on Hands Up, Don’t Shoot: Photographs from #Ferguson

Robert Frank’s photographs from his publication of “The Americans” were highly criticized due to publicly displaying the factual, daily issues of racism, in a series of photographs. John Filo’s infamous Kent State photograph illustrated the protest against the Vietnam War which resulted in the deaths of four Kent State University students and many others injured by the National Guardsmen. These numerous photographs depict the opinions of many and how they argued to be heard. With the recent occurrences of protests, Scott Olsen documents the many protesters against racial profiling in connection with the police force like Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Many of the protesters display the gesture of raising their arms to imitate the supposed gesture of Brown before he was shot by Officer Darren Wilson. Regardless of one’s stance on these issues, it is very valid how sensitive racism is in America based on how far Americans will endure in the pursuit of their beliefs through protests.

Brianna Vasquez’s Post on The New American Dustbowl: Documenting California’s Drought

The documentary photographer, Matt Black has a series of captivating photographs that documents the harsh conditions of modern-day farms and how it affects the lives of farmers. The images were extremely similar to the Farm Security Administration photographers, Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange photographs during the era of the Great Depression by illustrating the destruction the drought and winds caused to transform the Great Plains into the Dust Bowl. I am, unfortunately, one of the Americans unaware of the drought conditions that had affected the agricultural supply of fruits, vegetables, and nuts in Central Valley located in California. I think so many Americans were unaware of this crisis because the government wanted to keep it from the mainstream media. By drastically cutting the water irrigation supply to a main location of farms that provide a variety of agricultural supplies, it allowed the government to save money while on the contrary was still able to make money by hiking up the prices for these particular items.

Brianna Vasquez’s Post on Robert Capa and the Greatest War Photograph

Although, Robert Capa’s war photograph “Death of a Loyalist Soldier” was constantly criticized for being a posed farce of the death of an actual soldier, personally I feel the authenticity of a photograph does not matter. Robert Whelan argues that the photograph had so many specific features which evoke the credibility of Capa’s captivating image; I was convinced by his arguments. But I do not believe that the authenticity of a photograph should be this intensely questioned. The photograph portrays a soldier facing his impending death which displayed the severity of war, specifically the Spanish Civil War despite the validity of the photograph it still induces an array of emotions for the soldier.

Brianna Vasquez’s Rock Star Food Behind the Scenes

I found the photographs by Henry Hargreaves to be extremely intuitive. Although, I believe that the celebrities’ requests are rather outlandishly absurd, Hargreaves manages to capture it in the most creative ways. These photographs displayed a certain point of view into the lives of these icons in order to understand and learn through a brief glimpse about their personalities. It simultaneously evokes the similarity to Flemish, the still life paintings by the arrangement and lighting of each item that was requested. My favorite photograph was the food request for the New Kids on the Block which was Häagen-Dazs ice cream and Oreo cookies. I admired the way the ice cream melts into the cookies that are specifically notable for being a dunkable cookie with milk. It is very appealing to the eyes to be able to visualize the melted ice cream as it leaks onto the sandwich cookies until the cookies begin to disintegrate.

Brianna Vasquez’s Photography and Special Effects in Early Film

Although, Le voyage dans la Lune (or A Trip to the Moon) is a moving picture film, it still evokes a sense of emotion to deliver a conceptualized story just as a photograph. The film and photography were very similar since the images they captured could only be filmed or photographed as long as the moment being captured was in the lens’s shot due to the bulky equipment that could not be easily moved. Both of these practices allow certain moments in life to be virtually immortalized by way of a film or photograph to be a constant memory for a specific occasion.

Brianna Vasquez’s Post on Why Does It Look Delish?

Oreo Cheesecake!

One of the most used food clichés is that “we, first, eat with our eyes” which is mostly true since all of our senses must be satisfied in order to fully enjoy any type of food. A culinary or confectionery dish is easily found intriguing based on how it appeals to viewers. The presentation as well as the ingredients involved evokes the flavor qualities of the dish which can create an illusion of a predicted taste of a delicious meal. The photograph that I have posted is an Oreo cheesecake that my sister and I made for my mother’s birthday. The cheesecake is an original, creamy base that is mixed with Oreo crumbs. Then, it is poured into lined ramekins with an Oreo cookie crust. But, the best part is the garnishes added to the chilled cheesecake. It is topped with a crème Chantilly and a lightly sweetened, chocolate whipped cream. This is decorated with an Oreo cookie that is frosted with gold luster dust which is an edible, colored dust in order to give it an artistic shine. I managed to change the simplicity of a dessert like cheesecake into a gourmet dessert by my presentation which emphasized the textures, flavors, and ingredients; causing it to look incredibly delicious.

Brianna Vasquez’s Post on Walker Evans’ Subway Portraits

Walker Evans photographed many people in the New York City subway between 1938-1941 during the Depression Era where the camera played a pivotal role in the culture. Although, in modern times, this particular photography could be viewed as an invasion of privacy; Walker Evans respected those he photographed. He took “spy” pictures by having his 35-millimeter Contax camera hidden in his coat and it was powered by a hand-held device that could produce a shutter. I believe that this surreptitious approach was the best way to capture candid photographs in the constantly evolving variety of people in the city’s range that rode the subways. Still the possibility of the subway passengers having the knowledge of Walker Evans’ photographic actions, unfortunately it would have led to more posed, unnatural photographs. Evans displayed his consideration of those he photographed by publishing his pictures twenty-five years later in his book, “Many Are Called” since this would have allowed the unknowing participants to age enough to become virtually unidentified by the photographs.

The New York City subway riders during the Depression Era are very similar to the subway riders in today’s society. While, Walker Evans was simply trying to document the effects of the Great Depression by photographing the many who had ridden the subways and were suffering. But, these pictures can easily be compared to the modern day subway riders who may be struggling through the recession. I found the subway portrait of the blind man playing an accordion extremely similar to the straphangers who board the train now, in the hopes, of entertaining the passengers in exchange for cash. Many of his other subway inspired photographs depict normal scenes that regularly occur on the train such as a couple conversating or someone being engaged by the attention of a newspaper although nowadays it is most often a phone, tablet, or an electronic, audio device.

Brianna Vasquez’s Post on Picturing Breakfast Around the World

Raspberries

A Bowl of Raspberries

I believe that breakfast is one of the most essential meals of the day since it is the first source of food that we consume in the day. While America’s conceptualized idea of food has revolutionized to fast food, or food on the go, the most popular available choices of breakfast are protein bars and cereal. These aren’t exactly the healthiest of food choices since they are refined in order to last on our shelves or in our cupboards for months at a time. Breakfast food items have become a pinnacle in the advertisement of food, commercials constantly suggest their product as the healthiest despite the ingredients and even include the use of children to persuade viewers to either purchase these items for their children or be coaxed by the innocent eyes of a child to buy these items. But in this world of Poptarts, Lucky Charms, Fiberone, etc. we are told that healthy choices such as apples or oatmeal that naturally possess their sources of vitamins are boring and dull while these labels are exciting and fun. These items that are supposedly healthy and give is energy are packed with exceedingly high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates that deceive our bodies as energy but quickly die out. We as Americans need to make healthier choices despite the connotation of breakfast.

Brianna Vasquez’s Post on Documenting Spiritualism

Spirit photography is the practice that attempts to acquire images of ghosts and spiritual entities. Any spiritual or religious experience is purely supernatural so it can be extremely difficult to capture in photographic images. Despite that most spirit photography is created by a double exposure effect that produces an illusion of a ghostly figure in the picture. The famed spirit photographer, Shannon Taggart managed to achieve the capture of spiritual beings with the assistance of a camera. This practice is difficult since cameras may not always reveal the presence of ghostly, spiritual figures. As with all photography, it needs proper lighting, angling, and the correct exposure. I have rejected the idea that any form of spirit photography was intrusive since most of the participants of the practice are openly inviting their departed loved ones to visit them; in the form of ghosts or spiritual entities which is what Shannon Taggart had the opportunity to photograph during such events like séances. Although, I think it is a valuable practice because it allows those to have a peaceful reencounter with their deceased loved ones I, honestly, only believe in God as a Holy Ghost in connection with Jesus Christ and disagree with the existence of any other ghosts or spiritual beings. In addition, I believe those that have passed on have parted with the world and their bodies may be buried but their souls are no longer on Earth and remain in a more sacred environment.

Brianna Vasquez’s Texture Post

Melting Ice Cream on Wood

Melting Ice Cream on Wood

Photography is a practice which is based on capturing a particular image. When a picture is particularly photographed to communicate a culinary dish, it must display the most important features of the dish such as color, complexity, texture. While color and complexity can be easier to evoke through photographs, texture is the most difficult to display but can be readily visual by the way the dish is presented as well as the positioning of the camera which angles the finished photograph to reveal many picturesque qualities of the dish.  Texture can be captured by possessing all the details in a dish that show off the structure of the food. My chosen picture depicts the reality of the texture of ice cream when heat is applied to bring it below the freezing point which leads to melting it. Also, it shows the clear difference between ice cream in its solid form and melting form which is dependent on temperature. The angle of the camera is positioned to acquire the different texture of all the components in the picture. Regardless, the waffle cone is still crisp but begins to soften near the rim where it is absorbing the melted ice cream. The scoop of ice cream remains solid since its shapely structure endures in a spherical shape while some of it begins melting with an irregular, spreading pool of melted ice cream milk that surrounds the crisp waffle cone. The texture demonstrates the smooth and creaminess that is composed in the dessert of ice cream.