I don’t think there’s any such thing as teaching people photography, other than influencing them a little. People have to be their own learners. They have to have a certain talent.
Imogen Cunningham

I agree with this quote very much. I attend Antonelli Institute in Glenside, PA. Its a professional private art college specializing in graphic design & photography. When I first came to the school I was so passionate, eager, & just ready to photograph. Little did I know our whole first year was black & white film. Film was a challenge specially 35mm & 4×5. My first role of film came out completely blank … literally! I must had did this ten times or so before I got actual images. I found out it was my film advance inside the camera. I specifically remembering the one instructor (who is no longer with us today) saying “I commend you on your work efforts. Most people would have given up and you just kept going & going” That meant something to me. You must believe in yourself in order for yourself to succeed in life. When other people where it be friends, family, boyfriend, girlfriend believes in you, that also helps aid in success. After I had finished my first whole year of film I was kind of relieved. Their is so much work to developing film and well some of my classmates just didn’t care. I’m thinking “why are you even at this college when you don’t care?” I was planning on returning to college for my second year. That didn’t happen due to financial reasons. So I got myself a full time job in a warehouse & made money for myself even living with my parents. Later that year, I had lost my father. Little did I know I didn’t expect to return to college in 2013 without a father. The only thing I did was move forward. Time doesn’t stop for anyone. So during my third semester I had trouble refocusing myself back on track with my photography. It was rough at first but after week 8, I had picked myself up & took it to another level. My images improved and I also improved as a person. Now that its the finial week before Christmas break, everyone is starting to lose their touch. Imogen Cunningham was right, there are certain people with a niche talent for their photography & others well I think for them its just a hobby. 

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Behind bars for many years

Many people will come across this image and think who, what, when, where, & why? I decided to wait till almost sunset to photograph this specific place inside Eastern State Penitentiary.  When I first uploaded this photo to Lightroom it spoke to me. I had used this image for my architecture assignment. The category was “old vs. new” architecture. There is an old decayed stone wall from years of abusive weather & then there is a brick wall almost like a chimney. When I had first scouted ESP, I walked past this very image many of times. I have a great eye for photographs and this was the image at the time of day. The sunset also helps. Think about it, if the sunset already went down, their would be no light, only darkness & it wouldn’t make a great photograph just a “dull” photograph. As a photographer, you just know when a photograph speaks to you. It was a cold day, but sunny & this couldn’t be taken at night. There is simply no light at night in ESP. You would need to bring a very large light source with enough power to light that building and make it into an image. Perhaps maybe the large spotlight they use to use at night to make sure no prisoner would try to escape.  When any photograph is taken, it needs light of any kind. Whether it is daylight, shady, tungsten, florescent, cloudy, etc. When you first enter ESP, you feel a sense of cold, loneliness, & depression. Its not a place of happiness, but it is a place of interesting photographs of all kinds. Take a minute to look at the image I uploaded. Does it speak to you? Do you get some sort of scared feeling from years of decay? I certainly do. The sun is setting and darkness is about to set in. I do believe in ghosts. They are amongst you the whole time while your learning the history of ESP.  I’m sure when people come and visit, they can feel a sense of coldness go right through them. It’s the soul of a ghost walking amongst them.  The prisoners of ESP might be long dead already but the soul of each individual prisoners life still lives on & will remain in history with ESP.

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