I was assigned a model catalog for my fashion class about a month or so ago. At that time, I decided to photograph my good friend James who is quite the model. I had wanted to photograph in Bethlehem, PA. We went to the “cat walk” as he called it. It was simply the safety rail located underneath a major motion highway. Walking the half mile bridge, I couldn’t help but notice the beautiful Lehigh Valley river. Along the river their was railroad tracks which I had not known about till I had actually saw them myself. The view is just so stunning, you can’t help but not notice everything all at once. Although I was high above in the air, it was peaceful but not because of the heavily moving traffic above us. It was about 3 or 4 pm EST. At that time, the sun had set rather late than early. I was able to capture a nice image of a beautiful landscape. As you can tell its fall because all the leaves on the trees are different colors. I had not looked at the images until later that night. We had such a beautiful day, yet cold and we enjoyed the adventure. Some people might say its dangerous but I’m a photographer. If I want the image, I WANT THE IMAGE! I will try my best to capture the image such as the one I have posted below & I have succeed. I’m not only learning photography (professionally) at Antonelli Institute, it’s taking me on a journey in life where the possibilities and discoveries are endless. Along the way, I network with new people, learn about new cultures, travel to a different state or continent. I love what I do everyday. I intend to keep that until the day I day.
What do you see when you look at my photograph? What comes to mind? How does it make you feel? The photo that I had created below was done in studio on a Tuesday morning. It wasn’t that difficult to create. Actually it was more fun and challenging. The fun part was using what ever you brought in to class that mooring to drop in the water tank. The challenge was the timing. You had to time the drop in sync with your camera shutter. I had chosen to bring in an incandescent household lightbulb. I wanted to use a CFL light bulb but their just to expensive to waste when your working on a college student salary. I was pleased with the over all image although the more you look at it, it looks blurry. It’s not suppose to be when your using flash. The studio strobes that I was using were not fast enough to stop the action of the lightbulb hitting the water inside the tank. Though it did give the lightbulb a cool effect as if it was blown to pieces. Wouldn’t it be cool if time actually stopped that image from happening? Actually it did in a way but just with a camera. A photographer has made an object stop in time & therefore produced an image afterwords.
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.
One of my assignments was to go out and photograph a building that looked like a corporate office building for an annual report. I ventured my way into the city with a friend. We took the subway to broad street and walked the city the whole day looking for the right sky scrapper with the right lighting on it. The sun isn’t very easy to work with. Some days it is and other days its not. Walking the city all day was tiring, cold & as photographers were going to get the “image” no matter what it takes. When I was walking around the city, I just can’t snap photographs like one, two, three. As a photographer you must first see your image that you want to photograph and then push the shutter. A photographer’s eye’s see’s differently than the normal citizen of the United States. The image that I’ve posted below in my blog was not set up. I was simply walking on the sidewalk from the other side & I saw this rusted old stair case along the colored brick. It spoke to me in a way. I was not looking for anything, it just happen to be there when I was there. So I photographed it multiple times while the sun was still on it and walked away. I didn’t stay to long, maybe 5 minutes and just kept moving on with my day. When I had uploaded the images to my hard drive, I saw the image & thought… “complimentary color, monochromatic color, transition, & one more but I’m quite not sure”. I had originally used this image for “transition”. My instructor was intrigued by it. He had also said “Finally Jon, a decent image” At first I was appalled, but I knew what he meant. It’s not about looking for the right image, its about coming along and finding an image when you least expect it and making the image work for you & using light to create it.
I was assigned a model portfolio assignment for my fashion class. Each student must turn in eight to ten completely different images of their model. I’m trying to sell my model to different modeling agencies and also build my portfolio reputation. I decided to photograph James. A very good friend of mine for the past two years. We met at a gallery opening that I attended in center city Philadelphia. My model photographs very well. I usually have no trouble with him and I love to work with him. So for this particular shoot I did, I did a high key clean cut background. I had two co-main lights on either side, same power and height, also used one main with an umbrella at a higher power. James had told me he had makeup on, I didn’t even notice. He will always throw on makeup before a photo shoot, but doesn’t wear it everyday in public. A trend that is starting to pick up is the digital makeup & also makeup in general. I personally don’t care for digital makeup but it may be something I have to apply for a special client in the future. Everyone wants to look so perfect. Here’s the thing, were not all perfect, male or female. Does one look better than one another? Yes… but that doesn’t mean to put yourself down. You are who you are as a person. Certain people go to extreme measures to fight for the spot they want in the fashion industry. They starve themselves, they get surgery, they do all sorts of different things & where does it get them? Sometimes it does pay off. Is it worth it? I don’t know, you’d have to ask that model. I’d rather photograph someone with a cool personality than someone who looks perfect and would look good for my portfolio & further me in my career. Now that hurts. It’s not all about looking the best, it’s all about being true to who you are. Because fashion is so big in today’s society, that industry has set standards such as you must be super thin, with makeup, you can’t do manual labor, you just simply look good for the camera. To me, what kind of a life is that? Everyone doing something for you at every moment? No, not me. I’d rather get down and dirty and work for what I want in life. You can’t rely on people to wait on you hand and foot, because honestly you don’t know if that person will? At the end of the day, looks are deceiving.
One of my assignments was to photograph four different setups of food. The requirements were one hot meal & a liquid. The other two could be what ever you like. When I first got the assignment I thought “How the hell am I suppose to come up with a creative food setup?” The class was shown numerous examples & I was blown away. How did those images make it from the inside of one person’s mind to reality? That was the question I was suppose to answer and create myself. I went to Wegmans (a beautiful grocery store) & walking in there for the first time, I was blown away. I never knew a grocery store could look that amazing, but thats not the point. I went there to shop for food for my studio shoot. I didn’t know what I wanted to photograph, my mind was trying to create something perfect that wasn’t created just yet. I was OVER THINKING the whole assignment. When creating an image, you can’t just photograph anything, it must have a meaning, an emotion or something to draw someones attention. I’ve finally come to a decision to photograph cupcakes. Something simple as cookies & milk? Apparently so. I believe I only used one light to photograph the whole shoot. Some people are just blown away with the power of what one light does to a photograph. I used a regular medium sized soft box and back lit it from the left corner. At first I was clueless of how to properly light food, my instructor gave me some tips that helped me. I should have added a second strip light to the right side for a small highlight effect but I didn’t. Pretty simple to just photograph right? WRONG! The cupcakes must be beautiful composed, properly placed, & most important get close as possible to show the texture of the food. You want someone to drool over your photograph just because it looks so great. Photographing food for the first time was a difficult challenge. I never photographed food before, besides using “Instagram” & applying different filters to take food selfies.
I handed this image in for critique, most student liked the imaged. I myself did not like the image. Is it a good image? Sure it’s a good image, but a good enough image to draw someones attention out of a magazine or something or across the room hanging from a wall? In all reality its not a photograph that is going to “WOW” people. It’s just a simple photograph of cupcakes.
My name is Jonathan Lasky. I come from a very little small town called Summit Hill, PA. Ever since I got a square Crayola camera, I wanted to explore & photograph everything. I wanted to travel the world, in doing so I needed connections. Thats when I decided to come to Antonelli. I love to shoot very high end fashion & commercial. The images you see in Elle, Vouge,Glamour, W, Sports Illustrated etc. One day my dream will come true, for now it’s a waiting game.
If you would like to contact me you may do so at Jonathan.firstname.lastname@example.org