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.
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.
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.
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.
This was one of my images I had created for my mini portfolio of strictly candy. I had decided to photograph skittles. Their intimidating to say the least. You think photographing candy is easy but its not. How do you photograph just candy with several table tops & multiple backdrops? Throughout the session, I had ate many of them. They were so delicious but also I was running out of them because I only had brought one little bag. I never thought out of all 150 images I shot throughout the session that I would only need 3 skittles. Shocking right? One of my instructors said to my class “have you ever thought of using the graphic design drawing tables”? They’ve already been drawn on, painted, scratched etc. Its a different form of art, why not take advantage of it? So I’ve decided to use the graphic tables. Their kind of interesting aren’t they? Why should I go to some arts & crafts store to buy something when I have something right at my finger tips? I was very pleased when I took the shots. The skittles just sitting on top of the table with all the graphic design on top was just simply amazing. Some of the other photographs were pretty cool looking but its not about choosing your favorite photograph, it’s about choosing the right photograph for the assignment. Is it sharp? Does it have a interesting composition? Is it color correct? Does it have enough lighting? Sure I had plenty of other images I could of used, but this photograph below had won the competition. When graphic design & photography students work together, they create a work of art like no other. That is what I like about my college. Were “one of a kind”.
I was given a word assignment by one of my instructors. The assignment consisted of several words that the students would have to go out and photograph whether it was created in the studio or found outside the school. That particular week, we were given the word “Liberty”. At first I thought, “how am I suppose to create liberty”? When I think of liberty, I think of freedom, the Declaration of Independence, the statue of liberty etc. We were given two weeks for the assignment. I literally couldn’t think of what I can come up with. A week had gone by and I had nothing. It was in the second week I had thought of something. See, you can’t think and try to create an image. As a photographer, you must let it come to you. At first the thought might come right away but in time it will come. I was about to leave school, it was a monday. I sat in my car and I had three cents in my car at the time. I also wanted a hot cup of tea. Then it dawned on me. “The Boston Tea Party” I tried to remember as much as I can from when I had first learned about it in middle school at the time. I had went out and got the supplies only I didn’t have enough time to make the photograph look like the present time. The photograph you see is a modern interpretation of the tea party. For those of you who don’t know what “The Boston Tea Party” was, you can most likely go on google and research it for yourself. Basically the story is “Taxation without Representation” When I had put the image up on the wall for critique, my instructor didn’t understand it. The goal of the assignment was to create an image so when you look at the image you can interpret what word it meant. The whole class understood my concept and he eventually caught on. I had gotten a good grade on the image and well after the critique, we were given the next word to photograph. It only got more challenging.
”Photography was a license to go whenever I wanted and to do what I wanted to do.” – Diane Arbus
One of my favorite quotes by Diane Arbus. Whenever I pick up my camera I Free from anything and everything. I can go and photograph anywhere I want to in life. I can be in one place today and across the country the next morning. It’s almost as if I feel like its my job to photograph what others don’t see. I have a duty. That duty is to preserve a memory or some sort of meaning or event that happened in time. Photography is never the same. The principle is, but everyday you learn something different whether it’s about yourself, the model/client or the weather & light patterns. As photographer we see things differently with our eyes in everyday life more than the general public does. Some photographer’s don’t have an “eye”, they have the imagination where they simply create a stunning photograph in studio one day at a time. If only the famous inspirational photographers from the 1900’s were here, I wonder what other kind of advice they would give today’s learning photographers besides the famous quotes that they left behind.
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.