January 8, 2014

Charpography

As an Art Education major, it is required to choose an area of concentration. In high school, I took all three levels of photography (Intro to Darkroom, Advanced, and AP) so I knew going into college that I was going to concentrate in photography. With the way my scheduling worked out- and all of the prerequisites- I wasn't able to take my first college photography class until this past semester. I loved my class and I always find it super exciting to learn new (and sometimes easier!) techniques for using my camera and software. I thought it would be fun for you to see some of the projects we were assigned in my intro to photography studio and how I went about completing them.

Urban Landscape:
What is an Urban Landscape? An urban landscape is a traditional landscape with the sign of human activity.
For this assignment, we were required to turn in two prints of an urban landscape. One of these prints had to be in color and the other had to be in black and white. Both of the prints were to be retouched in a way that it was not apparent that we changed anything at all. We were also required to use leading lines, a normal vantage point and a normal lens (how it appears in real life). Basically the pictures were supposed to invite the viewer to enter the photograph as if they could actually walk around inside of them. I chose to use a shaky looking shed in my friend's yard and went up to the top of Kutztown to capture as much of the town from above as possible.
To see the color photo click here
Environmental Portraiture:
This assignment required that we photograph at least two people in their environment. This meant we had one photograph to show one or more characteristic of this person in a way that would be clear to someone who may not know the sitter. I chose to photograph my boyfriend and one of my roommates. To further explain, I am extremely OCD about everything being put in its proper place and my boyfriend is not quite on the same page with that. I also felt this really captured him because it was pretty apparent he was getting tired of me taking pictures of him, as usual.
 For my second sitter, I had a really hard time thinking of who I was going to use and what characteristics I was going to portray. In typical art major fashion (absolute procrastination), I decided the night before the project was due in the last hours of daylight to use one of my roommates. Thiroommate loves the Hunger Games and we joke about her being Katniss. As soon as I told her my plan, she changed into her best tribute outfit and printed out a paper Mockingjay pin while I ran outside to find some sticks to make into a bow and arrow. Then we rushed to the top of Kutztown which acted as our "arena". Thank goodness both of my sitters were such good sports.
Creating Spaces: 
This assignment required us to utilize all of the skills we learned during the semester to create a space out of photographs and make it a believable space. We had to have a ceiling light, a window, and at least one other light source. This was one of the more tricky projects as you really had to plan everything before you shot it so you had to take multiple angles of the same thing just to make sure you have every possible option when you go to put it together. It was very time consuming as well because I used stone walls with grout, I had to be sure to put "grout" (use a grey paintbrush) around everything that was connected to the stones. Overall it was worth the effort and helped improve some of my technical skills.
Photo Essay:
We were once again tested on all of the technical skills we learned during the semester for this project. We followed the Life magazine photo formula to create a digital book that documented a specific event or cultural situation in its entirety. I chose to photograph Paisley & Company Bath Boutique and Fragrance Bar. The ladies there were kind enough to let me take photos of them creating and packaging their products in the back room as well as photographing the store front. This store smells amazing, everything is organized in rainbow order (which I absolutely love), the products are wonderful and the staff is so friendly so if you're ever in the Kutztown area you have to stop in. Unfortunately the link for the digital book isn't working but I will get that posted as soon as I'm able!
To see more of my photography be sure to visit charpography.tumblr.com
Thanks for stopping by!

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