Darkness and Light: Richard Avedon

Darkness and Light is a documentary about American photographer Richard Avedon. In the basics he is a fashion photographer but his work has movement and and signature that pushes it to fine art status. The documentary talks about both the positive and negative aspects of his work. He describes his work as capturing “the death of the moment” by showing you the past, or the moment that is gone forever. My favorite image was the one with the snake laying on the woman seemingly whispering  in her ear. He captures the subtle, sultry, captivating moment and then it is gone forever. Overall it was an interesting documentary.



Today we walked around campus and tried to find letters in the environment. I was only able to get 16 letters but there are a few that I really like. The T, U, W, and P are really nice. I found it pretty difficult to find objects that look enough like the letter itself. I wish I had more time to look around but in class there is always a time limit. It was fun though. So the letters in order that I was able to capture are A, H, I, L, N, O, P, Q, S, T, U, V, W, X, Y, and Z!


Night Time Photography

Night time photography was really fun to play around with, it was difficult for sure but once I got the hang of it I had fun painting with the light. The first image I took at Disney’s California Adventure from the ferris wheel and that one was full of fun and bright rainbow color. The second and third are taken out the car window as my friend was driving through Encinitas. The trails crete movement and almost remind me of sound waves. Then the last two are playing with the flashlight on my phone and really long shutter speeds. I think the one that looks like stars is my favorite and I like the blue and orange complimentary colors.

MOPA Visit

I went to Balboa Park on a Saturday afternoon with Sarah, Herdis, and Jackson. It was pretty fun to go with other photography students and we all carpooled. After searching for parking for 45 minutes we finally got lucky although it was all the way at the bottom of the hill. We walked over to MOPA and took selfies with our stickers. (found below) I was excited to get started walking around because I have always loved museums. My family used to go to museums when I was a kid and art has always been something we bond over. The exhibition Point/Counterpoint was where we started. It is an exhibition centered around political, economic and social issues within the United States, Mexico, and the relationship between the two. Every photographer shown was of Mexican heritage. A lot of the subjects presented showed a clash between “traditional” or stereotypical Mexican life compared to the reality of Mexican culture. I liked the sentence in the description that reads as follows “In a global environment, it is imperative that we communicate and understand one another beyond borders- physical, cultural, artistic, linguistic- and these works provide an opportunity for conversation.” One of my favorite artists was Alejandra Laviada whose work was really geometric and beautifully lit. She believes that photography, similar to paintings can create an abstraction of reality using different spatial compositions and geometric forms along with multiple exposure and montage. It plays with transparency as well which I think is really interesting and creative. Dr. Lakra was my other favorite, this is because the images are found material that they embellished blurring the lines of pop culture and traditional imagery. It focuses on taboos, societal stereotypes, fetishes and ritual. In the exhibition called Seeing is Believing, we had fun playing with the three-dimensional images, the screen made of faces, and exploring the interactive side of the museum. My favorite piece from this area was the Brown Sisters by Nicholas Nixon. He photographed his wife and her three sisters each year starting in 1975 showing a documentation of continuous change and the aging process. Overall it was a very fun experience and I will go back to MOPA in the future.

Photography Midterm

  1. Street Photography is when the photographer goes out onto the streets and photographs the environment how it is. There is no lighting set ups, models, or backdrops. It is all stuff that already exists in real life. The photographer may put two random people together, or frame a shot in a unique way, or have an idea of what they want to capture, but it is not pre set up.
  2. He used Collodion wet plate printing with silver nitrate.
  3. Rembrant is when the light mirrors renaissance paintings done by Rembrant. The lighting is relatively dark but a triangle of light lays on the cheek as a shadow. Butterfly is when the light hits both sides of the head creating a butterfly shadow on the face. Broad lighting is when the whole subject is lit by using a front, side, back, and sometimes overhead light. Short is when there is only one light. Side lighting is when the light creates a rim around the subject.
  4. A PSD File is a photoshop file with layers of edits. A RAW file is what we shoot in our cameras and in comparison to JPEGs it is straight of the sensor, while a JPEG is converted within the camera system. The RAW file is pure and can be edited in Lightroom then converted to a JPEG for printing.
  5. The area where all the information is held of your photo file in Lightroom is called the Metadata.
  6. The catalog is an area in Lightroom that holds your folders and is a place where you can organize your files. You can also back up all of your files to your hard drive through the collections/catalog system.
  7. In develop mode there are six basic tools, crop, spot, red eye, Adjustment Brush, Radial exposure, and I cant remember the last one, Dang!
  8. Part 1: Aperture is the amount of light let into your camera to hit the sensor. The more light you have the more exposed your image will be. The higher your f-stop the less light is let in and the image will be more underexposed. The lower your f-stop the more light is being let in and the more overexposed your image will be. Part 2: Shutter speed is how fast in seconds (most cameras fractions of a second) that the shutter of your camera will be open. The longer your shutter the more light is being let in. The shorter your shutter speed the less light is being let in.
  9. A camera is a light box with a hole in the side that changes light into an image by having it bounce off of a mirror and hit an image sensor, the image is upside down.
  10. The exposure triangle is the Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO.

Photobooth Project

First off, a big thank you to Kirk Saber for allowing me to photograph in front of his gallery, WestEdge, on Cedros in Solana Beach and giving me one of his gorgeous paintings as a backdrop. Check out his work here: http://www.westedgegallery.com/

Secondly if anyone pictured below wants their photos in high resolution please email me at natalyecohen@gmail.com. Thank you to everyone for helping me out! It was great to meet everyone! Clearly one little cutie below (Eden) loved the camera, model in the making! I had a lot of fun doing this project, the light was a little harsh but I figured it out. I had a sign that said “Free Portraits” and handed out cards with my blog on them so everyone could get in touch with me.

It wouldn’t let me upload a video unless I upgraded my site, so I uploaded it to YouTube. Here is the link: https://youtu.be/Ts5g2ycc33s


Silver & Light

The video we watched in class was about a photographer, Ian Ruhter, who wanted to create his own camera and style of printing, that varied from anything he had seen before. While the process seemed temperamental at times, when it did work, the images were absolutely stunning. He calls his camera the time machine and it is a fitting name. The images produce capture a moment in time like none other, they transport the viewer to that time in space and create an overwhelming feeling for the viewer. His camera truck is where he controls manually the shutter and processor. He then converts it to film using a process with light-sensitive collodion plates. Once the plates are wet, it takes a matter of minutes to expose and develop. The entire process takes about a day and the images cost hundreds of dollars to produce. Overall, I thought the process was really innovative and creative. It is something that he can completely say is his own. Not a lot of people can say that they created a new way of capturing images. Especially something so mobile and freeing.

Lakeview Park

Today we learned about more lighting techniques using reflectors, natural light and LED lights. It was fun to play around with the different tools and explore the park with Liz and Diana. It was really hot but we were still able to find shade and capture light on the reflectors. We came across a dock with a mother and baby asked her politely if we could photograph them. Also, we got her email so we could send the photos to her. They were watching the ducks and the other kids throw bread in the water. Overall, I loved the location and it is so close to campus! I want to go there at sunset because I feel like the colors will be really pretty. The one thing I was I had done was try to get more full body pictures so maybe that is something I can work on for next time.

Letters to a Young Artist: Mentors

I was looking through the book and came upon a letter titled Mentors. I have had many mentors in my life and a quote I liked was, “…a mentor is someone who takes the responsibility of ‘schooling you,’ showing you the ropes, bringing you through the system. I think of them also as inspirational people who have broken ground or lit a path.” I thought about who that might be for me and family was the obvious answer. I have had inspiration and schooling from all of my family. So in order to represent that I was able to gather items from around my room and place them strategically in the frame. turned off all the lights in the room and side lighted all the items with my phone flashlight. I wanted stark shadows and bright highlights. In the photo starting on the left and moving to the right is a dolphin cut out of wood that was made for me as a child by my grandpa Weslye, on its nose is my great grandmother Josephines wedding ring with the inscription “No Other” who survived as a widow mother of three in the great depression. The small pot was made by my grandma Ann who was a potter, sculptor, and free spirit until dementia hit. Then there is an wood burned mirror that belonged to my aunt Rachel. In front of it is a pineapple paper weight from my step grandma Faith’s office where she worked as a publisher and missionary. Next to that is an ivory ring box that belonged to my great aunt Judy who was an amazing business woman. On top of that is a gold ring with a ruby center that belonged to my grandma Adele, given to her by her loving husband Weslye. Hanging above is a necklace given to me for my high school graduation by my mother Kellye. The brass woman in the foreground is a dinner bell passed down throughout many generations on my mothers side and created a beautiful shadow on the book. The book in the background is written by my great grandmother Evelina and published by my grandma Faith but the inscription is to me from my Grandpa Al who was a navy admiral and reverend into his old age. The last item is my fathers police badge that represents his 27 years of service to the San Diego Police Department. So, after that very long explanation of this photo, every person represented has mentored me in one way or another and has led me to be who I am now!


Studio Portrait Lighting

First of all, I love studio lighting! It was so fun to take pictures of all my classmates and figure out what kind of lighting and exposure that I like. I figured out that I love underexposing images with high lighting and contrast. We tried different styles including, broad, short, side, Rembrandt, and butterfly lighting. One of my favorites was the side lighting on Diana. I had a few from that set up that I really loved. The one of the letterman jacket is also a favorite and I think it looks almost like a clothing advertisement. Overall I had a lot of fun in the studio and it was nice to learn from both Jerry and Professor D. I think I will use the studio more in the future because I love the way my photos turned out.