Final Project

The final project was completely open ended. Since we got to choose whatever we wanted to shoot, I decided I wanted to to focus on nature. Over the course of the semester I have incorporated some elements of the seasons into my photos, but I have never focused solely on nature. I wanted to spend time honing in on specific details because photographs of nature are probably some of my favorites to take.

Over the weekend I went to Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord, MA. Although it was supposed to be sunny the whole day, it ended up turning cloudy and gray about halfway through my shoot. This change in light resulted in differentiation of light from picture to picture. Some turned out really bright making the natural colors stand out and look almost fake which is why I had to turn the saturation down on several of my pictures.

I was also torn on whether or not to include people in my photos as I wanted to focus the organic, untouched feeling of nature; I did not want it to look staged. Going there I had the intentions of not having anyone in them, however, when I started walking around, I noticed that there were a lot of people simply enjoying the scenery and weather. A lot of my pictures with people in them were taken without them knowing. This was important to me because I wanted to capture them in their element however they were in that moment that I happened to stumble across them.


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Our assignment was to tell a story using only 5-6 images. With summer just around the corner, my goal was to capture the feel of an American patriotic BBQ. I also wanted to get various angles and perspectives that went along with the process of a BBQ by starting with cooking the food and then finally eating it.

Boston Field Trip

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All of the advanced photography classes at CCHS were invited on a field trip to Boston, MA to take pictures on May 2. We were given freedom on what to shoot, but were supposed to focus on architecture, people, and details. We walked from our school to the train station and took the train to South Station. Each chaperone had a small group of students so we could venture off to all different parts of the city and explore what inspired us individually. From South Station my group and I walked to Chinatown where we shot and later had lunch.

My goal on this field trip was to capture the essence of Boston as best as I could in my photographs. I wanted someone who had never been to the city before to be able to feel the energy that this cultural place beholds. Living so close to Boston my whole life, it was great to experience it from the view of my camera lens and discover places I had never even known existed. This unfamiliarity allowed for a fresh perspective on a place I thought I knew so well.

I learned a lot about street photography. It was really interesting to see peoples reaction to us. Some people smiled or posed while others looked confused or got angry about their picture being taken. Taking pictures of total strangers and things on the fly was practically foreign to me as I had never really put myself in a situation to do so prior to this trip. I think that putting myself out there really helped me grow as a photographer. It is important to go outside of your comfort zone in order to continuously improve. Looking back at my pictures I came to the realization that many of my best pictures were ones that I took the least time planning and setting up. Being a perfectionist, this made me recognize the fact you do not always need to focus on every little detail to take a successful picture.

April Vacation

Over April vacation our assignment was to shoot 200 images of anything that we wanted. I went back to my old elementary school’s playground to take photos with my friends. It was really interesting to be back at a place that used to be so familiar, but suddenly felt so much smaller. My goal was to get different angles and colors to represent my new and different perspective.

Photo Essay Review: “Recording Music, With a Camera”

Matt McCann is the writer and Tamir Kalifa is the photographer from the New York Times “Lensblog” (Feb. 16, 2015). “Recording Music, With a Camera” is about how Tamir Kalifa’s photography reconnected him to his music career. He records the band Mother Falcon’s journey through music to maintain both of his passions, music and photography.

I find the story behind the pictures really interesting especially how it all started. Tamir Kalifa always had an interest in photography, videotaping, and making documentaries and was invited by Nick Gregg to come and take pictures of his band which later resulted in him joining the band. It is really inspiring to see someone not choose between their two passions, but instead find a way to incorporate both of them together showing that it is possible to successfully balance multiple interests. The band also offers a summer music lab where he teaches middle and high school students about being in a band also about photographing it. It is really great to see someone use a passion that they found and share it with others to inspire them to do the same.

Tamir Kalifa decided to record his love for music by taking pictures which is so interesting because you are using a different sense, sight, than you normally would in regards to music to get an emotional reaction from an image. Just by looking at the photos, anyone can see Kalifa’s feelings toward both his music and photography. He plays skillfully with exposure allowing you to see two images at the same time. He also shows the adventures, both good and bad, the band experiences while on the road. For example, there are pictures of enthusiastic audiences, but also one of their nearly wrecked van. Kalifa beautifully captures the obstacles and the memories of musical events.

48 Hour Photo Journal

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This assignment required a photo to be taken every hour within the approximate first 10 minutes for 48 hours. We were also given the option of whether we wanted to use a regular camera or our cell phones; I chose to use my iPhone. I decided to use this device to shoot because it simply felt more natural because my phone is something I have with me everywhere I go. Carrying around my Canon t3si for two days straight would have felt strange and carrying around such a bulky thing around my neck would have been inconvenient. The point of the assignment was to carry around your camera with you everywhere which is something a lot of us do on a regular basis but do not realize as digital photography has developed by the constantly improving technology on camera phones. The first day that I started shooting, Sunday 4/5/15, it was difficult to get used to due to the timed schedule we were supposed to be on, but it was manageable because I was allowed to be openly using my phone. However, my second day of shooting, Monday 5/6/15, was increasingly harder because it had to be done during a school day during classes. I tried to make myself as discrete as possible, so others would not be aware of what I was doing and make the photos more natural.

Although at times it was challenging, this assignment made me more aware of the environment around me because I was constantly thinking about what I would take a picture of since I could only take one and had one chance to get it right. It required me to focus on the light, angle, and all other aspects that would influence the outcome of the photo. Several images were an example of my failure to do all of these things accurately especially light. However, I feel like this represents the spontaneity of the shot by the fact that none of these photos were edited. Many times, I found it extremely hard to find something interesting to take pictures of that represented that moment in time and what I was feeling during that moment. For example, the photo of the window was taken during my math class when I was struggling with focusing on the material and ended up day dreaming by staring out the window. Also, it was especially difficult on Sunday because for the majority of the day I remained in one location and felt like I was running out of things to take pictures; I wanted my photos to be varied and not of the same subject every time. At first, I was amused by the idea of taking a picture every hour because I was intrigued by the idea of seeing my average day captured in pictures. As the hours went on, it felt like a burden to have to take photos at specific times. I do not feel that photography is something that should be or can be forced. It should be inspired by something that the photographer finds interesting and wants to capture it. However, I did find it fascinating to see my life in the form of pictures and emphasizing small moments that I typically would not have thought twice about. It made me realize how unimportant things to you can be interesting to someone else as a person on the outside looking in. We are so used to our daily routines that it is so empowering and thought provoking to think that someone else may interpret it in an entirely different manner than you would because you have adapted so well to your scheduled life.