Pechanga Indian Reservation

I really enjoyed this day at the Pechanga Indian Reservation! I wasn’t sure what to expect, I thought we would just be seeing the Great Oak, but getting a tour and exploring the land was great. We learned about the different plants and their uses, the Great Oak, which is the largest in the United States, and wandered around the land seeing the natural outdoor homes and kitchens once used. I loved learning about the culture and being there made it easier to imagine what life was like especially before industrialization. Magic hour provided some great light that made everything look more beautiful and I was also able to catch a still picture of my bunny friend who stayed nearby for 5 or 10 minutes.

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Elfin Forest

Our class went to Elfin Forest on Monday. The weather was nice and warm and the landscape was beautiful and green from all the rain we’ve had. One of the main goals of this shoot was to get a picture of the water using a slow shutter speed. It took me a little while to get it right and figure out the metering. I couldn’t achieve what I was trying to do at first because it was too light outside. I took a ton of pictures of the water with a slower shutter speed, but ended up not loving most of them. I am happy with how the other pictures I posted turned out, though.

Final Project!

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Above is the link to my completed final project about the power of yoga.

I’m really happy with how it turned out, and I feel I was able to bring my vision to life that I proposed in the beginning. I had doubts early on, I found it quite hard to coordinate photoshoots with my schedule and the people I photographed, but luckily it all worked out and I was able to get everything I needed. I knew this was something I was passionate about, but I enjoyed the process far more than I expected. Some of the people in this project I know, and a few I met through a friend. It was really great to gain greater perspective through these new people and to create something beautiful with all of them. One of the most rewarding parts was hearing them say what a cool experience it was, and to hear how much they loved the pictures. The sunsets and candlelight exceeded in making everything more magical and peaceful.

MOPA Defying Darkness Exhibit

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The “Defying Darkness” exhibit at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park held several images, all taken in the night, and goes to show the mysterious beauty of darkness. Upon first entering the exhibit where you can read about what you will be seeing, they explained how, “photographers have been drawn to the challenge of making images after dark… this continued artistic fascination” drives this interest, with the most successful images leaving the viewer with unanswered questions.

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My favorite photograph from the exhibit, pictured above, is titled “End of the Party, Highgate, London” by Thurston Hopkins. In this photo, you see a couple sitting outside on a couch after a party. I love the candid feel of this photo, like they have no idea they are being photographed. Although it is at night, the couple is well-lit and easy to see. It is lighthearted and feels romantic, like they are reveling in the joy of the party that has ended.

Another favorite, also above, is titled “North Point of Mt. Everest, by Moonlight, with Star Tracks” by Marion Patterson. I enjoy landscape photography and the star tracks give this photo a whimsical feel. An already beautiful, mysterious mountain top, looks even more so in this bright, starry photo. Although it is a night shot, the lightness in the photo draws me in more and adds great color.

I also loved the first photo below, “Another Late Night Campfire, Oregon Coastline” by  Chris McCaw. I love the illumination of the surfboards by the fire. It is a scene that would be hard to capture, but this picture accurately portrays how it would look and feel to be there. Part of what makes night photography special, is being able to capture the moments that aren’t always able to be captured based on the dark lighting.

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I enjoyed this exhibit and seeing the way so many different photographers use light, or lack-there-of, to photograph objects, places, and people in darkness.

Assignments

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Three of my favorite assignments this semester were Ways of Seeing, the Environmental Portrait, and the Photo Booth project. I liked the Ways of Seeing assignment because it was a great learning experience. Even though it wasn’t the first time I’ve used a DSLR, it was the first time using one while trying to use the correct settings, which can be difficult to learn. Most of my pictures turned out under exposed but doing that first assignment helped me get more comfortable with the camera for the remaining assignments. Another assignment I liked was the environmental portrait. I enjoyed getting to know a fellow student and trying to capture her in an accurate environment. We were crunched on time but we made it work and I am happy with how the photo turned out. One of my favorite assignments this semester was the Photo Booth project. I was nervous about this project but it somehow all fell together and I enjoyed the process of choosing a background and seeing both the curiosity and generosity of people in the community.

An assignment that wasn’t my favorite was the Panoramics. I think it’s one of those things where now that I’ve done it, I could do it much better and with more ease if I were to do it again. I was a little unsure of what I was doing and struggled the most with the vertical pano. Overall, I’m glad it’s something we did, but it wasn’t my favorite.

One of the best parts of this class was Professor DiBenedetto constantly pushing us out of our comfort zones, it always pays off and leaves you with more experience and insight than you had before.