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.
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.
Landscape photos inspired by Art Wolfe. I tried to use Art’s tips on not always having the subject right in the middle and also tried to think a little more abstractly while having a point of focus. It was very foggy on the coast this day, which in some photos looked great, but others looked a little blown out.
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.
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.
Last night in class we had a guest speaker talk to us about his photography and shooting at night, and then we were able to walk around campus and experiment with night shooting and longer exposure times. I love these kind of pictures with the light and did it once with friends a few years ago. Putting these photos in black and white and increasing the contrast and highlights made them very vibrant. I had fun shooting and editing these, and thanks to Kiki for her awesome mini light saber.