Thursday, June 19, 2014

Portraits at the Politecnico

While the fashion shoot was happening on one set at the Politecnico Di Milano, some students were shooting portraits on a side set.

















Portraits of Venice

          When I first heard about the extra credit portraits of Venice assignment, I was not sure if I would do it or not. I absolutely love shooting landscapes, so I had thought I wanted to focus purely on that during our day in Venice. After we arrived, however, the friendliness and openness of the local Venetians took me by surprise. It seemed as if as soon as I pointed my camera towards someone, they instantly took on a new persona and posed for my shot. To be honest, I had expected people to be more hostile towards getting their photographs taken. Not only were people excited to get their photographs taken, they were also interested in making conversation and seeing their images. Overall, Venice is my favorite city that we visited during this trip. I felt the most connected to its people and its landscape. If I could go back to Venice, I think that I would definitely continue the portrait series. I would love to pair my portraits with a landscape of the environment that surrounds the person.   

Culture at Rest

           After spending the past few weeks anticipating our time in Como, I found myself anxious to finally arrive and begin shooting. To me, Como has been a refreshing contrast in comparison with the previous two cities we visited. Although I love both Florence and Milan for many reasons, so far Como has been the most enlightening city for me. Maybe I am a bit naïve, but for some reason I had imagined Como to be much more of a remote town than it is. When we arrived in Como, the beauty of the lake and the mountains instantly mesmerized me. I feel as if everywhere you look in Como is a photograph waiting to be captured.

            When it came to creating images for the Culture at Rest assignment, I had a hard time deciding exactly what my interpretation would be. At first, I was going to photograph only empty chairs and tables of restaurants. This was meant to symbolize the hustle and bustle of Como’s social life at a halt. I included a few of these images in my final selections, however, as I was shooting I found the need to expand my concept further. Originally, I was not going to include any portraits in my images for this project. Once we arrived in Bellagio, I found the people to be far too interesting not to capture them. That being said, I decided to shoot multiple forms of rest – a house alone in the middle of a mountain, a car hidden in a garage, and families spending time with one another.

Culture at Rest

Como and Bellagio are extremely beautiful. I have never seen mountains like that in my life. It’s definitely a once in a life time experience. It’s calm, relaxing and peaceful. I loved seeing the clusters of houses on the mountain and the individual ones that sat up even higher. I personally love being by the water and the influence that atmosphere has on me. Being there gives me an overall happiness and liveliness, it always has since I was younger at a camp my family had on a lake upstate. Since it’s been a few years since I’ve gotten to be there being in Como and Bellagio has revamped that feeling I had a kid. 

For Culture at Rest I chose to capture people in the Como area hanging out and living and enjoying the environment. I don’t feel the most comfortable shooting people at random, it’s kind of a hit or miss for me. Some will be really nice and some not so much. I feel rushed because I don’t want the people to notice me taking their picture all the time so this is where I feel like I loose the composition aspect. I really wanted to make these good images, but I do believe I fell short on it. It ends up being snap shot like and as much as I like to think it’s a good image that thought comes back up. I personally didn’t find a lot different activities. I found fishing, eating, boating and people hanging out in groups. 

Culture at Rest

The town of Como is a very relaxing and peaceful place to be not only for the locals, but also for the tourists that flock from the surrounding areas to visit. When I was walking around the area to complete the “culture at rest” assignment, I found myself taking a lot of pictures. There were so many people taking in their surroundings in such a restful manner that I had multiple images to choose from. When it came time to edit down my pictures to five, I decided to showcase both the background of Como and Bellagio, as well as incorporating people who look very at ease in the environment. Since Como is such a beautiful city, I tried to include the mountains as well as the lake, but if the people looked very comfortable in a setting that didn’t include these things, I added these pictures to the mix for that reason. This was probably my favorite assignment simply because I loved photographing Como and its people. The city is my favorite one we have been to thus far because it is so calm and peaceful that it is hard to not be at ease when in a place like Como. I must have taken hundreds and hundreds of images of the landscape that surrounds Lake Como because it is so picturesque. I will definitely miss Como and its people.

Culture at Rest - Assignment 7

Culture at Rest was the assignment I struggled with most.  At first I’d ask people if it were okay to photograph them.  However, I found that when I’d start to photograph them, they were no longer resting, which made the photos look very unnatural and posed.  For that reason, I was determined to photograph people actually resting.  However, I struggled with my decision to approach the assignment in that manner.   It felt invasive to photograph people while they were resting and that sense of voyeurism made me feel quite uncomfortable.

Some of my other classmates dealt with this by using a zoom lens at 200-300mm.  However, I didn’t have that advantage because the maximum zoom on my lens was 55mm.  Nonetheless, I was still determined to capture shots that were uniquely my own.

However, things became even more interested when my shutter button started having issues.  It would get stuck every time I took a photograph, so in most of my photos the shutter curtain is visible.  For that reason, I had to crop most of my photos in post-production, which is why some look like bookmarks.

Ultimately, my goal in this assignment was to capture the different ways people rest in Como.  I decided to focus on couples, animals, and modes of transportation.

This couple intrigued me because their body language suggested that they were really into each other.  Their legs were overlapping and they were just gazing into one another’s eyes.  However, that changed a bit when I interrupted them to ask if I could take a photo.  

After my interruption had affected how the first couple interacted with the camera present, I decided not to bother this couple and shot them from the back.  What I loved about both couples is that they really seemed to be enjoying Como with one another, whether it was nature or simply the good conversation. 

I had jokingly mentioned a few times that I wanted to capture animals at rest.  However, the calming nature of Como really did create the opportunity for me to capture this.

This dog was so adorable and excited to jump in the water.  I asked her pet parents if it were okay if I photographed her while she went for a swim.

Boats, cars, bikes.  The people in Como weren’t shy about exploring different modes of transportation to add to their experience there.  I captured this photo while sitting on the steps between some bushes.  I was actually waiting for a motorbike to pass by, but felt this convertible was perfect for capturing the laid back atmosphere.

I was really determined to get a boat shot, but was at a disadvantage because of the short zoom on my lens.  However, this fella came fairly close by while he was enjoying the pleasure of his own company.  At first I though he was nude, but then I realized he had on briefs.  I love this photo because it also captures the scenery in the background.

Culture at Rest

I really enjoyed this assignment. Bellagio was such a beautiful place that finding examples of culture at rest was an easy task. All of the people there seemed so peaceful and relaxed that I then felt relaxed and I was really able to enjoy my time there. The view was stunning from every angel and the atmosphere was very "vacation" like. We found quite a few people who had actually fallen asleep while staring at the view and listening to the waves. I tried to find people who were alone and who looked tranquil or who looked like they were really taking in the view. Examples were very easy to find and I had more options for this assignment then any other assignment.