Looking Back

14 Aug

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The Squad

The four weeks at TISCH were crazy, and I needed a few days to detox from the experience.

From guests artists to class field trips, our days were always packed with something different and exciting. We truly did see as much as the city as possible in the short time that we spent living in New York. Going into the program, I was very closed-minded as a photographer. When I shot outside of my home city, Boston, I never ventured far outside of my comfort zone. I’d generally stick to the obvious landmarks of the place I was in, or ride the subway and shoot some of the major stations. Never in a million years would I have guessed that my first project in the program would be based on the skateboarding culture of New York City. I had never been to a legitimate skatepark prior to going to the one at Pier 62. I didn’t really know what to expect going in, but I was engulfed in the culture almost instantly. I was surprised that the skaters had formed such a tight brotherhood, and they acted as a group, not individuals. As an outsider with a camera, they accepted me into their group with enthusiasm that someone would be photographing them while they do what they love. This is so similar to the photography family that I was a part of for the past four weeks. Everybody in the program wanted everybody else to be successful, and helped others when they needed it. Despite being strangers on day one, our class grew to become closer than I could have ever imagined in just a short four weeks. Going into the program I expected to have a lot of fun taking pictures and challenging my skills, but I could have never imagined the friendships that I would make. And I’m really thankful for that.

- Christopher Owens

Family Dinner to Start the Week Off Right!

5 Aug

Family Dinner at Villa Mosconi

Hello! My name is Jennifer Levin and I am from Chicago, IL. Today we worked on our final projects. It has been a long day as we start really getting into all the little details on our personal vision. As we start the last week, we have taken all our knowledge from the last three weeks and applied it to our idea for our final project. It is sad to think that we only have four days left working together here at NYU. It has been an amazing experience thus far and I know this week will really add to the amazing experience as we have our final exhibition this Friday. As a great way to end the day and kick start the last week, we had a family dinner at Villa Mosconi in Greenwich Village. It was nice to spend a night together with good food and friends, teachers and administrators! Here is a photo from the evening.

-Jenn

TA Post: To Infinity and Beyond

3 Aug

Hey Tischtographers,

For the other readers of this blog, I’ll take a second to introduce myself.   My name is George Brooks and I’m a teaching assistant at the summer high school program.  I am also a recent alum of the department of Photography and Imaging at Tisch.  I want to take this opportunity to recap what we have done in the past few weeks and share some great resources that will hopefully help you in the future when you continue to experiment with some of the processes we have learned so far, and serve as an introduction to some techniques and equipment that we have not had time to discuss but that you might want to utilize someday.

So far, we have discussed capturing, managing, editing, and printing digital images captured with DSLRs, as well as shooting, processing and printing from 35mm black and white film.  We have also experimented with studio lighting and off camera flash, and some of you have begun working in the studio with professional strobes and hot lights.  This is all very difficult stuff and lot to remember, I know.  You have all done an amazing job mastering these skills quickly and most of all, remembering the plethora of technical details that we have thrown at you.  Kudos! However, after the program ends this week and you all go your separate ways (sad, I know), when you are no longer working in the studio, the lab, or the darkroom every single day (though hopefully still actively shooting and working with your images!!), all of this information may become difficult to remember in such detail.  Hopefully you all have taken copious notes, but just in case you’ve been lagging, here are some great online resources that you can access any time, anywhere, if you ever experience a mental lapse.

Analog Photography and Darkroom Printing

Freestyle Photo

Native Angelenos  might be familiar with this wonderful photography store, which is about 90% dedicated to analog equipment and processes.  Though they don’t sell many cameras or camera accessories, Freestyle’s mail order system serves diehard analog junkies nationwide.  If you ever need film, paper, chemistry, alternative process supplies, medium and large format accessories or darkroom equipment, if Freestyle doesn’t have it, no one does.  Furthermore, Freestyle boasts and experienced staff who have created an impressive collection of articles on analog photography and darkroom printing.  Be sure to check it out!  If you want to experiment, don’t miss their articles on alternative and historical processes!

APUG – Analog Photography Users Group

APUG has some fantastic articles and blogs on analog photography.  They also have a very large and active community which posts regularly on their forum.  If you ever have any questions about analog, this would be a great place to start!  They also have a large classifieds section which might be the best place to get your hands on some hard-to-find vintage equipment!

George’s Intro to Large Format Photography

Unfortunately, we didn’t have the chance to experiment with medium or large format cameras this month, but I would encourage all of you to try it at some point if you can get access to the equipment!  The advantages of larger formats are immense, and you can read about them on this site, which I made as a final project for my web design class a couple years back.  It also has a section with some detailed tutorials that will take you through the entire process of shooting 4×5, from loading film to shooting to processing to scanning and printing.

Stand Development Tutorial

Another process we didn’t get to talk about (but its one of my favorites) is called stand developing.  Basically, you use a very weak dilution of a special developer called Rodinal (which I use for almost everything, and I highly recommend it. The original formula dates back to 1918!) and “set it and forget it.”  In other words, you let the film develop for an hour or more with no agitation.  Normally, we use developer that is way stronger than is needed to fully develop our film.  The advantage is faster processing times, but this is exactly why time and temperature are so critical when developing film.  With stand developing, the idea is that you use just enough developer to fully develop the negative and no more, so time and temperature are way less critical, and you can mix different film speeds in the same batch.  You also get much smoother contrast between highlights and shadows, resulting in a much more versatile negative.  Its a pretty complex process that requires a bit of experience with photo chemistry, and I don’t expect any of you to go off and do this the second you get home, but its a really fantastic process to familiarize yourselves with, especially if you plan on studying photography in college.  And this is by far the most thorough tutorial I’ve found on the topic to date.

Digital Resources

The Digital Picture

The Digital Picture is probably my favorite resource for reviews and information about the latest equipment.  While the site is focused mainly on Canon equipment, there is a small section on Nikon gear as well.  But by far my favorite part of this site is the lens comparison tool.  Its really helpful when trying to figure out which lenses to buy.  You might be shocked at the quality of some of the third party lenses out there these days! Definitely check out the reviews on this site before you buy your next piece of equipment.  There’s also a pretty extensive section of digital tips and tricks.

KenRockwell.com

Ken Rockwell has been writing reviews for this site for almost two decades now.  It is probably  the most comprehensive collection of camera, lens and accessory reviews available anywhere.  What I like most about Ken is his ability to think realistically, his bias is towards helping you make the best possible images with the most basic equipment, rather than promoting the most expensive and newest professional toys.  Though his reviews can often be very technical and thorough, they’re written in language that anyone can understand.  In many ways, KenRockwell.com is the Nikon-focused counterpart to The Digital Image, though the review styles are quite different.  Definitely check it out before your next purchase!

Strobist

The definitive resource for tips and tricks for off camera flash.  If you enjoyed working with off camera flashes during the program (and I know many of you did), this is definitely a site to check out.  It’s pretty amazing what can be accomplished these days with some very basic and inexpensive lighting setups, and Strobist is the place to go to learn how!  You might be surprised what you can accomplish with the equipment you already have!

MacRumors Forum

You might be thinking: “what the heck does MacRumors have to do with photography?!”  Well, honestly, not a whole lot.  BUT, the forum section of the website is a truly fantastic resource for all of your computer related questions, and let’s be honest, computers are just as important to photography as cameras are these days.  If you ever have an issue with your mac, the macrumors forums might be a better place to start than the Genius Bar.  Members are all extremely knowledgeable and are usually pretty good at responding quickly.  I also really like to keep up to date on the latest rumors to avoid buying an outdated computer weeks before the new model comes out.  The worst!

Lynda.com

Lynda.com is an amazing collection of incredibly in depth tutorials on almost any piece of software you can imagine!  While the service normally costs $25 per month, while you still have access to your NYU Home accounts, you can log on to Lynda for free!  (I’m not sure if you all will still be able to access NYU Home after you leave, but give Lynda a try while you still can, you might find it is worth the subscription price for a few months).

Work Day

2 Aug

Today was a work day for all of us. In the morning, some of us spent the time before lunch working in the Digital Lab, while some of us went shooting outside. The time was spent in order to further our progress on our Personal Vision projects. After lunch we went the the ICP Museum, where we got a tour through the Caio Reisewitz and Urbes Mutantes: Latin American Photography Exhibits. We were encouraged by our guide to share our opinions on some of the work on show, and we learned as we heard each other talk about our ideas on the photography. We were fascinated by the collage photography in the Reisewitz exhibit, and the tricks it played on our eyes. After the ICP Museum and dinner we congregated back at the Tisch Building for Open Lab time. Some spent the time working again in the lab, some in the studio, and others out on the streets working on our projects.

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Caio Reisewitz

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Nacho López, Teachers’ Strike (Huelga de maestros), Mexico City, 1957.

Caio Reisewitz

1 Aug

Street art in Chelsea

Street art in Chelsea

Hi! My name is Carly Fiest and I am a rising junior from Ocean Township, New Jersey. Today for class we had multiple field trips to galleries in Chelsea. The beginning of my day was filled with wonderful color images from the early 1900s. The photos were interesting because they seemed so modern even though they were so old. Also the images were created during a time when color images were not considered artistic, so the series was interesting in an historical context as well. However, my afternoon was not as pleasing. After lunch we visited a gallery showing Larry Clark’s Luhring Augustine photo series on “kids on the brink of becoming men and women.” The exhibit contains collages of pictures of penises, vaginas, and people having sex. I found the work that in the realm of pornography and not art. I was upset by what I saw and I wished that I was warned of the content of the exhibit before walking into the gallery.

Critique III

30 Jul
critique part I

The group critiques Rafik, Sydney Smith, and I’s project

Panorama view of 3 of the 5 projects

Hello everyone! My Name is Hailey Burns and I’m from Short Hills, New Jersey (just about 40 minutes out of the city). Today was another exhausting day, but of course, rewarding as always. We started off the morning with a criqute of our collaborative portrait assigments. This has been our third group critique since the beginning of the program, and its no surprise these discussions have gotten more extensive each time. One change that is evident is our ability to give and receive constructive criticism. Opposed to week one, we are no longer afraid of opening up and pushing our new friends to become better photographers for the next time around. In the afternoon we were introduced (in detail) to our last project of the course: the Personal Vision assignment. No spoilers for our plans just quite yet, but everyone coming up with some really great and creative ideas! Crazy how we only have one week left, it seems like just yesterday I was jumping up and down in Washington Square Park because I had just taken my first picture on a film camera.

Final Touches to Collaborative Portrait Assignment and Guest Artist from TIME Magazine: Jonathan D. Woods

29 Jul
Jonathan Woods from TIME Magazine and Olivia Jankoski.

Jonathan Woods from TIME Magazine and Olivia Jankoski.

Hello my name is Rafik Greiss, I am a 16-year-old High School student from Egypt, currently living in London. During the morning of the Photography and Imaging class today, each Collaborative Portrait group got together and completed any final prints to add to each series. We completed any final retouching and correction of images and sequenced our images. Later on throughout the day, guest artist Jonathan Woods came in to discuss his career in TIME Magazine and photographic work. His work was very inspiring, especially his project of about the new Freedom Tower at One World Trade Center.  It was truly amazing to see him speak about the entire process of him taking the photograph, and all the problems he had stumbled upon and overtaken. He then took the time to critique and give us feedback on our portrait project. Furthermore, Bayeté assigned the class the Personal Vision Assignment and showed us work of a few photographers to inspire us and to get us to brainstorm. During open lab tonight, each group finished up their Collaborative Portrait assignment and hung up their photos.

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