A Photography Student’s Point of View on VSCO Cam

Hey guys!

VSCO cam–one of the most popular photo editing apps of our teenage generation…but not for a reason that I am very proud of. We are the generation of photo editing, Instagram and an overwhelming overflow of social media. I fully support the convenience of being able to take and edit photos on a whim, however, I am not the biggest fan of people thinking that a bad photo can be fixed with a nice filter. Obviously this app is not the reason for this plague of poor quality editing, but I have noticed that the popularity of filtering photos has skyrocketed since the app became more popular about two years ago. I follow my fair share of friends/family, celebrities, photographers, and companies on Instagram, and other than photographers and companies, pretty much everyone else is guilty of this. Even looking back on my old photos, I cringe seeing the amount of times I used the P5 filter on VSCO to edit a photo. Now, I focus on using the lowest concentration of a filter on a photo for the gram, and I use filters that accentuate the best parts of the photo. In fact, taking a photography course at FIT has made me focus more on certain aspects of a photo that cannot be fixed with a simple filter. In the studio I have learned how to control the lighting, and shadows, and angles present in my shot, and using the darkroom for printing has exposed me to the rawest form of editing, because I can only control the exposure and contrast when printing film in black and white. I have even had conversations with other Precollege students, both in and out of the photography department, agreeing that cell phone photo editing can almost be annoying because of how everyone suddenly thinks they are a professional photographer by slapping a pretty filter on a poorly constructed photo. I have a lot of respect for people that don’t even edit their photos (#nofilter), and most of my peers at FIT follow that trend. A trend that has been dying out is having an attractive Instagram “theme”–having the same filter and color scheme throughout their photos. I feel that along with the trend of unedited models and people with more ‘realistic’ body types being showcased in the media has had an effect on this. While people’s Instagram feeds may not be as aesthetically pleasing, each individual photo is now a lot more quality and just overall gives off better vibes because you are looking at what actually happened. In my opinion, I would rather look at a raw and maybe not 100% perfect photo, rather than an over edited and unnaturally posed picture. Abusing filters and being able to skew people’s perception of you and your life via social media is something that I am very against and I honestly just lose some respect for someone when they are too in over their head about themselves and their feed. Another quick complaint I have about VSCO is how people use this platform to showcase the parts of their life that they want people to know about, but don’t want to completely publicize. This totally differs depending on where you live. I’ve noticed that people that I follow from NYC, and more specifically FIT,  have tasteful and artistic photos posted up to their VSCO page–perfect! And then there’s people in my town. Selfies, parties, vaping, vandalism, selfies, screenshots of text messages with their significant others (what filter are you even going to put on a text message???), oh, and more selfies. I personally rarely update my VSCO profile, but when I do it’s usually pictures from shoots with my friends or vacation pics taken on my camera. Again, I feel very strongly about this due to my involvement with photography and the arts, especially now that I have some experience in a more professional photography environment thanks to the Precollege program. Below I’ll post some screenshots of Instagram profiles to showcase examples of what I have been ranting about this entire time. 

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An aesthetically pleasing Instagram theme that highlights golds and pale accents

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Filter options on this popular editing app–VSCO

My good friend and also a pre college student that has adapted the 'no filter' theme for his Instagram profile

My good friend and also a pre college student that has adapted the ‘no filter’ theme for his Instagram profile

 

Do any of you guys have social media pet peeves? How do you feel about modern photo editing? 

Until next week,

-Francesca

Photo Blog: FIT Through My Eyes

I start my morning with a Gregory's Macchiato and Parfait!

I start my morning with a Gregory’s Macchiato and Parfait!

There's alwasy a starting point! This is my progress 20 minutes into a drawing.

There’s alwasy a starting point! This is my progress 20 minutes into a drawing.

As time goes on, I rework and add shades of color into the drawing using Pastels.

As time goes on, I rework and add shades of color into the drawing using Pastels.

The homework is then collected and hung on the wall for critique.

The homework is then collected and hung on the wall for critique.

Thanks for reading!
Until next week,
Kathleen

First Studio Shoot Experience and Final Project Progress

Hi Precollegers!

Over this past weekend I had the opportunity of conducting two photoshoots for my class at FIT. One was in the studio here at school, and my second one was the next day, to show progress on my final project. This post will be divided into two my two shoots, and to describe my experience with both–obviously I will include some photos for you all, too.

On Saturday I participated in my first studio shoot, and while some parts were obviously hectic, it was a very rewarding experience. After setting up lights, reflectors, backdrops, and props, the half of my class that was shooting this class spent the rest of our time shooting each other. At one point we borrowed mannequins that were just chilling in the hallway and used them for comical photos that actually came out pretty well. It was overwhelming at times when having to quickly switch from a digital to film camera, and having to balance modeling one second, to helping someone reflect lighting correctly the next. The only major issue I had while shooting was how warm I became after a while due to my jacket and hat that I kept on because people wanted to use me as a model because of my interesting outfit. Hopefully the final pictures will prove that me overheating will have been worth it–I have a pretty good feeling that it was. Personally, the easiest things to shoot were the headshots, just because the only focus of the photo was the upper body and they could be the most simplistic photos, style wise. I had a great time taking headshots of one girl in my class because she has insanely beautiful curly red hair and porcelain skin, which highlights her bright blue eyes even more. I loved using the reflectors to correct the lighting of the shots; I never realized how much of a difference good lighting could make. Here are a few of my favorite shots from Saturday–both serious and joke photos:

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On Sunday I was determined to start my final project, which is a series of photos surrounding a theme of your choosing. I have decided to center mine around societal beauty standards—cliche, I know, but I will go more in depth about my concept and execution of my idea in my final blog post of the semester, dedicated to final projects. My close friend Anna agreed to be my model for this shoot, and she was the perfect choice. This shoot could be slightly controversial, due to minor nudity (don’t worry she is in nude underwear and bra), so I’m only going to post photos here that don’t show too much skin. The shoot didn’t take long to set up, being that it was mostly taken in my bathtub, but it took FOREVER to clean up. Glitter will go everywhere and anywhere and I owe Anna big time for doing everything that she did for me. Only the most genuine friends will agree to let you strip them down and smear glitter on their face and stick it on her tongue for aesthetic purposes. I wouldn’t be surprised if she still was finding glitter in her underwear a week later. I still have to shoot part 1 of this project with Anna (parts 2 and 3 are what I shot Sunday)–I’m sure she’ll be ecstatic to know that now I have to take pictures of her with a glittery face in PUBLIC!! Here are some of my favorite and audience appropriate photos from this shoot:

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Let me know your opinions on both shoots in the comments below–have any of you ever created controversial art?

See you next week!

-Francesca

Introducing Precollege Blogger: Hannah

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Hello FIT! My name is Hannah Zwick and I’m a high school junior from Long Island, which is just about as exciting as it sounds. My hobbies include (but are not limited to) watching Parks & Rec while eating frozen yogurt and rapping the entirety of Hamilton the Musical verbatim. Alternatively, I love fashion and everything about it- the creativity it allows and just how many elements there are within its crazy world. Right now at school I’m doing an independent study on the psychology of fashion, which has been incredibly interesting to research and even more fun to write about. Ever since elementary school I’ve adored writing (at that time it was mainly poetry, I was a pretty pretentious eight-year-old) and at this point in my life it’s what I’m looking to do with my future. That’s why I’m taking fashion journalism this spring- it combines my two favorite things (besides the previously noted Hamilton) and will hopefully further my interest in a career as a fashion writer/magazine editor.

I’m very glad that nowhere in the blogger application was I asked to “describe my style in 5 words”, because I’m truly awful at it. I would’ve stumbled over the question for a few minutes before begrudgingly typing something like “60s, tomboy, denim, French, cool?” and this is only because that’s what I imagine Alexa Chung would’ve said. If you were to ask my friends/classmates that same question they probably would’ve said “hipster!” five times (if I had a nickel…) Besides that, I’m constantly being told my style is “unique”, but that’s because everyone on Long Island dresses the same! I’m not knocking that look, but seeing Uggs folded with precision over leggings can get so boring! Personal style is a weird concept because anyone with ‘good’ style is just swiping ideas from other people. Alexa Chung is my gospel, along with her predecessors Jane Birkin and Françoise Hardy. The rest of my look is stolen from music and movies; which are, as far as I’m concerned, the secret to shaping any aspect of your life. That’s why blogging is so exciting, I have access to everything that inspires me at the tap of a button, which I can then further share with my own additional witty commentary! I’m excited to hopefully do exactly that for you: fellow pre-college students, thanks for reading!

Introducing Precollege Blogger: Miranda

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I’d like to be able to say that I’ve been expanding my drawing skills for many years, but to tell you the truth I’ve only recently started. Many people assume that most great artists were naturally born with the ability to paint a picture like the Mona Lisa, but don’t understand that it takes an extraordinary amount of ambition and drive. Drawing is one of those things where you can’t judge too harshly. I know from experience that kids can be very critical of their artwork and this is something I try to avoid. I feel that by keeping an open mind, your art will show more development and improvement.

My grandmother has had a huge impact on my artwork and my perspective of the world. Growing up, her views were completely different from her family’s. She loved all kinds of music, especially jazz, she married a man of a different race than hers (something that wasn’t done in the 1950s) and she had an interesting and spunky way of looking at the world. Her parents did not support her interest in art, and she never really did get to pursue her dreams. I’m like my grandma in many ways. We both LOVE music and art, but today I’m able to like whatever creative thing I’m into, a freedom she didn’t have. I hope that through my art, some of her determination will shine through as well.

At FIT, I’m taking the “Life Drawing for Middle School” class. I think FIT is a great way for kids to get some instruction in art, and it gives them a tremendous advantage when applying for art high schools and colleges. I’ve never written in a blog before, so I hope that it will expand my horizons and expose me to an awesome experience. I think my main goal in FIT is to put forth my best effort, that’s really all anyone can ask of me. I also want to construct a portfolio to help me get into Fiorello H. LaGuardia Arts High School. Once a month, I take sketching classes at the Met – they have so many beautiful paintings and art pieces; it’s very hard to pick only one to draw! I hope that FIT will challenge me to take risks with my artwork and give me the chance to let my true colors show!

Peace out,

Miranda