Reach for the sun with Professor V

Arriving at the topsy-turvy carnival spin and colors for her “Solar Spin” photograph is part of a process Prof. Vanessa Velez DeGarcia has tested for years. “The technique is called digital solarization and I do it in Adobe Lightroom,” says the photography professor whose work was in the “New Views” Art & Design faculty exhibit.

Solar Spin by Vanessa Velez DeGarcia
“Solar Spin” by Vanessa Velez DeGarcia

Solarization was popularized by surrealist photographer Man Ray. According to Practical Photoshop Magazine, Ray’s “darkroom assistant Lee Miller accidentally turned the light on while a print was in the developer. The quirky results saw a partial reversal of the tones in the image.”

Professor V, as her students call her, now applies solarization digitally. What’s better, it’s incorporated into her Digital Darkroom course, offered in the Photography Certificate program. “I usually teach it when we begin to explore the tonal curves panel in the software,” she says.

Velez DeGarcia is a native New Yorker. “Solar Spin,” taken at Coney Island’s Luna Park, is part of a series.

“Yes, I was born in New York City. My mom and I lived in Washington Heights until I was nine years old. After graduating college I moved back and now live in Brooklyn. I love New York City. I just wish my parents were here too.”

Professor V has also taught Photography Basics and Saturday portrait photography and Photoshop courses.  To see her portrait photography go to:


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