A Glimpse at a Photographer’s Final

Hey Precollegers!

 

The end of the semester is right around the corner–2 weeks left of classes, and finals are due this week! I am currently drowning in prints, negatives, and .jpeg files to organize and hand in. After class on Saturday, I rushed to the FIT Barnes and Noble to pick up a portfolio for my final before I grabbed lunch, and ran to catch my train.Today, I shot with my model for my final project, and we completed the last part of my 3 part series!

I’m freaking out currently, because I will be In Los Angeles from Wednesday to Friday night, and our final is due Saturday morning. I have very limited time to get my digitals printed. I need to narrow down to 2 photos from over 200 taken today to add to my final. My model and good friend Anna agreed to let me cover her entire face in glitter one last time (bless her). I then took a few shots in my backyard due to the silver glitter reflecting beautifully against the deep green color scheme of the budding foliage because of the recent cloudy and drizzly days. She posed on various rocks in a field of lilies of the valley, and the colors really came out breathtaking. After about 20 minutes, we drove to a town next to mine to take photos of her in public, specifically one of my favorite coffee shops. Anna posing in a public location with a face of glitter is meant to represent the face you have to put on for society, even if it is not something that you personally enjoy. In my shots, Anna did a great job of portraying a girl that is uncomfortable in her skin due to the mask that she has to hide behind in order to be deemed “beautiful”. A few odd looks and funny remarks were made regarding her appearance, but overall people were more amused than anything. A few people asked about her face, and once you tell them that it’s for art and you have a camera around your neck, people generally stop with the questions. It was actually satisfying to see some peoples’ faces brighten up when they saw a dazzling glittery girl enter the same room as them. Of course,  few toddlers were afraid on our walk, but that’s not too surprising. After posing with her cafe mocha for about a half an hour in a beautifully lit and aesthetically pleasing environment, we grabbed a quick dinner and ended my final shoot. I’m looking through my pictures right now, and I can easily say that it is going to be hard to choose just 2 to make my 5 photos-based-on-a-theme final for my Introduction to Traditional & Digital Photography    class. I’ll leave a few sneak peaks below of what I shot today, and some of my darkroom rough-draft prints from past classes. How are your guy’s final projects coming along? Let me know in the comments below!

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See you guys next week!

-Francesca

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

FIT Photography Class Trends 2016

Hey Precollegers!
Unlike most of the courses offered at FIT, photography is one of the subjects that isn’t fashion oriented. Walking around campus on a Saturday or Sunday, you’ll see a majority of precollege students donning the newest trends and designer clothing and accessories. However, in the photography department, things run a little differently. Not to say that photographers don’t dress well and are clueless on style, but most of my classmates and I possess a style that is practical, yet artistic. I have noticed some reoccurring trends that are present in the classroom, and I’ve decided to dedicate this week’s blog to photography class trends. I like to think of a simple description of a photographer’s style this way: photographer’s can’t care as much about how they look compared to other people—they’re too busy making sure that everyone else looks good.

1. Dark colors
Especially when working in the darkroom, darker colors are important to wear to hide chemical stains. Wearing black when shooting in the studio is also helpful to not distract from the shoot, and it’s easier to tell who the photographers are when they’re in all dark colors. The only downside to dark clothing in the studio is that you’ll be a little warmer due to dark colors attracting heat from light. Other than that however, when in doubt, I just opt for black.

2. Stylish but comfortable footwear
I’ve noticed that a lot of people in my class wear Vans and Doc Martens—comfortable shoes that are easy to style and can really add character to an outfit. I’m a huge fan of both shoes, and they also add to the cool-artistic- alternative vibe that photographers tend to possess. Yes, we know we’re better than you. And we’re wearing dark colors and angsty footwear to prove that. (I really hope that you’ve noted my sarcasm here).
3. Fjällräven backpacks
As someone in my class once said “This is the backpack owned by every art student ever”. At my high school, maybe 3 other kids have this bag, but walking into class on the first day I found myself matching with 4 other girls! These backpacks are from Sweden and were originally designed for Swedish school children, hence their playful and childish vibe. They are a very bold and unique shape, and add a lot of personality to any casual outfit. They are also just the right size to carry a photography binder and camera, two obvious necessities for this class. To personalize their bags, some of my classmates sew on patches or attach pins to them, too.
4. Thrifted pieces
A majority of my class are second hand enthusiasts—myself included. Thrifted jeans, flannels, jackets and t-shirts are often found on the students in my class. Comfortable, practical, and probably cheaper, thrifted pieces are perfect to wear in an artistic class with a lot of moving and creating. Although our outfits are pretty simple for the most part, one of a kind pieces are sure to add character to a seemingly basic ensemble.

Layers of black textures with statement Docs

Layers of black textures with statement Docs

3 ladies rocking their Fjällrävens--original and mini sizes

3 ladies rocking their Fjällrävens–original and mini sizes

Thrifted mom jeans, various vans, and dark colors

Thrifted mom jeans, various vans, and dark colors

Thrifted layers with darker and muted tones

Thrifted layers with darker and muted tones

I hope this post gave you all some insight on typical precollege photographer styles!

See you next week!
-Francesca

Family Input on Precollege Experience

imageSalutations Precollegers!

I’m currently blogging to you all at 5:30 am from my airport, on my way to visit a college in the culturally rich New Orleans! Being that it is Monday and this is set to post on Tuesday, I have very limited time to get this blog post done and uploaded—therefore, I have decided to blog about a very simple topic for this week—my family. My parents and sister have been nothing but supportive on this artistic endeavor that I have taken upon myself this semester. My parents have been good enough to drive me to my train station at 7:15 every Saturday morning (even though they could be asleep being that the weekend is their only break from early rising—they both work in the city, too). In the afternoon, I rush from class to my train to get home at 2, only to have to rush to my 2 o’clock shift at work, and of course, I couldn’t do that either without one of them waiting for me at the station. My younger sister, although not able to physically assist me, has been morally supportive and has been my biggest cheerleader. She is a very creative and imaginative person, so watching her older sister travel to the city every week to create something that she is passionate about must be neat (I can only imagine, obviously). She has actually shown her own interest in what I have been doing, and I can imagine that she will be taking a precollege course sometime before she graduates high school, too. I can always count on my family to give me feedback on my work, and my parents have been very excited about this course due to the fact that they both have taken film and darkroom classes before. Last class it took me about 3 and a half hours to fully develop and print a single (final) photo in the darkroom. After various trials with different time and contrast variations, I finally figured out to let my paper be exposed on a 4 contrast level for 24 seconds (film photography terminology, everyone!). I am very pleased with how my final product turned out, and the only regret I have is that I printed on glossy paper instead of pearl finished.There isn’t that much of a difference honestly, but personally I like the minimalist touch that the pearl finished paper adds to the print. The next time I restock in photography supplies, I’ll be sure to pick up some pearl, but for my first time, glossy is totally fine. Sorry about this post being on the shorter side, next week I’ll be home from college visits and I will have much more to talk about, considering next week I get to start shooting for my final project! Attached is the final print of my black and white film photo of my friend from my class, Natalia.

Until next time,
Francesca

First Darkroom Experience–And Some Tips!

Happy Tuesday everyone!

Although I missed my classmates and photography dearly this past Saturday, I will admit that it was a treat to be able to sleep in on Saturday morning. Spring Break Forever! Today I’m going to talk to you guys about last week’s class, and what I learned from my first time developing film in a darkroom.

I came into the city with my close friend Anna who also takes a class at FIT, and we met her friend from her class, Fiona, on the train. On our way to class we stopped at Gregory’s Coffee and Fresh&Co and spent some time catching up and chatting (I ordered a cappuccino and some green juice for during class—Anna got herself a little bottle of watermelon juice, and it matched her nails perfectly!). When we got to school we parted ways, me making my way into Pomerantz, and my friends heading to Business.

I came into this photography class with some experience in digital photography (all self taught) and absolutely no prior knowledge with film. 2 classes ago we spent about 2 hours walking around the city, specifically the flat iron district, snapping photos on film. Last class we spent the entire time developing our photos and learning the art of the darkroom—spoiler: it is not as easy as you would think. I had to leave class about an hour an a half early to make it home in time for my sister’s Confirmation, but I did have a chance to occupy the darkroom with 2 other classmates, and use the chemistry to develop my photos (my professor picked up where I left off—she dried and completed my development).

So the darkroom is A LOT darker than I was expecting—I thought my eyes would eventually adjust to the lack of light and I would maybe see the outline of what I was doing, but nope! Pitch black the entire time, which is probably better considering my claustrophobia would’ve kicked once I realized how enclosed and small the space I was in was. I shared my darkroom with 2 other girls, and we took turns cutting, rolling, and enclosing our film in our cages and tanks—thank God one of them has had experience with the darkroom before, because I could not open my film container with the can opener in the dark for the life of me. After a few attempts, we were all finally successful, and we triumphantly left the dark room after about 20 minutes—pretty good for our first time if you ask me. I then spent the rest of my class using chemicals to develop my film, and I left class with chemical stains all over my shirt and ID (if you close up on the picture of my outfit you’ll notice the stains). I put together a few tips to keep in mind while using the dark room to make your experience run smoother, especially if it’s your first time:

  • Wear practical footwear!! Seriously—I know it’s the Fashion Institute of Technology and outfits are a big part of peoples’ self expression and identity, but open toed shoes and heels in a dark room are just an accident waiting to happen—trust me. A girl in my class wears heels a lot, so she brings a pair of slippers with her to wear when working in the darkroom. If your outfit must include hazardous shoes, bring something to change into—and remember, the dark room is dark, so no one will even see your feet anyway!
  • Wear dark clothing—and nothing too fancy. This class is one that is interactive and artistic, which means that you are bound to stain something on yourself at least once during the class. The chemicals splash easily, and you usually won’t notice it on yourself until it dries. Don’t worry, it’ll wash out, but dark clothing is more ideal to hide the stain anyway.
  • If you have glasses, wear them! Goggles are mandatory when working with the chemicals, so it’s better to have perfect vision and eye protection, rather than having to wear goggles.
  • Bring your own scissors and portable can openers—It’s just easier to have your own set of tools rather than having to spend time in the dark room taking turns using the devices, while also blindly searching for them—and you’re pretty much hopeless if you drop something on the floor. Also, the can openers that I have used were not the newest or sharpest, making it harder for me to try to prod open my film case. Using a newer one can cut some time out of your darkroom use, which will make everything faster.

Next class, we will be reviewing our photos and discussing our final projects—something that I should really get started on. Let me know about your first dark room experience in the comments below!

Until next class,

~Francesca

Fresh juice aesthetics ft. Anna’s smirk

Some cappuccino love

A quick #OOTD–close up on my top to see some lovely chemical stains from photo developing