This past week we were asked to visit the Infinite Balance Exhibit at the Museum Of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in San Diego. Each of the Artists in the exhibit are on the shortlisted for the Prix Pictet, which is the world’s leading prize in photography and sustainability. After viewing all the photos, we were given the task of choosing one of the photographer’s featured in the exhibit, and then take photos of our own that reflected our chosen photographer’s style.
The photographer I chose was Thomas Joshua Cooper. Cooper’s photos consist of stunning black and white landscapes, most of them containing water in some way or another. The deep contrasts between black and white in the images are what stood out most to me. The white really pops, but does not overshadow the deep black and gray tones. Many of his photos contain a beautiful ethereal glow, usually the white glow of crashing water contrasted against sharp black and grays.
To reflect Thomas Joshua Cooper’s style I traveled to the beach to take my photos like I have many times before. I focused on getting close up shots of the ocean and crashing waves. I tried to create as much contrast as I could in the photos, creating really stark black and whites. These images really fit the black and white beach collage I did a few weeks back, I even featured one of those shots, a static shot of ocean foam, in this series as well. Here are the photos that I took trying to best reflect the style of Thomas Joshua Cooper.
Here are some recent photos I’ve taken for our documentary project.
Tonight in class we watched some scenes from the film Manufactured Landscapes by Edward Burtynsky. The movie answers the unasked question of where all of our recycled things go. Burtynsky takes landscape pictures of these places that have been changed by human activity. The video follows him to China where there are these landscapes that entirely full of recycled metal and the people who work at the nearby factories. Its amazing how much metal he captures in one single area.
We also watched a slideshow with commentary by Burtynsky. In the slideshow he says that he was inspired to do the work he does now after getting lost. He was originally in a city in Pennsylvania to do some normal landscape photography, but after going off the trail and getting lost, he came across an area that had been changed by man’s interaction with it. And since then he has photographed these “manufactured landscapes.” Its unreal how he can make these somewhat ugly areas look beautiful with the photos he takes. Here is a slideshow of Edward Burtynsky and some of his images.
The solo photoshoot I did towards the end of the semester was at the Agua Hedionda Lagoon in Carlsbad, CA. The lagoon is a coastal reserve that contains many different endangered species of flora and fauna which help make up its beautiful exterior. The Agua Hedionda Lagoon foundation was founded in 1990 to help conserve, restore and enhance the environmental features of the Lagoon and promote balanced recreational and commercial uses consistent with assured future lagoon vitality. Visiting the Lagoon was a great way to end the semester and reflect on all the experiences and knowledge I obtained.
Olof Carmel is a photographer born in Sweden, raised in the U.S., that has shot some of the most beautiful landscape photography that I have ever seen. His work is currently up at the Ordover Gallery in Solana Beach. I have always been interested in landscapes, especially because drawing landscapes was my concentration in high school. I also love Yosemite and Lake Tahoe, two places that Carmel has photographed wonderfully. He is known for his use of vivid colors in the photographs he takes. In his artist statement, Olof Carmel says that he likes to move around quickly while photographing because it helps heighten is awareness, allowing him to capture better pictures. He says he has the strong desire to capture the beauty of the world and share it with everyone. I was amazed by Carmel’s ability to make amazing compositions in his photos. Not only are the colors interesting, but the way he captures them inside the frame is interesting as well. His photographs can sometimes look like paintings. I really couldn’t decide which photo of his was my favorite, but I am partial to the photos that he took in Lake Tahoe. It would be cool to learn some tips from Olof Carmel on photography, because the images he takes are ones that I would definitely love to learn to take. Carmel is truly a master of capturing the beauty of our planet and I would suggest to anybody interested in landscapes to check out some of his work.
Our final photoshoot as a class was at the Rincon reservation in Valley Center, CA. We learned about the effort the Native Americans are putting in to help restore their native plants into several gardens. These gardens were located right next to a peaceful creek that ran on the side of the hills. They are separated into four sections with one facing the ocean, one the desert, one the mountains, and one the valley. After the students helped plant, Dr. Joely Proudfit, a proud descendant of the Pechanga band of Luiseño, talked about the history of the reservation and the struggles of its restoration.
Here’s the first image I’ll post for the new class I’m taking this semester. I went on a trip to San Francisco over the weekend and here is one of my favorite images that I took.