Visual Assignment Pt. 1

The information about taking pictures was interesting. Having taken multiple architecture research classes, I’ve already taken part in several lessons about taking photos using a camera. Most of the information presented in my digital studies course reiterated what I already knew.

One suggestion that I would like to consider for future photos is to take black and white photos instead of color photos. In the past, I’ve played with this on my phone. I don’t know why, but I think black and white selfies are more appealing than those in color. From a historic preservation perspective, I’ve been taught that colors in photos degrade faster than black and white photos.

In the writing, 20 Ways to Take Better Photographs by David Duchemin, the most meaningful suggestion was to stop buying more equipment. Instead, Duchemin says we should focus more on things like contrast, background, and lighting. I hadn’t thought of contrast in the way Duchemin presented though. He said that we could get creative with contrast such as a photo of youth/elderly, new tech/old tech, light/dark, etc. My brain didn’t couch these ideas in the category of contrast. Instead, I felt like contrast merely focused on color techniques in photos.

The reading about Dorothea Lange, it sounded like photography is just luck. It’s a bit of being in the right place at the right time. It’s a convergence of the right circumstances. In fact, several of the readings/videos seemed to hone in on this idea of luck. Being a person who takes good pictures most of the time, I kind of disagree. I usually see something during my daily life that catches my eye and I think I should photograph it. But then, I have to get the lighting right, stand in the right place, wait for people to pass, time it so no cars are in the way, etc. Since I’m working with my cellphone and not a digital camera, I don’t have to worry about camera settings. Though, in my architecture classes at school, I learned to control the F-stop, shutter speed, etc. These have a big impact on photos and knowing which settings are best really will bring about a great photo. Overall, I think photography requires a bit of skill and a bit of luck to get that magical photo.

Personally, I don’t have any skill for taking photos when “forced” to take them. I catch photos in the moment. Creating a moment is not something I have experience or time for. Maybe that will change with this course.

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