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Visualizing the Urban Landscape

Francis Reilly_Untitled

‘Untitled’ by Francis Reilly, Los Angeles River Renovation Study

This spring course approaches photography as a disciplined way of seeing, investigating, and interpreting the urban landscape.  It is intended for those interested in photography, landscape, architecture, the built environment, and art history in the context of the city.

Each student selects a site for the focus of his or her work in the course. The place may be anywhere in the Los Angeles region — urban, suburban, or rural. It may be a work of architecture, a garden, an urban space, a neighborhood, the urban edge, or the like. Work will be submitted in digital format. Images are projected for class discussion and posted in an online gallery. This work will proceed in stages, examining the site from varying perspectives, including light, detail, documentary, and poetic interpretation, and ending as a portfolio of photographs that express the qualities of a particular place, sequenced as a story or stories.

Georgia Sheridan_Sunday is my day with you

“Sunday is my day with you” by Georgia Sheridan, Linear Park, Santa Monica

Each class is divided between presentation and discussion of student work and a lecture providing context and critical understanding for this work The lectures provide an historical and critical understanding of the evolution of photography of the natural and built environments. The lectures provide an historical and critical framework for informing one’s photographic efforts and, through the many examples, educate the eye to the variety of ways of seeing and interpreting the urban landscape..  Thus students are expected to evolve  their abilities to see and interpret the urban environment by understanding how others throughout the history of photography have done so, by experimenting with their own photographic project, and by discussing how other students have approached their work..

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‘Untitled’ by Camille Fink, Union Station

The course is led by Richard Langendorf.  He is uniquely prepared to teach this course as he has degrees in Architecture and Urban Planning from MIT, has experience in both fields abroad and in the United States, and has more than 50 years of experience photographing the urban landscape.  UCLA Extension recognized his teaching excellence by giving him the Distinguished Instructor Award in 2013.

Feb. 15th | Amanda Keller Konya @ West Gallery

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Amanda Keller Konya, Federal Building, Downtown Los Angeles

Heist, an exhibition of new work by photographer and instructor Amanda Keller Konya opens Saturday, Feb. 15th at the West Gallery, Cal State Northridge.  Taking Millard Sheets’ commissioned mosaics for Southern California banks from 1954 to 1975 as her subject, Heist “offers viewers a selective and cropped view of the subject matter represented within these tiles, such as: depictions of power, labor, manifest destiny, the nuclear family, scientific and technological progress and the California Dream.”

The titles locate each work, positioning the exhibition within the Southern California landscape as well as pointing to the repurposed buildings “prettified by each mosaic.”   As writer Michelle Weiner explains, a viewer “considers the formal attributes, the location, the socio-economical history and significance of the subject matter.  However, it is within this subject matter, specifically its making a spectacle of the other, which leads the viewer to conclude Keller Konya is not only depicting but deconstructing the myth of the Southern California landscape through these various architectural, ornamental mosaics.”  Keller Konya has digitally captured the images, which are then printed at 7″ x 5″ size on fiber based silver gelatin paper.

Heist
February 15 – March 6
Opening Reception | Saturday, Feb. 15th 4 – 7pm

West Gallery
Cal State Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA, 91330-8299

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Amanda Keller Konya, Police Department, Culver City, CA

 

For more information, please visit the Cal State Northridge Galleries website.

Business of Photography in Photoshelter’s Top 50

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Todd Bigelow, Portrait of Shabazz Muhammad for Sports Illustrated

Photoshelter, a worldwide leader in photography portfolio websites, photo sales, marketing and archiving tools for photographers just listed our very own Todd Bigelow and his Business of Photography course as one of their 50 Awesome Photo Workshops from Around the World.  Judging from student feedback and our insight into Todd’s extensive knowledge and expertise, we couldn’t agree more.  Currently offering the workshop at Otis, it will return to UCLA Extension in our upcoming Summer quarter on July 12th & 13th.

Student Work by Jay Carlyle

Student Jay Carlyle recent shared a fascinating project he completed, incorporating photography as well as something that will be familiar to many students – the Braille wall in the entrance to the 1010 Westwood Center.

Check out Jay’s project below, as well as an explanation of his inspiration and process.

 

Jay Carlyle artwork

“A friend of mine (a real life individual, a CSUN student, who is in the composite, with permission), is deaf-blind, with low vision, and has had a Cochlear implant for most of his life.  I talked with him about my photography and the projects I was doing here at Extension.  The whole vision of it all sort of came to me spontaneously; I was taking a set of courses that quarter, including one with Michael Powers.  I think I mentioned in passing my concept and Powers had encouraged me as well.

For various years and times, having attended a variety of courses at 1010 Westwood, I passed by the plexiglass installation which to most just appears as an architectural part of the stairwell near the entrance of the building.  But, upon closer examination, it is in fact in Braille.

It is untitled, and a complete Google and otherwise mystery to me as to who created, authorized, the whole installation process for 1010 and for UCLA Extension.   My friend, though Braille is not his primary method of visual-like communication (a CCTV enlarger, Computer Assistive technology, and other magnifications are), can read some Braille.

The 10-15 ft fall installation there appears to be in both simple and complex Braille, and I had him read some of it, which appears to make some references possibly to the Greeks and such, and learning, and mathematics. The whole statement, I do not know.

I photographed him there, as well as shots of him signing and other photographic elements and blended it all into an idea of what was a fantasy composite for class, but as well, a cover jacket for an actual autobiography that I am aware of, he may finish writing at some point.

With the exception of the feather, the brain image scan, and some freely available braille and finger-sign fonts, the entire work used personally photographed elements and created artwork.

As Powers has noted of myself, I have a documentary style of photography, and that is perhaps the inspiration for the project, as well as just personal beliefs about helping, and depicting in a good light, those who are marginalized in society.   I have had some interaction with the deaf community before personally, but only more recently became aware of someone who was deaf-blind (as Helen Keller was and other noted individuals).”

 

 

Upcoming APA LA Events

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Two great events from APA Los Angeles are coming up this month.   A free panel discussion on October 22nd will host three pairs of photographers/clients who have collaborated over the years on various projects.  And on October 12th APA Members can register to have your work and website reviewed by top industry professionals: art buyers, photo editors, in-house creatives and entertainment companies.

For more information and to register, please visit APA LA’s website.

Visual Arts is on Instagram!

We’re happy to announce that the Visual Arts program now has an Instagram account, where our students can share their fabulous and inspiring photos.

Check it out and follow us at instagram.com/unexvisualarts. And tag us when posting class projects (or just shots of picturesque Westwood Village) using @unexvisualarts. We’re looking forward to building our online community of students and artists!

Here are a few photos from the feed, recently taken in iPhone Photography.

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Street Photography

The course is designed for photographers who have a solid foundation in photographic techniques and wish to expand their knowledge of capturing the beauty and complexities of everyday urban life in Los Angeles. The course is structured to enhance student’s creative abilities through classroom discussions, class based critiques and hands on shooting activities in various Los Angeles area neighborhoods.. The overall goal is to achieve quality photographs in a variety of cultural settings that reflect the urban environment in which we live while developing your “decisive moment” skills.. Study masters like Garry Winogrand, Robert Frank, Henri Cartier Bresson and Vivian Maier while developing your own ability to capture the beauty of everyday life.
Taught by Todd Bigelow, who explained his philosophy on the class this way:

To many, street photography is the truest form of documentation. The art of seeing and capturing the beautiful randomness of time and space is a challenging and, ultimately, richly rewarding experience for photographers. The defining moments in street photography are personal in nature and complex in their compositions and timing. My goal is for the students to come into the class with an open mind about this historical genre and leave with a new found appreciation of the everyday moments in life. The potential for unique street photography images occur everywhere that people congregate, but the moments are fleeting. I teach the students to see the potential prior to the existence and then capture the moment in a brief fraction of a second. 

View the course syllabus below:

Street Photo Class Syllabus Fall 21013

Todd also put together this great video showcasing the work and experience of the students in a recent section of the class.

And here are some beautiful images from former students, taken around Los Angeles.

Taken in Beverly Hills by Ted Covey.

Taken in Beverly Hills by Ted Covey.

Taken in Downtown LA by Ted Covey.

Taken in Downtown LA by Ted Covey.

Taken in Downtown LA by Huseyin Erturk.

Taken in Downtown LA by Huseyin Erturk.

Taken in Hollywood by instructor Todd Bigelow.

Taken in Hollywood by instructor Todd Bigelow.

Photographic Composition with Douglas Hill

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This fall we’re pleased to have Douglas Hill teaching an online section of the course Photographic Composition. Douglas is a celebrated photographer of architecture and interior design, as well as the author of several series that capture the character and feel of our great city. His class is great for anyone who would like to strengthen their skills in composition, an element of your photography practice that is vital but sometimes overlooked in favor of more technical considerations. Certificate students can use it as an elective toward their progress as well.

Douglas was kind enough to share his syllabus for the class, so check it out to get a sense of the projects and what you’ll accomplish. Assignment 1, called “Be an Urban Explorer” should get you excited to start!

UCLA_PhotoComp_Syllabus

Have a look at some of Douglas’ photography below, and view more on his website: douglashillphotography.com.

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Photo Shoot at Morphosis Architecture

Last Saturday, instructor Michael Powers brought his Photographic Portraiture students to the Morphosis Architects firm. Their beautiful design studio served as a perfect backdrop to the shoot. Student Kamil Mrouah was kind enough to share a few of his images from the day, so here they are!

Thanks for Morphosis for the generous use of their space, and congrats to Michael and his students on the beautiful work!

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Powers Shoot 2 Powers Shoot 3 Powers Shoot 4

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