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!
On Monday, April 22, renowned photo editor James K. Colton will be a guest speaker in Todd Bigelow’s Portraiture class.
Todd has generously opened the session to any students who may be interested in hearing Mr. Colton speak.
Where: Room 416WC
When: 7pm, Monday April 22.
James K. Colton recently left Sports Illustrated after 15 years as their Photography Editor and is currently a writer and educator. He began his career in 1972 at the Associated Press. Five years later he joined Newsweek and became their Director of Photography. He was the Jury Chairman for the World Press Photo contest in 2005, received an International Photography Awards “Lucie” for Picture Editor of the Year in 2007, was the recipient of the “Focus” award for Lifetime Achievement by the Griffin Museum in 2010 and has been acknowledged as one of the 100 most important people in photography by American Photo.
It’s that time again! Time for “It’s Your Show,” our annual exhibition of student work from the areas of design, fine art and photography. This is a great event that brings together students of all disciplines to share their ideas and show the exciting variety of work created in our courses.
Please read the submission guidelines below carefully. It’s important to properly label your e-mail entries, and remember that it’s limited to three entries per student.
Midnight on Sunday, April 14
Friday, May 3rd, 6:30 – 8:30pm
1010 Westwood Center Gallery, 4th floor
Exhibition runs through May 30th
Open to all original work created in a UCLA Extension Studio Arts, Photography or Design Communication Arts course during the past two years. All genres, formats, and media are eligible. Three submissions maximum per student.
Digital submissions only.
Email design work to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email photography and fine art work to email@example.com.
Files should be .pdf or .jpeg images no larger than 1MB and named in the format described below. Include your name and phone number in the body of the email.
Digital File Label:
All entrants will be emailed on or before April 19 regarding their submission(s). Students will be asked to bring their original artwork to 1010 Westwood Boulevard in advance of the show and be required to sign a release of liability at that time.
Special recognition will be given by a jury of Los Angeles artists to projects displaying excellence in specific elements of art and design.
Jim Cornfield recently spent some time visiting Richard Langendorf’s Shooting Like the Masters: A History of Photography, thenwrote about the class and its students for Rangefinder magazine. It’s a great article that showcases a lot of wonderful student work (from some very challenging projects).
Kudos to Richard and all of the students for their hard work and beautiful results! It’s a unique class offering, so we’re glad to see it get recognition in print.
You may not know that in addition to our regular courses, we also offer a mentorship option, for students who have a specific project in mind and would like one-on-one time with an instructor to get individualized guidance and feedback. Students can pick an instructor they have studied with before, or whose work they admire. They spend six hours with their mentor over the course of the quarter.
Recently, photography student Pauline Batista completed a mentorship with instructor Roxann Arwen Mills. Pauline was kind enough to share some of her work and thoughts on the mentorship process.
Why did you decide to do this mentorship?
It was crucial to me tohave someone’s input on my work that I could trust. The only way in my mind to do so was to find someone whose work I respected and who I thought would be able to understand where I was coming from.
I believe I was at a point in my work where I needed guidance that went beyond just another class.
The one-on-one time framework of a mentorship was exactly what I was looking for and needed. I have taken many UCLA Extension classes but each has their own assignments and parameters that weren’t always in tune with the kind of work I was looking to produce. The great feature of the mentorship class is that it allows you to pick a mentor and work with him/her to develop your project and yourself as a photographer.
Can you describe your project and what your goals for the mentorship were?
I began working on the series “Stumbling towards Oblivion” last year with a desire to leave the concrete jungle and explore our relationship to the natural environment.
I wanted to place my subjects as objects within a landscape but not to objectify them.
Personally the biggest challenges and rewards surrounding the project were the actual shoots. Although clearly staged scenarios, it was important to me to convey the excitements and fears surrounding such a explorations. Being out there for the shoots elicit many (opposing) feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, but also a strange feeling of peace and serenity.
I aimed to create a dream state removed from social expectations, and my goal with the mentorship was to translate that into photographs.
How did you and Roxann approach your work? What was she able to offer you in terms of guidance and critique?
As I mentioned I had already begun the work and therefore had my own ideas of what the project was and what I wanted it to convey to others.
In a way I was already determined to follow a certain path and aesthetics, which I believed, would communicate that.
Roxann being a well-rounded artist, who has also worked extensively with the human body was able to help me step back and analyze the work through a different lens. She questioned (and in turn made me question) the decisions I was making and the work I was choosing during the editing process. She offered me honest critique and was not hesitant to say when something did not work.
I think this is the best quality in a mentor. After all you are not trying to get someone who simply agrees with everything you produce and say but rather can bring constructive criticism that may steer the work in an unexpected direction.
How did your project change based on your work with Roxann?
It is very easy to get stuck within your own vision or ideas. Roxann enabled me to step back and be more critical of the work and from there evolve it. I began experimenting with different times of day and including dawn as opposed to just nighttime and also experimented more with lighting. The guidance with editing was tremendous.
The biggest contribution I would say came in terms of identifying where it was that the work could fit within the history of nude photography but also having something new to say about it. She encouraged me to study the history of it and what has been done in this field.
I can say with certainty that this mentorship has in more ways than one shaped the final body of work.
Rachel Langosch’s TedXUCLA talk “Smiles Behind the Camera” is being featured on the main TedX site. She tells the story of teaching photography to kids, many of whom were picking up the camera for the first time, and the inspirational work they created in her class.
Congrats to Rachel on a great talk. We’ll look forward to hearing more like hers during the next TedXUCLA coming up in October.
New instructor Masood Kamandy (he’s teaching Introduction to Digital Photography this summer) is working on a fascinating photography project. The images below are part of his Collapse series. They explore photography’s ability to collapse time and space. Utilizing software he designed himself to combine multiple images, he embraces chance and chaos, creating images which are unmanipulated composites, layered and mixed to arrive at a completed work.
You can see more of the project at antimemory.org. Of course, he also made the program open source, so others can play to! From the website collapsus.org:
“Collapsus is an open source program created for the exploration of chronophotography and image stacking in digital photography.
The program works by taking all photographs in a selected folder and using various algorithms of your choice to combine into a single image.
With this software you can compress time and reveal movement. You can average images. You can explore abstraction and chance operations. You can also export sequences to create animations.”
I asked Masood about his inspiration for this project, and he said:
“I’ve been interested in the web and open-source as a way of communicating with other artists and creatives for a long time, and teaching is also a big part of my practice as an artist. When I created the Collapsus computer program, I made it with the idea that it would be a teaching tool for digital photography. It is a really great way of understanding what exactly is happening when we modify an image in Photoshop, which essentially just executes mathematics on the pixels of an image to give a specific result.”