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UCLAxOpen Free Course: Choosing and Using a Digital Camera

Join us Tuesday, June 14 at 12pm for Choosing and Using a Digital Camera, a free short course taught by photography instructor Dr. Craig Havens.

This course covers digital camera features including camera bodies, sensors and lenses, as well as brands, quality and price comparisons. Get recommendations for a variety of different needs. The 90-minute course ends with a Q&A session.

Craig Havens (US/DE) is a visual artist working in the lens-based media of photography, video, installation and projection. He lives and works in Los Angeles and Berlin. His practice is concerned with expanding the function of photographic and moving images beyond the role of documentary monuments through the use of counter monumental strategies derived from post-war German public sculptural practice. 

Welcome New Photography Instructor Baz Here

We’re happy to welcome new instructor Baz Here to our photography program. Baz will be teaching Photography I this coming spring. Let’s get to know Baz with a few questions below…

How did you get started in photography, and what drew you to this art form? 

I started taking photographs when I was about eight years old after my grandmother gave me her old Nikon. I continued exploring photography through the courses my high school offered and just never stopped taking pictures. Oddly, I never considered myself a photographer as music was my primary endeavor. It wasn’t until my twenties when my journey with photography shifted. I needed promotional photography taken for my music career and started hiring different photographers—I never got the photos that I imagined in my head. I decided to start taking my own portraits. Through that process, my obsession with achieving my own perfect aesthetic led me to further my education and obtain my MFA in Photography.

Baz Here

What are you focusing on in your current practice?

I am interested in the sound current and its effect on visual aesthetics. The amalgamation is somewhat nascent in my practice, as in the past the two artforms seemed somewhat separate for me. I am fascinated by how sounds can alter meaning in a photograph. My most recent work has been mostly an exploration of religious iconography (and Christianity in general) and the psychological weight it can impose on a young queer person. But of course, as a white male artist, considering my privilege is impossible to not weave into all that I do at this point. I’m on my path making art, loving teaching art, and trying to be aware as possible of the spaces I occupy.

Baz Here

You’ll be teaching Photography I – what can students expect in your class? Can you show us a sample assignment?

I love the basics. One of my favorite parts of teaching the basics is that I get to relearn them all of the time. In my class, we will, of course, learn all the basics of photography—exposure, composition, lighting, post-production, and editing—but we will also begin to explore what it means to photograph something and the difference between “taking” and “making” photographs.

As far as sample assignments go, we will do all of the exercises one would expect in a Photo I class—learning how to use the camera in manual mode, and understanding how to compose an image—but perhaps my favorite assignments are introductions to portrait patterns (e.g., Rembrandt, butterfly…) and exploring light and shadow—using shadows of interesting objects to create abstract compositions.

Baz Here

What do you hope students take away from your class as they continue on with their photography education?

Whether my students journey into portraiture, fashion, landscape, food photography, etc., I hope the students will be inspired to think about all of the aspects of photography making—the technical, the aesthetic, the psychological, and of course, the incredible joy of clicking that shutter. I hope we can have a dialogue that will encourage motivation to improve but also the reliance on failure to find success.

Baz Here

What advice would you give to someone who is interested in photography but not sure how to get started?

Well, my advice would be quite simple. Just start making photographs!

Baz Here
Baz Here

Interview with Photography Graduate Yuki Yoshimatsu

Visit yyoshimatsu.com to see more of Yuki’s work

Tell us about how you got interested in photography and what brought you to the Photography Certificate.

I used to study filmmaking and worked in the industry for a while. During that time I would also snap a few photos on set. The more I took photos and the more I would look at other people’s work, I got more interested in it. It became a hobby that I wanted to expand my knowledge on and work on my craft. I decided that in order to do so, I should learn from the basics and work my way through. I believed UCLA Extension would be a great place for me to learn because they offered different styles of photography from Event Photography, Portraiture, Architecture Photography, Studio Photography, Street Photography and so much more. It was a great opportunity for me to study these different styles, but also to learn about myself and my style of photography. It made me appreciate the art and understand that some forms of photography are not my strong suit while others I excel at.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

What’s something about photography that beginning students might not realize?

At the very beginning you may take a few good photos that you will be proud of, but the more you work on your craft and the more you learn, the better you will become. Be patient. Keep practicing. Take lots of photos and explore different styles of photography. You may believe you’re a fashion photographer, but in reality you may actually be an excellent street photographer, and your interest and passion may shift. Also, befriend photographers who take different style of photographs from you. You will learn so much from observing how they work and how they take photos.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

What was your favorite course and why?

It’s very difficult to pinpoint which one was my favourite because all of the classes I took were amazing and I learned so much from them. All the professors I worked with were extremely patient and talented. Their style of photography is very different from mine, but they would give extremely great advice on how I can improve my craft. I guess if I have to choose, I’d say Photography II with Natasha Rudenko was one of my favourites. She’s such a passionate teacher and pushed all of us to do our very best. She pushed us so hard that some of my classmates and I joked how it caused us to have a mental breakdown while creating our final project; it was totally worth it though! She pushed me out of my comfort zone and I saw an immense improvement on the way I took photographs and how I viewed them. In addition to that, I truly enjoyed Street Photography with Weng-San Sit because she sparked my love for street photography. She would take us to a few field trips and had us explore the city of LA to take as many photos as possible. It was a lot of fun exploring the city with my classmates, but it was extremely interesting to see how we all viewed it so differently even when we were shooting the same exact location.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

If the phone rang right now and somebody offered you your dream job, who are they and what’s the job?

My filmmaking love is going to collide with this answer. The person calling me will be the genius Mr. Roger Deakins. The job he will offer me is to be the behind the scenes photographer for his films that he will be the cinematographer for. I would love to work with him and have him as my mentor. His way of lighting and framing has always left me in awe. I’d love to be able to capture those amazing moments of him in action whilst picking his brain on how to work in the film industry. I believe my eye from street photography and my knowledge in the film industry would benefit capturing amazing moments.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 years?

In 5 years I see myself still immersed in both film and photography. I see myself working in the film industry whilst also working in photography. Perhaps as a BTS photographer while also working on personal projects such as street photography. I hope in 5 years my personal project will grow to the point that I am able to open an exhibition or sell my work on my website.

Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu
Photo by Yuki Yoshimatsu

Distinguished Instructor Series – Craig Havens, Photography

On Tuesday, July 14 at 12pm, we are pleased to present our first talk in the Distinguished Instructor Series, weekly free presentations from core academic areas in the Visual Arts.

Benütze Foto als Waffe! (Use Photography As A Weapon!)
Reimagining Monumental Structures Through Countermonumental Strategies

Presented by Craig Havens, PhD, Photographer and Artist

Craig Havens. Butte de Leon & Dirtpile. Waterloo Battlefield, Braine-l’Alleud, Belgium.
Pigment Print on Paper. Edition of 2 / AP 1, 110 x 148 centimeters.
Courtesy of 50°49’19.50”N 4°21’25.53”E galerie de l’erg, Brussels.

The ability of Photography to memorialize a moment in time with crystal clarity was the reason for its enjoying such success in becoming the dominant visual medium from the 20th Century through today. At the same time, this singular focus on capturing monumental perspectives is precisely what has constricted the practice and possibilities of photography.

This struggle to not allow a memory to fade is the problematic underpinning of why monumental structures consistently fail. In trying to last forever they make their temporality even more apparent and their ability to preserve themselves even more futile.

Join us to explore how Photography and other visual art forms can be seen not only from a binary position of Monument or Anti-Monument, but through the multiple facets of a Countermonumental perspective.

UCLAx Instructor Craig Havens, Ph.D (www.craighavens.com) is a visual artist based in Los Angeles and Berlin working in the mediums of photography, moving images, performance, sculpture and site-specific installation. Works have been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Weserburg-Museum für moderne Kunst in Bremen/Germany, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Antwerp/Belgium, the Armory Biennial in Los Angeles/California, the Nanjing International Biennale in Nanjing/China, the Heritage Arts Space in Hanoi/Vietnam, the Goethe Institute in Johannesburg/South Africa, the Brugge Triennale in Brugge/Belgium and Galerie Andreas Schmidt in Berlin/Germany.

Join our free Distinguished Instructor lecture series this summer!

Join us over lunch for a series of live talks and presentations in the core academic areas of the Visual Arts. Each week we feature a distinguished instructor and dive into their area of expertise. Areas of focus for this series include Photography, Art History, User Experience (UX), Design, Studio Arts, and VR. Sessions begin at 12pm, last between 60-90 minutes, and are free and interactive. Bring your ideas and questions. Enroll for free today!

  • Tues., July 14   Craig Havens (Photography)
  • Tues., July 21   Dahn Hiuni (Art History)
  • Tues., July 28   Pash (DCA)
  • Tues., Aug. 4    Mayee Futterman (Studio)
  • Tues., Aug. 11  John Selig (Unity/VR)
  • Tues., Aug. 18  Diana Barraza (UX)
UCLA Extension Summer Cover by Matt at Varnish Studios

Final Projects from Photography II Students

Please enjoy these student images from Photography II (online) this fall quarter. Online courses allow for such a variety of experiences and imagery, in this case landscapes from Los Angeles and Oslo, Norway.

Instructor Craig Havens will be teaching Photography I and Photographic Composition this coming winter. Enroll to explore your own creative landscape!


Vibeke Arntzen – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Winter Landscapes, Oslo, Norway, 2019.

Vibeke Arntzen – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Winter Landscapes, Oslo, Norway, 2019

Vibeke Arntzen – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Winter Landscapes, Oslo, Norway, 2019

Anousha Modi – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Sunrise Studies, Los Angeles, CA. 2019.

Anousha Modi – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Sunrise Studies, Los Angeles, CA. 2019.

Eun Ji Kim – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Urban Landscape Studies, Crenshaw, Los Angeles, CA. 2019.


Eun Ji Kim – Photo II Online Course – Craig Havens Instructor – Urban Landscape Studies, Crenshaw, Los Angeles, CA. 2019.

Course Spotlight: Shooting Like the Masters, a History of Photography

Curious how photography courses work in an online environment? What kind of lectures, assignments and discussion are there?

Take a look below at some sample materials from upcoming course Shooting Like the Masters: A History of Photography.

Canvas

Online courses don’t meet in real time, so there is no specific time you have to be in front of the computer. The first week of class, log in at your convenience. You’ll see a welcome from instructor Clover Leary, who will walk you through how to navigate the class, where to look first, and how the weeks are scheduled. Then you’ll add your own introduction, including your interests and goals for the class. You can include a picture of yourself as well!

 

Assignments

Each week will include a creative assignment that you’ll submit to the group for student and instructor critique. Here’s the first assignment for History of Photography.

Portraiture
• For this assignment you will be turning in two different Portraits inspired by two different photographers.
• Include a brief description with each photograph: (50-100 words) describe the photographer and how you chose to emulate their portraiture techniques. Note: You may offer a completely contemporary interpretation in your work, but if so please
explain how you chose to references the stylistic qualities of the photographers you chose.
• Choose to emulate the stylistic qualities of two of the following photographers:

Hill & Adamson Nadar

Andre Disderi

William Henry Fox Talbot

Julia Margaret Cameron Mathew Brady

Carefully analyze the photographers’ methods: Study the lighting, composition, backgrounds, camera angle, props and costume elements etc.
You should carefully consider what light sources you want to employ:
If you are using natural light what time of day do you want to photograph?
Do you want to use overcast light or the harder light on a clear day?
Do you want to shoot in shade, filtered light or direct light?
If you are shooting indoors, are you using light from a window, lamps, or both?
Are you also using flash?

Lectures

Instructors create their own slide lectures for class, which may include images, audio or video. Here are some slides from the first lecture for History of Photography.

Discussion

Students can chime in on the discussion board to comment on each other’s work, ask questions, and contribute to class discussion. Discussion in an online course is just as important as an in-class environment!

If you’d like to try an online photography class, History of Photography will begin on April 2! Enroll online, or at (310) 825-9971. To learn more about the class, call our office at (310) 206-1422.

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