Category Archives: UPenn: Photography Students

Alberto Jimenez: Robotics


Photography, Text and Video by Alberto Jimenez. Copyright 2017




When thinking of a theme, I wanted images of things I see everyday but do not take the moment to appreciate it and look at its details. I also wanted images of things that not all Penn students have had the opportunity to see. This was when I decided on the theme of Robotics. During my time in the Robotics program at Penn, I have had to learn things like machine metal, solder circuits, etc. Because of this experience, I have seen parts of the Penn community that not even some engineers have. Therefore, I wanted to give my audience an idea of what a Robotics student sees at Penn every day.

Every day I walk into the machine shop, I think about the Industrial Revolution images I would see in my history text book. To represent this, I give the image of the old lathe in the machine shop a grainy, noisy texture. I also make the image a bit warmer to give it an older feel. The machines are important to machine, and to machine, I need the proper tools. There are many tools that a machinist must choose from and it can be overwhelming. To show the overwhelming and confusing feeling I have, I decided to invert the images color. Although there are many tools, I always know which ones to avoid because they are too powerful for what I am looking for. I display this by having a red-like image. It makes the tool in most focus look like flames to represent its power. After I discard the tools I don’t need, I carefully look at each tool’s label. This process can be seen in the picture with the background blurry. Once I have the tool, I can machine. When I machine, I really hone into what I’m doing as seen in the image with the brush. Just like machining, I must really focus on what I’m doing. 

For each image, I illustrate how I feel when I encounter those objects. I used this project to practice distinctive styles. Since I am new to photography, I do not have enough experience to know what my style as a photographer is. I hope my images allows my audience to understand my day-to-day life as a robotics student.



Portrait of Alberto Jiminez by Alicia Chatterjee, Copyright 2017

Portrait of Alberto Jiminez by Alicia Chatterjee, Copyright 2017


About The Author: Alberto Jiminez is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018.

Also posted in Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Environment, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn Photography

Jesse Halpern: Raw Emotions


Photography, Text and Video Interview by Jesse Halpern, Copyright 2017




Before shooting to try and capture the emotions of happiness, sadness, despaired, and love, I tried to think of what those emotions consisted of, what provoked them, and how they manifested themselves in terms of facial cues or actions. The two emotions that I had the easiest time in creating a concept for were happiness and despair.

Despair Is initially reactionary, to either one specific trauma, or to a multitude. These traumas tear at the fabric of your life. Despair is a period of a revaluation of the traumatic event and of one’s existence. I chose to depict this by reviewing myself in a mirror. There is an initial shock in the first photo, followed by a unpleasant realization in the second.

Happiness can also be provoked. This reaction I took as being a laugh. It’s an instinctual happy response. But that laugh and happiness is only temporary. It is followed by an assessment of one’s surroundings and one’s life, and if it’s beyond a momentary laugh, it turns into a soft content smile, indicating a satisfaction with one’s place in the world.

Love is perhaps the one I struggled with the most. Love is extremely personal. Everyone loves different things, different people, but love I find is an internal happiness. I wanted to put my model in a situation in which they were beyond content, so that way they could close their eyes and find an inner love, an inner peace.

Sadness is less of a reaction and more of an emotion that sets in over time.  To depict this, I wanted these photos to look very still, very calm, and very dark. I wanted to depict a melancholy. Melancholy is a more rational sadness. One isn’t bombarded with a flurry of quick thoughts they can’t make sense of. Rather one contemplates their sadness in an analytic way, or they might not be contemplating their sadness at all. To some degree they have accepted that they’re sad.

With my analysis of these different emotions, I wanted to showcase them in a real life setting. All of them were shot in the same apartment and all incorporated in some way or another, the lighting fixtures that were already present in the apartment. I used tungsten lighting for love because although the color didn’t seem natural to me, none of the preexisting lighting reflected internal tranquility.

To shoot in these low light conditions I had to use an 85 mm lenses so that way I could use a wider aperture, and relatively quick enough shutter speeds. This lenses allowed me to focus on the elements I wanted present in my compositions. It did limit me in the sense that if I wanted to do a full vertical portrait, It would be very confining and ultimately not a good photo given the cramped quarters of the apartment.




Portrait of Jesse Halpern by Alberto Jiminez, Copyright 2017


About The Author: Jesse Halpern is a Sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019

Also posted in Blog, Documentary, Environment, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn

Janelle Tong: Hate Has No Home Here



Photography, Text and Video by Janelle Tong, Copyright 2017




Black yellow white brown red blue pink purple

Valedictorian, social entrepreneur, feminist rights activist, gender equality advocate

#theyre #not #sending #their #best #people

Open campus open ears open minds open hearts

Creating a safe haven for discourse and community

#a #total #and #complete #shutdown

Every person has a right to higher education

A right to be heard and learn and speak their minds

#blood #coming #out #of #her #eyes

Sharing the knowledge of research and data-backed facts

Questioning the beliefs yet still respecting the believers

#theyre #bringing #crime #theyre #racists

Using words to stand up against oppression

Using pen to sever through the sword

#id #like #to #punch #him #in #the #face

Equality is something not given but earned

Something not assumed but fought for

#coming #out #of #her #whatever

Double check your sources

Triple check your attitude

#im #building #a #wall

Screaming makes people deaf and close their ears

Silence makes people listen more to your words

#but #you #know #with #the #second #amendment

America was founded by immigrants for immigrants

Protecting the liberties and freedoms for anyone and everyone

#shutdown #of #muslims #entering

One nation under god indivisible

With justice and liberty for all

#building #a #wall


You do not speak for Penn.

Love is love is love

You do not speak for Wharton.

Love is love is love

You do not speak for us.

Love is love is love

Hate has no home here.



Quotation sources: Donald Trump’s twitter feed, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award acceptance


About The Author: Janelle Tong is a Senior enrolled in the Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. To read additional articles by Janelle Tong, go here


Also posted in Art, Blog, Current Events, Environment, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, UPenn

Tong Pow: Dance Props

Tong_Pow_Photography_Umbrella_Still_Life_Side_Asian_Dance_Prop copy


Photography, Text and Video by Tong Pow, Copyright 2017




The parasol used by the University of Pennsylvania’s  Pan Asian Dance Troupe in their traditional girls’ dance piece conspicuously, yet with veneration, carries with itself rich, deeply rooted, and controversial Chinese traditions. Though the one photographed for this still life series in reality is merely a prop. It is an anachronistic symbol that serves as the reminder of an ancient wives tale regarding its necessity to protect people from “the elements.”




It also was used by people to showcase wealth and power, as many strove for a “bigger the better” mentality. I guess things haven’t changed that much even since ancient tChina. In considering my photographs for this series, I focused less on the parasols historical intricacies and more on the immediate visual and emotional impact it had on me.




I was drawn by the smooth, homogenous, and innocently pink fabric (with exception of some minimally painted flowers) of the parasol’s outside, supported by an incisive, intricate mechanism underlying the parasol’s most basic practicalities, to open and to close. Light in a dark room illuminates further dimensions of the parasol, as its fabrics create shadows and colors that add interesting layers for the still life series.



About The Author: Tong Pow is a freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2o20.

Also posted in Art, Blog, Photography, Popular Culture, UPenn

Jonathan Tang: Exposure of Emotion

Photography,Video  Interview and Text by Jonathan Tang, Copyright 2017




Happiness, sadness, love, and despair: four emotions innate to the human spirit. Since the beginning of photography, portraits have captured these fleeting emotions to share with others. But early photographs were not still. Their films required lengthy exposures to record the expressions presented to them. To study these emotions, I considered them in the contexts of their emotions.

SADNESS. Deep, contemplative, still. Sadness sits, silently. On mentioning the emotion of sadness, my models instinctively knew what to do. I turned the lights down, dimming them until Greg and Linda’s faces blurred in the darkness, and prepared a long exposure to bring their emotions out from the dark. Both sat still, contemplative, remembering old memories. 

DESPAIR. Anguished, painful, agitated. Despair writhes, heatedly. Despair was a more difficult emotion to work with – we discussed it for some time before settling on an idea. Despair moved and writhed, and could not be captured with a still image. I prepared my exposure, and Greg and Linda moved with it, rendering paintings on film.

LOVE. Warm, caring, slow. Love seeps in, unhurriedly. Love came easily to the pair. It moved quickly, but yet held still. Their love was hot, and emotional; but yet warm, and caring. While I adjusted my camera, Greg and Linda prepared two poses which showed their love. Their warmth approached me, despite me sitting on the opposite side of the room.

HAPPINESS. Energetic, exciting, active. Happiness warms, animatedly. Ironically, happiness was the most difficult emotion to photograph. Greg and Linda had difficulty “being happy,” perhaps because happiness comes in so many forms. While they wriggled to entertain each other, I started shooting, hoping to catch them in action.

When I walked into the studio, I had in mind that I would return with a set of bright, well-lit, dramatic photographs. Little did I know that my results would be anything but. While I fidgeted with the lighting, Greg and Linda bantered and started laughing. The first pictures I took were crisp, sharp, and bright. However, the lighting never fully satisfied me, and while I turned off my lamps, I accidentally plunged the room into darkness. I soon noticed that the room was equipped with a dimmer switch, and that the lights had been dimmed to their lowest settings, not entirely off. I set my camera to take a long exposure, and revealed the concealed orange-red hue of the room. Realizing that I could not obtain this character anywhere else, I started shooting Greg and Linda in motion.



About The Author: Jonathan Tang is senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2017. Johnathan plans to enroll in medical school once he graduates.


Also posted in Art, Blog, Documentary, Erotica, Photography, Popular Culture, Portraiture, Student Life, UPenn