Category Archives: Video

Mu Qiao: The Game of Sunshine

The wire pole in the sea. Photographed in Key West, the southernmost place of United States.

The wire pole in the sea. Photographed in Key West, the southernmost place of United States.

 

Photography, Text and Video by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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THE GAME OF SUNSHINE

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I like to travel to places with water and sunshine. Miami, Key West and Cancun are all ideal destinations. For a traveler, the sunshine brings us bright scenery and a good mood. For a photographer, the abundant sunlight allows us to pay more attention to the composition of a picture and the object itself. In the “The Game of Sunshine” series, I tried to apply different perspectives, places, distances and compositions to record the traces of sunlight. In these photos facing the sky, the objects were relatively planar, such as masts, cities and sea levels, but the clouds increased the sense of depth in the picture. Moreover, Water and glass can create excellent effects of light and shadow, and there are distinct differences between spot sources and surface sources. In addition, the interior space with a curved wall can create a soft and smooth light and shade experience. Including sky, sea, building and people, the sunshine is creating its own photography all the time. The interesting and meaningful thing that we can do is to find a special perspective and capture the fleeting moments. 

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I was lying on a boat near Miami beach, watching the mast above, and an airplane was flying through the blue sky.

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Looking up from the bottom of the Aquarium World in Cancun. The sunshine above and a big glass wall create a fantastic light effect.

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The blue glass roof of a commercial street in Miami. Photographed at noon.

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The city of Miami and the yacht bay.

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Photographed at the “New World Center” building in Miami, which is designed by Frank Gehry.

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Photographed in Key Largo beach, an island near Key West. A boy is stretching himself under sunshine.

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A lizard is standing on the historical ruins of Maya Civilization, raising its head and enjoy the sunshine. Photographed in Cancun, Mexico.

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A lizard is standing on the historical ruins of Maya Civilization, raising its head and enjoy the sunshine. Photographed in Cancun, Mexico.

My girlfriend and I were waiting for a dolphin show in an aquarium. She turned her head, looked at the sunset and I took this picture.

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About The Author: Mu Qiao is a Graduate student enrolled in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Mu Qiao, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-what-is-love/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, Travel, UPenn Photography

Grant Wei: Consumption

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Photography, Text and Video by Grant Wei, Copyright 2018

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CONSUMPTION

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“Household income is equal to investment plus consumption.”

How cute. In terms of generating sustainable economic growth, the optimal allocation for capital and labor in an economy is almost always an investment given enough consumption to sustain population growth.

However, it seems almost… wrong. What is the purpose of generating economic growth if we cannot consume our income in ways that generate a desirable level of utility? It seems as though there exists some sort of underlying purpose to life other than to generate economic growth.

But the question is — when is it enough? How do we allocate our income to generate the most utility in our lifetime? Is that even the purpose of life at all?

It seems almost instinctual. We think about what we want to eat or what we want to wear, but how much of our thought process is guided by a series of conscious decisions as opposed to vague inclinations?

And so, I wanted to capture the things that we consume, the objects in our lives that allegedly have a sense of meaning other than contributing to the growth of an economy.

Because, supposedly, our possessions should bring happiness to us. Supposedly. But, in the context of a constant drive towards external validation that will never come, is it really?

We constantly observe the cycles of our life driven by the whims of our desire to consume, but where does our sense of consciousness play in? We want. And then we want more. And more. And more. Until we die, and we stop wanting.

And maybe, that’s the summation of our life: a series of whims that contributed to some economic growth in the long run.

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About The Author: Grant Wei is a Sophomore enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2020. To access additional articles by Grant Wei, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/grant-wei-an-accurate-painting/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Documentary, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Science, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students

Anisha Arora: A Whiff of History

 

Photography and Text by Anisha Arora, Copyright 2018

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A Whiff of History

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The Wharton/Penn bubble is real. My looming graduation in May made me realize that I have spent all my time at Wharton in the small bubble extending from Huntsman Hall in Center City to Rittenhouse Square. So, for this assignment, I decided to break the bubble and explore other parts of Philly.

Amid the beautiful cobblestone streets of Old City, lies the Betty Ross house where the first American flag was made. Betsy, originally called Elizabeth Griscom, was one of 17 children in the Quaker Griscom family in the 18th century. She was a trained upholsterer and had moved to the Betsy Ross house after eloping with her first husband. She faced one tragedy after another, from death of her first two husbands to deaths of most of her children, and later deaths of her parents and sister from yellow fever. She continued to run her fledgling upholstery business, while bearing all the tragedies, and was approached by George Washington in 1777 to make the first American national flag.

It was humbling and inspiring to hear Betsy’s story. Often, in the Wharton bubble, our small troubles seem so big and we often forget how fortunate we are for all the resources and opportunities we have been bestowed upon us. Betsy’s story reminded me to be more grateful for what I have.

One of the stories that spoke directly to Betsy’s character full of courage and love was her determination to work on the American flag, in spite of all the danger it placed her in. She considered this a dedication to her first husband, John Ross, who was a patriot and had died while fighting in the Revolution.

Through my photography, I tried to capture the essence of the Betty Ross house and the ordinary items that gave me a sneak-peek into what Betsy’s life looked like, including a view of her candle-lit room, where she would sit on her chair while working on the national flag.

History is everywhere in the nation’s first capital. One only needs to be willing to break the bubble every once-a-while.

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About The Author: Anisha Arora is enrolled in the Graduate program, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Anisha Arora, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/anisha-arora-shoes/

 

Also posted in Blog, Documentary, History, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students, Women

Fangyi “Frank” Fan: Colors of Bottles

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Photography, Text and Video by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, Copyright 2018

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Colors of Bottles

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In college, alcohol has a big presence in many students’ life. Just as the variety of alcohol, liquor bottles usually are made available in different colors, shapes and styles, which do not get equal recognition compared to the liquid inside. For me, they seem like the perfect still objects for this series of still lifes.

I found these bottles in my friend’s apartment. They were put on the top of a shelf , covered by dust. My friend told me that they have been there for quite a long time and if I wanted I could just take them with me. He apparently felt that those bottles became useless once the drinking is done. However, after I stared at the bottles, the different forms of liquor bottles fascinated me.  The transparent nature of the colorful glass as well as the creative labels all make these bottles like art pieces. All eight pictures could be broken down into two categories: full bottles and details on a bottle. For the category of full bottles, I tried different lighting techniques to display the full beauty of the objects. In four of them, I put an Iphone underneath the bottle and used the flashlight app to light up the bottle from underneath. This extra addition of light source, though inducing some noise at some parts, added some flavor to the picture. In the second category of the shooting, I focused on the labels of the liquor bottles. By adjusting f stops, I achieved the desired depth of field in shooting those micro details with excellent clarity.

The more I worked with those empty bottles, the more I pondered what alcohol brought to students at Penn. A way to alleviate stress? A tool to escape reality? Or is it just a social norm that most people tend to conform to? The answer lies in the emptiness of those bottles.

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About The Author: Fangyi “Frank” Fan is a Senior enrolled in the School of Engineering, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Fangyi “Frank” Fan, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/fangyi-frank-fan-meaning-of-makeup/

 

Also posted in Blog, Environment, Photography, Popular Culture, Still Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, UPenn: Photography Students

Rongrong Liu: A Macro View of Utensils

 

Photography, Text and Video by Rongrong Liu, Copyright 2018

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A Macro View of Utensils

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As a foodie for years, my approach to this still life assignment started with the thought of taking pictures of food settings. However, an insufficiency of tableware at home, I shifted my focus to emphasize the auxiliary but inseparable tools, utensils.

Sometimes under the lightsource, the highlight on the edges of spoons can cast a shiny half-eclipse reflection on the table so beautifully that I decided to utilize the reflective property of metals. I began with a single spoon and fork with a black background, but the lonely shadow turned out to be dull, hence I added more and more of them until they  overlapped.  Under the macro lense, with an f-stop at 2.8, the utensils have an abstract look.  It is my first attempt at macro lens photography, and it is the first time I realized the life philosophy “how things look depend on how you look at it” can apply to this series, literally.  The abstraction attracted me so much, that I made use of this look to shoot knives and a kitchen strainer.  At first glance, it might be hard to see what they are, but once I added a title to the series, the riddle was solved.

I hardly ever took any still life pictures before because I used to think still life is still, everyone at the same spot I am standing can take exactly the same photo, but the one thing I missed is composition. It is true that you can frame a photo with the same still objects, but these ordinary objects that we take for granted can be more than interesting if you actually look “into” them. How things look depend on how you look at it. It’s all about a point of view.

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About The Author: Rongrong Liu is a Junior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2019. To access additional articles by Rongrong Liu, click herehttp://tonywardstudio.com/blog/rongrong-liu-looking-at-photographs/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Art, Blog, Cameras, Documentary, Environment, Friends of TWS, Photography, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn: Photography Students, Women