Category Archives: UPenn: Photography Students

Wenjia Guo: Mini Fab Lab

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Photography, Text and Video by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

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MINI FAB LAB

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Recently I have spent almost my whole week in the fabrication lab to build a one to one scale physical model. After several days I became familiar with most of the machines and tools. I could tell which kind of abrasive paper is for wood and which is for metal. I know which size of drill matches the nails I need, and which saw needs a board to reduce shaking. Then things became much more interesting when we developed more functions of the tools depending on the characteristics of them. We folded the metal sheets with the machine for cutting by using the pressing part. At this moment, I realized that I could look at these tools in the form of elements —— screw threads for increasing friction, parallel wrench for limiting the angle, even a dust mask has ropes for ears and cloths for the face. I chose this microcosmic perspective to record tools in the fabrication lab, trying to redirect our attention to these deconstruction elements.

Tools already have its mechanical power and order, the details of them always follow some kind of geometric aesthetic.  An array of drills divided the picture vertically and at the same time showed the upward spiral. A row of high and low wrenches reflected the rhythm of strong power with a beautiful curvature. The different scale of numbers on the ruler embody an equidistant accuracy. The weave of the elastic band gave expression to the elegance of a complex order.

This mini fabrication lab just like every environment we are familiar with, it has its regular character and scene, but when you learn the intrinsic quality of these tools, it will lead you to a huge potential. The microcosmic perspective is just a way to see the world, but throw it we could experience the progress of setting the focus and selection of elements, it may just introduce the same methods we could use to analyze other problems as well.

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About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-architectural-gift/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Blog, Contemporary Architecture, Documentary, Engineering, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Video, Women

Lilibeth Montero: What’s in My Bag?

 

Photography and Text by Lilibeth Montero, Copyright 2018

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What’s in My Bag?

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This year has been filled of advances for women. One of the biggest movement’s #metoo have given women the ability to speak out against the systemic oppression that occurs in the workplace, and society. I am so proud of the accomplishments of brave women this year, yet there is still so much to change. Looking in my bag I find it to be completely unfair that I have to carry objects like a rape whistle and a pepper spray in order to feel safe. Sadly, I noticed that it has become almost instinct, to grab my pepper spray every morning.

Looking forward, I know that my struggles are not comparable to the struggles women before me faced. I am so grateful of the strives women have made. A lot has changed this year, and I am so proud because I know future women like my younger sister will not have to endure the hardships of oppression that for so long has attempted to silence women.  Additionally, my intention with this piece was to honor all the great strides women took this year.

For my image, I was inspired by a trend on social media called “what’s in my bag”, it involves women showing the contents of their bag on camera. The images I captured take a twisted turn on “stereotypical” objects associated with women. In order to criticize traditional women’s role. I used three bags, a wallet, handbag and a makeup pouch. I wanted to pair these objects with something like pepper spray, or newspaper headings of the “#metoo” movement to depict that there is a great deal that needs to be done to help women.  I wanted the images to reflect someone literally dumping their belongings on their night stand. I also placed a newspaper heading called “feminist” because I think there has been some flaws in understanding the term. I captured the pictures using natural light in my room. I put the ISO up to 600 and increased the shutter speed to increase the amount of light available. In Photoshop I fixed some lighting issues by increasing the brightness and red tones within the image.

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About The Author: Lilibeth Montero is a freshman enrolled in the School of Nursing, University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Lilibeth Montero, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/lilibeth-montero-looking-at-photographs/

 

Also posted in Blog, Fashion, Glamour, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Emily Cheng: Objects of Desire

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Photography and Text by Emily Cheng, Copyright 2018

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OBJECTS OF DESIRE

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Last year, I discovered the Minimalism movement after watching a documentary on Netflix. Ridden with anxiety over school and recruiting among other things, I embraced Minimalism as a way to banish the physical and mental clutter in my life. This entailed taking a good, hard look at all of my belongings, including my beloved collection of over 50 pairs of shoes.

Minimalism teaches that you should love people, not things. But for so many of us, breaking up with the objects in our life is no easy task. When we’re exposed to over 5,000 advertisements a day, we’re conditioned to lust after material goods, to see the continuous attainment of things as success. We are constantly compelled to buy more and more clothes, shoes, accessories, makeup, with the false notion that every next purchase will change our lives for the better.

Millennials are slowly dispelling the myth that material wealth is the path to happiness. As the generation struggling with crippling student debt, a difficult job market and lack of access to home ownership, we have a different definition of success than our predecessors, one that is not defined by having more stuff. Certainly, there is a tension between these beliefs and the obsession with buying that advertising imbues in us. This photo series, “Objects of Desire,” explores the complex relationship that we have with our belongings. It aims to depict the lust we feel towards these status symbols, how we place them on a pedestal as the solution to a better self, a better life.

I am by no means finished with my minimalism journey – even with my decluttering efforts, my closets are still plentiful and my shoe racks filled. However, I believe that unpacking the feelings we have towards our belongings, these objects of desire, is a good start.

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About The Author: Wing Hei Emily Cheng is a Senior enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2018. To access additional articles by Ms. Cheng, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/emily-cheng-looking-photographs-john-szarkowski/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Erotica, Fashion, Glamour, Models, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Wenjia Guo: Architectural Gift

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Photo: Wenjia Guo

 

Photography and Text by Wenjia Guo, Copyright 2018

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Book Review

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John Szarkowski:  Looking at Photographs

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When I first got this book, I was wondering why we need to look at such a “history” book to learn photography. The book I rented from Cornell University first surprised me with its date due list, whose first reader rented it in 1984, ten years before I was born. This magical feeling seemed to have nothing to do with photography technique, but related to the most important thing I absorbed from the book — the historical significance of photo selection, which I understand as real important.

The first time I read Looking at Photographs, I just focused on the pictures without tasting the articles, the first time, portraitures mainly caught my eye. The eye contact, the hairstyles, the clothes, even the gestures showed the harmony with the environmental background of the time. But after reading each picture’s introduction, I found even gestures are more vivid, needless to say landscape photography, architecture photography and other genres have come to my awareness. The historical background is quite charming. When you see a man with his hands crossed holding his head chatting with others, the situation that farmers in those those years with not much work to do, instead had plenty of time for conversation is reasonable but a little bit surprising. 

However, what inspired me most in the book is the staircase photo, which was created by Tina Modotti when she lived in Mexico in the years 1923 through 1926. Pictures of architecture definitely shows the combination of materials, the wood, the metal, the concrete all have diverse brightness, and even it is a picture of black and white, I could feel the different temperature when sun light heated them. What’s more, the powerful straight lines created a wonderful geometric pattern, the perspective of the stairs as well as the handrail created a spiral of beauty.

The light in this picture that I created is also attractive, it comes from the back and forms a different kind of depth. So, during my travel week in Miami, I paid a lot of attention when I visited different buildings, trying to find some contemporary characteristics of architecture and how the light and materials played in the view. When I stood in the hall of New World Center by Frank Gehry, I see the flow curvature, the prefabrication technique, the slowly rising stairs, the elegant boundary of windows and walls, as well as the light gently irradiated from a particular distance. 

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About The Author: Wenjia Guo is a Graduate student in the School of Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. To access additional articles by Wenjia Guo, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/wenjia-guo-emotional-change/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Book Reviews, Contemporary Architecture, Current Events, Engineering, Environment, Health Care, News, Photography, Politics, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography, Women

Mu Qiao: Builder

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Montage: Mu Qiao

 

Montage and Text by Mu Qiao, Copyright 2018

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Book Reviews

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Jerry Uelsmann’s “Poets House” and John Szarkowski’s “Looking at Photographs”

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After reading JERRY UELSMANN’s “Poet’s House”, which is in the book of “LOOKING AT PHOTOGRAPHS”, I am quickly drawn into the idea of ​​synthesized photographs. I really appreciate the point that photographs can be constructed to produce an assembled effect, which the photographer wants the audience to see instead of showing the audience purely realistic photography, which may mis -convey the photographer’s points of view.

One of the examples that I used most for the synthesized photographs is montage.

Montage is a manifestation of freedom. Making good use of montages or collages, in the early stages of design, we architects can get many ideas and inspiration. The essence of collage is the creation of relationship between things. This relationship is not just a juxtaposition of two nearby elements, but also a spatial affiliation. In composition, the height of each collage element, before and after cover, material color, size and so on all related to their hierarchy in the entire collage works. A good collage or montage can portray a less clear story.

For example, Richard Hamilton’s very famous pop art collage “Just What Is It that Makes Today’s Homes So Different, So Appealing?” (1956). This work is composed of images tailored from American magazines. There are many representatives of elements such as the explosion of multimedia information and the popularization of electrical appliances at that time. The elements create interest and conflict while expressing the author’s ideas. For example, the photo of the earth at the top of the room was taken from the cover of Life Magazine. Although it appears on the ceiling as an irrational phenomenon, it is indeed the result of the development of science and technology at that time. This shows that collages are often humorous.

In the procedure of synthesized photographs, there are many tips. Collage is to construct an order, what is new, what is old, what is important, what is secondary, and what is the role played by people in the scene character of. This information is generated by, but also the audience need to think about.

Appropriate to add some lines to help collage to form a complete space. Simply use the background pattern and white space to distinguish space outside. Another common practice is to use a natural scene or material texture as a material to create a silhouette of people or things. Such silhouettes will carry the emotions and atmosphere of the pictures they contain or reflect some of the characters.

The montage also breaks the perspective and combines the building with a flat map. The two parts interact to show the geographical orientation and at the same time add a visual texture to the map area.

In the model, people are used to represent the scale, while people in the collage can increase the sense of substitution and let the audience see the content of the painting from his perspective.

For the “Builder”, I used several photos of famous architects, who are working at a table. The table becomes the connection and also the center of that scene. Taking the photo of New York city view as the background creates the sense of space. The whole picture then presents a fantasy scene that architects are working together and designing the world.

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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 herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/mu-qiao-left-or-right/

 

Also posted in Architecture, Art, Book Reviews, Contemporary Architecture, Engineering, Environment, History, Men, Photography, Popular Culture, Student Life, UPenn, UPenn Photography