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

Esther Fleischer: A Horse Show Through Still Life Photos

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Photography and Text by Esther Fleischer, Copyright 2018

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A Horse Show Through Still Life Photos

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Any time or place can be boiled down into a series of images. An object here, a combination of items there. What is the experience of a horse show when reduced to 8 objects?

When it’s your time to ride, you draw the name of your horse out of a hat. You look at the description sheet, anxiously searching for any answers before you get on a horse that you have never seen before. Your nerves build as you look for the horse, thinking about all possible dispositions and potential problems. But as you see the horse, your heart rate slows. A sweet, calm horse. A soft bit. A delicate nose, breathing in and out rhythmically. You smile.

You look at the ring, thinking about your ride. Remembering the strides that you walked and counted earlier, staring at the rollbacks and imagining your turns. Looking at the corners, remembering to stay out and get your lead change before them. You look at the jumps themselves, one with flowers and a miniature roll top. You know that they seem like the difficult or important part, but you also know that the ride is in the flat between them.

That horse description outlines a couple of notable features of the horse. Height. Color. Difficult lead changes. Sticky upward transitions. Does not like to be around other horses. The best draw. Crop required.

There are a few brands that permeate all levels of competition. Charles Owen helmets, Tailored Sportsman breeches, Ariat boots. You aren’t judged based on money or brands, but rather on the image between you and your horse. The image that is based on effective riding and beautiful equitation. The image that the right clothing helps to look just right. So you squeeze your immense amount of hair into a hairnet, and shove your Charles Owen helmet on top. Now you’re ready.

You polish your boots three times. At home, bringing back that shine that was lost through weeks of practices filled with dust and mud. When you get to the show, again to get rid of any possible dirt before you get on. And a third time, when you are on your horse. Your friend and captain completes the final touches as another friend changes your stirrup length. Your coach gives you last minute advice. And small, gentle spurs that some horses require. Low enough on your heel to do no harm.

You walk into the ring. Preparing to trot, you look around one last time, hoping to find anything that helps you. You look at one of the jumps, looking at it for more than an obstacle. The barrels and wheels, creating interesting shapes and shadows. Guiding you to the middle of the jump. You pray that it doesn’t spook your horse and earn a refusal.

It’s not that you’re reduced to a number, but the number is how the judge can identify you. Everyone has one, and as the ribbons are passed out you hope more than anything that yours is called out.

And finally, a job well done by both horse and rider. Walking out of the ring, proud of the winning ride that they had. A consistent pace. Good distances to all of the jumps. Beautiful equitation. Trust of a horse that she had never seen ten minutes before, allowing for the success that they found. A blue ribbon symbolizing their win, her preparation and their teamwork shining throughout their ride. But important than the ribbon, a pat telling her horse that it was a job well done.

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About The Author: Esther Fleischer is a Freshman enrolled in the College of the University of Pennsylvania, Class of 2021. To access additional articles by Esther Fleischer, click herehttps://tonywardstudio.com/blog/esther-fleischer-composition-in-sports/

 

Also posted in Accessories, Blog, Current Events, Documentary, Photography, Popular Culture, UPenn, UPenn Photography, 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

WENJIA_GUO_BOOK REVIEW_ARCHITECTURAL_GIFT

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