Lesson 2 Assignment

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    Marissa Berguson

    I have to be honest and say that much of the art and photography that inspires me comes from many different people, yet with the same view. But specifically I find that, like some of the work of Ed Van Der Elsken’s jazz photos (lesson 2), natural lighting plays a big role in how I like to take my photographs. I enjoy seeing people and settings for what they are and getting something out of the natural beauty of a scene rather than using a number of resources to create something slightly more artificial. Providing additional settings to a photograph to enhance the quality can be incredibly beneficial, no doubt, but in capturing a moment of activity or natural feeling in a person’s face and/or surroundings seems to depict so much of what is happening in that moment. Freezing “that moment” in time and capturing the real emotion behind the subject being photographed is an incredible inspiration to me.

    I have always loved interacting with people. Seeing how they will react to a situation, how they hold themselves together, what they like or do not like, what they enjoy talking about, how they want to be treated, how they treat others, what passions they hold. Each one of those aspects of the person’s character speaks volumes about the emotions within them. Being able to familiarize yourself with someone and the things they do means a lot to me, and when I want to photograph those qualities, I seek to be completely aware of the emotion or passion expressed by them. For this reason, I am inspired by Ed Van Der Elsken’s photos such as the one posted below. The man is clearly “getting into” his musical performance here. The words that come to mind are “happy”, “free”, or “passion.”

    Not all of Ed Van Der Elsken’s work portrays clear visions of emotion, but it all depicts much action and many every-day activities and scenarios that have meaning and purpose to not only him as a photographer, but also to the people and places around him. Everything has significance and a meaning behind it if you will simply take the time to look deep and get close enough.

    If I had to settle on a specific point of interest and inspiration to draw on from other artists & photographers, it would be that of portrait photography with an emphasis on capturing emotion. I want to capture the feeling behind a look in someone’s eyes as they face the camera. Talking with them, getting to know them, and being able to communicate with them and bring out the true emotion and feelings of the moment while having the camera ready is when I feel most capable of snapping a good photo. For example, seeing someone begin to laugh or smile about something that may have come up in a conversation or situation can be a window of time when the subject will not worry about the photo being taken and just be themselves – their own unique person. That’s when I want to make the moment last with a single “click.”

    Duncan Rawlinson

    Hi Rissa,

    You have put together a nice piece here. I’m not here to tell you how to write an essay, I’m here to get you to improve your photography! That said, the point of this assignment is to get you to think about what inspires you and why.

    You’ve clearly outlined that in your piece so that’s great.

    My first though about your passion for capturing that decisive moment reminded me of photographer Henri Cartier Bresson. Here he is:

    He is a master at capturing that magic moment.

    For example take a look at these:



    How incredible are those moments?!

    I’m not saying you can just wake up one day and be the next Bresson but he is certainly inspiring and I would advise you to learn more about him.

    What’s even more fascinating is that he used ONE lens!

    It’s just another reminder that your equipment is really not limiting you.

    If you want to learn more about him just visit here.

    Overall you’ve done well on your assignment and I look forward to seeing your next one!


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