Task 5

The title of my project will be “The Other Side” because I am experimenting with lights and the shadows will create the other side of my portrait. The social issue I want to explore is the other side of people that live in modern society. Many people are good in the morning but switch to their other side. A brief summary is that I am exploring the hidden side of people through lights and shadows. Another issue that can be expressed through my photos is that many people pretend to people that they are not, and there is no chance for them to be their true selves because they simply want to fit in. I want my audience to feel the dark mood of the photos and understand the issue I am trying to express. There should be a dark mood that is presented in a good way; there must be a good focus that attracts the audience and allows them to understand my mood. The shadows should create a contrast with the light and should be about a 1:1 ratio. The subject of the portrait must be very serious or the two moods I am expressing must be very different in contrast. The artist I am going to get my inspiration from is Sebastian Bianco because he experimented a lot with light. His figures are covered in the shadows and they often do not show the face. All of his figures demonstrate a lot of character and they have certain symbols that allow the audience to immediately interpret his message and mood. There is often action in the photos and it creates another effect to the photos. Also, he often has some lights in his photos that are around the character to create the focus; the audience is often attracted to lights. His photos never need facial features to tell the story but I am going to use more facial features rather than action for some of my photos. I am thinking about slightly modifying the style and change it into something that is better for me.


Task 3

The type of photographs I want to look at is the ones that experiment with lighting. In the previous project, I did some things on tone and I want to explore further on this path. Light and shadows can symbolize many things and are used frequently in portraits. The issue I want to explore is the idea of humans; the bright side and the dark side of each and every individual. This can be represented with shadows and lights in portraiture combing with the idea of using humans for this project. The shadows often represent the dark sides of humanity and the brightness often represents the good side. However, lighting can also create focus and other effects so I will also be looking at some of that. Some photos I will look at for an example of lighting to reveal character is Winston Churchill. One I would use for direct inspiration is Sebastiano Bianco, his photos are often figures in the dark and the shadows themselves reveal their character.


Introduction to Portraiture

Portrait photography has been around for a long time and has recorded many important people in history. A photo is a portrait when it captures the style and personality of a person or group. The person that is captured can be a celebrity or an ordinary man, the key to portraiture is to capture their identity and personality with your camera. Portrait photography is used on many occasions such as weddings and family photos to express their feelings at that moment.

Selfies can be portraits because it is a way of expressing your own character, and that is the goal of portrait photography. Selfies can also be taken on many occasions and selfies are really just portraits of themselves.

A portrait needs to include a subject; humans, animals, objects, etc. Unlike abstract photography, it needs a definite and clear subject because it is the identity of the photo. The subject of the photo and the angle it is taken at decides if this photo is good or not, it is crucial to select the right subject and angle to get the best shot; the shot that expresses the subject’s mood and characteristics the best. A good portrait avoids a large scene and often only focuses on the figure; the best photos include the least background. Many also try to blur the background to make the subject the focus for the audience to see.

A good portrait is always focused and the subject is always strong. For example, strong eyes are an example of a strong focus. Also, many only focus on the subject and there is nothing in the background so that it emphasizes the subject. A good portrait photographer also tries to portray the subject in the best way they can be and find the unique side that expresses themselves in the photo.

A portrait can be of things such as hands. Small details can be portraits as long as they express something, but it has to be the only subject; there cannot be many details. A portrait does not only limit to faces but it can be from different parts of the body.

An abstract figure ceases to become a portrait when it is blurred because it is not the focus anymore if you blur it and there are fewer expressions of the figure whereas a torn figure might emphasize the focus even more and express the figure better if they happen to have torn up characteristics.

No, it would be very hard to represent a person through a still-life because there are not enough details on an object that can make the audience identify a person immediately. However, if a person is in the photo with an object, it could better reveal his/her character and it tends to attract the focus and creates details.  It is also possible to make portraits out of objects if it portrays something and demonstrates a mood of something, but it would be very hard for objects to represent a person.

A portrait can be a set of photographs, a set of photographs can capture many things such as motion and different lights. It better reveals the character and sometimes adds more mood to the photo. For example, a set of photos with motion can better fit the characteristics of an athlete and demonstrate his unique style by adding the motion. It can also be used to add some contrast to the photo. For example, a photo without shadows and one with shadows contrast between light and dark and alludes to the idea of good and evil through this, it is a revelation of character for humans; the balance of good and evil is in everyone. This could become very useful when doing photos that are meant to aim for the idea of humans.







Percy Jackson Book 4

I am currently on the 220th page of the book. The four that went on the quest; Percy, Annabeth, Grover, and Tyson have found their way through the labyrinth and are now asking for help from Hephaestus.  They have encountered many problems on their way to Hephaestus including the monster Kampe and the Sphinx.

For my persuasive essay, I am thinking about doing an op-ed on school time. Based on research, the best time for teenagers to work is from 10AM-10PM, therefore, I think that school should start later and end later.

Final presentation


I chose these photos for my triptych because it matches my statement the best; it finds the beauty in ordinary objects. I followed Aaron Siskind’s style of photography and created texture in my photos. The major techniques Aaron Siskind uses are fragmentation, decay, and tone. In the first photo, there is a lot of fragmentation around the center and it looks like it is decaying; the pieces are falling off. In the center, it is darker than its surroundings, it creates contrast in tone and directs the focus of the audience towards it. In the second photo, there are many layers of different textures. There is a lot of decay going off, it seems like the wall is peeling off. There is another rock layer behind it, which creates even more texture contrast. I think it is my best representation of texture in my photos so I chose it. Also, these walls were found near the trash station, where no one would look, I found them when I was walking around looking for good photos. This completes my goal of finding the beauty of the ordinary. Furthermore, this is an abstraction because it includes details and ideas rather than the representation of the subject. The third photo is an experiment for lines, there are many cracks in the rock that form lines. It directs towards the main line, it has a difference of tone. The line in the middle is larger and it is darker than the rest, which quickly draws the focus of the audience. Here, I combined texture with lines and tone to create my own style. Also, the leaf on top was not intended, it was there when I took the photo. I left it there because it created more shapes and it would make the audience think more about why I chose to put it there. The leaf falls right in the middle at the side of the crack, which creates symmetry on both sides, which is another reason why I chose to leave it there. In conclusion, these photos show abstraction and the style of Aaron Siskind the best. I also think that it has some of my style in it, I think that it is the best representation for my story of taking photos.

Set 3- Andreas Gursky

Born in the city of Leipzig, Germany, in 1955, Andreas Gursky is a leading photographer of the 21st century. Unlike the abstract photos of the 20th century that mainly focuses on the details, Gursky’s photos are on a large scale and record the architecture of the landscape. His photos still had many details and the lighting or patterns of the subject attract the audience more than the subject does, but there are fewer techniques used and it is an accurate representation of the subject itself. It is a blend of recording reality and creating abstract photography.

Gursky came from a family with many commercial photographers, he studied photography during the ’70s at the Folkwang academy. Later in the ’80s, he became a student of the two photographers Bernd and Hill Becher. Like most of his fellow students, Gursky followed the trail of his teachers; he took black and white photos, which was the trend at that time. However, he began to skip off this trail and he started exploring with color cameras in the late ’80s. Gursky took photos of a lot of things, ranging from humans to small figures in an area, to vast landscape photos. Despite capturing photographs at such a large angle, Gursky assured that he got many details into his photo and it could be seen as a whole and broken down into many different elements.

However, his techniques were ahead of his time and his photos required the best printers to print during the time. In his photos, there isn’t a lot of edges, giving the audience the sense of an infinitely going pattern and giving the audience the chance to imagine the patterns.


This is my favorite photo by Andreas Gursky, it displays his style and reflects on his elements the best out of his photos. It is a landscape photo of a large apartment complex. It portrays many windows with different windows and it creates the feeling of a mosaic when put together and seen as a whole. This photo, with so many details and such high resolution, was actually taken by Gursky in 1993. There are many combinations of colors and open windows in this photo that creates a lot of space; like pixels of a computer. The patterns of these windows draw the attention of the audience and create a strong visual effect while every window creates details that the audience is able to study. It is an example of abstract art because the subject is not the main element here but the colors and patterns create the focus. It is also an example of representation because it is just the recording of a building and there aren’t any special angles or techniques used to create any effects; just a plain snap of a building. Moreover, Gursky didn’t include the edges of the building so it leaves space for imagination for the audience, there is an impression of infinitely going buildings that follow this pattern and it stretches towards the two sides of the photo.



Although many of Gursky’s photos were at a larger scale, my photos are at smaller scales; it is very hard to get such pictures. I maintained Gursky’s style of using the repetition of elements in the grids he used in many of my photos, and I used his descending sequences in some of my photos. Many of my photos were endless so it seems like it goes on forever.


The two red photos demonstrate the use of two techniques by Andreas Gursky; details within a landscape, and repetition of elements. The one with the repeated patterns has very clear grids and has a line going through it, adding to its shape. There is also tone to it because there are different shadows in different places of the photo, creating color contrast. Something that I could improve in the future is to get a broader view of this so that there can be more patterns observed. The one with the building had many different windows; some have their lights off and some have different colored lights. It lets the audience zoom into the detail but it can also be seen as a whole landscape. The different lights create some contrast and a lot of patterns, especially in the dark. Something that I will improve in the future is probably getting the brightness of the building up so that the audience can see the building and not just the lights.


Set 2






These red photos were improvised from the first set, which is also on Aaron Siskind. These photos are inspired by the techniques Aaron Siskind uses in his photograph; texture and tone. Furthermore, I added some line elements into this photo that created a focus; these photos are a combination of Aaron Siskind and my own style. For example, the red image on the second row has a central line with other lines leading towards it, it is darker than the lines around it creating a focus. I also used some of the techniques used in my favorite photo taken by Aaron Siskind. The red image in the last row is similar to that of Aaron Siskind’s Chicago, 1948. It has many lines and textures, it is possible to see that there are many decaying areas and the whole wall is cracking. The images express decay and it presents the texture of decayed objects. This style of abstract photography is clearly expressed through the details and the contrast of texture, Many of the red images correspond with each other and show the story of decay. For example, the second last row only has decay at the center but the bottom is falling apart. It shows the story of my photographs the best. It makes the audience focus on the details instead of the subject; if this photo was shot as a whole, it would only be a boring wall. Also, on the red image in the second row, the leaf creates a focus and that is my own experiment with these photos; to add something on top to create contrast with the rest of the photo.

Percy Jackson Book 4

I am currently on page 30 of Rick Riordan’s “Percy Jackson: The Battle of the Labyrinth”.  Percy Jackson has always been a kid with challenges such as ADHD and dyslexia and he has always gotten into many troubles. Soon, he realized that he is a Demigod and he was brought into the special camp for Demigods; camp half-blood. In book 4, Percy has gotten into trouble with demons in his new high school and almost burned down the music room. He escaped with his friend Annabeth’s help and traveled to camp half-blood, where larger trouble is awaiting him.

Set 1-Aaron Siskind

Born at the start of the 20th century, Aaron Siskind was a leading abstract photographer of his time. The subject of his photos is very hard to identify, and he is known for capturing the detail of objects. He likes to magnify the texture of different objects and directs the focus of the audience towards the texture rather than the object itself. Aaron Siskind began to take photos in 1932; he snapped shots of his neighborhood at that time. Approaching the 1940s, he changed his style and began to take abstract photos of different objects such as walls, trees, sand, footprints, and much more. Aaron Siskind’s photos changed from documentaries into poems that were beautiful but required a lot of interpretation. The texture of these objects that have been around everyday has been magnified and their beauty has been presented through Aaron Siskind’s photos. Aaron Siskind experimented with different ideas such as decay, fragmentation, and regeneration of organic and inorganic objects. His late pieces mostly focused on walls and trees, which solidified his style and made his photos well known to the world. When I photograph, I will remember the style of Aaron Siskind’s photos and look carefully at the textures of ordinary objects or what people think of as “decayed and fragmented” objects. I will try to take ordinary objects that directs people away from the subject itself and study the details, they could be bad as a whole, but the details could be appealing.


My favorite photograph by Aaron Siskind is this one above, it was taken in 1948, when Aaron Siskind started experimenting with abstract photography. It is possible to see that he is experimenting with decay and fragmentation in this photo because the material on the background is crumpled and there are a lot of little particles gathered on to them, the audience should be able to make an inference that it is decayed, but it is hard to tell what the object really is, which is what Aaron Siskind is trying to do here; he wants people to focus on the details rather than the object itself. The fragmentation comes in because the textures are not concentrated, but it is rather fragmented and presented in several different pieces. Aaron Siskind uses the formal elements very well, he finds photos that present several different types of textures that contrast from each other, I am very interested in his use of texture and it really presents things that the ordinary eye will not see. Another element Aaron Siskind likes to use in his photos is tone, there is very sharp contrast between light, shadows, and dark spots in the photo. This gives the photo a lot of mood, which is presented very well in this photo. Another reason this photo really appeals to me is because it is very hard to guess what is decaying, it looks like paint from one view and it looks like leaves from another, Aaron Siskind is trying to drive me off from the subject, which is the beauty of abstract art in my opinion; there are many more things to focus on than the choice of the subject.


In conclusion, the reason I chose this photo is because of Aaron Siskind’s use of tone and texture which really fascinates me. He weaved his own mood into the photo and the details of this photo is a good example for abstract photos that focus on texture, it is one of my favorite photos.



The images below are inspired by Aaron Siskind’s photographs focusing on the textures of different objects, I experimented with different objects in my neighborhood; walls, fences, trees, and even inside the heating pipes. My objective was to capture the texture of objects many people ignore and record my journey as a photographer capturing them. I looked at Aaron Siskind’s work and found out that he mainly focused on the colors, tone, and texture. My main focuses were trees and walls because they are the best for capturing Aaron Siskind’s main elements of texture; decay and fragmentation. Because my neighborhood is quite old, many of the walls are starting to peel off, which is perfect for my photoshoot. Also, there are many different types of trees in my neighborhood that I took pictures of. I looked at the locations with the most decay or contrast. However, there weren’t a lot of experiments with the difference of tone due to the tall structures behind my photos, it was very hard to get photos.


In the photos below, I will label photos with blue, green, and red based on how well the photos fit into my story of photos. My goal for the next set will be to try new things such as light and shadows to create tone in my photos.


I colored this one blue because it is my first experiment with trees, Aaron Siskind took a lot of photos of trees because it had a lot of different textures and details. However, the left side of my photo was a bit out of focus, so I can only give it blue.


I experimented with color and texture here, there are many different types of textures that create contrast in this photo. This is a photo of a tree outside with the bark peeled, it provided a contrast of color and created different patterns. There were also a lot of bumps that created dimensions in the photo, the irregular patterns gave the sense of nature, which is why I chose to take this photo.


This one is a different perspective from the photo above, I labeled this one red because my vision was better in this one and I found a location with decay (see top right). I experimented with color and I looked at the decaying element of texture. I explored more textures in this photo and found other layers, it was more fascinating than my other photo because all the areas had things interesting about them.


This one did not have a lot to do with the story but it had different textures and it had a lot of lines that cut the photo into pieces, it is a good photo but it doesn’t fit the style I am working on

Although there is some different textures and lines, it doesn’t tie with the story which is why I didn’t give it a tag


This one is very similar to the one Aaron Siskind took because it had many different colors and textures and there were major elements of fragmentation and decay. However, it was very hard to get the tone because there wasn’t a lot of light contrast in the area.


This one is a zoom-in of a different area of the same wall, it is a closer look at the textures. The outer layers look like sand paper and the inner layers look like stone, it would be very hard for people who didn’t know about this photo to identify the subject, it is a very good photo based on Aaron Siskind’s style of abstract photographs


I experimented with tone in this photo, there is some color contrast and I labeled it green because it had something to do with Aaron Siskind’s use of tone. I need to perhaps zoom in more to get the texture.


This is the inside of the heating pipes, I got this idea from this time when I looked in and found that it was very broken, so I took some photos of the decayed walls inside. In this photo, there is some texture contrast and there is tone, it is evidence of me combining these two elements. It is one step to my story which is why I gave it green.


This one is an experiment with fragmentation but there is something blocking at the bottom left corner, which is why I gave it blue (I could do better). It captured many different layers and they all had different textures which provided contrast and directed my audience to where my photo is centered at.



This photo captured many different textures and colors but it didn’t have a lot to do with Aaron Siskind’s work, but it is one of my footprints so I gave it blue.


The red photos that I chose presented things that are very similar to Aaron Siskind’s style of abstract photography. It had a lot of connection to my inspiration because it showed his elements of texture; decay and fragmentation. My red photos worked because although they were taken of different things, they provided strong contrast and different layers. The bark and the peeled wall both displayed different layers and had unique textures and patterns on them. Something that worked well was that I managed to find the best colors by using my camera to adjust the lighting and the shades when taking my photos, I also tried my best not to shake so that they won’t be out of focus. The different shapes and layers attract the audience and will make them think of the details rather than the subject, which is something I find when looking at Aaron Siskind’s photos. I hope the viewers feel different about their surroundings and I hope that it changes their vision of ordinary things beside them and I hope it helps them find the beauty of things around them.



In conclusion, my intent is to look at Aaron Siskind’s work on abstract photos and branch off from his style to create my own photos. Here is my statement of intent from the start of this project: The message of my triptych will be to find the beauty of ordinary things. People are normally ignorant about the details of their surroundings; they are not aware of the beauty that is within them. I focused on objects in my compound that are seen every day and are often held on to or studied closely, but no one realizes the potential of them becoming photographs. I want the audience to be able to see the surroundings through my perspective and appreciate the details that they don’t always find when looking at them. To do this, I will study photographers such as Albert Renger-Patzsch and Aaran Siskind who has transformed some boring subjects into great photos through their use of techniques such as patterns, shadows, and textures. Albert Renger-Patzch has taken many photographs of boring subjects but have transformed them all through the unique perspective he captures them in. For example, he used glassware to create patterns on the table through the angle of light, he found a good use of this object through his creativity. Aaron Siskind took many photos of decayed walls and natural objects that are often seen as “worn-down” or “normal” such as items like trees. He finds the details of these objects and presents several different textures in one photo, each containing many details. In my opinion, anything inside the eyes has its own beauty, even the items that look plain has unfound greatness, only waiting for someone to find that perspective.

In the end, I chose Aaron Siskind because he had more to do with the textures and details of ordinary objects, I found many ideas from his photos and it sharpened my vision for potential photographs

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