Photography 101

This is just a rant about my photography class. The course title isn’t Photography 101, but 115. It might as well be 101 though.

There are many things that I dislike about the class. The funny thing is that I started off liking it, and before the term began was really looking forward to it.

So first of all it is taught by this late early-to-mid thirties lady who is a photographer for Philly News. That means she works for a corporation. And she’s teaching what is potentially art photography in college. She is not qualified. At least I believe not. And I’m yet to see examples of her own work in class. Her system of teaching and grading is all just screwed up. Everything is based on her personal preferences. And sure, I’m no photography expert, but the for the landscape assignment, no one shot landscape. And no one seemed to notice. But me.

And oh, she allows digital cameras in the class. Not that it is a bad thing at all. But I believe that all photography should be taught in film. It just gives one a better feeling for it. It is ridiculous to see kids in there with their damn Sony and Canon P&S’s. Of course, these kids always have great photographs. Thats what these cameras are designed for — to let the dumbest retards take a good photograph. Plus it is digital, what ever is not good, just throw away. My dog would have all 10’s too, if he shot 2000 pictures for every week using a camera he could carry around his neck.

And I really resent her preaching her style of photography on us. She ripped of a photo from the board yesterday, that I thought was pretty good, of a Pepsi vending machine. She doesn’t like corporate images. Any one else see the irony in this?

She gave my my grade yesterday, and said sorry. What is she sorry for? That I scored an 8/10? Or that she gave me only that much? Listen, I don’t care what grade you give me, as long as it is a fair one. I thought 8 was fair for this. If she felt sorry about it, obviously she didn’t. If I deserve only an 8, I’ll accept it without griping. Just don’t feel bad about giving it to me. I obviously didn’t work hard enough.

Which brings my back to the focal point. I’ve just not had the time to work on this course as much as I would’ve liked. With 3 grad courses, a senior design course, plus one other mildly heavy workload course, I can’t even find time to play squash. So being ultra creative with my photography isn’t really top priority.

I probably thought of more gripes as I went to bed last night. But I can’t remember them now. But this is good enough for now.

Ways to Look at Life

In the last few days, I’ve heard 2 very interesting philosophies for looking at life. I will do my best to explain them the way I heard them:

1) Life is like a television sitcom – You always need to remember who your permanent stars and guest stars are, and treat them that way.

2) Life is like your very own train journey; people get on to the train and people get off the train. Some may stay for just a short while, others may stay a lot longer. But rarely does anyone accompany you on your journey forever.

It is always a next time with the Eagles

The Eagles lost in Superbowl XXXIX but I can’t fault with the effort they put in. A few crucial interceptions in the first quarter and the very poor defense in the 3rd, ensured that catching up from a 10 point deficit in the 4th would be very hard. I guess the only reason I like the Eagles is because I live in Philly, but I can’t fault the New England Patriots. Everyone stood up and contributed towards their win.

It is funny how the only 10 I’ve gotten in my photography assignments so far is in the first one, where I definitely felt I’d done the poorest job. I couldn’t find landscapes in the city, I was getting used to the camera and it definitely had some problems with it. I put a lot of effort into the still-life and portrait assignments and yet, she didn’t grade them as high. The self-portraits were a disaster, and I’ll agree. I put very little effort into in, but I was fairly surprised at the results…in a good way. Yet, those only scored me an 8. Maybe my pictures lack the creativity of some of the others, but I think technically they are much better than some of the others in the class. Yet, I’m below them. I guess creativity does count for more. I can’t seem to expand my mind to think beyond what I’ve seen. Also, I interpret the assignments a bit too literally. She constantly grades those higher who have not strictly done ‘landscapes’ or ‘portraits’. Eventually I will convert the pictures to digital and post them here.

The way one looks

In the last two days, 4 different people have either told me that I look tired or stressed out. The funniest comment I thought was by Mahavir. I was walking home at night near the DAC and Mahavir was walking towards me. As we approached each other he says, “You look very tired.” Ofcourse this gives me the perfect opportunity to launch into my usual complaints about the amout of work I have and the lack of sleep. He says, “No, you just look tired with life!” I looked down, smiled and said, “Yes…yes, that is true too.” The others to comment also perhaps noticed that I looked stressed, and mentioned so.

I wonder how I look when I look stressed? Is it substantially different from how I look otherwise? Or how am I percieved when I am relaxed?

When I am “relaxed” I’m just not doing as much. I feel more productive now, when I’m constantly trying to play catch up to work. But I also don’t have the time to pursue things I may want to otherwise. I’m just trying to figure out whether I’m happier being “stressed”, eating less, sleeping less, and in general being less healthy. Or am I better of being relaxed, but being an insomniac, doing less, being upset about not doing enough, but having the time to allow my mind to grow laterally?