Tag Archives: photography

New tools affect how society sees photography

By Ellen Hu

Denali Editor-in-Chief

As you walk into any art museum, it’s likely that people will line the hallways, trying to get a glimpse of the displays. Some might even have their smartphones out, trying to capture photos to share with their friends and family.

These tools are not foreign to the Denali community; students use their phones to take photos of each other during spirit weeks and school dances. As the tools students are exposed to begin to change, their ideas of photography and art will be redefined.

“I think nowadays anyone can be a photographer, because everyone has a mini camera in their pocket,” Denali junior Jake Van Tassel said. Students have noticed that the practice of photography has become more popular because of the available tools. “You can take bursts with them; it’s a lot easier to adjust the lighting, and I think it makes it more accessible for a lot of people,” Fremont sophomore Anne Hu said.

Since 2009, Apple has released 13 new versions of smartphones. With the most recent version, the iPhone XR, the company has introduced a system that allows users to change the depth of field, similar to DSLR cameras, which professional photographers use.

In addition to increasing the accessibility of cameras, smartphones have provided a platform off which photo sharing websites and applications can grow. Social media applications such as Instagram, Snapchat and VSCO have become especially popular with the teenage community. Not only are teenagers interacting on the applications: “35% of U.S. adults now say they use this platform, an increase of seven percentage points from the 28% who said they did in 2016,” the Pew Research Center found, regarding Instagram, in a 2018 study.

“I’ve noticed that a lot of photographers who base themselves off Instagram or the internet have relatively the same kind of style,” Denali junior Claire Mallinson said. These trends, she said, include color filters and common locations.

“I think that it’s engaged different communities,” Denali junior Bridget Kiernan said regarding the spread of photo sharing social media sites. Kiernan, who follows National Geographic photographers rather than influencers, has noticed different trends. “They have a story, that I think that’s the most important part,” she said.

Other photography tools have introduced large-scale controversies that affect more than the photography community. Photoshop has long benefited photographers by giving them the abilities to introduce new elements into their photos, but sometimes it can be taken too far.

“It allows people to branch out from what they’re more comfortable with, which is a raw photo,” Van Tassel said regarding Photoshop. “It’s kind of amazing.”

Due to the prominence of Photoshop and its role in the art community, job positions are now devoted to the use of this tool. “Photoshop experts” use knowledge of the tool to create advertisements and place their customers in magical places in and out of this world.

The application can cast doubt onto the reality of an image. Examples include how students’ faces were photoshopped onto athletes’ bodies in the college admission scandal of 2019, and how models’ bodies are photoshopped to fit society’s beauty standards.

Not everyone agrees with the extent some photographers are using the tool. “It’s cool to have that sort of artistic sort of sense that you can create a world,” Kiernan said. “But when they are saying ‘oh, this is real’, it’s stupid.”

With the introduction of these tools, the art community has placed new borders on what art is regarding photos. “We always go through phases, and different techniques, and just what the art community is looking for,” Kiernan said. “As photography evolves, it is certainly changing, so I think art is changing.”

Denali students would like to see photographers branch out and take on styles and stories of their own. “I think that it would be beneficial if photographers, even ones who base themselves off social media, would branch out and try different styles,” Mallinson said. “Because that’s how we got here in the first place.”

See below for a video about new tools that affect the photography community:

Young photographer describes her passion and plans for the future

By C. M. Bateman

Staff Writer

Instagram. Snapchat. Tumblr. These are just a few examples of the various social media platforms popular with teenagers and young adults. Not only do these sites allow users to efficiently keep in touch with one another, but they are specifically geared toward sharing photos with one’s followers at the click of a button.

Needless to say, these social media networks have nurtured a sort of obsession in youth with their photos. Many have taken on the challenge of creating a color theme for their profiles, and others have used this obsession to dive deeper into their passion for capturing the perfect photo.

Photos really do hold power. Pictures preserve a memory, a moment in time that can be shared with others physically. Pictures have the power to make the beholder laugh, cry and everything else in between.

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Stephanie Maples, a photographer currently enrolled in Summit Tahoma. PHOTO CREDIT: Colleen Bateman

A picture is worth a thousand words. And no one believes this more than Stephanie Maples, a junior at Summit Tahoma.

Maples is known around campus as a talkative, studious teenager, with a passion in drama, volleyball and photography. She credits herself as a photographer of nine years, but she has more recently began, in the past three to four years, exploring the field of photography.

Her curiosity in the story behind a picture led to her fascination with photography, as well as the ability to create a permanent memory through a photo. Her main goal, which applies to all photos she takes, is to tell a story with her pictures and make people feel the same way she does when behind the camera.

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Quin Schrock skates down a road in Lake Pukaki, New Zealand. PHOTO CREDIT: Jess Dales

Her inspiration stems from other photographers she knows in her life, such as her friend Morgan Brown, whose family is very involved in the field. She also finds inspiration in the pictures posted on the Instagram account @everchanginghorizon, an account run by Quin Schrock dedicated to photographing his experiences visiting the various places in the world. Maples looks up to him for the ability to “create a feeling through their pictures.” More photos taken by Schrock can be found at his website.

Among her favorite subjects to photograph are friends and nature. “I really enjoy photographing people,” Maples explained. “I also love doing scenery pictures as well because I feel like you can kind of capture the essence of what it feels like to be there and the beauty of the sight that you’re seeing, even if people can’t physically be there with you. And I also love event photography as well, like prom and senior pictures, because it’s a symbol of a special period of time in their life, especially with graduation pictures, because they embody their whole high school career and show the end of an era for those people.”

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Maples and her Canon Rebel t6i.

Maples finds time to take pictures no matter what the occasion is. She often goes out with friends to places like the beach, where she whips out her camera to take pictures of the scenery.

Maples owns a Canon Rebel t6i, a high quality camera with multiple lenses. A review of the camera can be found here. For basic photos, as well as portraits and scenery pictures, Maples uses a 15 mm F/2.8 lens. For events, where the focal point of her lens changes multiple times, an 18-55 mm F/3.8 lens is best.

Well- known for her skills as a photographer, Maples is often asked to perform certain duties around school to preserve memories made at Tahoma. She normally photographs club meetings or school rallies; she has even taken pictures for the members of the Advanced Modern Acting and Theatre Expeditions class for them to use as a professional headshots.

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Maples took his headshot of Kaitlyn Tran, an actress currently attending Summit Tahoma, who debuted television in the show Lilly’s Light. PHOTO CREDIT: Stephanie Maples

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Athena Paletta and Vivienne Dimalanta, senior co-presidents of student council at Tahoma, lead announcements and activities during the student rally in December. PHOTO CREDIT: Stephanie Maples

The community at Tahoma means a lot to Maples, and being able to exercise her passion of photography for the good of the community brings the best of both worlds together. “It’s been fun in the sense that I get to photograph things and people I love and the community of Summit I love. I even took pictures for the rally that we had a couple months ago and that was like, I was in my element; I loved doing that, just because we’re capturing the culture in the community of Summit… and how Summit works and who we are.”

When asked what motivates her to keep on taking photos, Maples describes how confident photography makes her feel, and her skills, which drives her to continue and pursue photography in her future. She explains, “When I’m taking photos, the rest of the world disappears and it’s just me and my camera, and it’s just ‘How do I get the shot that I want? How do I portray this the correct way?’ I think that’s what my motivation is, it’s really just something that I love doing.”

Maples aspires to be an event and portrait photographer and plans on applying to the Biola University photography program and one day owning her own business. Maples is aware of the social stigma surrounding the career of photographers. Earning a living wage is a difficult task, and many see photography as more of a hobby than a career. The Balance, a personal finance website, offers more information about the potential job paths and overall expectation of today’s photographers in society.

Despite this, Maples understands that “photography is a process to get your name out there and to get people to know who you are and know your photos. So how I will achieve [my dream], I think is just by being tenacious and not allowing a slow business at the beginning to affect what could happen and what eventually will happen if I keep up with it.”

Maples looks forward to her future as a professional photographer; but in the meantime, she enjoys taking pictures to preserve memories she makes in high school.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Above is a slideshow of Stephanie Maples’ photos, displaying her range and skill in capturing various subjects and light.

Featured image (at the top of this post): Maples snaps a shot of the bridge and creek during a hike with her youth group in Big Sur.

The future of photography is unclear

By Cameron Eberle and Shawn Wilson

Staff Writers

As 21st century technology continues advancing at an exponential rate, it brings into question whether or not older technology can keep up with the times. Cameras in particular are astronomically different than just a few decades ago.

While they have held up well so far, I, Everest junior Shawn Wilson, believe that cameras will become nearly extinct in the future as more and more people begin to use different devices for photography.

Many people today simply use their phones to take photos instead of using traditional cameras, making it so that fewer and fewer people feel the need to buy a camera to do something they can already do with their smartphone.

When cell phones first became widely used, no one would dream that they would one day be used to take pictures. However, today professional photographers are the majority of people who buy high tech cameras since the general population has no need for them.

I believe that in the future, technology will advance far enough that features that only expensive cameras have in today’s world, such as extensive zooming and the ability to change ISO, shutter speed and aperture, will become standard on basic cameras or even smartphones. I believe that in the future, even professional photographers will just whip out their phone like everyone else to take a picture instead of using a fancy camera.

I, Everest sophomore Cameron Eberle, believe that Wilson is partially right. Camera sales are going downhill, and smartphone cameras are getting better and better.

However, I believe that professional photographers will not start using smartphone cameras. Although the cameras on smartphones are getting better and better and coming with more and more features, so are DSLR cameras.

Smartphones are advancing quickly, and DSLR cameras are advancing as well. Nowadays many cameras come with Wi-Fi capability, tons of gadgets and of course growing quality. Many cameras have up to fifty megapixels, while the best iPhone camera has only twelve.

It is definitely a possibility that cameras will become extinct though, since camera technology is advancing slower than smartphone technology.

Although technology is advancing, I think even though DSLR cameras will lose popularity, they are here to stay for a while, at least for professional photographers.

Featured image (at top of post): DSLR cameras might go the way of the dinosaurs. PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle 

Related:

DSLR cameras could disappear

Photography comparison shows a snapshot of the past

 

Photography comparison shows a snapshot of the past

By Shawn Wilson
Staff Writer

The technology of today is vastly different from that of the previous century, and it is continually improving. In a world of constant growth and upgrades, people often forget how different things were even a short time ago.

Cameras in particular have changed so much that a camera from today and one from 50 years ago would look like completely different things. Roger Gambatese, a lawyer, provided information regarding how he has personally seen photography change drastically during his lifetime.

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Lawyer Roger Gambatese has seen photography radically change. PHOTO CREDIT: Roger Gambatese

“I started out with a little box camera, a brownie I guess it was called. You had to put in the film to take pictures and you had to have the film developed,” Mr. Gambatese said.

Most people today think the word “film” is just a fancy way of saying movie (even though film isn’t used to make movies anymore), but in just the past century it meant something much different. Cameras today are almost exclusively digital, although that wasn’t always the case.

“The big change is you don’t use film anymore, everything is digitized,” Mr. Gambatese said. “Before you had to be much, much more careful.”

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Older models of cameras were more basic in functionality than today’s cameras. PHOTO CREDIT: Wikimedia Commons

Millennials today don’t think twice to snapping tens or even hundreds of pictures since they can simply skim through them later, save the cream of the crop and delete the rest. Another difference between early cameras and cameras of today is that pictures from older cameras had to be developed.

Mr. Gambatese wasn’t able to see his pictures immediately after he took them while growing up; they had to be developed. “My father had a place in the basement … where he developed his own negatives. You develop them and then they come out with positive images.”

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Newer DSLR cameras are more complex and use digital technology. PHOTO CREDIT: Cameron Eberle

There has been an immense amount of growth in photography in the last few decades, and it’s interesting to look back to the past and notice the differences. In the near future, youth might be amazed that their parents and grandparents had to use cameras without unlimited storage or infinite zoom, and only time will tell how much photography will advance.

Related:

DSLR cameras could disappear

The future of photography is unclear