Tag Archives: art School

FINAL EXAM

I have a love/hate relationship with San Pablo Avenue, a major road here in the East Bay.

123 sign

For more than 25 years, I have been on it almost every single day. My home is a block off of it, and for most of the last decade of the 20th Century, I had a retail business on San Pablo Avenue  in Berkeley.

It is crowded, hectic, and it stinks of diesel fumes, but I know I can’t escape it, so I have come to grips with it.

 

Wikipedia starts its San Pablo Avenue entry with-

State Route 123 (SR 123) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Named San Pablo Avenue for virtually its entire length, SR 123 is a major north–south state highway along the flats of the urban East Bay in the U.S. state of California.

 

That entire article is here-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_123

 

 

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to use some of my own photos on a desk calendar that was mailed out to my real estate clientele. There was a press deadline, so for two weeks, I drove around and shot photos of what I thought was significant or interesting in “Jimmy’s World”.

Orthodontist Sign

Dogs on Board

Cerrito Theater

When I realized that 3 out of the 13 calendar images were taken on San Pablo Avenue, it occurred to me that it might be a worthwhile project to do a San Pablo Avenue photographic road trip.

I presented a version of this series as my Final Project in my Special Projects in Photography class, and a revised version was incorporated into my website-

 

http://www.jimmyreinaphoto.com/Galleries/123/

The photos are arranged geographically, where Frank Ogawa Plaza Anchors San Pablo in Oakland at the South end, to where it ends at The Carquinez Bridge in Crockett.

 

I have been asked about the situation or “backstory” behind a few of these photos, and will tell a few of those stories in the days to come.

 

Composition Assignment

This term, we had a repeat of the composition assignment.

I had just replaced my dumb phone with a smarter one, and in order to challenge myself, I used it to capture these shapes.

Composition

 

Composition

I know publishing these may seem self indulgent, but the point isn’t about the images.

It is about working outside of one’s comfort zone, flexing the photographic muscle, and maintaining a discipline.

Composition

Composition

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Composition

Composition

Composition

Composition

Composition

STUDENT WORK

Composition Assignment

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Another semester of my “Special Projects in Photography” classes is drawing to a close, and I continue to enjoy it. One regular assignment, “Composition”, is presented as a photographic scavenger hunt. We were given three pages of graphic shapes-grids swirls, polka dots, zig zags, and other patterns. Last semester, we were told to team up with a fellow student, go out onto campus and the surrounding neighborhood, find these shapes, photograph them, and present them to the class in slideshow format the following week.

Composition Assignment

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Assignments are good. They instill much needed discipline, and I especially like this type because they force me out of my comfort zone. This morning, I read a quote that reflects my own photographic experience -a photographer said something like “I am not good at being consciously creative”. I think I can make a good photograph, but when I try too hard to be “photographic”, I often fail. I view these composition assignments as exercises, and try to be as spontaneous as possible when shooting. My “finished” work tends to reflect my reality, but I know that I am not going to put these images into a portfolio. I feel free to use camera movement and  push the sliders to distort and abstract the images.

We took a few hundred pics that night, my submissions are here.

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Composition Assignment

As Terry Allen would say (http://terryallenartmusic.com/, “It ain’t Art, but it ain’t bad”.

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