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Final Concentration

Here is a link to my Final Concentration set: Condition and Character

1. My concentration focuses on the condition and character of the less fortunate through black and white documentary photography. I took photos in urban areas around downtown Phoenix, AZ.

2. 1 shows a man digging through trash to find his next meal and 2 focuses on a beggar outside a parade. Together, the photos use negative space to reveal isolation experienced by the less fortunate. 3 captures a street performer on the way to his stage, using unique perspective to identify an important object and add depth to the frame. Similarly, 4 shows a battle-tested, homeless woman named Theresa, and uses standard portrait framing to draw attention to her genuine happiness. 5 and 6 contrast each other by exposing the harsh conditions of both winter and summer using selective focusing and unique angling. 7 emphasizes the struggle that walking is for one man using a strategically limited frame of reference. 8 uses negative space differently than 1 and 2 to show the man looking forward in life. 9 and 10 bring two photos together to convey a deeper concept. The former is of Manuel and his good luck charm at a homeless shelter. The latter showcases Breezy’s artwork that doubles as her method of begging. 11 selectively focuses on the gunshot wound that changed Albert’s life and body. Lastly, 12 is Jamar’s version of a GQ cover shoot in which he posed and explained his struggles as a homeless African American.

Week 12: Focusing on Humanity

This week’s focus will strictly be condition. To accomplish this, I plan to use selective focus with blurred, but recognizable, foregrounds. For example, if there is an ash tray in the foreground and lots of people in the background, I’ll manually focus on the people and have the ash tray in the foreground out of focus. I think this will do a good job of focusing on condition to balance the photos I have so far that focus on character. I have some photos that are a blend of both concepts, so this should really add to the range that my concentration covers. I can’t take all the credit for this idea because it was originally Mr. Mulloy’s idea. Some examples of the focus scheme I’m trying to accomplish are as follows. Essentially, the selective focus element will look like this. Also, to include more variety in my portfolio, I want to take a photo with the opposite focus scheme where the background behind the person in focus is blurred. I took some photos over break that, unfortunately, did not turn out very well, so I plan to take more photos on Wednesday after school and edit the photos I took following this plan from my last photo expedition from a couple weeks ago.

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The final products:

I Tree You

Where We Live

Week 11: Diversity of One

When I started my concentration, I knew I wanted to send a message with my pictures. I think I have done well to accomplish this goal and reveal a lot about the condition and character of the less fortunate. However, I want to focus on another concept that ties in well that applies to my life directly. It is no secret that there are many different types of people on this planet. These people come in different shapes, sizes, and colors, but they are all still people. That is the focus of my photos for this week. I want to add more diversity to my portfolio by photographing individuals who may stand out as different but are actually just like you and me. I want people of all backgrounds to be included in my portfolio to show that we are all united in one way or another and our life stories are very telling of that. I would like to photograph people of races I have not photographed like the following examples: from China, from Mexico, from Europe. I am using the photos from my long expedition a couple weeks ago for this week.

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The final products:

“Strike a Pose”

GQ Cover Shoot

Week 10: Isolation

It’s tough to be alone in this world no matter where you live. It’s even tougher to see someone who’s alone. This week my goal is to find individuals who are alone and make them feel like a part of the community by talking to them like we aren’t different in any way. This method is different than what I am used to doing because I need to take the picture and then engage in conversation with the person. Most likely, I am expecting beggars and individuals who are resting in the park. I would like to follow an example like this. I probably will only photograph the individual on the left, but the concept is the same. I would also like to take a photo where there is a clear emphasis on isolation through use of negative space. Lastly, I would like an individual with a telling expression on their face in their lonely condition. I will take these photo with Christian on Sunday.

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The final products:

By Myself

AZ – CA – ME 5¢

Week 9: Perspective

This week my goal has to do with angles. As I look through my portfolio, I see a variety in terms of subject matter and positioning, but I have gotten into the habit of taking photos from right in front of the person at eye level. This week my goal is to get some unique angles of entire bodies as well as specific parts that are more visually telling. This may get a little awkward because I might have to take the photos first and talk to them afterwards, but I’m going to give it a try. I would like a photo from a bird’s eye view. I would also like to take a photo where I am positioned a little bit below eye level. Lastly, I plan to capture a lot of character in half of a capture. I am going to take photos Tuesday afterschool at the St. Vincent de Paul center with my friend Aarik.

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The final products:

Show’s Over

Patiently Waiting

Week 8: Community

This week’s concept is a little difficult to tie into my concentration without words, but my plan is to take pictures with enough visual context to convey the focus of the photos. Every time I go downtown, there are a select number of less fortunate individuals who are chosen or have volunteered to help out at the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank and Shelter area. The whole philosophy of having the less fortunate help out other individuals who are in bad situations is really interesting to me because it seems like a great way to instill work ethic if it isn’t already there. So, my goal for this week is to take photos of those individuals who are helping out and making a difference in the area around them. To include more context in the photos, my plan is to have a lot of trash or people in the background behind the subject of the photo. Also, I would like to capture multiple individuals working together because that also shows the teamwork involved with their service to the community. I plan to submit 1-2 photos this week and take the photos on Sunday near the St. Vincent de Paul.

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The final products:

Spotless

Teamwork

Week 7: Friendship

To this point, I have only captured one individual in each photograph, but through my previous experiences downtown, I learned that there are a lot of friendships born there. From my discussions with people downtown, I have realized that the hardship and adversity of the conditions that they live in are not so overwhelming as to prevent them from forming bonds with others. Therefore, another goal I set out to accomplish this past weekend was to capture friendship as it exists in less fortunate conditions. I would like a buddy example where friends embrace each other although it may be hard to get the individuals I meet to pose for a photograph. Another possible photo would be for me to capture friends walking or stopping to talk to each other. I would like to capture these interactions because I think they represent a commonly overlooked aspect of the less fortunate: humanity. My plan was to take photos on Sunday with Jordan near St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank. I will probably turn in 2 photos this week; one of which might be a diptych.

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The final products:

Shikis

F·R·I·E·N·D·S (Season 11)