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March 26, 2015 / Ginny Banks

Final Project: Narrative Photography.

The final project this winter quarter involved a cohesive body of images that included a written text. Students illustrated poems, told linear stories and became philosophical about their work. Most students had at least seven photographs. Here are some highlights. The first body of work was by Jessica Kong. Her work was entitled Women in Environment. She wants the viewer to use their imagination about what is going on in the image and provided little text.






The next few images are by Carlyle Moore. Carlyle wrote a poem called The Message. His inspiration started when he found an old phone book. He started envisioning the lives of the people in the phone book. Here are some of his words…..torn and abandoned riddled with dirt, I connect the dots with a brittle old phone book, minus the typewriter. A glass house full of memories hides behind a locked door as anonymous creatures lurk about in the background…..




The next photographs are by Brigid Krause. She illustrated a poem. Here are her words….streamed straight to the bone, as if you were the room closed in glass, with every speck of dust illuminated…


…the light is no mystery….


…the mystery is that there is something to keep the light from passing through.


The next images are by Julie Ling.  A young boy ran into a pair of shoes that caught his attention…


They belonged to a girl. He admired her beauty on one of their walks together.


He lost her and to this day goes on walks by himself on the trails they walked upon. He imagines her next to him but there is no one there.


The next four images are by Karolina Shirokova. Karolina did double exposures by the water in nature and in the city. Her poem is called Stuck.  She has a fear of the future. She doesn’t know where to go. She wants to be brave but she’s scared of the unknown. She wants to be free, yet she’s still stuck. She’s trying to tear down walls without any luck. She wants to escape; yet something is holding her back. She is trapped in the past not being able to let go.





The next set of photographs is by Kim Lam. Kim is experiencing a long distance relationship. She used photographs placed in her images…your images are pretty much everywhere I go because we went there together. My memory is full of our memories. Sometimes I feel really empty because you are not here. I miss you and I love you….




Robert Lung used photos within the following images as well. In his case, the photo was of his father who died when Robert was only four years old. Robert carries his photo in his wallet everywhere he goes…it means he is always with me.







Kenny Wang was interested in taking pictures of people who were unaware of his camera and acting natural. He captured some beautiful moments.




Fuli Lan photographed his girlfriend at Rattlesnake Lake. His words…in these photographs I want to create a story about my girlfriend who meets me in a dream.




Brock Anderson had an interesting body of work showing nature and evidence of man. His words….there was a time in our ancient history when humans understood things—important things that are now only observed in nature, but still mostly ignored, forgotten or repressed. His work also included a door, an opening, an invitation to open the door and experience the freedom of birds. I feel like the next two go together somehow.



Ashley Perrin’s narrative was about people waiting for God. She photographed herself in the grass with a beautiful crystal wand.


Her friend by the water.


And another friend studying yoga.


Young Park photographed a day with his friend who has left to go back to her country. He has these images as memories. This was their day together in Seattle.









March 4, 2015 / Ginny Banks

Portraiture: Classic and Environmental.

Environmental portraits are photographs of an individual taken in their surroundings, usually the places where they live, work or play. Ideally, the background informs the viewer about the person. However, it could be an environment that is a fabricated reality. Classic portraiture usually focuses on the individual often with shallow depth of field. This assignment required three photographs from each student. One had to be a classic portrait with shallow depth of field. Another had to be an environmental portrait with great depth of field and lastly, one had to express motion by using different shutter speeds. Students could photograph the same person for all three photographs or different people. Here are some of the results. The first few images are by Jessica Kong. I love the high contrast lighting in this one.

Jessica Kong 1

The next photograph is an environmental portrait showing more of the little kid’s room. It is much softer.

Jessica Kong 2

The last one is Jessica’s photograph expressing motion.

Jessica Kong 3

The next photograph is a classic portrait by Steve Groves.


The following photograph is a motion one by Karolina Shirokova.


Her other two classic portraits are of her sister.



The next two images are by Ya-Yen Ou. They are both environmental portraits.



The next photograph is a self-portrait by Ashley Perrin.


The following two images are by Carylye Moore. The first is his motion photograph.


The next one is his classic portrait.


Jonathan Heeter photographed the next two. The first one is a self-portrait. I love the window lighting.


The next photograph is of his brother at the computer. Motion is expressed with his hands.


The following photograph is by Claire Tai. It is an environmental self-portrait.

Clare Tai-3

Debbie Chan photographed her sister in the mirror in the next photograph.

Debbie Chan

Shanzuo Liu photographed the next two images.


This one is magical.


Victoria DeMers photographed some candid shots with her son.


Leah Hayes photographed her friend selling flowers in a flower shop.


The last two photographs are taken by Young Park outside the Seattle Library downtown. The first is an environmental portrait of his friend.


The second one is an environmental self-portrait.





February 10, 2015 / Ginny Banks

More Form and Texture….

I didn’t get a chance to post Steve Groves’ form and texture photographs. The first was a studio shot where he worked with a model for his “form” photograph. It is soft and monochromatic. Steve utilized his studio equipped with a leaf blower for her hair! His image for texture is part of a series of faces up close. The texture is amazing!





February 9, 2015 / Ginny Banks

Field Trip to Mercer Slough!

It was a sunny 60 degree Monday in January when the class went on a field trip to Mercer Slough. What precipitated the trip was an exhibition at Bellevue College by Ellen Sollod. Ellen showed an interesting body of work consisting mainly of pinhole photographs entitled Lake Washington Palimpsest, an exploration of the environmental impact of the lowering of the lake that happened as a result of the building of Montlake Cut and the Ship Canal. Part of the project was a camera obscura she set up in the breakfast room of Frederick Winters House at Mercer Slough. After the Slough was drained, Winters built a house and bought 10 acres for a commercial floral business. The house now stands as an historic site. Not far down the path is the remains of the Boiler Building where there were paper whites blooming as part of the exhibit. Students experienced the camera obscura and then went on a hike past the Boiler Building and into the Slough. Here are some of their images. The first is a nice image of the house by Fuli Lan.


Here is an image of the Boiler Building by Karolina Shirokova.


The following image is by Ya-Yen Ou of part of the path that led out into the Slough.


Carylyle Moore’s view of the path was somewhat different!


This is a lovely view of texture utilizing shallow depth of field by Jordan Pickett.


Steve Groves captured this view of the water. The colors that day were amazing!


Here is a view by Jessica Kong.


Finally, another image of the house by Kim Lam. This is the view from the parking lot.




February 9, 2015 / Ginny Banks

Form and Texture

The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera. — Dorothea Lange.

The beauty of this assignment is that it allows the photographer to see the ordinary world as a source of inspiration. Part One was about exploring textures and filling the frame and Part Two was about discovering form. This was the students’  introduction to their camera controls and experience with basic editing of a digital image, black and white conversion and digital printing. The first two are by Jessica Kong. I like the softness and cropping of the first one.



The next two are by Karolina Shirokova. Her images are about both form and texture.



The next two photographs are by Victoria DeMers taken on a field trip to Mercer Slough.



The next one is a beautiful texture image by Kim Lam.


Jonathan Heeter took the next photograph incorporating both form and texture.


The last photograph is by Kenny Wang.





August 14, 2014 / Ginny Banks

Final Project: Street Photography.

The final project was to go out and photograph in the mode of street photography. Students met in Westlake Center on a beautiful summer day in Seattle. From that starting point everyone went in different directions. Many wound up in Pike Place Market and surrounding downtown areas. The idea was to have a memorable experience and not spend too much time thinking about the results but mostly responding to what you see. The assignment was using digital cameras.

The first photograph was by Rena Chen. She was overwhelmed by so many people downtown and searched for quieter images like this one.


The next two are photographed in Pike Place Market by Qingqing Lin. She photographed the balloon man (Seattle icon) and discovered a leg sticking out in the sidewalk.


This black and white shows motion blur and is taken down the stairs from the balloon man near the famous gum wall.


The next photograph is the gum wall photographed with an unusual perspective by Rei Orikata.


Another Pike Place Market shot shows the bustle of people buying goods by Kyungmin Lee.


Wyatt Kim captured a decisive moment in the shopping district downtown near Pacific Place.


The next photograph is by Shelby Heath. It is the park opposite Pike Place Market overlooking Highway 99 and the waterfront. I love the white suit!


Olivia Andrade took this interesting shot in the Market as well.


Ling Manuel took the next two photographs with a faulty camera. What she thought she was framing turned out differently and she was unexpectedly surprised. They have a great “street” feel to them.


She noticed both girls had the same distinctive shoes!


Jacob Jeffers went to the Seattle Center and discovered this cup in the fountain. His camera got sprayed a bit!


Nicole Sencenbaugh photographed the following scene in the Market.


William Meng went to the Space Needle and photographed panoramas of the city from the top as well as this scene from the bottom.


Danette Choi photographed these people picnicking in the park.


Ryan Moffat photographed a pleasant scene of the waterfront and the new ferris wheel with a signature Seattle coffee cup! The early morning light was beautiful.


Chihana Sato continued her exploration of Seattle and photographed in a pet store in Factoria on the Eastside where Bellevue College is. She got this amazing shot of a lizard!


And, finally, Ailin Yu went inside the Seattle Art Museum to capture this unique shot looking up at a permanent installation in the foyer.




August 14, 2014 / Ginny Banks

Still Life Photography.

Still life photography is the depiction of inanimate subject matter, most typically commonplace objects which may be either natural or man-made. Still life photography, more so than other types of photography, such as landscape and portraiture, gives the photographer more leeway in the arrangement of design elements within a composition. A still life doesn’t move, so it is easier for a beginning photographer to spend more time with camera controls.

This assignment is geared toward beginning photographers. It is the first film assignment. Students take a roll of film and photograph everyday objects. They learn to process the roll, make a contact sheets and three prints using filters all in a period of a few weeks.

The first photograph is by Nicole Sencenbaugh. I love the shallow depth of field in these photographs.


The next three are by Qingqing Lin.




The next two are by Chihana Sato.



The next photograph is from Chihana as well. It would classify as street photography rather than still life. It is clearly the decisive moment.


The last one is more in the genre of street photography by William Meng.



July 22, 2014 / Ginny Banks

Summer Quarter Pinhole Photography.

Summer is usually more laid back at Bellevue College. It has been extremely sunny for the pinhole assignment making the exposures very short. Once again, I find the figurative ones most interesting. The following are negative and positive versions. The first two are by Qingqing Lin.



The next ones are self-portraits by Wyatt Kim.



The following two are by Rena Chen.




The last ones are by Ryan Moffat. I love the reflection in the iPhone!



June 15, 2014 / Ginny Banks

Final Project: Narrative Photography.

Unlike other types of photography, such as landscape and portraiture, the point of narrative photography is to tell a story or suggest a sequence. The story/sequence can be fictitious or documentary in format. It can be linear or consist of flashbacks or montages of events. It can be inspired by poetry or the lyrics to a song. The possibilities are endless. Students worked with color film for this assignment. Narratives consisted of at least seven images each. The following images are excerpts. The first several are by Claire Wong. Claire’s words: Living is about accumulation. It’s about collecting, growing, consuming, breathing. Claire wanted to create classical still lives yet with modern things. The next two are her images.



The next series are Claire’s as well. I love that type is incorporated within her images. Here is her written narrative: I’m sorry I left the back door unlocked you’re going to get yourself killed I’m sorry I left the gas on I just forgot how am I going to let you live by yourself I’m sorry I’m sorry I scratched your car I’m sorry I don’t now what else to do tell me what to do I’m sorry I’m not skinny enough I’m sorry I’m sorry I sleep all the time you need to stop taking naps why are you so tired I’m sorry your room is a mess I’m sorry I’ll clean it (I never clean it) ( I’m sorry)





The next series is by Katie Glasnovich. This is an excerpt from her written narrative “……when we leave the room that is our home and step into the world of our backyard, everything we know is small…We become trapped in the backyard trying to find ways to entertain ourselves; obsessed with trying to make life beautiful….This backyard means something to me because I have grown up in it my entire life. It is me. This house I photograph is me. And these photographs represent me….I have struggled through loss; I have struggled through so many things. But I have been gifted to see the beauty…I cherish quiet moments of bliss. I cherish the way rays of sun may hit a certain object. I cherish life. I am ready to break free from the world as I know it; I am ready to venture outside of my backyard. I woke up one day. I saw many things and felt many things and experienced many things. Now I want more from the world.









The next three images are by Lisha Du. I love the soft focus. Lisha is lamenting lost love: This is what I wore on our first date. I dropped into your smile that day. This dress seems old and sad today.


Time passes by. I still remember your smell every time I smoke. Marlboro is your favorite cigarette. Now I am smoking it, thinking about our romance.


There are a thousand ways to get over you. Memory is the only problem.


The next three images are by Meridian Smith. Meridian wrote a poem for her narrative called “Life Goes On.”

If you want  something to stay the same then you’ll have to learn to deal with decay. These things that are falling apart once held great significance for those who were here at the start. Within this memorial lives my grandfather’s parents, my grandmother, my father. Within this memorial lives cobwebs, mold and junk. We’ve abandoned the things to keep the memory safe. A memorial exists to respect the dead. But it’s beauty exists for the living’s sake.




Jonathan Dunham photographed the following narrative about fishing. Jonathan’s words: My day on the water allows me to get away from reality. As I head out to find the best place to go fishing, I start to reflect on what is happening in my life. When I arrive where I will be fishing, my thoughts drift away and I begin to focus on what I am doing and the nature around me.




The next three images are by Ben Earnest. Ben wrote the following: The main theme for this triptych is sunlight. What I was trying to accomplish is to show the landscape of our overall neighborhood while including sunlight as a major part in all the photographs. I want to capture as much beauty in my neighborhood as I possibly can.






June 3, 2014 / Ginny Banks

Classic and Environmental Portraiture.

Classical portraiture focuses solely on a person whereas environmental portraits are photographs of a person taken in their surroundings, the places where they live, work or play. In this assignment students picked one person to photograph. They used the mode of portraiture to explore the effects of shallow and deep depth of field (aperture) along with motion and time (shutter speed). They were encouraged to have a collaborative experience with their subject. Students used digital cameras for this assignment and made prints from Epson printers in the photo lab. The first photograph is by Mei Wong. The image is of her sister and her bedroom.


The next photograph is by Gyna Yun. Gyna photographed her friend in the park. I love the quality of light and the streamers.


The next photograph is by Lisha Du. It is a self-portrait.


This photograph is by Janelle Kevin of her daughter and her bedroom. She loves France.


The next is a photograph of her father by Meridian Smith.


The next image is by Taylor Faires. I like the auburn hair with the green.


Evellyn Tan photographed her friend in her bedroom. Notice the polaroids on the pillar.


Colin Youngblood photographed his friend at night.


Lincy Thammavongsy photographed her friend with a slow shutter speed while they were spinning on a ride in the park.