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Digital Photo Documentary class

by Morgan Hall

Of course you can’t get the full experience without the 3D glasses which I will have in class for everyone but if you want to get an early look, click this link to see my online magazine

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Or look at it as a full Spread PDF. PHOTOG FINAL


Camille Seaman’s “Storm Chaser”

It’s interesting how many adjectives she uses when describing the clouds/ weather in her presentation. Overall her use of language in her presentation is my favorite part. I like how she used the term “Staking” when referring to capturing the super cell clouds. That is kind of what photography is all about, staking and capturing your subject.  The photos really do “Illustrate the interconnection of life.”  It’s interesting that she learned from what it was she was capturing.



I find it funny how she talks about a chunk of ice as being dazzling but I guess you get a different feeling when you actually see one. I like how some of the photos have an odd perspective on them, to the point where you aren’t really sure about just how massive the icebergs are.  Until I saw this video I just thought an iceberg was just an iceberg and nothing more. It’s interesting how she breaks down what an iceberg is in its simplest form and how it provides for people and has been for millennia.  I really like how the colors just pop on out at you.


Chasing Ice

I believe that someone else had brought this up during last weeks class conversation but I like how this film is about proof and capturing things that will never be seen again. I like that James Balog has this mentality of If we don’t have photos or document this then no one will see it. You hear that the glaciers are melting at alarming rates but you don’t really see it. Balog is making you see it. I also like that he admits that he didn’t quite believe that the climate was changing until he shot his photographs and saw it for himself.  I can’t believe how dangerous this trip was. On the surface level it seems crazy to risk you life for a picture but they realized that there was more at stake.

I need to change up a few things because my timeline is slowly dwindling and a few things I set up to photograph came out horrible and my work was heading in a direction I was not liking.

I’m still doing my final project with 3D effects and I’m still doing a CSUSM yearbook-esq theme.  Instead of a book I have changed the format to a Blurb Magazine. I did a cost comparison and figured out that I can do nearly four times as many pages at a larger size for the same cost in a magazine format vs. the smallest book. Plus, I feel that the 3D effect almost fits with a magazine feel instead of a book. Magazine seems experimental, while a book seems clean and classic, which is not very 3D.

I have also decided to change up what I will cover in my magazine. I will still be capturing the many dimensions of CSUSM but in only 3 long sections.  I will break CSUSM down into Athletics, Architecture and Campus Culture. I am dropping the academic section but shortening it and including various aspects of academic in campus culture. I emailed 20 teaches politely asking if I would be able to take pictures during their classes at a date and time covenant for them and only 12 got back to me and 10 said they were uncomfortable with it and didn’t want me disrupting class time.  I understand their reasoning but because of it I need to change a few things.

I watched this two weeks ago and I have already forgot most it. I can see the images of the large ships in my head but I can’t really remember what Burtynsky was saying about them.

I thought the one scene where Burtynsky goes to that small town where the people are picking through the pieces of scrap computer/ tech parts was interesting. I thought that part captured his whole idea about how everything has a relation to everything else and we impact the earth and it comes right back. It was interesting to hear that what these people were doing is illegal and extremely harmful but they do it anyways. Plus as the film detailed, the effects of these electronic materials wash into the rivers and will effect future generations. From what I can remember about Burtynsky’s photographs during this scene is that he mostly focused on children playing in the heaps of the toxic materials. The photographs were shot in a way that looked as if  the kids in them were no different then kids playing at a park.

I think in five years I might remember the photographs of the huge ships. They are the first images I thought of but I just can’t recall their significance at the moment.


• Who is the primary audience for your documentary project?

Myself, CSUSM students, faculty, alumni, etc.

 • What is the story that you want to tell through your photographs and other content elements (interviews, voice-overs, text, sound, music, text panels, etc); i.e., what is the general theme/focus of your project?

I want to capture the various elements that make up the diverse CSUSM campus and community. I want to create something like a CSUSM yearbook. I want to actually add a unique element and make the photos 3D to give them an extra pop.

• What are the smaller stories within your overall story?

Much like a standard yearbook, I would want to have sections such as, academics, athletics, student life, clubs, etc, and then break down into smaller stories from those sections. Because I’m thinking of producing 3D photographs, I think my section choices will be affected by what photos I could get that are interesting. For example, for academics I might focus on a science class that works with text tubes or chemicals to get some unique shots, instead of focusing on a English class and knowing that their is strong possibility of getting very boring shots. For sure I want to do something on the arts department. For sports, My photo choices will depend on scheduling. I already know that I can’t get pictures of Cross Country because their season is nearly complete and I can’t wait until mid November to get pics at their championships. Golf and volleyball are done for their season. Track doesn’t start until after this project is due. I have one shot at men’s and women’s soccer, and a several options for the baseball, softball, and basketball teams. For student life I would probably focus on U-Hour activities or where students spend their time, such as the Dome, Clarke or library. Luckily our campus has many clubs that meet on different days or hold events so I’m sure with a bit of searching I can find a few good ones.

 • What research do you need to do?

I would need to do scheduling research. When do certain classes, clubs, games, etc. practice/meet/play? I think I would also like to focus on how much the university has changed, which will require researching just how much it has changed.

• Why do you believe your project is worthwhile. How will it add to people’s understanding/appreciation of your subject? What is unique about your project?

CSUSM doesn’t have any sort of yearbook and with the campus growing at a continuous rate it would be good to document it. There has already been so much change on campus since I started till now and I would love to have some sort of documentation 20 years from now for when the university is completely different. If  no one else likes it I’m perfectly ok with it.

• What equipment will you require: technical needs to photograph and record, print, or project your story: lenses, camera, tripod, audio equipment, software and hardware for post-production, etc?

I think my project idea is fairly simple and I use my short and long lenses, occasionally a tripod. For the 3D effect I will need the help of Photoshop and of courses InDesign in I am going to make it into a book. Also If I want people to actually see the 3D effects then I will need to buy a large set of 3D glasses.

• What form/s will your final project take: publication, exhibition channels?

As of right know I’m thinking that my project will be in book format but I am open to changing it to series of prints, images and text panels, or an online site. My format will probably depend on what images I am getting from the start. My goal is a book but I’m not going to spend money to make a book with so-so images. Another factor for making a book is the time factor of shipping it. If I have to send my book in early (so I don’t have to pay even more for shipping) then that will take away time from getting good images.

• How will your disseminate your project: how will you promote your project once it is complete?

I’m not too worried about promoting it right now but I will have a gallery of work displayed in another class, so I can add what ever I create here to my gallery project. Also I can’t really promote my work if people don’t have access to 3D glasses. The effect wouldn’t make sense without it.
• What will help you to improve the overall quality and effectiveness of your finished project?

Making sure I stick to a timeline is the only thing I can think of right now.

• Please include a general timeline for your project?

Well, I don’t have one quite yet. It will be dependent on what I find while researching. I want to stretch it out over the course of the remaining weeks in the semester vs. doing everything quickly.



I’m still acquiring images for this inspiration but I just wanted to post what I had so far. I took these photos on the fourth floor of the library looking down onto the third floor exhibit area. I find these pictures humorous because the one girl who is on her phone sticks out compared to the rest of the students all taking notes. This one class stood here for about 20 minutes so I basically got the same shots with the same people, which is why I want to get more variety. I’m hoping that just once someone will actually look up at me.

Kaur_BlackHoleDarkroomExperiment4 album-Pearl-Jam-Binaural

I’m going to be completely honest and say that I personally didn’t love any of the pieces on exhibit. I didn’t hate them either but they just seemed so-so. I felt that most of the pieces on exhibit could have been produced using Photoshop and saved a lot of time. I respect the photographer actually working with their hands and going back to photography’s traditional roots but it just seems that hours worth of work could have been reproduced in only a few minutes with the help of a computer. If I had to pick a piece or an artists I liked it would have to be Siri Kaur’s work. I was looking at her images going backwards and didn’t read what they were pictures of until after I read her Bio but right when I saw the one photograph called “Black hole” it totally reminded me of Perl Jam’s Binaural album.   When I finally read what her photos were about I learned that they were pictures of stars and space gasses.

Upon further reading I learned that she calls her work “scientific inquiry with photographic exploration.” Kaur captured the images by connecting her camera to Kitt Peak National Obsevatory’s Meade Telescope in Arizonia and used the darkroom to process the images. She particularly liked working with color to highlight the celestial furies with palettes of majestic pink, lush purples and cool blues that were inspired when looking through the lens of the telescope. According to Kaur, the specific photograph “Black hole” is about “the magic of illusion, you can’t actually photograph a black hole because it’s theoretical, there is a great sadness in viewing a ring collapse on its own shadow and disappear into an abyss.”

In 2007, Siri Kaur earned her MFA in photography from California Institute of the Arts and has won several photography awards and has had displayed worked all across the country.

IE Grapevine

Covering the IE, one story at a time.

Jessamyn Trout