“Incandescent Exposure” highlights student photographers

Downtown Student Gallery hosts digital photography students' exhibitions


Courtesy of Makayla Sotin

Junior Drew Anderson poses for his group while they experiment with different types of lighting for portrait photos. Students in Anderson's class were also asked to take photos in the style of Platon, capturing the essence of their subject in one great photo.

By Shandra Haggerty, Reporter

“Incandescent Exposure” is an exhibit of large scale works and abstract photography that will be held by digital photography students in the Downtown Student Gallery inside Brewster Hall on Dec. 4 from 9-10 a.m.

Students began their quarter with the basics, discussing different types of photography, the essential elements of exposure and taking selfies.

Having started her own freelance photography company prior to taking the digital photography class, EWU senior Makayla Sotin had more experience than some of her classmates.

“Despite my previous knowledge, I definitely have grown over the course of the quarter,” Sotin said. “It’s been a really great experience, especially meeting other students and getting inspiration from them.”

Going into the class, junior Drew Anderson only had a little bit of experience with photography. Though he knew a bit of photography jargon, he still had a lot to learn.

“I knew how to take a photo with my phone,” Anderson said. “That’s about it.”

As the weeks went on, the student photographers learned about composition, photo management software and how to edit their photos, all leading up to their own photo exhibit.

“I always thought photoshop was there to put images together and overlay stuff,” Anderson said. “And it does do that, but it’s also very important to just fixing an image that you don’t completely plan on changing.”

The style of photography is all about getting to the root of human nature and learning about a person through their eyes and their demeanor.”

— Makayla Sotin

Anderson and Sotin are proud not only of themselves, but of their peers on their growth and ability to hold an exhibit after just one quarter.

“I feel like everyone is producing really great stuff, especially compared to where we started,” Anderson said. “Being a part of an exhibit at all in college is a big deal and great experience for everyone. And it looks really good on a résumé.”

Being able to be part of an exhibit and showcase their work is important for many students. Some of them didn’t even know how to hold a camera before taking the class and now at the end of the quarter they are getting the opportunity to display their images.

“I came into the visual communication design degree not knowing a lot about what it was,”  Sotin said. “I definitely didn’t expect to have an exhibition so soon into my college career.”

Courtesy of Makayla Sotin
Junior Drew Anderson is underlit to give him a spooky aesthetic. Students were asked to take portraits with nine different lighting methods while shaping the light around their subject.

Though students might not become professional photographers after taking the class, both Sotin and Anderson entered with an interest in photography and will finish it with a greater knowledge of what goes into capturing a photo.

“I’ve gotten so much better at taking photographs,” Anderson said. “I feel like I’m at a good jumping off point now where I can figure out the rest on my own. If it’s not a professional photo when I take it, I can definitely edit it to become one.”

The exhibit will focus on the style of the photographer Platon, who is famous for his portraiture of figures like Vladimir Putin, George W. Bush and Adele. The large scale, simplistic photos in the exhibit will showcase what the students have learned about taking and editing photographs.

“The style of photography is all about getting to the root of human nature and learning about a person through their eyes and their demeanor,” Sotin said. “I think it will be really cool to see everyone’s personality displayed in a photo. We’re all really excited to see our work displayed in such a professional way.”•