Recognizing future talent
Talent and potential are two qualities that instructors must recognized in their students.
Photography instructors at Cerritos College recognized the talent of a few of their students by choosing the photography pieces that go into the Student Art Exhibit.
Johann Crismundo won first place in the photography category in the SAE for his self portrait.
He used a 4x5 large format camera to set up his self portrait.
For the shot he set up the garage the way he wanted it and had his family help. Both his parents are posing in the photograph and he had his sister press the camera shutter button to take the photograph.
The photograph was inspired by the work of Jeff Wall who is known for his elaborate staged portraits.
Crismundo said he wanted to take advantage of the strengths of using a 4x5 camera to take the photograph.
Two of the strengths are that the camera captures a lot of details that can be shown in the photograph. The other strength is the ability to make large prints.
He also won an honorable mention for another photographs a portrait of his classmate Sydney.
Crismundo said his portrait of Sydney only took one moment to create.
He was helping his friends with an assignment, he tested the equipment and took two photographs of Sydney.
“ I actually wasn’t supposed to shoot that day. I was just there helping some friends. I was testing the equipment, so I plugged the equipment to my camera. She was standing there I took like two shots of her and it turned out to be really great.”
Due to the reflection of the glass and the surrounding photographs the detail in the photograph can not be appreciated. The photograph captures Sydneys expression and evokes a sense of mystery due to the dark almost pitch black background.
Photography Professor Christina Fernandez, could only choose three of her students works from each of her classes to be showcased in the SAE.
She said, “In terms of the SAE it’s not necessarily the students who are chosen it is the work itself. So usually it is a photograph that stands out, is unique in some way, that a student has turned in for an assignment or is part of a portfolio they have done.”
Fernandez recognized the talent of Crismundo, Roberto Sandoval and Mabel Valenzuela among other students. To her they are current students who are incredible or have come a long way in their photography.
Sandoval’s work gathered attention during the SAE.
His photograph titled 2017 showed his perception of the political issues that occurred throughout the year.
To understand the photograph and the messages that Sandoval was trying to make you have stand close and each of the labels.
The photograph won Sandoval the Faculty Choice Award in photography. he also won an honorable mention for 2-D design.
Cerritos College Art Gallery director James MacDevitt said, “The piece I placed in the front by Roberto Sandoval is really strong. I love the way it sort of poetically plays with the corporate logos and it very much is of the now. It feels relevant to the world that we’re all inhabiting in this moment in time.”
Crismundo and Sandoval were just two of the many photography students that received recognition during the SAE.
Fine Arts major, Deanna Saucedo won third place in photography for a portrait she did of her younger sister standing against bird cages.
The photograph is called caged; Saucedo explained the photograph is about teenage freedom.
“They feel caged inside but there’s always a way out. There’s always something out there,” Saucedo said.
Saucedo mentioned that one of the professors that influences her is Ed Heckerman, who although strict he always has more she can learn from.
For Sandoval Heckerman and Fernandez are professor that influence him.
Fernandez was his first photography professor and Heckerman has helped him learn how to get the technical aspects of photography right.
MacDevitt said, “The photography this year I think is exceptional. It’s always exceptional. I’ve struggled in the past because photography is one category but there’s like 30 or 40 pieces in that category and only seven get awards.”
Crismundo, Sandoval and Saucedo all recognize the talent of their peers and agree that seeing the works of their peers at the SAE also inspires them to continue exploring and creating new pieces.
Listen to the audio of Crismundo’s and MacDevitt’s interviews.