Marialuna2008’s Weblog

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City Atmospheres July 28, 2008

Filed under: Sample Work — marialuna2008 @ 10:14 pm


The goal of this project was to create a body of work displaying urban landscape photography which focuses on cities within the United States.  The photographs are placed in Metro Denver, the Los Angeles area, and Manhattan.  Each city is uniquely planned out.  For example in Manhattan’s environment is tightly woven.  In Colorado the environment is spacious.  California is continually green.


4 Responses to “City Atmospheres”

  1. Whitney Heffelfinger Says:

    Hi Maria,
    After reading through all of your final project I have to say that visually your final pieces are extreemly attractive, eye catching and work well together as a set.

    You processed a lot of information while you worked, it appears that the process of explaining your art was a beneficial one for you. As I went through it I came up with a few comments and questions.

    (I’ve answered some of your questions and they can be noticed by being in () and being bold and italic)

    I was interested in what you were doing with the photo that had the bridge removed and was wondering why go throuogh the trouble, why not just crop it with the camera lense or move to a different vantage point? (inserted by Maria: You can’t see it in the picture but a diffrent vantage point would not be as easy because just below that building is a train track and fences. If I moved to another area I would be possibly trespassing and I’m not good with climbing fences 🙂 ) Then I realized that you were not using this as a final piece… lesson learned; I think we all start with arwork that later is thrown out as the process is developed. (I did go a different direction)

    Your final Denver image is much warmer than the origional, the colors are really enhanced, I wonder is this how you experienced the buildings when you saw them? The origional photograph is much more washed out, did you change the color to show what you really saw? (I did change the color. I wanted to use photoshop to enhance and change the original images to fit my needs. I think it is much easier to change in photoshop then take around lighting equipment. However I do have a spotlight I use to add highlights.)

    Just curious, was your L.A. shot taken at the Getty museum? 🙂 Great place. (Yes, it was the Getty, the week before class started) Anyway, I noticed that your L.A. picture is much more like the photography you referenced by Christianberry because like his work this one shows the close detail of a single structure… yours is in the foreground. I like how you took that and built your theme of the city skyline into it. Again I noticed that your finished image has hyper realistic color (this pallette is cooler) I wonder if this is how you experienced it so it is how you created it? (Good eye, I changed it up…the color.)

    In New York your origional has so much color, I think your cropping and vienetting work well in the photograph to prove your point that the city is packed full of visual information.

    You might consider using the changing seasons in your photographs because they definately change the light and color of a city.

    One final thought comes from your coments on theory. You mentioned the posibility of people in your images and even though I did not see any in your final work I wonder if you have had to deal with the IRB paperwork at University College? (I’m not dealing with IRB because people are not participating in the same way they would if I were doing a paper. However I do have a one page form for permission to use someones image. If I did have a photo with a person who can be recongized then I ask them to fill it out.)

  2. Gay Carlson Says:


    I love the concept of using photography to analyze the way space is used in different cites. Once the space and the way it is carved for a city is defined, it seems to me to become a signature for that city. I especially like your portrayal of Manhattan. It’s unmistakeable. I think you have captured the notion that there are many layers in the city by illustrating that every space is used multiple times for multiple reasons. And it is exactly those layers of life that make Manhattan such a vibrant place. The image pulsates!

    L.A. stands in stark contrast. It appears plastic, expansive, smoggy, and uninviting. I sense a feeling of anonymity looking out into the endless distance. The image certainly portrays the sprawling cities of the west with their ever-widening suburbs. But I’m not sure that I would recognize it as L.A. That might just be my ignorance or it could be that the image needs a defining element. Perhaps it is the
    Getty Museum from whose balcony the image was taken. (?) Maybe it’s leaving more smog in the final. I don’t know if you were trying to create a signature image. Maybe that was beyond your intent. If you were simply looking at land use and how design shapes space, then the image of L.A. successfully illustrates how differently space is utilized when it seems unlimited.

    Carrying the idea of a defining element into the Denver cityscape, the first thing I notice about the image is that the sky is cloudy. One of Denver’s claims to fame is that it has 360+ days of sunshine per year. The blue skies of Colorado are always what Easterners find captivating. You have included Daniel’s Tower which is somewhat of a downtown icon, but I would like to see what effect a blue sky would have on illuminating the city.

    Finally, it’s interesting to look at the number of skyscapers in downtown Denver. I can tell you that the downtown space was much emptier in the early 80s. There has been massive redevelopment in the area which your image beautifully illustrates. It feels like a warm, inviting, intimate place to be–most likely because you took the picture from an intermediate distance from the skyline. Of course, it could be because I’m prejudiced. 🙂

    I enjoyed looking at your images and learning about your concept.

  3. marialuna2008 Says:

    Hi Gay,
    Thanks for the great comments. The photo in LA was taken at the Getty Museum. I took the images to define the atmosphere of each city. I could have used photos with an iconic building in each but didnt really want to go that direction. The image of Denver was taken to portray a city that is spacious. I like that you see other elements in each photo that relate specificly to you. That is great! Especially the ones of Denver. I didn’t think of including the impression that Denver has 360 day of sunshine. That would be a different project possibly for the future. It could be something like capturing city phrases or monuments.

  4. kdub697 Says:


    Hopefully I did not offend you in my own personal philosophy on art…regarding landscapes. I believe I mentioned this in class but I am even below a novice when it comes to camera and obviously when it comes to digital so allow my ignorance! 🙂 The subtleness of your work is astounding. I also had the assumption that computer work done to photographs or art must be visible, that a noticeable change must happen but you have clearly shown me otherwise and infact the reverse…that in some cases it takes more skill to “hide” what the artist did or manipulated. That is very exciting and new to me. Since the first day I have made no secret to how in awe I am of your ability to use this “new media.” And in taking another class with you I have learned you do enjoy working with a camera as well and I think you are progressing very nicely.
    Conceptually I feel you accomplished what you set out for. Visually and aesthetically I can appreciate what you do but I have such a biasness toward photography that it is really hard for me to appreciate a photograph. That really sucks for me to say and for you to hear I am sure but that is the nature of my beast. Although, I do like the clausterphobic feel you gave to NYC and the clean, sharp feel of Denver but I am curious as to where the big brown cloud is in L.A.? 🙂


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