Magnum Opus

 A Family of Faces… Magnum Opus

This project is extremely close to my heart because it is my family. Each of these photographs are of my family members. I wanted each one to represent what I loved most about each of them. From what I learned in Visual Literacy, angle, color, contrast, and focus all help to illustrate what the photographer seeks to portray. I used all the techniques I learned in class to try to illustrate each of the characteristics I was trying to portray in the photographs. With Devon’s photo I used the light coming in from the window to give me a good space to capture her beauty. With Emily’s photo I used the upward angle to capture her power and strength and to evoke her confident nature. With Lauren’s photo it was not posed. I was lucky to capture her shy nature right in the moment she turned her head into her boyfriend’s shoulder. For my grandmother, GG, I used an analogue camera because it felt the most appropriate for my 90 year old grandmother. I had the opportunity to use my High School’s dark room and I was able to use just the right exposure and contrast to make it such a striking and powerful photo of my grandmother. With my father’s photograph I used the simple red back drop and followed the rule of thirds, positioning him on the right edge of the frame. For my mother I tried a few different poses, but I found this one particularly beautiful with my mother kissing my sister’s forehead. Overall, this project was a wonderful experience for my family and I. I was able to apply everything I learned about evoking meaning into visual images. I think I was able to execute the techniques I learned to make each photograph portray the characteristic that makes each of my family members beautiful to me.



Joe Meets Joni

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Magnum Opus Treatment

My Magnum Opus project is going to be a photo essay of portraits of my family. I am going to photograph my mother, my father, my three sisters, and my grandmother (all of whom live with me). My goal is to capture each of their personalities in one shot and show the viewer what it is I love about each of them. The shot of my mother is going to showcase her compassionate heart; the photo of my father is going to show my father’s strength; my grandmother’s photo is going to express her humor; my sister Emily’s photograph is going to express her glamor; my sister Lauren’s photo is going to show her organization and wit; and lastly, my sister Devon’s picture is going to express her beauty and easygoing personality. I hope that through this photo-essay the viewer can gain a better understanding of who these strangers are to them and how my family influences who I am.

Lumiere Film

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Concept: A homeless man buys lemonade with hand out money.

Treatment: A man is sitting against a building, appearing haggard and worn. He is wearing an old, torn jacket and a beanie. A young girl also sits at the opposite side of the frame, set up at a lemonade stand. A large sign reads in crooked letters: A cup for 25 cents. A woman passes by wearing professional attire and redirects her path, quite obviously, away from the man (leaving the frame); ignoring the girl at the table. A couple passes by and upon noticing the man, they agree to each place a five dollar bill in his lap. They then, walk away arm in arm; not noticing the girl sitting at the table. A man in casual clothes walks up to the man sitting against the building and hands him a book- appearing to be a bible- and a ten dollar bill. He casually walks away, searching for another person to speak with (leaving the frame); without taking a glimpse at the little girl he passes. Finally, the man sitting against the building stands up and brushes his ragged jacket and hat, stretches. He rubs his face with exhaustion and catches a glimpse at the forlorn young girl sitting at the table. He looks at the money in his hand. He walks up to the table and places the wad of bills in the jar on the table. The girl is happily surprised and smiles at the man and hands him a glass. He accepts it gracefully and leaves the frame, as the little girl stares into the jar in disbelief.


This is my grandmother, Angeline Paglusso. She is shown in the middle ground of the shot, my mother is shown in the foreground. The shot is supposed to be from her eye line, or from her perspective. This photograph captures the joy my mother has in looking at my grandmother, her mother. I kept it in black and white, because I wanted to show their joy could be captured even without color. The joy my mother has looking at my grandmother is mirrored back in the joy my grandmother has looking at my mother. This is joy.

Newseum: Babe Ruth

This was one of the first photos I came across in the Newseum. It was a tremendously poetic photograph to me. The denotation is a baseball player sanding near home plate, holding his cap in one hand, and the bat in the other, supporting his weight. However, its connotation says much more about this photograph and the man positioned in the foreground. It is Babe Ruth. His shoulders are hunched forward and he leans on the baseball bat with an impeccable amount of humility and grace that truly captures the physical toll that playing baseball has taken on him. He appears forlorn, yet proud. His body language unveils the aches and pains that years of playing has given him. It brings the viewer to a state of awe, of Ruth’s sacrifice and commitment to this sport. It captures a moment of Ruth’s weakness, where the viewer can see and sense his exhaustion and humbleness. This photo was incredibly powerful, for me as an athlete, to see an athlete so great and powerful in his time and in legend, truly tired. As an athlete you are supposed to hide your exhaustion, to quell the will to quit and hide it deep within you. This photo, however reveals that moment when you stop to catch your breath, or hunch your back succumbing to the weight of your own listless muscles pulling you down. The line of players to the right in the photo is powerful, because it sets Babe Ruth apart from them. He is a part of the team, but alone at this moment in his exhaustion. I absolutely love this photograph.