First blog post

This is the post excerpt.


My name is Brett Snow. I am a Visual & Performing Arts – Arts & Tech major.



On Friday, November 24, I went to the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park. As an art student I have been to the museums in Balboa Park many times before, and this is my third trip to MOPA for one class or another. I convinced my friend David to go to the museum with me, which is the second time I’ve roped him into visiting this particular museum with me. I must admit that MOPA has always been my least favorite museum in Balboa Park. The fully glass front wall and pristine white interior makes it feel like I’m trespassing every time I enter the museum. I was pleased to see the return of the Self/Reflection piece, the webcam which produces a live feed made up of small photographs of peoples faces, which in my opinion is by far the most interesting thing in the museum.

I found the Point/Counterpoint exhibit more interesting than whatever exhibit was there last time I visited MOPA, but I still wasn’t a huge fan of it. There were some interesting photographs, but also a lot that didn’t really do anything for me. Some of the photos were slightly abstract and looked more like paintings than actual photos, and there were some cool aerial shots as well, but there was also a lot of portrait shots that I could only classify as boring. One of my favorite photos from the exhibit was a night shot of tons of bats in flight. At first it looked kind of like a Jackson Pollock painting and only resolved itself into bats on close inspection. Most of the photo was glossy black and you could see your reflection in it.

I also found the student work in the Emotional Boundaries exhibit to be a bit of a mixed bag, but overall I liked it more than the Point/Counterpoint exhibit. There was a weird paneled mirror that shows kind of cross sections of your reflection as you walk past it. It kind of hurt my eyes and made me think I was having a stroke at first, but then I enjoyed it and I walked past several times. I enjoyed my trip to MOPA, mostly because I got to see the Self/Reflection piece again, which is something that I actually used to think about from time to time and want to see a second time.


  1. Street photography is taking pictures of things as they happen in life without posing the photos.
  2. Aperture, measured in f-stop, is how much light is let into the camera, shutter speed is how long the aperture is open to allow light in.
  3. a raw file is an uncompressed image that is taken right from the image sensor. a .psd is a photoshop format capable of supporting layers
  4. metadata
  5. crop, spot removal, red eye tool, graduate filter, radial filter, adjustment brush
  6. The histogram tells you is the photo is exposed correctly, and shows you highs and lows
  7. You can lower the saturation, lower the vibrancy, or use black and white mode
  8. f-stop, ISO, shutter speed

Photobooth Project

On Saturday, October 21, I set up my photobooth in Balboa Park. I brought a couple of my friends along to help flag down participants. I set up shop in a courtyard with steady traffic. I had a shower curtain for a backdrop, zip-tied to a PVC pipe framework, with my tripod set up several feet away, and two helpers doing their best to attract peoples attention. At first it was very slow going, and I had my booth set up for probably thirty minutes before the first volunteer arrived. Over time, more and more volunteers trickled in; the majority of people still said no, but they were becoming more willing. One old man who declined to have his picture taken the first time he walked by returned a little while later and said that he had changed his mind. After taking his picture, he hung around for a little while chatting and expressed his concern for the number of people stopping. About an hour after he left for the second time, two more old men showed up and said that their friend had sent them to help me. One young woman who was nice enough to stop was told off by her friends, who believed that she “might end up on the cover of Bang Bus.” One child persisted in running up to my backdrop and flapping it about, and I guilted his father into participating as well. Overall it wasn’t as hard to get participants as I feared it would be, and I managed to get all the photos I needed in about three hours.