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  • NYFA BFA and MFA Photography Gallery at Famous Bergamot Station

    The New York Film Academy BFA and MFA Photography Gallery show of graduating students was held at the famous Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, CA. The four MFA students and two BFA students had a wonderful turnout of 210 people, not including family, friends or alumni.

    olive banerjee

    photo by Olive Banerjee

    The curators from the various Bergamot Station galleries themselves said that the show has a beautiful cohesiveness, and, once again, one of the guests was the retired curator of photography from the Getty Museum, Weston Naef, who stopped by to enjoy his third New York Film Academy MFA/BFA exhibition.

    Tingting Lou

    photo by Tingting Lou

    Bergamot Station was previously a railroad station from 1875 to 1953, serving the Los Angeles and Independence Railroad and later the Santa Monica Air Line. The station was named after the Wild Bergamot flower, which once grew in the area. The Bergamot Station is in line to become a Historical Landmark in the next few years and it currently houses multiple art galleries.

    Xiao Xu

    photo by Xiao Xu

    The New York Film Academy would like to thank Bergamot Station for hosting our students. Congratulations to our graduating MFA and BFA photographers on this excellent showcase.

    February 14, 2017 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 841

  • NYFA Photography Grad to Display Work in Solo Exhibition at India Habitat Center

    of miles and me
    While currently based in Jaipur, India, New York Film Academy Photography graduate Nipun Nayyar has been gathering a mix of landscapes, portraiture and street photography from his travels in the US, India, Pakistan, Nepal and the Dominican Republic. Now, his photographs will be on display in his own solo exhibition called “Of Miles and Me” that will take place at the India Habitat Center in New Delhi from January 1 – 5, 2017.
    nipun nayyar

    photo by Nipun Nayyar

    “My major goal through this exhibition is definitely making the industry influencers, like photo editors or art directors, more aware of my imagery and content,” said Nayyar. “I’m also expecting this exhibition will help streamline my print selling, commercially, in a more structured manner as my prints would also be up for sale at the exhibit. I plan to initiate selling of my prints more professionally in times to come.”

    nipun nayyar

    Nayyar says that his experience at NYFA is one of the primary influences on his photographic learning, knowledge and exposure. “They [NYFA] played such a substantial role in refining my art,” he said. “Not just my exhibition, but also my photography work, in general, will always have me deeply thanking them.”

    Nayyar has his own personal blog, which provides insight into his travels and his photography. To check out more of his work, visit nipunnayyar.com/blog.

    December 20, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2235

  • Ralph Gibson, Chair of NYFA’s Department of Contemporary Photography, Opens Major Exhibition in Paris

    gibson and serrano

    Renowned American Photographer Andres Serrano and Ralph Gibson, Paris 2016

    Recently, the renowned photographer, and NYFA’s Chair of the Department of Contemporary Photography, Ralph Gibson, opened a major photography exhibition at the prominent Galerie Thierry Bigaignon in Paris.

    The famous American photographer exhibited a new series of large-format color photographs entitled Vertical Horizon. Gibson, best known for his black & white monochrome images of the human form, has also often explored architectural elements in his works. The works in this exhibition evolved from the time that Gibson began doing color digital photography some years back.

    As the gallerist Thierry Bigaignon states, “Ralph Gibson’s images highlight the idea of boundaries and opposition. They’re visual oxymorons, so we decided to title the exhibition Vertical Horizon, which perfectly encapsulates these concepts.”

    gibson and clark

    Ralph Gibson and Larry Clark, filmmaker and photographer, at the opening of L’ Histoire de France at the Hotel Scribe, Paris. Nov -4, 2016

    Gill Mora, one of the world’s most important art critics and historian of American photography, recently commented on Gibson’s new photography series, “Ralph Gibson is without doubt the most European of American photographers, and knows our culture perfectly. His mastery of composition, halfway between graphic artwork and abstraction, has never precluded the sensuality that is the particular trademark of his photographs. It is time to rediscover Ralph Gibson.”

    At 77, Ralph Gibson is as active as ever — both in his studio and at the New York Film Academy. In addition to lecturing to NYFA students, Gibson also takes on a mentoring role to students as part of a unique mentorship program that NYFA established for long-term photography students.

    November 17, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 1152

  • Lecture from Prolific Boston Photographer Lou Jones

    This past Wednesday, November 9th, the New York Film Academy Photography program welcomed Boston-based photographer, Lou Jones. Mr. Jones specializes in advertising and corporate photography. His career ranges from photojournalism covering Central America warfare and humanitarian causes, to sports photography documenting 12 consecutive Olympics, and his jazz portraits include legendary musicians like Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, and Charles Mingus.

    His commercial clients have included IBM, Major League Baseball, Federal Express, Peugeot, Museum of Fine Arts, Paris Match, KLM, National Geographic, People Magazine, Nike, Price Waterhouse, and Aetna.

    lou jones

    photo by Stephany Fernandez

    In 2000, the International Photographic Council (United Nations) presented him with the Professional Photographers Leadership Award. Jones is a Nikon “Legend Behind the Lens” and a Lowepro Champion.

    Jones graciously spoke in depth about his incredibly successful career, which began for him as a struggling photographer in Boston. Jones first recalled his work as a young adult, pursuing and photographing popular jazz musicians like Miles Davis and Charles Mingus, at a time when his competitors were all vying for rock groups like The Who and The Rolling Stones. It wasn’t long before his perseverance and creativity was recognized by ad agencies, publications and brands, eventually propelling him to the one of the top professional photographers in Boston.

    lou jones nyfa

    photo by Stephany Fernandez

    “Change the perspective and you change the point of view,” advised Jones. “Find the things that you’re really interested in and think about how to incorporate that into your work.” 

    Jones recalled a risky time in his life when he intentionally had himself captured by rebels in Central America. After explaining his unusual situation, the risk paid off and Jones captured what he needed for National Geographic. 

    While he recommends photographers spend time preparing and thoroughly planning their shoots, he concluded, “What is happening on set is what really makes or breaks the project.” 

    For more information about Lou Jones and his incredible work, visit his website at www.fotojones.com.

    November 11, 2016 • Guest Speakers, Photography • Views: 1567

  • Photography Alumnus’ Work Published on L’Officiel India and Factice Magazine

    New York Film Academy Photography alumnus Ping Wang‘s fine art project, “The Nostalgia of the Infinite,” is a bold combination of high-end fashion and metaphysical art, or as Wang eloquently puts it: “my exploration and self meditation about time and memory.”

    His fashion editorials inspired by “The Nostalgia of the Infinite,” named “Untramelled,” have been published on L’Officiel India, and the fashion story inspired by the same fine art project named “Delusional” has been published on Factice Magazine.

    untramelled

    photo from L’OFFICIEL INDIA | SEPTEMBER 2016

    “I’ve loved writing since I was very young,” said Wang. “I always take photos with my cellphone and put them into my personal blog. I believe this is the starting point for my photography. However, I didn’t know how to use a professional camera when I came to NYFA. NYFA values the practical and basic learning; it gives students a lot of time to think and then achieve.”

    "Eye of the Painter" in Factice Magazine | photography by Ping Wang

    “Eye of the Painter” in Factice Magazine | photography by Ping Wang

    With Wang focusing on fashion photography since his graduation, he says he notices two trends in the space.

    1. More “motions” are catching the spotlight in the industry. Fashion film has been a big trend.

    2. Fashion photography is cyclical. I’m beginning to see some retro elements and a preference for film lighting.

    photos by Ping Wang

    “In everything that I do, I want to express myself and feel the world,” says Wang.

    For more of Ping Wang’s amazing work, visit his website at www.pingwangxin.com.

    October 20, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 1525

  • MFA Photography Alumnus’ Fashion Work Featured in Elléments Magazine

    michael ilobaSeptember was a triumphant month for MFA Photography alumnus Michael Iloba. If you happen to have read the fashion and beauty magazine Elléments, you would have come across Iloba’s fashion photography work, which covered New York’s Fashion Week. Additionally, he was interviewed by Voyage LA magazine, an online fashion, beauty and general interest magazine in Los Angeles, where Iloba is currently based.

    Recently, we had a chance to catch up with the photography grad to see what else he’s up to and how his love for photography came about.

    How did you fall into photography? Was it something you’ve always wanted to do?

    Photography, for me, began as a hobby. I began taking pictures towards the end of my undergraduate program in economics in South West Nigeria. At that time, photography wasn’t in my plan as a career choice. With time, however, my interest grew and nothing else gave me the type of satisfaction I got from practicing photography.

    What made you decide to attend the New York Film Academy?

    What sold NYFA to me was the extensive curriculum offered in the Masters in Fine Arts [MFA] in Photography program. It was very detailed and covered the very things I wanted to learn and improve on. Of all the schools in Europe and America I came across, on the net, during my search for that institution that will give me the best formal training in photography, NYFA clearly stood out. It is important to state here that before now, everything I knew prior to NYFA, I learned online — from YouTube, blogs etc. I needed to gain more technical and artistic knowledge, which NYFA provided most adequately and beyond expectation.

    Ellements

    photos by Michael Iloba from Elléments Magazine

    What is your most memorable moment and what is one of the best lessons/skills you have learned?

    My most memorable moment occurred in the first few weeks of school, in getting to know my colleagues and instructors. I remember we had to present our portfolios. The goal was to have each person critique it. Of course we all had good things to say about each other’s work, but not the instructors. In my journey to becoming a professional photographer, it was the first time I had received a different but professional and academic opinion on my work, and it didn’t sound good to me. I was defensive, trying to give reasons/excuses for everything wrong that was pointed out to me. It wasn’t a good day for me, even though memorable. But what I got out of it was clarity. I had to learn to detach myself from my work emotionally, come with an open and expectant mindset, to learn and understand what was being taught. That was the highlight for me and now I like my work getting critiqued.

    Other highlights of my time at NYFA were the ambience of the school for academics, the awesome professional quality of teaching and academic staff, access to a studio with cutting-edge equipment/technology, and the trip to Hawaii with my colleagues to unwind after a tough academic session.

    My overall experience was more than I had hoped for. I feel and have a sense of satisfaction. I came to NYFA with certain expectations, but I ended up with something better and more profound. I consider myself privileged to have attended NYFA and I am very grateful for the opportunity. I tell people it would have taken me way longer to know the things I now know, if I had to learn by experience only.

    photos by Michael Iloba from Elléments Magazine

    photos by Michael Iloba from Elléments Magazine

    Is there any aspect of photography that you’re most passionate about?

    In my journey as a photographer, I had tried out most of the different genres but was able, thanks to NYFA, to narrow it down to fashion and portraits, which I am very passionate about n

    Can you tell us about some of the work you’ve done in fashion and portrait photography?

    I have been freelancing, creating more work for my portfolio, and also assisting other established photographers, in order to gain more on-set/industry experience. Recently I shot an editorial titled “Sand Fire,” which was published in Elléments Magazine, an iconic New York based fashion magazine, in its September 2016, “Fashion Week” edition. It also happens to be my first international publication. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have my works viewed worldwide.

    Also, last month, September 2016, I was interviewed by Voyage LA magazine. It is a great feeling to know that many in the US and beyond are noticing / viewing my work.

    
What are you currently working on and what do you hope to work on in the near future?

    I am in the preproduction stage of a new editorial with some amazing creatives. I can’t wait to put it out soon. I look forward to bigger things for the future; more features in magazines and hopefully a cover photo for a renowned magazine. I can’t wait for the opportunity. As my father will always tells me, “wake up, dress up and show up.” I have since taken that to heart.

    October 11, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2045

  • Alexender Simoes Covers New York Fashion Week

    simoes

    photo by Alexender Simoes

    Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Alexender Simoes came to the New York Film Academy to not only familiarize himself with the craft of photography, but also to learn how to effectively communicate with others in the industry.

    With the New York Fashion Week being the perfect outlet for the photography student to explore his passion, Simoes hit the streets and went to many shows in order to, as he says it, “breathe in all the fashion air, studying people how they pose and why they wear.” After hustling the whole week to attend and photograph a variety of shows, he was able to cover the Taoray Wang show, which showcased the designer’s sophisticated silhouettes and luxurious fabrics.

    “Fashion photography became a passion because of its attitude of expressing oneself,” said Simoes. “I had such a hard time finding my voice as a photographer until NYFA helped me hone my calling. It’s fun, it’s fast paced, elegant, and fierce. Photography is meant to learn the rules and also break them once you know what you’re doing.”

    Simoes is currently working on his portfolio and looking to expand more of his work in the fashion industry by continuing to network with individuals and hustling day-by-day.

    “It has been a humbling opportunity to meet amazing people, and I owe it to NYFA for helping me break out from my shell,” said Simoes. “Whatever passion you have I encourage NYFA to help you get there.”

    photos by Alexender Simoes

    September 30, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2444

  • Paul Sunday’s “Improv / Archive” Exhibition at New York Public Library

    paul sunday

    From Archive / Improv series, photograph on baryta paper, 24 x 32 inches, 2016. © Paul Sunday

    The New York Public Library invited New York Film Academy Photography instructor Paul Sunday to create a new body of work for a solo show at their Mid-Manhattan branch. The Photo Walls in Picture Collection Exhibition Series “Archive / Improv” is on view from September 2016 through February of 2017 and is curated by Arezoo Moseni.

    “In response to the location, I will re-contextualize seldom viewed images from my archive to explore the boundaries between photography, sculpture and installation,” says Sunday.

    “These pictures consider the photograph as an object. My studio is a laboratory, a space for experimentation,” added Sunday. “It is bursting with stuff, equipment, lights, scraps of bric-a-brac, and old props but above all an extensive archive of photographic materials, the residue of twenty-five years of image making. I use all of this as material for improvisation. Riffing on the vocabularies of installation, sculpture, and collage, I endeavor to transform mundane objects into something poetic. I am fortunate to have space and time for contemplating my obsession with vision, light and the energy of ordinary things.”

    In addition to his teaching at NYFA’s photography school, Sunday is a photographer, painter, and curator. He discovered his love of photography while working on avant-garde theater and performance projects in New York. His earliest images were documents of performances and portraits of actors. In the 1990s, the artist created thousands of pictures for magazines and luxury brands. His portraits of artists and celebrities have been published in Paper, aRude, Interview, Soma and German Vogue among others.

    For more information on Paul Sunday’s “Archive / Improv,” please CLICK HERE.

    September 29, 2016 • Faculty Highlights, Photography • Views: 1615

  • NYFA Los Angeles Documentary & Photography Excursion to the Dominican Republic

    Each year, MFA, BFA, One-Year and Two-Year photography students, as well as MFA and One-Year documentary students are invited on a one-week exotic trip. This year the New York Film Academy Los Angeles headed on an exotic excursion to the Dominican Republic. The team was led by Documentary Chair Barbara Multer-Wellin, Production Sound Instructor James Coburn IV, and Photography Instructor David Blumenkrantz. Joining their instructors were documentary students Guangli Zhu, Carolina Sosa and Yuan Li, as well as photography students Brenda Cantu and Ziomara Ramirez.

    Along the trip, Ms. Multer-Wellin kept a log of this incredible journey that captured the exotic landscape and culture of the Dominican Republic.

    September 16, 2016

    dominican rep

    We left Los Angeles at 11:00 PM, switched planes in New York and arrived in Santo Domingo the next afternoon. We spent the rest of the day getting acclimated and renting some lighting and grip equipment from a local rental house. Afterwards, we had dinner at an oceanside restaurant, as a huge orange Harvest Moon rose in the sky.

    September 17

    ruins dr

    After a quick stop at a local cambio to change dollars into Dominican pesos, the NYFA team started filming the streets of Santo Domingo. The team began at the ruins of the Monastery of San Francisco, built in 1503. Walking through the local streets we filmed street vendors, performers, painters, young couples, an evangelist, domino players, and a trio of musicians playing Merengue Tipico — the traditional form of the Dominican national dance and music.

    Since we’re here to make a documentary about Merengue, this was a great stroke of luck. Dinner was at a restaurant in Santo Domingo’s China Town. Our two Chinese team members, Guangli and Yuan, were able to speak with the owners in Chinese, although their dialects were not the same. Somehow, in a mixture of Spanish, Chinese and English, we managed to order a real feast.

    September 18

    dom rep

    Today was all about challenges and overcoming them. Our NYFA crew was scheduled to interview the noted Dominican percussionist and folklorist Edis Sanchez at his new apartment. But we soon discovered that Mr. Sanchez had yet to move in, so the apartment was empty (luckily he brought his drums and some chairs). We were able to film a great interview with available light and a single bounce board.

    That evening we filmed an outdoor Merengue concert and dance party with the band Grupo Bonyé at the ruins of the San Francisco Monastery, first built in 1503. We hope to interview the band’s leader, Señor Nestor Sanchez, later this week, a great addition to our documentary about the importance of Merengue in the Dominican Republic and just maybe our reward for hanging in there.

    September 19

    dancers dr

    By our third full day we had adjusted to the realities of filming here in Santo Domingo. Traffic on weekdays rivals Los Angeles — it just takes more time than you think to get anywhere, even with the expertise of our driver/new friend Victor. We spent the morning filming more establishing shots for the opening sequence of our documentary, including the first cemetery built in Santo Domingo; a haunting and eerily beautiful place full of crosses, angels and a few stray dogs. Next were a flower/flea market, the Presidential Palace and an upscale residential area. This is a city of stark differences between the way the rich and poor live, like most cities. We spent the afternoon at the Palace of Fine Arts where we were fortunate to be able to film the fantastic dancers from the Ballet Folklorico Nacional Dominco as they rehearsed three Merengue pieces. One couple demonstrated the basic steps of Merengue for our cameras. Tomorrow, an interview with Elizabeth Crooke Morel, Director of Ballet Folklorico Nacional Dominco, and Nestor Sanchez, from the great band that played at the concert at the ruins of the San Francisco Monastery.

    September 20

    sanchez

    The New York Film Academy LA documentary crew began the day back at the Palace of Fine Arts in Santo Domingo to interview the Director of the Ballet Folklorico Nacional Dominco, Elizabeth Crooke Morel who told us more about the elements of the dance Merengue. After a quick stop to film more establishing shots in a shopping area in the city, we all piled back into the van. Soon we arrived at the home of musician Nestor Sanchez. Señor Sanchez spoke movingly about the history of Merengue and the profound meaning it holds for the Dominican people.

    September 27, 2016 • Community Highlights, Documentary Filmmaking • Views: 1870

  • Getting Personal with NYFA Photography Alumnus John Tona

    As a New York Film Academy Photography alumnus, who currently teaches at the school, John Tona, a New York native, noticed he was surrounded by a very diverse student body. After meeting and interacting with men and women from countries all over the world, Tona became fascinated and inspired to create his “(A)Typical Typology” project. Shot on film, each photo is identical in its approach.

    photos from John Tona’s (A)Typical Typology

    Through this photography series, Tona aims to capture a man and woman from 193 different countries, completely stripped of all their possessions. Each individual is without cultural elements such as clothing, jewelry, or other man-made products, leaving only the individual as the unique identifier. As a result, the lines of race and culture are de-emphasized, leaving us to consider the subjects more simply, as members of the human race.

    His Typology project went on display in South Korea at both the Jeonju International Photo Festival and Art Space Artion.

    Tona says he has captured individuals, many of whom were students at NYFA, from 39 countries thus far and plans to continue until he reaches his goal of 193.

    art basel

    photo by John Tona from “The Vacant Self”

    Getting more personal, the photographer’s “The Vacant Self” project is, as Tona says, “a disenchanted look at emotional chaos and sexual dependency in an effort to come to terms with and coalesce a fragmented consciousness under the precarious frame of pictorial narrative.”

    john tona

    photo by John Tona from “The Vacant Self”

    Though you may not know it, the work in this series captures a very personal chapter in Tona’s life, which he was able to express through his models and photography. One particular piece from this collection was on display in Art Basel, while another is currently being displayed at Brooklyn’s Photoville.

    The Intimates

    photo by John Tona from “The Intimates”

    Tona says that while he’s closed the book on this chapter of his life, he’s currently moving forward with another personal series called “The Intimates.”

    Be sure to check out Photoville, which is currently being held in Brooklyn from now until Sept. 25, where Tona and nineteen other NYFA Photography alumni photographs will be on display.

    September 22, 2016 • Photography, Student and Alumni Spotlights • Views: 2815