SERIES | Plaza Tower

© 2009 Eric Christopher Jackson

Costa Mesa, CA.

I visited this location on four occasions to get the group of shots I needed. This was the last project I completed before I switched my major from Digital Photography to Graphic Design.

Even after a year of classes, I still felt somewhat at a loss. I wasn’t connecting with my professors in terms of what makes a good photograph. We didn’t agree on which photographs were good on several occasions, whether it was from my own work or someone else’s.

And the more I learned about commercial photography, the less interested I was. I assumed the college (and the major) focused more on the traditional style of art, but that simply was not the case. I knew that I wasn’t getting everything I could out of my lessons.

My professor & I clashed over this Architecture project. He wanted to see the standard commercial shots of brilliant architecture. And the harder I tried to take these types of shots, the more lost I felt and my motivation continued to decline.

I found the perfect shot in the first black & white photograph of the Series. I focused on the rocks within one of the large fountains in the courtyard. This isn’t your traditional shot for a’s slightly abstract, which is what I love about it. It has feeling. It has emotion. It has a personality of its own, which seemed absent from many of the architectural shots I tried to mimic.

After this project was over, I understood that I didn’t want to simply document reality. A scene has to come alive, perhaps by being altered to become (or resemble) something else entirely. It’s more interesting to not just see a picture of a building, but how it interacts with the world around it. See the art in architecture.

As I began my classes in Graphic Design shortly after New Year’s 2010, I quickly understood that my new professors and I spoke the same language. They analyzed everything in a way that I would. Yes, I did feel like they were better teachers in that least for me.

Interesting enough, I never did become much of a Graphic Designer beyond the basic knowledge of how the software works. However, my photographs made more sense to me. I saw how I could take principles in Graphic Design and use them to compose my photo work.

This Series is a strange mixture of commercial & fine art in style. Even when taking a “normal” shot, I wanted it to be more…artistic. This photograph of the bench has the type of attitude I was looking for. On to the next adventure.

Eric Christopher Jackson

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