Play to Make

Fall 2021


Public Art

In my town of Wilmington, DE there was an exhibit on the streets that involved 48 dinosaurs created out of fiberglass. The sculptures were decorated by local artists and spread through out the city, so when you were walking around you would stumble upon them every once and awhile. As a kid the dinosaurs where something fun when walking around and overall brought joy to the all who saw them. These are a few examples of some of the sculptures:

Dcadasaurus - Wilmington, DE - Dinosaur Statues on Waymarking.comDino Days statues at the Shipyard Shops along Wilmington Riverwalk -  Picture of Wilmington Riverwalk - Tripadvisor



There are three basics of photography that I have found during my research – Shutter speed, aperture, and ISO

I have choose to focus on aperture because this is something that I don’t really know much about and how it effects the photo being taken.

Aperture is defined as the opening of in the lens through which  light that enters in through into the camera. This is very similar to the way that our pupils work to regulate the light that enters through to the iris. Below is a picture of the camera aperture

Since that size of the aperture controls the amount of light that passes into the camera it can also effect the exposure of the picture. Like this…..

Aperture Effect on Brightness

The size of the aperture also has an effect on the depth of field in a photo. Essentially it can create a blurred effect on the photo if you choose the right size for the aperture. Large aperture creates a shallow depth of field while a small aperture creates a deep depth of field.

Understanding Depth of Field for Beginners
Shallow depth of field
Understanding Depth of Field for Beginners
Deep depth of field


Research a Piece of Public Art that Interests Me

One public art display I have always been interested in it The Bean in Chicago, Illinois, although its official name is the “Cloud Gate.” This is one of Chicago’s most photographed structures, which was added to the Millennium Park in 2004. One crazy fact about the structure is that cleaners have to come twice a day to clean the entire surface, free of smudges.


Interesting Public Art

The Elia sculpture is a black spherical sculpture in Denmark. The art has three main parts, a black spherical dome that har a diameter of 200 feet on top of the dome there are 4 pillars on top. The most unique part of the art in its burst of flame that it will randomly fire 26 feet into the air about once every two to three weeks. The flame makes this 3.5 million dollar artwork unique.

Image of Elia
This is the only video or picture of the flame I have found. Despite the art being almost 20 years old.


The Norfolk Mermaids

I’m from Norfolk, Virginia, so if I had to talk about any public art installation, I’d of course have to talk about the iconic Norfolk Mermaids. Throughout the city, you’ll find statues of mermaids, all striking the same pose, and they’re all awesome.

According to the city of Norfolk’s website, Norfolk attorney Peter Decker initially came up with the idea of mermaids in 1999, which was inspired by Chicago’s Cow Parade art installation. Since then, mermaids have graced our city and have become Norfolk’s permanent mascot and is prominent in our logo.

The city’s first mermaid logo

Norfolk’s current logo

There are over 130 mermaids residing in Norfolk, all sculpted by Kevin Gallup, a local bronze sculptor, and painted by local artists. Obviously, I can’t share all of then, but here are a couple of my favorites:

The Go Diva chocolate mermaid, in MacArthur Mall

An Asian inspired mermaid, situated at the Pagoda, a building that was gifted to Norfolk from Taiwan

The Sticker Mermaid in front of Nauticus, where people take the stickers they get from admittance into Nauticus and leave their mark


Public Art

[research a piece of public art]


Good Picture Taking Skills
This website has many good tips for photographing a good picture, but the best tip was to use the grid feature on your photo.


One tip PetaPixel has for taking better pictures is using flash during the day, something you wouldn’t think to normally do.


Using different sources of light than just the sun or flash of the camera is a fun way to play with lighting.


Photography lessons


Keep in mind how different objects in the image draw your attention and try to balance the photo around the objects. Don’t have objects in the picture that aren’t what the photo is about (edges of your frame or a window)

This photo haw the tree limb and the smoke stacks on either side of the center balancing out the picture.


Keep your lighting soft/diffused so it isn’t too strong on one spot.

Here the lighting back lights the objects,but doesn’t prevent you from seeing the objects well.


3 Aspects of Photography


The Relationship Between Light and Matter - Principles of Structural Chemistry

Every photo needs light. Light is an emotion, that gives feeling to a photo.


question-mark - First Assembly Raytown

What the photo is about. The reason the photo was taken.


This is how your photo is put together, it is a mix of simplicity, balance, breathing room, and interconnectedness. When all of these things are stacked with an interesting subject that has light you have an excellent photograph.




Photography Tips for an iPhone User

Obviously, I’m no professional photographer. I maybe have owned one disposable camera ten years ago, and I used to have a Fujifilm Instax for the novelty of it, I don’t even know that many people who own actual cameras, excluding the friends I have who literally aspire to be photographers. However, everyone owns a phone nowadays, and even old flip phones have cameras on them. So, here are a few tips on how to make your iPhone photos look professional (sort of).

Turn on your Grid

I personally have a lot of trouble telling whether things are straight, aligned, or centered, but turning on the grid really changes that. The clear lines can help you envision the placement of things in your photo, whether you’re aiming for a symmetrical look or following the rule of thirds.

 Controlling the Shutter with an Outside Source

When you take a picture with your phone, you risk your hands being shaky or otherwise not steady. You could try taking the photo using a volume button, but I find that, with my phone’s case, the buttons can be a bit hard to press down on without jerking the phone to the side slightly. By using an external source, such as the button on your headphones or an Apple Watch, you can keep the camera stable.

Pay Attention to Your Lighting

Try to use naturally lighting whenever possible. The iPhone’s flash isn’t exactly very powerful and can end up drastically changing the hue of your photo because of its color.