Photographing at the MET

During the Art Department’s annual trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art that Marywood students can attend each fall semester, I chose to work on an assignment that had been given out in my portrait photography class. Our miniature assignment was to do some street photography style portraiture, and to really focus on our framing, leading lines, and geometric shapes.

The day prior to the trip, I had attempted to get some images that met the criteria of this assignment shooting around campus, but none of them were as striking as I would have liked. While they met the criteria I felt that I could do something better.

Upon arriving at the MET I realized I had the perfect opportunity to produce some better images, as well as tour such an amazing museum! At first I struggled to point my camera directly at people, as I am typically self conscious of photographing strangers in a public setting, as most young photographers are. However, after I settled in to the idea and had been roaming about for a good half hour I began to gain more confidence, as well as finding unique and interesting shots that I had been hoping for. It did help that I had a good laugh at capturing a picture of a young man eating a granola bar where he was likely not supposed to, given how close he was to a display of pottery. With that having lightened my mood, I set out to take more direct photos of people.

Working my way through almost every section of the MET, certain areas were most certainly more well lit than others, but I tried my best to capture what I saw, and show how others were experiencing the MET. I looked for lines in railings, stairs, artwork, etc. that would lead into my subjects in order to make them more prominent, helping lead the viewer’s eye there. As far as geometric shapes, the modern art wing was obviously one of the best backdrops to create a simple but eye catching background! In addition to the modern art wing, the lighting, leading lines, geometric shapes, as well as the abundance of people in the Temple of Dendur surely made for some interesting photos! These, along with another photo I took in the Egyptian section, were among my favorites captured that day.

Overall it was such a fun and in the end creative experience, one which I am so glad to have been able to have! Being my first time at the MET I was blown away by the artwork that I was able to see and enjoyed being able to wander about the museum for the whole day. I highly recommend the trip for any other students, art majors or not, as it was both educational and entertaining!

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