Discovering the Photographer Within: Marina Rodriguez-Garcia

"Nadar selfportrait" by Nadar - J. Paul Getty Museum, online database: entry 45522. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The following post is written by Clairbourn seventh-grader Marina Rodriguez-Garcia who discovered a love and talent for photography in French Class. A gallery of her work is included at the end of this post.

One day, when I was sitting in French class researching an artist for a report, I stumbled across Nadar, a famous French photographer and caricaturist. His work grabbed my attention and I started to go on numerous websites, finding more information about his life and style of photography. I started to become intrigued with photography as the due date of the report edged nearer and nearer.

Photo by Marina Rodriguez-Garcia

On the weekend before the report was due, I decided to take pictures of my close family and friends using Nadar’s style of photography. The experience was like no other. I loved seeing what wonderful pictures I produced at the click of a button.

Nadar used simple backgrounds, and captured his subjects up-close with little color or patterns in the image. He wanted the focus to be primarily on the face of the subject. Hands are not shown, he gives his portraits strong side lighting on the face, and the edges of the image are slightly faded.

Photo by Marina Rodriguez-Garcia

A couple months after I turned in project, I forgot about photography and let it go. But one day, my family and I went to the Huntington Gardens. I brought my camera, and my fascination with photography became alive again. I took numerous pictures of the plants, flowers, and trees. It was a beautiful experience. After I took the pictures, I edited them so that they included some of the characteristics of Nadar’s photographs, even though he did not take pictures of plants.

My photos capture the light and beauty of nature, while still portraying Nadar’s style. I thank my teacher, Mrs. Barker, for assigning the French project. If she hadn’t, I would never have known about Nadar and how amazing photography is.



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