The elective courses I’ve taken here at Parsons are among some of the most interesting classes I’ve taken. They are often super specific and each department offers a wide range and variety of electives that cater to specific interests within that field. Mercedes Beach, BA/BFA student and Communication Design BFA junior, tells me about one of her favorite classes she’s taken here at Parsons and why she feels it will be useful in her career.
Lauren Davis: Tell me about a class you’ve enjoyed so far during your time here at Parsons!
Mercedes Beach: I really enjoyed the elective I took last semester with Maurice Sherman called Imaging for Designers. It’s basically a digital photography class for people not studying photography. We learned a lot of technical knowledge and just basic overall photo terminology.
LD: Sounds interesting – I’ve always wanted to take a photo class. What was a typical class like?
MB: During class we had a lot of demonstrations on different techniques and technical things that we would need to know later on for our projects. The class was completely digital and we were taught how to use a camera from the ISO, Shutter Speed, etc. Then some of the different topics covered were copy stands, how to use flats, scanners, we also learned about architecture photography, portraiture, and overall just the 101 basics of photography. We pretty much covered everything. In class we would also have critiques of our work.
LD: What were your projects in the class like?
MB: A lot of our projects involved advertising and product shots. One project in particular we had to create a still life by basically making our own mini-studio through lighting and a white box. I decided to create a more artistic still life and not your typical standard one. I shot neon objects and I wanted to do something I felt I would be able to use later on in my own portfolio.
LD: What skills can you take away from this class that you’ll be able to apply to your own work in the future?
MB: Well, in the future I would like to work for a publication doing art direction or editorial design. Just working with layouts, print design and definitely with photographers is definitely something that interests me . This class definitely helped because when I do work with photographers I’ll know what to ask from them and just have a general understanding of what they can accomplish. It’s also great because this is something that I can do on my own time.
LD: Would you recommend this class to other Communication Design majors?
MB: I would recommend the class to someone who is interested in photography and design – because the knowledge has proven useful in my other classes, internships, and additional work, the basic knowledge of digital photography also helps me better document and photograph my own printed work as well.
You can check out more of Mercedes’ photography and graphic design work here!