The UCSB campus is a beautiful place. With its scenic backdrop of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Ynez mountains, it is tempting for photographers to focus on the the stunning views, Storke Tower, the lagoon, or students riding their bikes. More difficult to convey is the quality of the student academic experience at this major research university. How do you illustrate what and how students are learning, and translate it into compelling images? Enter award-winning photographer Richard Ross and the students of Intermediate Photography (Art 120).
Ross, a member of the College of Letters and Science faculty since 1979, has been a Guggenheim Fellow, Fulbright Scholar, and National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow. A working professional photographer, he has published photos in the New York Times Magazine, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, Discover, Time, Newsweek, and Vogue, among others. An exhibit of the photographs in Ross’s latest book, Architecture of Authority, depicting spaces that exert power over individuals, opens in April 2009 at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C..
Richard Ross is also a passionate teacher. When asked if one or more of his students might want to take photos for the new College website, he made the project a class assignment. A Day in the Life at UCSB became a way for his students to learn about working from a shot list, obtaining model releases, and perhaps looking at their fellow students and campus in a new way. The resulting images, some of which can be seen on these pages, are beautiful photos through which we see students in music rooms and art studios, in science labs and on field trips to the Channel Islands, studying in the library and Student Resource Building, at political events and making a film. Through the lenses of these student photographers, we see life on campus as only the students know it, and we see what a rich, varied (and beautiful) place the College is.
The photographers who took part in the project are: Will Ashe, Kim Bui, Elcin Joyner, Jon Kalan, Kelly Lane, Katy McCarthy, Matthew Miller, Brooke O’Hara, Monica Quinlan, and Jasmine Safaeian.