Teresa Lourie
1 / 7

My zodiac sign is a Capricorn. Capricorn is an introverted pessimistic sign. They mostly think of things in black and white, right or wrong. Even though they are introverted, they have sympathy for other people and are loyal to the people they come close to.
Capricorns will, however, try to avoid showing their emotions at any cost. They want less than anything to seem vulnerable to other people. They enjoy being alone and not having to deal with others as much. They are distrustful of other people, keeping things to themselves and keeping people away from things they find important.
When I first started researching my sign, I wanted to do something related to the emotionally protective side of Capricorn. I felt like I related to this idea even though I am aware that astrology does not provide an accurate description of people based on their sign. My first idea was to illustrate the caging of the mind. I wanted an image that would clearly show that a Capricorn would not let just anybody inside his or her head. The image I was thinking of would be a person (the Capricorn) with a cage on his or her head to symbolize keeping things to themself. Later, I changed my idea to be focused more on emotions and less on thoughts. The image I came up with was a boxed heart showing locked away feelings. When first thinking of how to illustrate a heart, my thoughts were more on a symbolic one, but the idea of a real heart became more prominant as I thought about it. 

My second image came from the sympathetic side of Capricorn. In the image, the Capricorn is injured heavily, but helping someone with a minor injury. As I was thinking of ways to execute this image, I thought I could just use props. When this turned out to be harder than it seemed, I turned to Photoshop. After shooting the pictures, I picked my favorite one and edited it until it was close to what I wanted. 
After I had the images I needed I made my final edits in Lightroom.


Final Post

Ryan Joy
1 / 15

My zodiac sign is Aquarius, since my birthday is on February 14th. Some strengths represented by this is friendliness, cleverness, originality, inventitivity, and humanitarian. Some weaknesses represented by the symbol is stubborness, unemotionalness, sarcasm, and rebelliousness. Aquarius is an air sign but to most, it is known as a water sign. A main symbol of Aquarius is the water gylph. More specifically, my project is based off of friendliness, originality, and the overall theme of water. For inspiration, I mainly used an image of a water bearer. This water bearer (which is a symbol of Aquarius) was pouring water from a vase into a pool. 


Throughout my research, I was constantly inspired by many different aspects. After seeing the image of the water bearer, I immediately knew that my final project was going to relate to it. I then found images of people walking and floating above the water, which also gave me inspiration (as shown in my final image). Also, while researching, I quickly saw how much Aquarius connects to water, although it is an air sign. I knew that I was traveling to my vacation house that weekend, so wasn’t even a question that I was going to take photos of the water. (It’s on a lake) I took as many photos as I could when I was there. I even took photos from a firepit, and experimented with my cameras settings when I was there.


Over the last two weeks, I have had tremendous improvement in my photo-taking and editing skills. In my mind, I believe I’ve learned more in two weeks than I have in my one-term photo class at school. One key element I learned in my project was lighting. I learned all of DICCH (Direction, Intensity, Color, Contrast, Hardness) and experimented with it in my final image. Since I was photoshopping and needed everything to be in the same lighting, I had to use extra light sources and learn about direction. Another aspect I have grown in is with photoshop. I ended up improving tremendously in just a few days. I even had to show a few kids some steps and directions in photoshop because of it. In all, these past two weeks have been a great experience and I will hopefully do something similar to this again.

Final Images

Shivani Angappan
1 / 9

This project was intended to be an exploration of the positive and negative aspects of my star/zodiac sign, Pisces. The positive trait that I chose to portray in my project was the dreaminess that is often associated with Pisces. The negative trait that I chose was Pisces' readiness to take on the burdens of others, while giving up their own health, whether mental or physical. I shot a series of photos and combined them into a video format with an appropriate soundtrack to heighten the emotional effect. I used three models, Harper Mills, Jon Turnquist, and Max Dadagian, to portray the Pisces and the two people whose burdens she takes on, respectively.                                                

Final Post

Weliton Filho
1 / 11

Libra Photos

Noah Grunebaum
1 / 2

My project is a manifestation of Libra traits and symbolism. In ancient Egyptian mythology the Libra symbolized the scale which would weigh the heart of the departed against a feather. If your heart was heavier than the feather you would be reincarnated, and if your heart was lighter you would move on to the spirit world. Libras value balance, symmetry and layers. Libra's preferred colors lean towards the indigo, blue, and green areas of the spectrum. I edited and pieced together my photographs to emphasize these Libran traits and values. I learned how to take properly exposed photographs as well as how to use Adobe Lightroom. I spent much of the process using Photoshop to collage and modify my photographs.

Process Post

Weliton Filho
1 / 11

My project is based off of my astrological sign: Scorpio. My initial research was based off the constellation which relates to Scorpio. Scorpio was a giant scorpion who was asked to take down hunter Orion who wanted to kill all the animals on earth. Scorpio stung Orion to death and saved all the animals. Scorpio has a lot of positive character traits such as determined, powerful, emotional, passionate. A few negative character traits are: jealous, secretive, compulsive and recessive.

After researching Scorpio and reading multiple stories about people who are Scorpios, I came to a conclusion that a Scorpio (also myself) is a person made up of two completely different person. I realized that the Scorpio is one person on the outside and another person on the inside. i wanted to oncorporate both sides of Scorpio in my photographs.

In a short span of two weeks, I learned far more than I thought I was going to. I think that is because we were not only being lecturd about how cameras work and how to use them but our coach Dana sent us out to photograph and get the hang of it ourselves. I learned that a great deal of thought has to be put into each picture such as depth of field and rule of thirds. Depending on your surroundings you have to move the apperture up and down and you must compensate with also changing the shutter speed in the opposite direction. I learned about ISO and how the lower it is, the better the quality will be, also shooting RAW files rather than JPG also help when in Lightroom and Photoshop. I learned much more and I am excited to take pictures and show people I actually understand how to use a DSLR camera!

My initial idea was to combine two images into one image that would incorporate all characteristics of a scorpio. In this picture I would be facing off with both sides of myself; I would be a loving and caring person on one end and a "hitman" on the other.

My final idea was in many ways similar to my initial idea but I did not think it would completely show all characteristics. I decided to do some story telling using different images that would symbolize a characteristic. When I put all of those together, it would tell the story of a scorpio's life. Within this story my pictures told, I incorporated all aspects I learned such as composition, rule of thirds, and different types of lightning techniques to show different moods.

Final Product

Sophie Basseches
1 / 2

    For this studio, I had the assignment of creating an image or various images that visually represented my astrological sign. I chose to do two separate, smaller projects, as opposed to one larger project. The first project is a photo series of three different images, side-by-side. This was to show the juxtaposition between the stubborn side of Taurus and the peaceful side of Taurus. To convey these differences, I used two models: Jasmin and Cole. The stubbornness of Taurus is shown in an arm-wrestle. Cole is being stubborn because, although he is losing the arm-wrestle, he refuses to give up. On the other side is a representation of the peaceful side of Taurus. Tauruses are known to prefer chilling in a field and relaxing, rather than doing anything else. To convey this, Jasmin is in a meditative pose, while covered in flowers. Stubbornness and peacefulness contradict each other, but they are traits that can occur in one Taurus, so the middle image is Jasmin and Cole sitting back- to-back, symbolizing that they are separate but still together. 

    The second project I made is a bull-head collage of different pictures taken around Central Square. This one is more symbolic and slightly less clear. The idea behind this project is that the images chosen and used portray different traits of Taurus. The skin of the bull is white to show that, no matter what, the underlying motive of the bull is very relaxed. Also, the background of mountains shows another trait of Taurus: dependability. Like mountains, a Taurus is study and reliable. Despite "harsh weather" a Taurus faces, she can still stand strong. Further, the mountains are a symbol of a real bull's homeland since many bulls live on ranches in the mountains. Something that is important about this image is the collage aspect which is supposed to represent how all the different aspects of Taurus come together to create one person.

Process Post

Sophie Basseches and Jasmin Breakstone
1 / 11

    This studio was very different than any other other NuVu studio because it was more artistically creative and less about problem solving; it was also different in that I had a strong idea at the outset, and didn't go through many iterations like other design processes. The prompt for the studio was to create a photography project based on our astrological sign. My two-part project is thus based on my astrological sign of Taurus (April 20-May 20), which is represented by the bull. This sign is related to a Greek myth, where Zeus disguises himself as a white bull to capture the attention and trust of a woman, then runs away with her to win her love. With this zodiac comes many different characteristics including being reliable and a good friend, practicality, ambitiousness, generosity,  patience, independence, and persistence. Then, on the negative side, Tauruses tend towards stubbornness, laziness, possessiveness, frugality, materialism, and self-indignation. All these traits, along with physical aspects of the bull, influenced my work. 

    My research inspired my work in many ways. I ultimately created two separate projects that were both based on traits found in the Taurus. For my first project I began by lookig at precedents to create a series of three photos, side-by-side. One side shows a picture of Cole arm-wrestling with Jasmin; the other side shows a picture of Jasmin meditating in a field with flowers; and the middle one shows two people back-to-back, with Cole looking happy and relaxed, and Jasmin looking tense and frustrated. Each one of these photos is clearly linked to my research on the Taurus. The arm-wrestling is supposed to symbolize the stubbornness of Taurus. Even though Cole is losing the arm-wrestling challenge, he refuses to give up. This also shows the persistence that appears so often in Tauruses. The meditative picture is supposed to show the completely opposite side of Tauruses: how they would just rather sit in a field and smell the flowers and chill out than do anything else (as the astrologist who visited NuVu told us). The middle picture is supposed to symbolize how those two sides of the Taurus contradict but can still come together and form one person. The difficultly of this project was to show true emotion in the photos. My models had to become the part, showing both aggression and peacefulness. It took many tries from different angles and different facial expressions, but, in the end, it truly showed the aspects of Taurus that was I trying to convey.

    For my second project, I walked around and took pictures in Central Square and created a collage in the face of a bull. This is supposed to symbolize the many Taurus traits coming together and creating a strong individual. For example: the skin of the bull is white flowers, which shows that, no matter what, the underlying motive of the bull is very relaxed. The background is also important in highlighting the bull's dependability. Behind it is mountains. Mountains are very sturdy and can bear much weight, similar to the Taurus. It also goes back to a real bull's homeland because they often live on the mountains, in ranches. The sky is dark, like the night, to symbolize the mysteriousness of the bull. I was not very used to Photoshop when I began this piece, so it required me to come out of my comfort zone and experiment with different commands and adjust certain aspects. 

    I learned so much about taking pictures and editing photos during this project. For example, I learned how to manipulate all the settings on my camera to get a perfect exposure. I also became more thoughtful about how light can effect mood, which I tried to show in my pictures. What I really learned the most about though was post production. For example, I learned how to edit a picture so it looks better with contrast enhancing and shadows and highlights. I have learned that, with a picture, when editing, you should never enhance the picture 100% or -100% but subtly switch one way or the other. I also learned a lot about Photoshop in this studio. I found that you can make completely different images just by masking certain areas and linking them with other pictures. All these different editing tools helped me to achieve my images for the project and portray different moods, and will be extremely useful in my life if I ever want to do more high-end photography. 

    At the beginning of this project, I was working with Jasmin because she too is a Taurus. She unfortunately was out for much of the week, so, instead of creating her own project, she mostly aided me in the expression of my ideas. This was very useful because I was able to bounce my ideas off of her and get her opinions which pushed my designs even further. For example, when discussing the first photo series with her, she helped me think about what position would best show peacefulness. In fact, she even was the model in all three photos for my first project symbolizing the meditative and relaxed side of Taurus. This involved her putting aside whatever might have been happening in her life and portraying a zen-state. 

    Below, Jasmin will explain her experience as a model:

     Because I was gone for the second week of this studio, I mainly worked on helping Sophie with her project and offered to be her model for the project. At first, we worked together to create the concept of the photo and then went onto the streets of Cambridge to scope out different sites that would work best for the photos. With Sophie's image for the photos, she guided me through different positions and poses to get the right one. We also grabbed Cole to help us get closer to our goal for one of the photos. After we choose the sites and also the props we needed, in one day we went out and took all the photos. As a model, I had to do a lot of listening to Sophie to really understand what she wanted; sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. To add on, it was also a big learning experience working with another person when taking a photo. It took a lot of communication between both models as well as the photographer (Sophie). It was definetly an awesome learning experience to be a model, and I really enjoy being one as well. 

Final Video

Shivani Angappan
1 / 1

This is my final video: it comprises the eight images of the photo series, with end credits and a soundtrack.

Photograph Series: shot by Shivani Angappan.

Modeling: Harper Mills, Jon Turnquist, Max Dadagian.

Main Soundtrack: Goodbye by Kim Taeyeon, covered by Shivani Angappan.


Shivani Angappan
1 / 9

This photography series began as an exploration of my astrological sign, Pisces.

Pisces is the twelfth astrological sign in the Zodiac. Most of Pisces-related mythology is centered on Christ or Venus/Aphrodite (the Roman/Greek goddess of love). The main story relating to Christ is that the birth of Christ coincides with the beginning of the Age of Pisces (1 AD - 2150 AD). Thus, many of Christ's early followers used the Greek letters IXӨY∑ (ichthys, meaning fish) as a code word for Christ or Christianity in the early days of the faith, when it was punishable by death in the Roman Empire.

As for Venus, one myth is that when Typhon, the father of all monsters, attempted to attack Olympus, Aphrodite and her son Eros/Cupid transformed themselves into fish in order to save themselves. People born under the sign of Pisces are supposedly emotional, sensitive, susceptible to change, and often have multiple misfortunes (or fortunes) occur in a series during their lives. They also tend to take on the burdens of others as their own, since they have a decreased sense of boundaries.

This last personality trait struck me as material that would be usable in a photograph series. I created a character set and a plotline, which underwent several changes over the last two weeks.

In this series, there are three characters: the angel (the personification of Pisces, played by Harper Mills), the blind man (the personification of physical illness, played by Jon Turnquist), and the alcoholic (the personification of mental/emotional illness, played by Max Dadagian). At first, the angel wears pure white, untainted by the real world, and she concerns herself only with figments of her imagination, such as the flowers that only she can see in her hands. Her downward spiral begins when she meets the blind man. True to his name, the blind man cannot see anything, both physically and emotionally—he fails to comprehend that the angel has not given him sight but has instead taken on his blindness and relieved him of his burden by transferring it to herself. Thus, the angel loses her sight. Next, she meets the alcoholic, who is completely aware of the angel’s inherent compassion and chooses to ignore it. As she takes on the alcoholic’s ailment, she becomes drunk and unconscious, and the emotional and physical burdens weighing on her turn unbearable. Thus, the angel passes away. While in life, the angel’s wings broke under the weight of her burdens, they are fully healed in the afterlife, and she finally understands when to live and not to live.

As the embodiment of Pisces, the angel’s clothing progresses from pure white through shades of gray to nearly black over the course of the photo series, mirroring the changes in the types of emotions she experiences. This wardrobe change highlights the contrast between the first and last scenes: in the first scene, the angel is pure white, against a background that has little or no color, and she is interacting with flowers, which symbolize her innocence/ignorance of the negative aspects of the world and highlights the dreamy, flower-girl type nature that is characteristic of a Pisces. In the last scene, however, the angel is full of color, and her background is diverse in color, signifying that her world has shifted and expanded to include both the good and the bad of life. She also does not have a flower crown in the last scene, because she is no longer ignorant of the world's vices.

Also, the angel is stationary in the first scene (simply sitting on a bench and admiring flowers), because her character has never been moved out of her "comfort zone" (the innocent, happy side of the world)--essentially, she is emotionally confined to solely feeling positive emotion. In the last scene, the angel is dancing, showing that she has been forced through the hardships of the world and has become free emotionally because of her experiences. In addition, I made sure to create a natural lighting effect during the shooting of the first scene, so as to give Harper’s face—and especially her hair—a halo effect, thus heightening the dreamy angelic effect that I sought to achieve. In the last scene, however, there is less exposure and the entire scene is much cooler than the first scene in terms of color temperature, thus allowing Harper’s face to be more in shadow, representing how the angel can never be pure white again, after her experiences during her life.

The blind man and the alcoholic were both meant to be villains originally, but the blind man turned out to be a confused soul who simply could not fathom the depth of the angel’s emotion. Thus, there lies the difference in the expressions that the two characters are wearing in their scenes. The blind man is serene, seemingly unaffected and certainly unaware of the angel. The alcoholic, however, simply ignores the angel after the removal of his burden—after all, he is callous enough to neglect the nearly dead angel lying in the doorway of a washroom while he smugly checks his reflection in a mirror. The lighting in the latter two of the alcoholic’s scenes were intended to turn Harper into a part of the background, with the focus on Max and the relative ineffectiveness of his healing. However, in the blind man’s scene, Harper and Jon are equally important and in focus, and their partially intertwined hands signify the partially unrequited emotional connection between them. In the blind man’s scene and its aftermath scene, Harper’s facial expression shows the transition between her happiness at being able to heal another person, to horror at her loss of sight.

The pictures attached to this post are the final images.