March 30, 2017 1:34 PM

Laney gets literary in library photo shoot for National Reading Month

The Laney College Library and Laney Photo Department worked in collaboration to create a photo portrait series of students and staff with their favorite books in honor of National Reading Month. The goal of the event was to celebrate reading and how much one book can inspire and influence a person throughout their life.
A temporary photo set was constructed by Laney students from the professional photo classes at the Laney Library on March 22 and 24. Students and staff brought their favorite books and received professional-quality portraits.
The idea arose from a collaboration between Laney Photography Instructor Black Moon and Public Services Librarian Reginald Constant.
Moon previously had an exhibition at the Laney Library which received praise from staff and students. “I did a display in the Library of our collection of vintage cameras and our books on photography,” Moon said. “It filled several cases.”
To keep the momentum alive, Moon suggested that Constant set up a studio where students could get portraits taken.
Moon was inspired: “I suggested that we have a photo shoot and we’ll have people have their portraits taken with or without a book. And [Constant] got very excited about that idea.”
Moon took the idea to the instructors, who echoed Constant’s excitement and followed through on the proposal.
Constant said he thought the inspiration came from the “Read” posters found in public libraries. The American Library Association as well as other local libraries have created a series of posters with the headline: “READ” depicting celebrities or fictional characters with a book to promote reading as a fun activity.
“We wanted to get a step beyond that and make it more personal,” Constant said. “We wanted people … to bring the books that had inspired them, what made them what they are, that inspired them to live their lives.”
The Laney College Photography Department was enlisted to provide the creativity necessary to create quality portraits of the students who participated.
“The photo department had the creative vision as far as what kind of poses and what kind of backgrounds would look good,” Constant said.
The Graphic Arts Department was also invited to help in the editing process. Representatives from the Photography Department invited students in Daniela Nikolaeva’s beginning Adobe Photoshop class to participate on set, to learn how photo shoots work.
The photo students would then learn about the editing process in Photoshop from the graphic arts students.
The photo students used strobe studio lighting and instructed the participants on how to pose with their favorite books using both serious and fun poses. They took portraits of students, library staff, Photo Department instructors, other Laney staff, and even a dean.
The portraits will be shared with the participants and will be used by the library for promotional purposes.
You can also find eight recommended reads from the Tower.

Dominique DozierDominique Dozier Laney librarian
Excerpt from RACE MATTERS by Cornel West
“In these downbeat times, we need as much hope and courage as we do vision and analysis; we must accent the best of each other even as we point out the vicious effects of our racial divide and pernicious consequences of our maldistribution of wealth and power… We are at a crucial crossroad in the history of this nation–and we either hang together by combating these forces that divide and degrade us or we hang separately. Do we have the intelligence, humor, imagination, courage, tolerance, love, respect, and will to meet the challenge? Time will tell. None of us alone can save the nation or world. But each of us can make a positive difference if we commit ourselves to do so.”

bookI, Rigoberta Menchú: An Indian Woman in Guatemala by Rigoberta Menchú
This book weaves together interviews with Menchú—a feminist, socialist, and tireless activist—to tell her harrowing and inspiring tale of life in Guatemala during intense state repression and her journey to winning the Nobel Peace Prize.
RedefineRedefining realness
by Janet Mock

What does it mean to be a woman? Mock’s autobiography answers that question by revealing the challenges she faced–and faces–as a Black trans woman in the United States. Her story is both universal and enlightening.


studentRudi Tcruz Laney student
Logotypes & letterforms by Donald Young
As technology introduces more access to unique and varied font types, 1993’s “Logotypes and Letterforms” remains a relevant and useful reference book detailing the relationship of type styles and letterforms to logotypes. This book is intended for graphic design professionals or students, and offers insight into logotype development and the process of type formation. Each chapter includes an essay by a professional expounding on the role of logotypes in their particular field. Logotypes and fonts are juxtaposed neatly, offering a comprehensive understanding of the similarities and differences between the two.
sheepTHE sheep look up by John Brunner
A high-stakes romp through a bleak, dystopian world told through a narrative that reads like someone flipping through stations on a TV. This one will suck you in and leave you dazed and disturbed.
stampedStamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas by Ibram X. KendiKendi has said, “History tells us…that racist ideas were created to defend deeply entrenched and enticing discriminatory policies.” Kendi explores those who have challenged or helped cement
racist ideas.


DeanJulianne Kirgis Laney dean
excerpt from GENDER AND EDUCATION published by jossey-bass
“Our future as a free society depends on active and informed citizens… education for citizenship must be gender equitable education; an education in which every voice is heard and each girl and boy has an equally wide range of educational opportunities and life choices.”
excerpt from jane eyre by charlotte brontë
“Do you think I am an automaton? — a machine without feelings? and can bear to have my morsel of bread snatched from my lips, and my drop of living water dashed from my cup? Do you think, because I am poor, obscure, plain, and little, I am soulless and heartless? You think wrong! — I have as much soul as you — and full as much heart!”


lightAll the light we cannot see by anthony doerr
The stories of a blind French girl and a German boy intersect in occupied France during World War II. Both of them are talented young people, though neither of them is privy to the political causes of the situations they find themselves in.


The moon and sixpence
By W. Somerset Maugham

Loosely based on the life of Paul Gauguin, Charles Strickland is an accountant who decides late in life to leave behind his wife and children, move to France, and become a painter. An intriguing tale of the virtue of selfishness.


librarianReginald Constant Laney librarian
excerpt from THE black jacobins by c.l.r. james
“Yet when the masses turn (as turn they will one day) and try to end the tyranny of centuries, not only the tyrants but all ‘civilisation’ holds up its hands in horror and clamours for ‘order’ to be restored. If a revolution carries high overhead expenses, most of them it inherits from the greed of reactionaries and the cowardice of the so-called moderates. Long before abolition the mischief had been done in the French colonies and it was not abolition but the refusal to abolish which had done it.”

THE dispossessedThe dispossessed
A classic heart-wrenching story of a society that has moved on from Earth, now revisiting the world they left behind. This book is timeless, and parallels to modern society are rife throughout.

bookAn Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
Dunbar-Ortiz says that “while living persons are not responsible for what their ancestors did, they are responsible for the society they live in, which is a product of the past.” This book provides a new and important narrative of that past.


Franklin Avery Laney instructor
The Studio published by Time-life
First released in 1970, ‘The Studio’ is one of a 17-volume series of books on photography published by Time-Life Books. The series covered everything from picture-taking techniques to instructions on developing film to photographic history. The books were notable for their clean, minimalist design, and instructive, content-rich pages. Although the series in now over 40 years old, some of its material, such as the tips in ‘The Studio’ on creating your own studio, are still relevant and useful for modern photographer.

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