The Daily Aztec

Engineer doubles as photographer

Photo+courtesy+of+Josh+Goldstein
Photo courtesy of Josh Goldstein

Photo courtesy of Josh Goldstein

Photo courtesy of Josh Goldstein

by Kelly Kerrigan, Contributor

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A simple gift from grandma could change your life forever.

At 16-years-old Josh Goldstein received an old digital single-lens reflex camera from his grandmother, sparking his initial love for the art of photography.

The aerospace engineering freshman began by taking pictures of anything and everything, teaching himself how to use the camera and capture photos with the best use of exposure and lighting.

“That is exactly what drives me to do what I love doing most, to just be able to express myself to others with photos in ways that words can’t even begin to describe,” Goldstein said.

He said he enjoys all types of photography, although his favorite is composite photos.

A composite photo is made by layering photos on top of each other to form a piece using Adobe Photoshop.

“There’s just so much you can do and I really love seeing how far I can push myself to show my passion and literally just pour my heart and soul into the photo,” he said. “This could be as easy as just adding a different background or a simple object to something as complex as completely altering the image from the original to create something that you have pictured in your mind that you try to replicate using that image.”

Goldstein said he often spends days on end editing and creating work until he gets the image to look exactly as imagined.

Most of his pictures include a combination of the ocean, people, nature and even stars.

Majoring in aerospace engineering and minoring in astrophysics, space and the galaxy are things that have always interested Goldstein.

He said his favorite photo to date features Maui with a sky full of stars, his friend Max and a mountain he created himself and layered onto the image, a prime example of his composite artwork.

“The original photo was an iPhone picture of my friend Max in one of our classes last year, I then took that photo and merged it with a few landscape photos I previously had laying around that I never used,” he said. “Then I placed the masked photo of him in the picture and blended everything together to make it look more realistic. After that I got some photos of stars that I had from shooting in Maui that summer and masked those on top of the photo and added a gradient mask to make it blend with the gradient of the sky’s colors.”

Through Goldstein’s skills he is able to make whatever he imagines in his head, creating dream-like photographs.

Goldstein said he has many inspirations ranging from Jorden Keith, a Los Angeles based photographer who captures emotions through people in his pictures, to Dan Franco, a wedding and event photographer.

He said these photographers inspire all of his art pieces and influence him to do different types of photography from weddings to portraits and even conceptual photos.

“It is really cool to see Josh when he is doing what he loves,” music composition freshman Michael Gould said. “You can tell he really cares about his art and will spend hours working on small details for one piece.”

Like any modern-day millennial, Goldstein shares most of his pieces on his Instagram, @JoshTheHuman.

He said he is unsure of where photography will take him in the future, although he always plans on keeping it as a hobby.

Goldstein said one of his favorite hobbies is shocking his fellow engineers with his photography skills.

He said he wants to continue traveling to new places and combining aspects from all of them into different pieces.

Goldstein might have not realized it at the time, but he now knows the birthday present from his grandma was the best thing to come into his life since he turned sixteen. 

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