Photography with Jake Pishkula


One of the photos Canon USA recognized. Photo provided by Gianna Cognetti.

Gianna Cognetti, Features Editor

There are many talented students at UC who take their passions and hobbies to the next level. Sophomore Jake Pishkula is a self taught photographer who was recognized by the camera company Canon USA for his unique and gorgeous shots.

Starting off small, Pishkula purchased a DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reflex), which is a common type of camera used by photographers. He would take the camera everywhere with him, just incase anything caught his attention. 

“I’ve been told by many different people that I have a unique perspective, not only in my photos but also in life,” Pishkula said. “Being able to share the content I create is showing people life through my eyes.”

Despite the fact that many people assume he should be a media arts major, Pishkula informs them that Cyber Security helps with producing high quality photos by understanding the use of computers and software.

“I use some quite sophisticated software in the process of editing my photos and videos,” he said. “Without my background in computer usage, I would not have been able to work with these programs.”

Pishkula develops Urban Exploring photography, also known as Urbexing, a style that is based on abandoned locations and historical buildings. 

The way Pishkula saw the world changed when he and a group of friends traveled to an abandoned steel mill to take pictures. From then on, his favorite style of photography is shooting architecture. 

“Sometimes these places are frozen in time,” Pishkula said. “Everyone just picked up and left one day, leaving behind years of work.”

Currently, his collection of gear and equipment has grown from a 360 degree camera that allows a photo to look as if it is its own planet, to a drone capturing a “bird’s eye view” and cameras that allow first person point of view shots, almost like watching a video game. With the newer and more advanced equipment, Pishkula is able to take his creativity and inspiration further and create content for his Instagram viewers.

Although this is mainly a hobby for him, Pishkula’s photos have gotten him a lot of recognition. He used to show people his creations from his phone in person. Once he gained positive feedback and saw how amazed people were with the photos, he took it to a social media platform to show the world.  

Not stopping there, Pishkula entered in contests and challenges from a platform known as GuruShots. They award cash prizes to winners who best represent the categories they choose, and he was successful in a few of them. 

Personally, his biggest recognition was when Canon USA, which is the camera company he shoots with, commented on one of his Instagram posts.

“Their page has over a million followers,” he said. “For someone like me who had no formal training and started only two years prior this was a big deal.”

As far as future goals go, Pishkula hopes to stick with photography as a hobby for there are no deadlines needed to be met and having the freedom to shoot what he wants and not feeling pressured is what makes photography so enjoyable to him. Yet, shooting for live bands and concerts is something he can see himself doing as a side job. He also hopes to broaden his skills even further and continue getting involved with new styles.

“I want to shoot more portraits in the future just to expand my repertoire of skills,” he said.  “It makes the subject feel special.”

He is the only one in his family who  pursues photography, meaning that justifying the reasons behind purchasing expensive equipment to family members can be very challenging. Purchasing new gear, obtaining tons of storage and having a computer powerful enough to render 4k resolution video is not cheap, however he said it is worth it in the end.

“What I care about is opening people’s eyes to the beauty of the world and showing people that there is always a different way to look at things,” Pishkula said.