BY QUINN SPOONER
With Carmel High School’s 76th edition of the El Padre yearbook set to release in mid-May, senior Luke DePalatis wraps up his second year as chief editor of the yearbook.
DePalatis has filled his high school year with a variety of jobs relating to photography, including weddings, graphic design and cinematography.
The senior’s first choice of school is Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, where he would study film. However, he also may go to San Francisco Art Academy, to which he has already been accepted.
DePalatis’ main passion is film and cinematography. He’s currently writing a full-length movie script and has already completed the screenplays for three shorter films, now beginning to film one of them.
“I loved the nature of the 2D art and the nature of how it looked and felt, and I liked the grandioseness of the 3D art because you could create worlds and animate them however you wanted and put characters in them however you wanted,” DePalatis says. “I felt film was the perfect combination of the two where I could create this visual aesthetic nature to my art while at the same time telling my story and making my own kind of world.”
The young photographer also wrote an entire screenplay for his final project in AP English Literature and Composition.
“Luke is genuinely one of the kindest, funniest and compassionate people I have met,” says Barbara Steinberg, DePalatis’ current English teacher. “He demonstrates hard work, sincerity and integrity in his every action.”
DePalatis worked as an assistant professional wedding photographer for local photographer Tom O’Neal for two years. He attended four different weddings.
“I’d get up pretty early in the morning, and we would go out to a scenic area and shoot the bride and the groom separately,” DePalatis says. “The bride and groom can’t see each other until the wedding. That takes about an hour and a half for both. Then we set up for the ceremony, get all of our cameras in position and get all of our equipment ready. The ceremony would play out and we’d get as many shots as we could. After the ceremony and reception we’d help the bride and groom clean up the area.”
The graphic designer worked about six or seven hours each wedding and made about $250 per session. He also did another wedding with another local photographer, Josh Coon.
In addition, the senior has done a lot of promotional materials for his church, the Calvary Chapel in Monterey, and ran a Mother’s Day booth in 2017 that let families get a picture together. Most of what DePalatis does for his church is community service, for which he has accumulated 1,550 hours, although the church did paid him $400 for one eight-hour shift.
“A lot of the time I’ll just do it for fun or to volunteer,” DePalatis says.
As a further addition to the senior’s portfolio, the photographer has set up an Instagram page with advertising for his graphic design passion. DePalatis started by taking AP Studio 2D and learning to use Photoshop, and he now creates projects for a variety of customers.
“I’m trying to form my own graphic design business to start selling prints,” DePalatis says.
DePalatis also uses a program called Autodesk Maya to design 3D models. Recently, he released a video game called “Paintball Hero” onto the app store which he co-created with Skylar Thomas, a CHS alum. The game features an animated character running through a blocky environment, freeing animals with the use of a paintball gun. The game was sponsored by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, from whom DePalatis received $250. He is also currently working on another 3D game with Thomas, which DePalatis says contains augmented reality.
The graduating senior also made a short film in 3D.
The first male chief editor in ten years, DePalatis was chief editor of the yearbook his junior year and worked on the yearbook his sophomore year. He made the templates, or the files that the entire yearbook is built around, both his junior and senior year. DePalatis also took an extensive amount of photos for some spreads this year, including drama, field hockey and football.
But the student, leader and artist excels in his other classes as well.
“Luke is a nuanced thinker who is interested in learning for its own sake,” says Marc Stafford, DePalatis’ philosophy teacher. “Luke is a true philosopher.”