Sunday, March 18, 2018

New York City Trip

Our trip to New York City was filled with highlights, adventure, and fun.  Despite starting a day late, we packed every minute of our day and a half trip with action.  One of the things I was looking forward to the most was visiting the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  While they were both amazing and breathtaking places to photograph, this was not the reason.  I have always wanted to visit for the history of both places.  The thought that the Statue of Liberty was one of the first things that immigrants saw when they arrived in the United States and the very ground that we walked on at Ellis Island was the first US soil the immigrants walked on.  Another highlight of the trip was getting to spend the weekend with our entire photo class.  While we all joke around in the classroom and are competitive with each other, New York was a whole new level of this.  Our fun competitive nature followed us around the city and was able to push us to take the best photos possible while on this trip.  And of course, the best highlight of the trip was being able to photograph in a new environment.  While we have Portland near us, New York City was different.  Photographing city life and walking around the streets was amazing.  it was a new lifestyle that we were able to capture and experience.  

When we got to the city we quickly all learned a few things.  One is that people walk very fast and will plow through you if you are in their way.  So a group of seven strolling through the streets, stopping to take photos, and squatting to get a better angle on a people packed street was not the best situation to be in.  I quickly learned to look around quickly before getting down to get a better angle or stopping to take a picture.  Another thing we learned very quickly was that we needed a signal or a way to let the group know that one of us wanted to stop and take a photo of something.  Jamie cleverly came up with "PHOTO PAUSE," indicating that our group was to pause and wait for one of us to take a photo.  One last thing that I sadly learned after the first day was that I needed to physically stop to take many of my photos.  I came back to the hotel the first night, uploaded my photos, and was disappointed to find out that many of my action and street scene shots were out of focus.  I adapted the next day and paid special attention to stopping whenever I intend on taking a photo.

Many of the things I want to remember from this trip were highlights and things I learned.  In regards to photographing I have two large takeaways.  One being something I learned: that I need to stop and take my photos.  As I said above I lost many photos from my first day and was very disappointed.  But from this experience came a lesson.  I learned and will now always remember to stop and shot my images.  The other photography related take away being that to not question a subject.  In the city, there were so many different, unique, and interesting subjects to photograph.  And while I wish I had taken more, I was focused on what I was specifically interested in photographing: people.  I wish I had taken photos of more subjects and had not questioned if a subject would be "good enough" to photograph.

Being Bold
Street Scenes

5th Ave Please
Street Scenes

What Floor

Business or Pleasure
Street Scenes

First Look

Tight Knot
Close Up

Tie it Tight

Hard vs Soft
Close Up

Flying High

 Looking back on the trip my favorite thing to photograph was street scenes.  We have already completed a biweekly for lifestyle and while I was able to successfully complete this assignment, in the city taking lifestyle like photos were very different.  I was able to capture the action-packed lifestyle of people in the city.  Which in comparison to my lifestyle photos of a more relaxed lifestyle was very contrasting.  Although, I loved both of them and am very pleased with the results.  I think that the most difficult theme that we were to photograph was motion.  I think that I got some successfully frozen motion photos, I wish that I had more successful blurred motion photos.  Blurred motion photos have always been an area which I haven't tended to photograph, so when put into the situation where we could photograph anything and everything, I did not think to focus on these.  Some of my other photos could be put into the category of unconventional portraits.  I was very drawn to taking photos of people.  While most could also be considered lifestyle and street scenes, I think that I could have created another category for these.  Overall, New York City was a trip that was both very successful and fun.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Idea for the Power of Photography Project

Some various social, political, and/or environmental issue that I am passionate about is the use of plastic water bottles, waste of water, animals in shelters, and the overuse of technology.  For my Power of Photography Project, I have chosen to focus on animals in shelters.

In a country where 85 million households own a pet, why are there tens of millions of strays?  There are an estimated 70 million stay animals living in the United States.  And out of those 70 million, only six to eight million are placed in a shelter each year.  Adopting animals is a rewarding and joyful experience.  If people were to adopt pets instead of buying them from breeders, we as a country could reduce the number of animals kept in shelters.  This is an important step to take because by decreasing the number of animals in shelters, we will reduce the number of animals who are euthanization due to overcrowding.  Adopting animals is an important issue in our country that we must address.

While there has been a decrease in the estimated number of animals placed into shelters, from 7.2 million in 2011 to 6.5 million today, there is still a large issue.  Approximately 1.5 million animal are euthanized each year, which has also decreased but is still very high.  It is also found that there is a decreased lifespan of those animals who never find a home.  And, specifically, 9 out of 10 dogs born never find a permanent home.  There is no question that animals who do not have homes are an issue in our country.  We must bring attention to this issue and come together to find a solution.

Some questions that I have for experts and others in the field are...
   1. What are some benefits of adopting animals?
   2. What was a moment that touched you while in a shelter?
   3. What would you say is the leading cause of overcrowding issues in shelters?
   4. How would you approach solving this issue?
   5. What do animal shelters do?
   6. What is your stance on "no-kill" shelters?

Works Cited
“11 Facts About Animal Homelessness.” DoSomething,
“Facts + Statistics: Pet Statistics.” Insurance Information Institute, Insurance Information Institute, Inc.,
“Facts About Animal Sheltering.” Petfinder, Petfinder,

“Pet Statistics.” ASPCA, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals,

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Looking Ahead

As the sun kisses her skin
she looks into the distance.
Beyond what she can see with
her eyes.  She is looking
into her future.
A future that seemed so far
away a few years ago.

Everything that lies in 
her future
depends upon 
the upcoming years.
She is not looking anymore
but daydreaming
about what is to come 
and what she wishes for 
her future.

The removal of the sun's kiss
from her skin pulls
her out of her daydream
and back to the present.
She is looking with her eyes
and sees what is truly
in front of her.
A bitterly cold, wet, snowy place 
that she can not wait
to leave.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018


End of the Day

At the end of the day
we all need a break.
Some of us spend the day
at school, or at work, 
or out running errands.
And when we get home
all we want to do is crash.
Crash into the warm, cozy,
inviting bed
that encourages us to forget
about all responsibility.
And once your head hits that pillow
you know there's no
going back.

Back to working hard, 
thinking every second,
and explaining every action.
No you can't do that
because your day has ended.
And when your day has ended
all you want to do is
enjoy the time that you have 
with yourself
and crash into the
pit of warmth
you call
your bed.

Thursday, February 1, 2018


Each individual finger grips the wood
as if letting it slip from my hand 
would cause a tragedy.
The creases in my hand begin to pool
water as it moves closer
and closer to the strip
which has the ability to
 light my world.

The head of the match slides across
the strip and a flame sparks.
My eyes are lit with joy.
But I get my hopes up too quickly
the flame burns out too soon.
And I am left in the dark,
alone, like I always have been,
and will continue to be.

Alone, with the potential for light
but destined for darkness.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Goals for the Semester

As I begin Photo 3 I am very eager to learn more and accomplish great things throughout the semester.  The main reason that I have elected to take Photo 3 is to continue to learn more about my passion for photography.  Having in class time to learn skills and out of class time to apply them is one thing that I look forward to looking into the semester.  Also, I am taking this course to learn more photo and digital skills that will help me in the future of photography and life.  In a digitalized world this is key in many job markets and these skills allow one to stand out.  Another reason I am very eager to take this course is to develop more skills with film cameras and in the darkroom.  This was my favorite part of both Photo 1 and 2, so I am very excited to continue working in the darkroom and to learn new techniques.  My final reason for electing to take Photo 3 is to have a successful body of work that I can use in the future for college or careers.  Overall I am very excited that I have elected to take Photo 3 this semester.

As I look back over the work that I have accomplished in Photo 1 and 2 I am very proud of my work.  And am very eager for what is to come with Photo 3!  Throughout this semester, other than a brief overview/reminder tutorial on manual settings with digital cameras, I hope to learn more about the different things that my camera is able to do.  Also, I look forward to shooting with film cameras and going back into the darkroom.  Learning more skills with our film cameras is my biggest goal for the semester.  I would love to be able to carry around a film camera and use it without much thought when choosing the settings.  I am interested to learn what mysteries the film camera is hiding and can't wait to expose them.  While inside the darkroom, I am excited to learn new techniques for processing and sizing our photos.  Overall I hope to learn and gain as much as I can from Photo 3.