Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Planet Earth Reaction

            I have never watched “Planet Earth” before but I have always been interested in watching it. Animals have always fascinated me ever since I went to the zoo for the first time. Going to the zoo is one of my favorite things to do. I’m not sure I would love experiencing them in the wild but I do love to look. The last time I went to Disney I went on the safari ride first and that is about as natural and up close you can get without actually being in the wild. It was amazing how these animals interact with one another. I couldn’t image being within feet of these majestic creatures.
            I think I enjoy that I got to see these bonus features before actually seeing the film in its entirety because now I have a different insight for when I actually do watch the film. It’s fascinating that these cinematographers are willing to risk just about everything to get the perfect shot of these animals. The biggest thing to stick out to me was when these guys caught the rare event of a pride of lions attacking and killing an elephant to feed their pride. Just the fact that they were sitting there in pitch-black night only listening to these ferocious animals growling and pouncing around them and watching all this happen by looking through and inferred camera. That would be terrifying but they were just there to catch the rare footage knowing very well that at any moment an elephant or lion could start running in there direction.
            These guys have a true passion for what they are doing and the truly understand what the meaning of roughing it in the wild. This really relates to our class because obviously we all chose to be in this class to catch that one image that will make it all worth it. They are just like us but on a higher scale. Its crazy how much we all could learn from these cinematographers. They have the same techniques as us. The one guy sat there through mind numbing boredom to get the one perfect shot of the birds mating dance. That’s what makes photography worth it. If you are patient enough, the perfect image will come to you. Sometimes you have to go look for it but if you are patient it will come.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Low Tide - 3/17/12 
 Reflection - 3/17/12 
Focus - 3/17/12  
Hidden Pathway - 3/17/12  
Somewhere Over the Rainbow - 3/17/12  
Just Around the Riverbend - 3/17/12 

 - Ohiopyle - 
            On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, we embarked on an early adventure to Ohiopyle. This was my first trip there but my roommates had been telling me that it was beautiful out there and that I would be able to come back with some beautiful shots. I was excited to get my chance to see it but not excited about waking up.
            Once arriving, we were asked if we wanted to take the easy trail or the hard trail to our destination. At this point I felt like Alice from Alice in Wonderland. Throughout that story Alice was asked many times to make a decision and at this point I was asked the very same question. Which would it be?
            Since it was still early, I chose to take the easy trail with the majority of the class. I was having difficulty finding inspiration in my surroundings. Now that I know what I want my theme to be and when I go to look for it, I can’t find it. It’s kind of like the writer of Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie. He had loads of failed plays, one after another. It wasn’t until he took his mind off of writing the perfect play that he finally wrote the perfect play.
            I feel as though I need to keep my mind off of taking pictures for my cohesive portfolio but instead just go out and have fun taking pictures and then find the perfect ones later on. I will find my inspiration again.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Manufactured Landscapes

            I had viewed “Manufactured Landscapes” twice before this class and each time I tend to find something new and interesting about the video. The video in whole was interesting the first time I viewed it because I had never really thought about the landscapes of other countries. I was also viewing this in my color photo class and the theme of yellow in the cover picture was very striking.
Edward Burtynsky was looking for the manufactured theme in all of his images and he called these landscapes. I never thought of buildings as being a landscape but he is entirely right, building's and manufactured factories are the landscapes of today’s society because we keep building up and creating new things. The landscapes that I think of when hearing the word “landscape” is one of trees and rolling hills. We have taken these once naturally beautiful landscapes and built them up with housing and factories.
            This documentary doesn’t only focus on different landscapes but also the living conditions of the people surrounding these manufactured landscapes. They show striking images of families going through disregarded scrapes looking for metals that they can melt down to use again and even images of young children starting to work early to help with their family. These landscapes don’t just affect the ones who built it but the people all around too. These people live in horrible conditions and this documentary shows the owners of the factories in horrible light.
            All in all, this documentary was meant to make you curious about things and to think about the manufactured landscapes in our own country. This was all put together with a purpose. When you see both sides of manufactured landscapes you are to feel something for either side. You were also supposed to feel something when you viewed the images Edward Burtynsky created. I found the beauty in an ugly situation when I saw his images. They were strong images and if viewed alone without the explanation of the documentary, they would just be pretty pictures but now they are striking images. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Childhood Dreams

 Focus - 3/11/12
 Fairy God Mother's Tree - 3/11/12
 Jack and the Beanstalk - 3/11/12
 Forbidden Forest - 3/11/12
 Maleficent's Maze - 3/11/12
Tangled - 3/11/12

- Home -
Over spring break we were asked to go out on our own adventure to photograph the nature we are more used to seeing or wherever we ended up. I was very interested in this idea because I love comparing eastern and western Pennsylvania. Since I grew up in eastern PA, it has always held a special place in my heart as my home but as a child, I was lucky enough to call western PA my home as well. My parents grew up in Waynesburg, Pa and we traveled along the turnpike my whole life.
I wanted this chance to show the beauty of the east and I planned to go to parks like Valley Forge and Daniel Boone Homestead. Show the cabins stuck in the middle rather than the mountainside of western PA.
I unfortunately was running all over the place during spring break with family and friends and never made it to either park… Instead of not turning anything in, I decided to truly show my home and where my imagination was given the chance to run wild. So these images represent the childhood I remember very fondly.
The first three images are of the same Maple tree that has been in my front yard ever since I can remember. As a child I would run and play around that tree and even try to climb it a few times. I used to say my grandmother lived inside the tree and she was my own fairy godmother whenever I needed her. I never met my grandmother because she passed away months before I was born but I still got to play with her in my imagination as a child with that tree.
These memories of my home really tie into my initial idea of finding Disney and fantasy within the nature around us. As a child it is so easy to say, “yes my grandmother is living in the tree in the front yard”. That’s not such an easy statement as an adult but if it weren’t for imagination I wouldn’t be where I am. These childhood memories I will always hold onto because on the inside I am Peter Pan and I will never truly grow up. These images trigger that idea of fantasy and dreams.