Saturday, January 17, 2015

I Know Where I'm Going Abroad!

I am going to Switzerland! I will be staying in the German speaking part of the country and I'm so excited! Switzerland is in the middle of the alps and there is just so many great things about their culture. For one, they are a totally neutral country with only three wars in the history of their country. They are the richest country in the world with a median income of 94,000 USD. They also have the one of the lowest unemployment rates at a peak of 4.4% in 2009 (it has dropped since then). On top of all of that, they are the largest chocolate consumers in the world. This is going to be an amazing exchange. Thank you so much to all of the Rotary people and my friends and family for supporting me.

Anyways, here are two photos that I took tonight with Gram at Warren Wilson College. The first one is one at sunset at an old barn with a lonely donkey. The second one is one of the stars on a semi-cloudy night. I thought the second one looked very moody (credit to Gram) and dark and creepy (which I like and seems to be a pattern in some of my photos).

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sunrise at Beaver Lake

Last weekend, Gram and I went to Beaver Lake at 7:00am to photograph/draw the sunrise. I took a lot of photos, but this was the only one that turned out acceptably. I have recently been thinking about my photos, not the composition, but just the quality in general. I feel that I jumped into the world of DSLRs a little to quickly and forgot to get the basics completely down. I know how to use aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings, but I don't fully understand them or what the can really do for my photos if I get it down and use it to it's highest potential. I decided to do some research and I'm spending time learning the basics again. I've discovered subtle things that impact photos greatly. I knew that a lower aperture (higher f/stop) would create greater depth of field and a slower shutter speed requirement, but I never used it according to the scene. For example, when shooting stars, you don't need a great depth of field because to the human eye, it's all so far away that it seems two dimensional anyways. If I was shooting something like my last picture (the Cathedral), I would want a greater depth of field to really capture all of the details in the photo to make it feel like you're there. There are lots of other examples but I don't want to bog you down. Here is a photo that I took before fully understanding the basics. It's a pretty basic photo.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Basilica Cathedral

On Wednesday, Sam and I went downtown again to walk around. We were looking for something to do when we passed the Roman Catholic Basilica near the US Cellular Center in downtown Asheville. I had never been inside before so I suggested we take a peek! As we opened the door, we were flooded by warm lights and silence. A little less than half of the seats were filled. We quietly sat down and just listened and observed. All of the structures inside of the cathedral were perfectly symmetrical and it looked like it would make for a wonderful photo. Roughly ten minutes into the service (mass), I pulled out my camera and walked toward the back of the room. As I placed the view finder against my eye, a man taps me on the shoulder and politely requests that I postpone my photography until after mass is over. Understanding his wishes, Sam and I exit the building and continue walking around. We loiter around the fountain area downtown and then head over to Dobra Tea and get a snack. This took about an hour and a half due to the abnormally long wait for our food and tea. Afterwards, we are heading home and so we stop by the church again to see if the service had ended yet. Fortunately, it was, and so Sam looked around while I shot some photos and then we left.
In the photo below, Sam is sitting on the left.