21 May 2017

I'M A RISING SENIOR AND SCARED + Summer Collaboration

 I've been reading a ton of good books lately, especially ones about World War Two.

DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE BUN. This is hardly holding up by a ton of hairspray and twenty bobby pins.

The beginning of each conversation I have with my freshman English teacher always constitutes him peering his eyes at me in confusion and asking, "Are you a senior?"

I laugh and shake my head. Compared to the rest of the freshman, as the class consisted of students in all four grade levels, some level of maturity elicited this facade of being well-grounded when clearly my actions outsed me as a panicky freshman. The directions of the first paper assigned, a twenty page monologue encompassing Socrates, were misheard and came back finished the following day... when we had two weeks to work on understanding it. "Uh... no."

"Huh." He leans back in his swivel chair. "I thought you were."

Time hop several weeks in advance to two weeks crammed with enough busyness to make one irked by the workload, like what took place these past two weeks. AP tests shoved for their attention, and the afternoons following suit caused collapsation and sleep on my bed immediately after I came home, watching episodes of Glee, Downton Abbey, and Doctor Who.

 Children just bouncing around in their perfect buns are ADORABLE.

Besides Italian and Filipino food, Japanese ties for first.

On Saturday, I spent a wonderful day filled with a choir competition, dance recital, and volunteering at a silent auction in a fancy but (according to our town's urban legend) haunted hotel, all back-to-back. The entire ordeal was rather fun! I assisted children with their makeup, snuck around the local college campus music rooms with our mini ensemble and teachers, where some of the rooms may or may not have been off-limits. Also, we encountered some local birds, as the silent auction was meant to fundraise for a new facility and explored the basement area of the hotel, scented chlorine due to the athletic rooms and vegetarian pizza. Mother's Day passed.

Monday held a whirl of Trouble rounds as all thirty-nine honor marshals waited in the VIP room, bathing in the heat of stage lights and the mingling energy of charade movements, and it wasn't until then that it hit me: my senior year is coming right up. The only words my mind said is,

"What in SHISH KEBABS. I am almost an adult*."

 Funny story about the snowy owl! Almost everyone arrived for the reception and I tidied up the sign in desk. This lady stood for a good hour and a half discussing information about the snowy owl on a mat meant to collect the poop in case the owl decided, "I'm going to defecate right now!" As I was ready to leave into the dining hall, she stepped off the mat to greet her boyfriend, and BAM! The poop fell all over the uncovered floor tiles. She and her boyfriend panicked until he decided to get the welcome sign... and have the stand on top of where the owl did his thing.

I'm not good at Trouble. I almost got in "Trouble" in my first period for screaming when my only piece on the board get sent back home.

*Adult means not really adult since I'll still be underage after graduating and entering my freshman term, but still that means the time when late-blooming coffee lovers become coffee-lovers.

The weight of senior year hanging in balance terrifies me because everyone expects all the seniors to have their life in order when the tendrils of priorities, some beneficial and others a tiny bit detrimental, when in actuality, we don't have everything in check in an Excel sheet sat next to old phone photos. I wish more people would know that we don't need to have everything perfectly planned out or following the traditional set out blueprint of life after high school, because our plans will get altered somehow by numerous aspects and we need to be able to grow and adapt.

Anyways, no need to get sappy. I have one more year! At the same time, I don't want tunnel vision, either. I want to enjoy the people currently in company, and nature. Nature and the mountains is another aspect I'm going to incredibly miss. My family says nature is the same everywhere, but that couldn't be farther from the truth. There was a senior who was literally my twin (!) for being incredibly into writing (!!) and having the same values that I have (!!!) that I was discussing the environment with, since both of us love nature, and she agreed when I said, "By commenting that every tree is the same, you are undermining the tree's individualism, which is not okay!"

Much going to happen over summer... after school gets out in less than three days!

When are you getting out of school? Juniors, what are your thoughts about becoming rising seniors? Have any of you gone to graduation? Seniors, how's life going finishing school?

GUYS I'm looking for people to collaborate over the summer! I really work with bloggers, particularly those who are new to my blog... if you're interested, comment below. I'll also be sending out messages to a couple of you your way...

13 May 2017

Five Ways to Improve Your Photography

Photo from an old photography group session I attended several months ago which was pretty fun!

Good afternoon, everyone! Today, I'm collaborating with Amelie from laughing in the rain in her week of collaboratives by posting, "Five Ways to Improve ___," and today, I'll be talking about photography.

Photography has been one of my hobbies that almost started synonymous with blogging. It's cultivated to become something that I dearly love and enjoy over the span of four years-- which is a long time. While I'm still an amateur in regards to skill sets, there are important aspects to consider and remember when trying to improve photography skill sets. For the sake of this post I have left all but one of the photos unedited except for size.
Contrary to popular belief, point-and-shoot cameras can produce quality photos as well as DSLRs or mirrorless cameras do. The camera model is not the reason why photos are necessarily "better," per say, but rather because the photographer has taken the time to learn and understand all of the various buttons and settings that makes their camera their own. There are two ways to do this: one, to read the camera manual, and two, constant practicing. Learning takes time.

This was one of my first cameras that I’ve used over two and a half years—I got to know it well.

What is the subject you want to highlight in the photo? Are they placed near the side with a rather noisy background but you want to take a photo up close? Having the subject in the center and faced straight on may not portray the mood that is meant to be portrayed all the time. Sometimes, it's okay to zoom up, which if you are, try to step close to the subject as close as possible before kicking out the zoom.

Instead of taking a photo of the biggest leaf on a tree with a messy background that detracts from what’s meant to be highlighted…

Get close to the subject as close as possible and then zoom in!

Natural lighting will become your best friend. One of the best lighting comes from what is known as "the golden hour," which is that hour after the sun rises and before the sun sets. This lighting allows the features to appear softer, unlike in harsh direct daylight. In comparison to human-made lights, direct lighting is better, because sometimes, human-made lighting can reflect a reddish, blue, or green tint, depending on the light bulb.

Here is a comparison of unnatural lighting (also known as my room lighting)

And natural lighting (lights off, windows open). The colors are more natural.

Big seems better at times, but for photography, smaller is stronger. And don't hesitate to experiment with your photography-- who knows? You may adjust the setting to something that initially appears as an accident, but reveals to be a way to get that certain aperture and ISO ratio!

Always remember that there's the post-shooting process, also known as photo editing! Sometimes, the photos don’t always pop up the way that they were supposed to, like the lighting was dim, or maybe within the midst of editing you wanted to give a facial expression in the background the spotlight. It’s a way to make a photo better by bringing out the best parts and emphasizing aspects that you want to emphasize—after all, these are your photos, and you’re the one telling the story.

Thank you so much Amelie for this wonderful opportunity!