Through a Lens

Last weekend I traveled to Colorado Springs to visit family. While there I went hiking as well as went to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. I decided to bring my camera with me. Today, I wanted to show five photography creative devices displayed in images.

“Lurking”
Alligator at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colorado.

While at the zoo I noticed they had some alligators in a heated tank and they were all laying on each other. I held my camera over the fence to get an aerial view of this scene. Don’t worry though I had my camera strap around my neck to make sure I didn’t drop it into the tank!

The dominant creative device in this picture is symmetry and patterns. The water is flat and not a single ripple showing how still the alligators were and then the moss is floating around. But the powerful symmetry and patterns found on the alligator’s scales and mouth are what draws the eye. The symmetry of the scales makes the photo aesthetically pleasing because it adds a sense of camouflage or mystery to the alligator and shows them lurking in the water. Hence, why I named the photo “Lurking”. I also think this photo uses focus as a creative device. The water and reflection in it are blurred while the eyes and face of the main subject are in perfect focus drawing the viewers straight to the eyes and snout.

“Alert”
A Meerkat watches on a rock for predators at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

For this image, I waited until a meerkat was facing my direction and it happened to be when one was perched on a rock. This image is a good example of the creative device texture. The fur of the meerkat is a different color than the background and it looks fuzzy making a viewer wonder how soft he or she is. I also thought the rocks behind the meerkat display texture with how they have all those ridges and black spots. I also think this picture demonstrates background because of how the rock is so powerful of a visual in the picture.

“Burning”
Taken off of a forest service road in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

For this image, I took my jeep and was exploring an old dirt road in the forest in Colorado Springs. As I was driving back down the road I noticed the sun was almost perfectly aligned with this small pine tree. I decided to compose the image using the rule of thirds. I wanted to showcase the tree and the sunset but I also wanted to use the field of dead grass. I think the grass being dead from winter allowed for it reflects the color of the sun perfectly. Rule of thirds was important when deciding to shoot this image because it allowed the viewer to see the scenery and the colors of the sunset in the sky. Another creative device used is leading lines. The shadows all lead towards the tree as well as the mountain ridges from left to right all end up at the small pine tree. These creative devices make the photo aesthetically pleasing because they add more to the image than just one subject they allow the viewer to see what the photographer saw.

“The Storm”
Early morning at Veduawoo the fog surrounded the rock formations.

For this image, I wanted to highlight leading lines. The trail winds through the dead and alive trees and leads to the rock formation which is covered in a hazy fog. I wanted to show images in their original format and not edit them. In the future, though I plan to edit this one and add contrast and make the fog seem more sinister and boost contrast. The leading lines draw attention to the main focal point which is the tallest rocks covered in mist. Leading lines help make this photo aesthetically pleasing because it gives the eye a place to look first before wandering around the screen. Another creative device is balancing the elements. The rock formation is all natural and has been preserved that way however the trail is man-made and maintained. Even the fallen tree that crosses the trail has been cut with a chainsaw and is split yet you can picture what it used to look like before being cut in half.

“Lone Tree”
Vedauwoo hiking area, near Laramie Wyoming.

After a morning hike I was sitting down for lunch and watched the fog burn off and behind it was a beautiful blue sky. This picture highlights both background and color creative devices. The tree sits right in front of a large rock structure and the eye is automatically drawn to both the rocks and the tree. For color, the bright blue sky next to the orange rocks which then show the only green which is the tree. Some people may even notice the white of the snow. These are all colors found in nature but none of them are dominating the picture they all are equally complimenting. These devices create an aesthetically pleasing photo because they display uniqueness. This rock formation is only a few minutes away from flat grasslands but the viewer would never know because the background is these massive boulders and then a pine tree found commonly in mountainous regions. Background and color tell a story which is important to all photos.

While taking these pictures it made me look back on all the creative devices. I naturally had just been shooting and had not been actively thinking about them. I think this exercise was healthy for me because it allowed me to realize I don’t use the rule of thirds as much as I should and almost 90% of the photos I took the main subject was in the center of the shot. When shooting my photos I wish I could capture the color more accurately. I could not adjust my F-stop to wide open to get creamy bokeh because I forgot a neutral density filter that would allow me to drop down to F 1.8 in harsh sunlight.

Documenting My Journey Through A Multimedia Class

Thanks for reading my first Blog!

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still. — Dorothea Lange

The Milky Way.jpg1. I am a semi-professional photographer, by that I mean I have sold some of my pictures as prints. I also have some prints displayed in several schools in Colorado. 

After reviewing the syllabus and reading former students blog I was going to put down that I am most excited for the photography and photojournalism units in this course because those are subjects that I am most familiar and comfortable with. However, after some thought I realized I will get out of this course what I put in. Hence, I chose a subject that I think would help me out the most in my future career.

I am most excited to learn about the social media aspect and the branding of a business. Social media is here to stay and is one of the most powerful tools available to anyone looking to have a career in journalism or even freelancing. 

The syllabus goes through the different parts of social media we will cover in this course. The part that stuck out to me most was: “Understand how social media is used in journalism and strategic communication.” I believe that is going to be a key element in how I will use social media to my advantage.

2. Some possible issues I am considering researching and reporting on this semester is Wyoming and national public lands not being accessible to the public. It seems ironic to call land that is inaccessible “public”. I think that a lot of people do not know that there are millions of acres of public land surrounded by private land. I think I could take several routes with researching this topic, the statistical and informational side. As well as, the impact on tourism and maybe even side effects on wildlife that reside in those areas.

“Across the West, 9.52 million acres of public lands sit entirely landlocked, and can be accessed only with the permission of the neighboring private landowners.  “

Theodore Rosevelt Conservation Partnership

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