Star Your Engines – part 1

Hello, everyone! The first prompt I completed for the Visual Assignment was the Favorite Photo prompt. I thought for a little bit about which photo I would use for this particular prompt–I do really like the photos of the pink flowers on the Fredericksburg Campus I took, this past spring (I’m not actually sure what those particular flowers are); I’m also really fond of a photo I took of a four-leaf clover I found, last summer. In the end, I decided to go with one of the photos I took during my trip to London, a few years ago, and then I finally chose this one as my number-one favorite:

This photo was taken from St. James Park, which was next to where my mother and I were staying, about an hour after we had gone up into the London Eye, which can be seen in this photo (I was also sure to take a selfie while I was in there, and I thought about using that photo for this prompt); I believe I was walking on a bridge when I saw a good photo-op and decided to take it. From what I can remember when I took this photo, I didn’t really think about the photography tips and tricks brought up in this class, such as balance or depth or contrast, but, with the way the light is reflected by the buildings and the London Eye, this photo is somewhat divided into the darker bottom-half and the lighter top-half, which I think is really interesting and satisfying.

Weather You Like It or Not: a Photo Gallery Sum-Up

Hello, everyone! When I visited the Abandoned America page, I looked through the photo gallery of the derelict St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, located in Germantown, PA, all taken by photographer Matthew Christopher. The first few exterior shots establish a subtle sense of dread or foreboding, with the exception of the second image, titled “Beneath the Arch;” the way the greenery frames the arch on the other side and the bright light in the background contrasting with the darkness and shadows in the foreground remind me of a portal to a fantasy world, as opposed to the aftermath of an apocalypse.

And, while the exterior of the church appears to be mostly intact, the inside of the church is revealed to be in varying degrees of disrepair; some parts of the church’s interior have signs of mild decay but are seemingly intact, while other parts have completely deteriorated, as well as revealing signs of water damage in many places. The photos that show water damage and the most deterioration make me think of the church (and perhaps the whole town, for a time) being desolated by some natural disaster, e.g. a flood or a hurricane.

The interior shots of the church feel very dark and hollow, especially the ones that show that there clearly used to be something there and has now been replaced by an empty space. The strong contrast between the darkness inside the church and the bright white light coming in through the windows seen in most of the interior shots also make the interior feel very cold and bleak, adding to the sense of loss and desolation present throughout the gallery. Another aspect I noticed about this gallery is that both the exterior and the interior of the church feel about as massive as they probably are, in real life, and I attribute this to how most of the photos are very well-balanced, following the photography “rule of three,” as well as the different perspectives and angles Christopher uses in each of his photos.

Whenever we watch movies or read books set during a post-apocalypse, the preceding apocalypse was often brought on by war or disease; however, like I mentioned before, the damage sustained by this church somewhat paints the image of an apocalypse brought on by a giant storm or some other natural disaster. The idea of a nature-related apocalypse creates a greater sense of futility, since you can’t really fight a storm the way you can fight a war or disease. By contrast, there’s also a twinge of hope from that scenario, that nature can eventually repair itself, following the storm. It’s always nice to have a sign of hope, even if they are subtle.

Anyway, I hope y’all have a good weekend. Until next time.

Half a Week Down, Amiright Y’all? ;)

Hello everyone! I began my week trying to figure out the ins and outs of all the websites we have to use for this course. I set up my Twitter, my Instagram, my Youtube, and my Soundcloud accounts which I will be using, for this course; I also used my middle name Scott for the display name for each of my accounts as opposed to my last name, Coburn, just out of a personal preference.

Once all that was taken care of and all my accounts were in order, I got to working on our first Daily Create assingment, “Monday Face”:

I decided on a selfie with a kind of scrunched-up expression hunched over my computer since that was pretty much the expression I was already making, and it seemed rather appropriate for a Monday mood, in any case.

Later, I uploaded three photos to my Instagram, as a way of introducing myself:

I went with some of my favorite photos that were on my phone–my favorite selfie, my favorite photo of my cats, and pretty much the only group-shot of my favorite band–and tried to give as brief a summary about myself as I could.

The next day, I did Tuesday’s Daily Create – coming up with a color theme based on a picture uploaded to the Adobe Color website:

I thought about using a photo of Tokyo that I found online, but then I thought that it might be better to use a photo that I took myself, just in case. Either way, I really enjoyed this one; I’ve always liked playing with colors and color palettes, so really this was the perfect assignment for me!

Mostly this week so far has been getting acquainted with the websites–mostly WordPress, Twitter, and Slack–that we’ll be using throughout this semester, and figuring out how to use them, i.e. uploading files and the like for our assignments. I’m looking forward to all the different methods of storytelling through social media, since I’ve mostly associated sites like Twitter and Instagram as places to simply share updates on one’s life, as opposed to a means of telling an actual narrative.

Question of the Week: What is your favorite type of story?

I like several types of stories, but I suppose if I had to narrow it down to just one, it would probably have to be fantasy. While I never really got into books like Harry Potter growing up, there was one particular trilogy that really moved me, that I still occasionally go back to, to this day: the Theatre Illuminata trilogy by Lisa MantchevEyes Like StarsPerchance to Dream, and So Silver Bright. As flawed as the books are, in hindsight, they still hold a very special place in my heart. Two fantasy books I read in high school, Eon and its sequel Eona, by Alison Goodman, were the thickest books I’ve ever read start to finish, ever!

While I do like stories that are lighter and more comedic, I suppose I just can’t help but gravitate towards books and stories with fantasy elements to them, and I can’t really describe why that is, exactly. I guess, like the Theatre Illuminata trilogy, the genre as a whole just has a special place in my heart, simply due to how much it impacted me, from a creative standpoint–one of my own stories I constantly go back is a fantasy story, featuring monsters and the like. I guess another reason I enjoy them is because, while I have nothing against more realistic fiction, there is generally more room to suspend your disbelief with a fantasy story, at least in my opinion, which I think can be a lot of fun.

Well, I suppose that’s about it for now. Tune in later this week for my next bi-weekly sum-up! Talk to y’all later!

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