Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Mid-Way Portfolio

For right now, my main concept is to show the beauty in the little things.  I think to make people aware of the importance of our parks, we have to be able to show them the beautiful things.  For the most part, my focus is on plants.  I like to show how when you cut out all of the excess noise that the forest can create, there are little scenes of beauty everywhere. 

McConnells Mill

This week for Nature Photo class, we headed out to McConnells Mill Park.  I’ve been there before; it’s actually where my senior photos were taken.  It’s a really beautiful piece of land that’s kind out of the way and hidden.  First we went to a smaller area that had a small waterfall and some nice ridges and cliffs.  I photographed a lot there but didn’t end up with much.  The sun was barely up then and the photos are all just really flat.  When we got to the second, larger part of the park, the sun came out and that’s when I started getting shots I liked.  There is so much to see along the trails there.  I ended up having to kinds of themes going on when shooting this trip.  The first one is what I think I’m going to try and focus on as a whole for this project.  I think the biggest issue nowadays is that people don’t take the time to stop and appreciate the beauty of the land that we haven’t yet touched.  And even if we have, people don’t take the time to appreciate the beauty, or even if they do, they don’t notice the beautiful things in front of them.  I think that the first step in getting support to keep our forests and land conserved is to make people realize their worth.  I hope that these images help show the beauty in the small parts of the forest that are unseen by those in a hurry. 

McConnells Mill 2

For the second grouping of photos, I’ve really been craving my B&W film camera lately.  I didn’t have it at school with me for this trip but I made and effort to take photos to be switched to black and white.  I’ve been kind of into the New Topographics photographers and as much as I love color, I wanted to show the beauty that just textures and contrasts can show.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Manufactured Landscapes

When going into class the other day, I was expecting to watch Planet Earth.  I was pretty excited, as I love those videos.  They showcase the most beautiful and wondrous places and creatures that our planet has to offer.  It was a big shock that we were watching something different – a movie called “Manufactured Landscapes.”  The movie is a documentary based on the work of Edward Burtynsky.  It is primarily a view of the exact opposite of Planet Earth – it is the parts of the earth that we have mostly destroyed by industrial buildings, mining, and trash dumps.  The film itself was a little boring but the subject matter is literally jaw-dropping.  It is hard to believe that such extremes exist on our planet, and that we are knowingly creating them.  It’s hard to wrap my brain around the images that are shown in the movie.  There was one point when I believe the film crew was at a mine and the employees told them that they weren’t allowed to film because it wasn’t pretty or something.  All I could think of was “well, duh!”  It wasn’t just a small mine – it was a huge expanse of smoky, smoggy land covered in piles of rocks and pieces of equipment.   It was terrifying.  There were so many places in the movie that I would probably be terrified to go.  And it’s even more shocking that I haven’t seen them before now.  I mean, I think everyone has seen images of garbage dumps and landfills, but nothing like the almost post-apocalyptic landscapes that exist.  I believe the film was made in China, the country that makes just about everything we use here in America.  I think the biggest message the film puts across is the need to conserve.  Conserving is important in everything.  It’s a crazy world when $300 ipods are “disposable” after two years when the new ones come out.  I think since we in America don’t see it, we don’t realize what a monster we are creating.  I think it even more shows the importance of what we are doing in our nature photography class.  It is important that we keep the land set aside to be permanently natural.  We can’t allow ourselves to destroy what beauty is left.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Frankfort Mineral Springs

This week in nature photography we headed up to Raccoon Creek State Park.  I’ve been to Raccoon before, but never to the little patch we visited, which was the Frankfort Mineral Springs.  It’s an impressive little place where the creek turns into a waterfall and water leaks out of the rock all over the cave area. We really lucked out on weather for this trip.  It’s the end of January yet it was like 50 and sunny!  Some clouds took over by the time we made it to our location, but it was still so much nicer then the windy, cold, trip we had last semester. I love water and this was a perfect place to photograph it.  I like to do long exposures to get that soft, motion effect.  I don’t have a tripod but luckily I made due with just setting my camera up on flat areas and propping it up with a roll of duct tape.  I think the images came out well and I’m still so surprised that there are all these secret little places of beauty in Pennsylvania. 
 Weird textures formed by water running out of the rock. I love the color.

I like how green everything still was, even in mid January.

 I loved the combination of the old ice laying around with the running water.
 This ice had such a neat texture on it.
 In the old rock walls around, there were some secret little windows that showed the falls.
 I love the way long exposures make water look.
 I really liked how clear and still this little pool was while everything around it was moving.
 The falls themselves.  They're rather beautiful.